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Before the Oscars, They Belonged to Us, Part 3

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Disclaimer: This article may contain sarcasm; irony and “LOLs” proceed with caution.

The Final Chapter (“>read Part 2 here)! We have Howard the Duck, Freejack and Shyamalan flicks on the list; these are never good signs. Nonetheless we are bringing it all to you in full-color and in 3-D. (Ed. Note: Due to the economy, 3-D has been dropped and will be replaced by Smell-o-vision — check for your scratch and sniff cards in about 4-6 weeks.) Best Sound went to rage-zombie veterans Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke, leaving Mark Weingarten who worked on Rejuvenatrix in the dust. The Sound Editing section contains one too many references to Ron Silver, and at least two references to a Roger Corman film.

The visual effects category pulled on our heartstrings this year due to the loss of Stan Winston, who was noted en memoriam along with other heroes, Vampira, Leonard Rosenman and Charles H. Schneer just to name a few. The Technical Awards were totally lacking from the live awards ceremony. I did include some genre notes on these tech-titans and a link to all the winners. I hope you enjoyed the ride as much I did; if you don’t mind I’ll just hitchhike my way home. If you do care to join me for dinner, I live right next to the old slaughterhouse.

There’s roadkill all over Texas. Now let’s get on with it.


Best Achievement in Sound:

  • Ian Tapp for Slumdog Millionaire (Winner):
    28 Weeks Later, Sunshine

  • Richard Pryke for Slumdog Millionaire (Winner):
    28 Days Later

  • David Parker for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
    The Skeleton Key*, Dark Water, Van Helsing, The Mothman Prophecies*, The Mummy Returns, Cecil B. DeMented, Pecker
    (John Waters!), Tremors II: Aftershocks, Ed Wood, Serial Mom, Amityville: A New Generation, Children of the Night, The Fly II, The Blood of Heroes (Post-Apocalyptic Rutger Hauer), My Best Friend Is a Vampire, Pin (a film I have been dying to see), April Fool’s Day, Creature (Media Home Entertainment VHS; released in a big box? We could only have hoped)

  • Michael Semanick for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, King Kong
    (remake), The Village*, Hellboy, Signs*, The Mothman Prophecies*, Air Bud: Golden Receiver (just snuck that in there didn’t I?), Ed Wood, Serial Mom, Amityville: A New Generation, Rampage (A great Friedkin flick) (Oh, and he also worked on a lot of the Ernest films including Ernest Scared Stupid; of interest perhaps for there are Trolls in it. Ok maybe not)

  • Ren Klyce for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
    Sound Department:
    Se7en*

    Music Department:
    Se7en* (Music Consultant: David Fincher)

  • Mark Weingarten for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
    “True Blood”, Snakes on a Plane (classy), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Rejuvenatrix (This one is for you Gingold), Deadly Illusion (Larry Cohen and some Billy Dee Williams)

  • Ed Novick for The Dark Knight:
    A Simple Plan
    (Thee Raimi), The Crow: City of Angels*, Masters of the Universe (Meg Foster as Evil Lyn), Exterminator 2 (Cannon Group Inc.; Banned in Finland 1985), Liquid Sky (80’s Cult Film released on Media Home Entertainment VHS)

  • Lora Hirschberg for The Dark Knight:
    The Ring, The Faculty, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Mimic

  • Gary Rizzo for The Dark Knight:
    My Bloody Valentine 3-D, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, Hellboy, Darkness Falls, Mimic 2, The Exorcist
    (2000 Special Edition), Dracula 2000 (Roger Corman at the Oscars), The Prophecy 3: The Ascent, Lake Placid, The Haunted Village

  • Tom Myers for WALL·E:
    Wes Craven Presents: They, Lake Placid, Mimic

  • Michael Semanick for WALL·E:
    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, King Kong
    (remake), Corpse Bride, The Village*, Hellboy, Signs*, The Mothman Prophecies*, The Faculty, Ed Wood, Amityville: A New Generation, Rampage

  • Ben Burtt for WALL·E:
    Sound Department:
    The Dark Crystal*, Howard the Duck (!!!), Death Race 2000 (1975), (Also everything Star Wars, ever)

    Special Effects:
    The Milpitas Monster

  • Chris Jenkins for Wanted:
    Death Race, Resident Evil: Extinction, Underworld: Evolution, Exorcist: The Beginning, Dawn of the Dead
    (remake), Freejack (so bad; saw it in the theater), RoboCop 2, Rampage, Day of the Dead, Creepshow

