03
Review

Mother Russia Bleeds is a little groggy

VHS cassettes were the ideal vessel for horror. The seams between fiction and reality were somehow hazier, hidden behind scanlines and stretched tape, allowing my imagination to magnify the terror of Gremlins (1984) and the murderous doll in Child’s Play (1988). A film like Ringu (1998), in which those horrors literally came out of the TV to kill you, was inevitable. As VHS tapes warp and degrade they sully the story contained within, but also gain individual character. No two copies of the same film play exactly the same on VHS, especially as time lurches on. Eventually, the horror that…

ReCore
News

ReCore downplays its robot dog, which is all we care about

When ReCore’s first trailer premiered at E3 2015, the protagonist Joule and her scrappy robot dog charmed everyone with their expeditious tag-team adventure. Evoking Rey’s lone scavenger vibe from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the brief blast of combat at the trailer’s end promised creative, cooperative action—and a canine companion with the trick of interchangeable bodies, so you never need worry about the dog dying. Joule and co. seemed sweet, despite their attacking prowess, and the idea of an open desert to romp through and explore was tantalizing. weird, hidden garages full of violence Pre-release material has since hinted…

ECHO
News

The most dangerous enemy in ECHO’s futuristic Palace will be yourself

Most videogames are a battle of sorts between the player and the creators. Horror games use tone, aesthetic, sound, lighting, to scare and unease you. Carefully placed enemies and arenas offer challenging conflicts. Gauntlets of chasms and hazards await to test the player’s platforming prowess. But these challenges tend to be static; once the player has learned the needed skills, survived the terror, run and jumped through a game, you’ve bested the developer’s design. But some games aren’t so … passive. Some can learn and adapt, turn the player’s skill into their weakness. The bosses in Warning Forever (2003) would swell with…

04
Review

Furi knows how to keep a good beat

I’ve been listening to instrumental electronic music for over 20 years, and the most frequent refrain I’ve heard from skeptics is that house, techno, and any number of subgenres is just “too repetitive.” It’s a complaint that I have a difficult time responding to. It’s true that a lot of electronic music is founded on repetition, with entire tracks constructed via loops and samples on step sequencers. But the line between quantitatively defining repetition and qualitatively proclaiming something as “too repetitive” is a matter of personal taste. I always liked the way beats and samples could gradually fold into one…

Hyper Light Drifter
Review

Hyper Light Drifter cuts through the noise

Silence is difficult for most of us. It’s not just screens that prevent it, the ubiquity of entertainment and distraction, or the pace of modern life—though, that and more contributes to the difficulty of easing through the din. The chaff of life is a billowy recliner, keeping us cozy against the chaos in our minds. But there is something to gain in sitting in silence on a bare floor and using the low-cycle hum around you to pluck the signal from among scattered thoughts. Hyper Light Drifter merges a sense of silence with what eventually becomes instinctive action. It’s a…

bond
Feature

How videogames are changing the action movie

Something strange happens with the camera at the start of Spectre (2015). The movie opens with a wide view of an elaborate Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City. We’re then shown a villain before focusing on James Bond, who starts to follow this villain. Bond and a woman then go into a hotel and he leaves her by exiting through a window onto the rooftop, where he prepares to shoot his target. It’s a standard set-up for a Bond film, but throughout all of this, the camera doesn’t seem to cut away, not once. The entire opening is…

Green-Room-Anton-Yelchin
News

Green Room is a merciless, punk-as-sh*t siege movie

We’re at Fantastic Fest this week and are bringing you impressions of our favorite films shown at the event. For all of our hot, hot takes, head over here. /// “I like murder,” Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier confessed in a post-screening Q&A. This comes as no surprise. You might know Saulnier’s 2013 film Blue Ruin. If not, imagine a revenge movie where the protagonist does literally everything wrong. I wasn’t hot on that movie: it just didn’t click with me. But Green Room? Green Room tore my face off. It’s a ferocious action flick about a punk band who stumble on a murder (there it is!) and have…

jotun
News

Jotun’s gorgeous hand-drawn Viking woman action is out now

Only Vikings that die a valiant death in the eyes of the Gods can enter Valhalla. Thora is not one of them. The just released action-adventure game Jotun follows Thora in her quest to impress the Gods following an inglorious demise. What stands out immediately about Jotun is its hand-drawn art, which is on full display in its launch trailer below. Its range of environments, from grassy woods and ancient mines to mythical planes among the stars, capture the cartoonish, but epic majesty of Disney adventures, and its music works just as well to ground the gallant nature of Thora’s…