Smile (2019)

Based on title alone, Smile might appear to be a goofy comedy or a cloyingly sweet tale of love, but the film expertly explores the complexities that come when life is at a crossroads. That’s where we find Lucas Wilson, who runs into his high school sweetheart at his portrait studio. He learns she’s engaged to an insurance agent, and her revelation serves as a catalyst for Lucas to look back at his past while navigating his future.

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Feral (2018)

For many of us, it’s easy to forget those who are less fortunate. Our own lives are so enwrapped in a mile a minute lifestyle, that we don’t often acknowledge the suffering in the world. Most of you reading this, like myself, have probably given to a homeless person before, but more often than not, pass them by.

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Us (2019)

As a lifelong fan of the horror genre, Jordan Peele’s latest film Us offered me many things to love. The performances were phenomenal all around, from Lupita Nyong’o’s dual roles that ranged from horrifying, to sympathetic, to downright eerie, and Evan Alex’s nuanced performance that was more astounding considering the actor’s young age, the film once again proved horror films are not just grounds for scenery chewing dramatics. The references to a multitude of horror films and pop culture events from the ‘80s included a treasure trove of “Easter Eggs.”

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The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

At this point, I’ve lost track of how many horror films have been made about Sharon Tate and the damn Manson family. From films like Wolves at the Door to Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the story has been told so many times, it’s arguably been fetishized. The Haunting of Sharon Tate does, however, take a slightly different look at the story.

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Starfish (2018)

Think what you will of H.P. Lovecraft as a person, his work has inspired countless filmmakers and storytellers. But as much as I love his writing, the one thing his stories always lack are deeply personal characters. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see films like Starfish taking his themes and doing something unique and beautiful with them.

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Lords of Chaos (2018)

When watching Lords of Chaos, you’ll find yourself repeating these three words: this actually happened. Here it is, my first non-horror review for CineDump, but that’s not entirely accurate. That’s because this new black metal nightmare from director Jonas Akerlund is an utterly horrific descent into the dark void of the soul, and the subconscious terrors that lurk there.

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