Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

A dilapidated church on an European island. A dark ritual conducted by the Third Reich. A demon child named “Hellboy.” Thus the seeds are sown for a dark, beautiful and haunting tale. The tale of a demon out of hell is both a rich exploration of humanity and a dark look at the horrors of the supernatural. After all, the protagonist is part hell and part boy. Continue reading Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

Outcast

Note: This is a review of the first three volumes of Outcast: A Darkness Surrounds Him, A Vast and Unending Ruin, and This Little Light.

There’s a lot I want to like about Outcast. When done right, possession is one of my favorite horror subgenres. Peeling back the veil into the supernatural and seeing how it manifests in our physical realm creates for intriguing metaphysical horror. It’s also a fascinating exploration of good and evil and the battle between the divine and demonic. Sadly, Outcast lacks a lot of these thematic underpinnings. Continue reading Outcast

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Tokyo Godfathers opens with Christmas mass. The Tokyo congregation is not made up of finely dressed churchgoers, but a ragged group of homeless people. Amidst the throng of people are Hana (Yoshiaki Umegaki) and Gin (Toru Emori). As the two wait in line, Hana bemoans that he’s a woman trapped in a male body and wonders if he might become the virgin Marry and conceive without sex. When he tells the server he’s eating for two, the shock is palpable. The duo returns to Miyuki (Aya Okamoto), a spunky teen with a chip on her shoulder. Continue reading Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Once Upon a Time in the West is a film of faces. While the sprawling dusty landscapes of the West comprise many of the shots of the film, the film is more fascinated with the human landscape of the face. The face can be rough with many crevices and the signs of age, or smooth with youth and beauty. Emotions and expressions bring the face to life. Continue reading Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)