  • Frank A. Montaño for Wanted:
    Death Race, Underworld: Evolution, Exorcist: The Beginning, Dawn of the Dead
    (remake), Timecop (best Ron-Silver-shattering-like-glass-moment ever captured on film), Body Snatchers, Addams Family Values, Outlaw of Gor (Super tacky, like Deathstalker, but more nudity)

  • Petr Forejt for Wanted:
    AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Van Helsing, Revenge of the Rats


    Best Achievement in Sound Editing

  • Richard King for Dark Knight (Winner):
    The Exorcist (Re-Release), Blue Steel (Just because we need more Ron Silver on the list)

  • Frank E. Eulner for Iron Man:
    The Village*, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, Hellboy, Dracula 2000, The Prophecy 3: The Ascent, The Haunting, Lake Placid, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Mars Attacks!, Serial Mom

  • Christopher Boyes for Iron Man:
    King Kong (Remake), Dracula 2000

  • Tom Sayers for Slumdog Millionaire:
    28 Weeks Later, Sunshine, 28 Days Later

  • Ben Burtt for WALL·E:
    Sound Department:
    The Dark Crystal*, Howard the Duck (!!!), Death Race 2000 (1975), (Also everything Star Wars, ever)

  • Wylie Stateman for Wanted:
    Grindhouse, The Skeleton Key*, Exorcist: The Beginning, Mighty Joe Young
    (remake), The Relic, Tron


    Best Achievement in Visual Effects:

  • Steve Preeg for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (winner)
    King Kong (remake), Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace

  • Craig Barron for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (winner):

    The Ring, Mighty Joe Young (remake), Ghost in the Machine, Dracula, Darkman, Arachnophobia*, RoboCop 2, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Witches of Eastwick*, Poltergeist, Dragonslayer (because it was on a Fango cover … Barron also worked on many of the beloved 80s sci-fi/fantasy films as a matte guy; E.T., Explorers, Enemy Mine, The Goonies, The Neverending Story, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, just to name a few)

  • Chris Corbould for The Dark Knight
    The Mummy, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Alien 3, Nightbreed, Link, Lifeforce, Krull
    (because it is always on Cinemax)

  • Paul J. Franklin for The Dark Knight
    Resident Evil: Apocalypse

  • John Nelson for Iron Man:
    Wolf, Forbidden Zone
    (Visual Effects Animator)

  • Ben Snow for Iron Man:
    King Kong
    (remake), Van Helsing, The Mummy

  • Daniel Sudick for Iron Man:
    Wolf

  • Shane Mahan for Iron Man:
    Working at Stan Winston Studio: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Predator 2, Leviathan, The Monster Squad, Predator, Aliens, The Vindicator

    Miscellaneous Crew:
    A Gnome Named Gnorm (Gnorm wrangler)

    Make-Up Department:
    Chiller

    Animation Department:
    Invaders from Mars


    Best Animated Feature Film of the Year:

  • John Stevenson for Kung Fu Panda:
    Little Shop of Horrors
    (1986), Labyrinth*, The Dark Crystal*


    Best Documentary, Features:

  • Werner Herzog for Encounters at the End of the World:
    Nosferatu the Vampyre


    Stars Mentioned in Passing:

  • Maila Nurmi aka Vampira
    Actress:
    Plan 9 from Outer Space, “The Vampira Show”

  • Stan Winston
    Make-Up Department:
    The Island of Dr. Moreau, Interview with the Vampire: The, Vampire Chronicles, Wes Craven’s Chiller, Friday the 13th Part III, The Thing, Dead & Buried, The Hand, The Entity, The Exterminator, The Island, Dracula’s Dog, Mansion of the Doomed, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, The Bat People, Gargoyles

    Special Effects:
    Darkness Falls, Lake Placid, The Relic, Predator 2, Leviathan, The Monster Squad, Predator, “Amazing Stories”* (The one with Christopher Lloyd), Aliens, Invaders from Mars, The Vindicator, The Phantom of the Opera (1983), Dracula’s Dog

    Miscellaneous Crew:
    Predator 2 (Creature Creation), Leviathan (Creature Designer), The Monster Squad (monsters)

    Producer:
    Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature, How to Make a Monster

