PERPETRATOR – Review by Leslie Combemale

What would it look like if a feminist filmmaker redefined the expression “girls gone wild?” The answer is in writer/director Jennifer Reeder’s stylish horror coming-of-age genre mashup Perpetrator, where Blood with a capital B, teen rebellion, and really trippy visuals are the order of the day. In Perpetrator, Reeder is posing a lot of questions about obsessions with beauty, age, gender norms, and femininity, loosely wrapped in a private schoolgirl story of survival and becoming. As they grow into adulthood, are young women monsters if they refuse to submit, to stay silent, or make how men (of any age) see them as their highest priority? Are they monsters if they refuse to be victims, stand up for each other, and strike back? The right answer would be “of course not!”, but in Perpetrator, Reeder makes this point: If we have to ask that question, there’s already a huge problem.

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THE REQUIN – Review by Susan Granger

Occasionally – thankfully, not often – survival stories are so lame and ridiculous that one wonders why and how they were ever green-lit for financing and production. The Requin is one of those. The saga begins as Jaelyn (Alicia Silverstone) and Kyle (James Tupper) arrive for a much needed getaway at a luxurious tropical resort in Vietnam, even if it is ‘off-season.’ Although Vietnamese-American writer/director Le-Van Keit works with cinematographer Matt S. Bell to utilize every scenic advantage of their supposedly exotic location, the result – filmed mostly at Orlando Studios in Florida – is disappointingly formulaic, and the cheesy shark CGI reeks of carnivorous cost-cutting.

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THE LODGE – Review by Rachel West

Most of the horror in The Lodge is rooted in two elements: faith and grief. Together these themes permeate everything within the film in a horror-drama reminiscent of Ari Aster’s work and the directing duo’s previous outing, Goodnight Mommy. The film, which premiered at Sundance, moves at a glacial pace for the first hour before ratcheting up the intensity. Even at its peak however, this is still a slow burn, playing psychological games on its subjects and viewers.

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