Universal Horrors: the birth of American horror cinema and the original cinematic shared universe on Peacock

The great monsters of horror were first defined for the movies almost 100 years ago at Universal Studios when they ushered in the golden age of American horror cinema. They weren’t the first horror movies and they weren’t even the first adaptations of the literary horror classics but they took hold of the public’s imagination, […]

‘Dracula’s Daughter’ – the elegant offspring on Peacock

Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Universal’s cut rate sequel to Dracula sans Bela Lugosi, turns out to be an unexpectedly sleek and stylish movie. Gloria Holden, tall, dark, and continental, is the aristocratic title character fighting her nature and seeking a cure for her affliction. A sympathetic psychiatrist (Otto Kruger) encourages her to “face her fears,” but […]

Maika Monroe in David Robert Mitchell 's 'It Follows'

‘It Follows’ on Peacock

It Follows (2015) is both the title and the premise of this simple but intelligent low-budget horror. The premise is like a twist on Ringu / The Ring, except that this curse is passed on through sex, which writer / director David Robert Mitchell plays with a tender sense of romance that twists into a terrible betrayal […]

What to stream: ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ on Netflix, ‘The Right Stuff’ on Disney+, final seasons of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘Mr. Robot’

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (TV-MA), from “The Haunting of Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan, adapts the Henry James classic “The Turn of the Screw,” updating it to 1980s England. “Hill House” actor […]

‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ – a delirious sequel on Peacock

Director James Whale did not seek out the sequel to Frankenstein but he turned out a horror masterpiece with Bride of Frankenstein (1935), a delirious sequel that tops the original. The screenplay draws additional story elements from Mary Shelley’s novel, which are reworked for Hollywood, and weaves them in with a new, original character: Dr. […]

The original ‘Frankenstein’ on Peacock

“It’s alive! Alive! In the name of God now I know what it’s like to be God!” James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) is the granddaddy of modern monster movies. Universal was looking to a follow up to the tremendous success of Dracula when it assigned sophomore director Whale to helm an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous novel […]

What to stream: ‘Enola Holmes’ on Netflix, ‘Utopia’ on Amazon, Oscar-winner ‘Judy’ on Amazon and Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) is “Enola Holmes” (2020, PG-13), the teenage sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), in the lively family-friendly mystery-adventure that sends the accomplished young woman in […]

Brie Larson stars in the award-winning 'Short Term 12,' inspired by the personal experience of filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton

‘Short Term 12’ on Peacock

Brie Larson earned an Oscar for her performance in Room (2015) but her breakout role was in Short Term 12 (2013), a tender and touching drama set in a facility for at risk, abandoned, or otherwise homeless kids that can’t get placement with foster families. What could be a portrait of instability and institutional failings, however, […]

What to stream: documentaries ‘All In’ on Amazon, ‘The Fight’ on Hulu, ‘Challenger’ on Netflix, plus ‘We Are’ on HBO

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Election season brings out the political documentaries. “All In: The Fight for Democracy” (2020, PG-13) takes on the rights of American citizens to vote and the issue of voter suppression, guided by the […]