Harry Potter is one of the top intellectual properties in the world. J.K Rowling’s acclaimed book series about a young wizard has sold over 500 million copies, with 8 movies generating $1.2 billion. In early June 2021, Harry Potter landed in the Big Apple, at 935 Broadway right across the street from the Flatiron Building. The new store boasts the largest assembly of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise under one roof and now offers two incredible virtual reality experiences opening this week! I admit that I am a huge Potter geek, so this was extra special for me. Check out my report below, along with the video I shot in the Harry Potter New York store.
I can honestly say you have never seen a film like Sator before. More than that, you’ve never heard a story behind a film crazier than that of Sator as well. Sator represents a 7-year journey for Jordan Graham, who did literally everything on this film. He is credited as the writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, and even did the music for the film. The long journey was mainly a result of the titular entity who has haunted Graham’s family since the 1960s. His real-life grandmother, the late June Peterson, randomly discussed her “automatic writing” in which the being Sator speaks through her, and this caused Graham to rewrite his film into a darker and more atmospheric horror. Available on VOD now on Prime, VUDU, and Apple TV, Sator is one of the most unique film-viewing experiences you will have and a damn effective horror film even without knowing any of the crazy backstory. I had a chance to speak with Graham about the film, his family’s history with Sator, and more.
By most metrics 2020 SUCKED. As someone who believes movie theaters are akin to religious institutions, 2020 was an especially rough year for me. Without blockbusters and theater crowds to keep us entertained, movie fans turned to streaming services and VOD. Perhaps the only silver lining was horror. Horror killed it in 2020 with some tremendous early hits I was actually able to see in theaters and then tons more from the comfort of my couch thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and above all Shudder. Shudder was a shining beacon in the dark of plague halted year for horror fans and for only $5 a month it is worth every penny.
In 2020 we saw the return of the horror anthology, typically great foreign horror and the rise of young promising writers/directors who can dominate this genre for years to come. So let’s take a look at my Top Horror Films of 2020!
Well folks, we made it through the crazy year that was 2020. Everything is different, but thankfully we still had movies to give us a few distractions and some much-needed laughs at time. But even that was different, we spent less time in a dark theater with a crowd of folks, replacing that experience with our TVs and sound systems at home with numerous streaming services to offer up movies to entertain us. I think I usually average around 70 new movies a year, but sadly this year it was only 42, and that includes even older movies I saw for the first time. And the back catalog of stuff on the various streaming services, I missed out on a bunch of movies too.
And as you can see from the title, we are doing things a little different as well. I had my list down to 11 movies and even after about a week of trying to narrow it down, I couldn’t, so you are getting 10 (+1) this year.
Climate of the Hunter is a new twist on the vampire subgenre of horror. Combining arthouse flair, ‘70s vampire mythos, dark humor, and psychological family drama, it was one of my favorites of the year. The film stars Ginger Gilmartin and Mary Buss as sisters Alma and Elizabeth, who begin to compete for the affections of Wesley (Ben Hall), a man from their past who returns to the secluded wooded community they live in.
The film received a limited theatrical run in December and will be available for streaming on January 12, 2021. Director and co-writer Mickey Reece has made over 25 films in the last decade and I got a chance to speak with him about his unique new film and his style of filmmaking.