The Power feels stuck in second gear. Character exposition comprises most of the first act, but while Valerie certainly earns our sympathy, most others are painted in broad strokes and the vengeful spirit turns out to be something we’ve seen many times before. The film is deliberately paced and atmospheric, but relies too heavily on gratuitous jump-scares for its own good, to the point where we wish it would stop throwing us false alarms and get on with the story.
Seance does come to a lively – and gory – conclusion, which helps us forgive lapses in credibility. The rest is unremarkable slasher horror, though slickly-made and certainly watchable. If only the killer knew when to shut up…not everything needs to be explained, especially to the one person who can stop you.
While not quite as fresh as the original, A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy follow-up. By continuing the same story rather than contriving a new one, we’re already invested in these characters before a single monster shows up. Dedicated performances, strong characters and continued narrative simplicity make it a better-than-average horror sequel…if you still want to call it one.
Though occasionally very bloody, Jakob’s Wife is seldom scary, nor does it really try that hard to be. And as bloodsucking antagonists go, The Master is relatively generic and perfunctory. However, the film is cleverly conceived, with a plenty of black comedy, some narrative surprises and an audacious performance by one of horror’s most luminary ladies.
The narrative is full of the usual plot twists and red herrings, but it’s efficiently-paced and fairly engaging, with a more coherent, self-contained story that doesn’t require a slide rule to follow (another common knock against some of the sequels). Though Rock occasionally seems out of his element, he turns in a decent performance and injects welcome moments of humor here and there, something completely absent from every previous film.
Bizarre even by the director’s notorious standards, Siberia is nevertheless well made and visually impressive. With the harsh, cold landscapes underscoring Clint’s isolation, it might even be Ferrara’s best looking film. Whether or not there’s any actual meaning to it all (or entertainment value, for that matter) depends entirely on the viewer. Proceed at your own risk.