    Director:
    A Gnome Named Gnorm, Pumpkinhead

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director:
    Aliens

    Visual Effects:
    Parasite

    Writer:
    Pumpkinhead

    Costume and Wardrobe Department:
    “The Star Wars Holiday Special”

  • Charles H. Schneer
    Producer:
    Clash of the Titans, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The Valley of Gwangi, First Men in the Moon, Jason and the Argonauts, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, 20 Million Miles to Earth, It Came from Beneath the Sea, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (produced films featuring Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion magic)

  • James Whitmore
    Actor:
    The Relic, The Shawshank Redemption (King!), “The Ray Bradbury Theater”, “The Twilight Zone”

  • Leonard Rosenman
    Composer:
    RoboCop 2, “Amazing Stories”*, Prophecy, The Car, The Possessed, Sybil (I was scared of the disembodied cat head when I was little…), The Phantom of Hollywood, The Cat Creature, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Voyage, “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour”, “The Twilight Zone”

    Music Department:
    RoboCop 2 (Conductor)
    The Lord of the Rings (Conductor … I mention LOTR here because he was the conductor, and that is awesome)

  • Charlton Heston
    Actor:
    Soylent Green, The Omega Man

  • Roy Scheider
    Actor:
    Jaws, Jaws 2, Naked Lunch, Dracula II: Ascension, Dracula III: Legacy

  • Ricardo Montalban
    Actor:
    “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

  • Pat Hingle
    Actor:
    “The Twilight Zone”, Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo, Maximum Overdrive, “The Shining”

  • Isaac Hayes
    Actor:
    Escape from L.A., “Tales from the Crypt”, Escape from New York (A-Number 1)

  • J. Paul Huntsman
    Sound Department:
    Pet Sematary II, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Cat’s Eye, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone

  • Nina Foch
    Actress:
    Cry of the Werewolf

  • David Watkin
    Cinematographer:
    Return to Oz, To the Devil a Daughter, Mahogany (Anthony Perkins acting nuts), The Devils, Marat/Sade

  • Robert Mulligan
    Writer:
    “Dark Shadows”

  • Evelyn Keyes
    Actress:
    Wicked Stepmother, A Return to Salem’s Lot, “Amazing Stories”*

  • Richard Widmark
    Actor:
    To the Devil a Daughter

  • Jules Dassin
    Director:
    The Tell-Tale Heart (1941)

  • Joseph M. Caracciolo
    Art Department:
    The Stepford Wives (1975), The Exorcist


    Special Guest:

    Janusz Kaminski:
    Cinematographer:
    Grim Prairie Tales: Hit the Trail… to Terror, The Terror Within II

    Camera and Electrical Department:

    Watchers II (Director of Photography: Second Unit), After Midnight (Chief Lighting Technician), Dance of the Damned (Gaffer)

    Director:
    Lost Souls


    Technical Awards:

    Gordon E. Sawyer Award

  • Ed Catmull
    Visual Effects: Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (KKKKHHAAANNNNN!!!)

  • John A. Bonner Medal
    Mark Kimball
    TRON (Computer Systems and Software Development)

    Please click here and give these folks the attention they deserve.


    That’s a rap until next year fright fans, when I go back into the crypt and find out who worked on Basket Case 3 and Dead Pit. It could be any of them. I do dream of the day when a picture like Howling XII takes home an Oscar for Best Picture. And Joe Dante gets his Lifetime Achievement Award where he gives props to monster-kids everywhere. All things are possible in Hollyweird, U.S.A.

    Heather Buckley

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    Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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    It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

    And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

    The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

    A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

    You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

    The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

    Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

    The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

    Synopsis:

    A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

    Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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    AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters

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    Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

    Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


    ** NO SPOILERS **

    It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

    Spoiler free.

    To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

    That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

    Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

    Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

    Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

    Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

    But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

    But let’s backtrack a bit here.

    Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

    And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

    Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

    With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

    Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

    I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

    Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

    Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

    Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

    On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

    That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

    In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

    While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

    Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

    Bring on season 12.

    • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)
    3.5

    Summary

    The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

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    The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

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    Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

    Directed by Nicholas Woods


    The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

    The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

    The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

    The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

    The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

    The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

    ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

    • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
    • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
    • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
    • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
    • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
    • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
    • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
    • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
    • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
    • The Axiom
    4.0

    Summary

    In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

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