Author Archive: Jason Coffman

Jason Coffman

Jason Coffman is a film writer living in Chicago. He writes reviews for Film Monthly and is a regular contributor to Fine Print Magazine (www.fineprintmag.net).

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The Battery

The Battery

| August 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Apocalypse fatigue is a real problem for fans of independent horror cinema. Post-apocalypse (or “PA,” henceforth) films are an attractive proposition for low-budget filmmakers: get a small cast out in the middle of nowhere for a small shoot, and it’s not too tough (in the States, anyway) to fake the end of the world. Scout […]

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My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror

| August 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

It may be a coincidence, but IFC’s timing for the home video release of My Amityville Horror is impeccable. Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators who were involved with the Amityville incident, were also the inspiration for James Wan’s massive hit The Conjuring. Interest in the Warrens’ 1970s work is high, and can only […]

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5 Shells

5 Shells

| July 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

Post-apocalyptic (“PA”) dramas are in no short supply these days, especially in the independent film scene. Many of these films tend to have a reach that far outstrips their grasp, though, and many of these projects fail to reach the standard set for themselves. It is a relief when a filmmaker uses their constrictions in […]

Blood Runs Cold

Blood Runs Cold

| July 15, 2013 | 1 Comments

The slasher subgenre has such rigidly defined parameters and conventions that even tweaking something as basic as the setting for the action (like Cold Prey‘s endless snowfields) or the sexuality of the main characters (such as the all-male cast of Hellbent) can make a slasher film feel almost revolutionary. Still, when broken down to their […]

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Yellow

Yellow

| July 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

Homage is a tricky business. Lean too hard on an influence without moving into outright mimicry (i.e. Ti West’s The House of the Devil), and a filmmaker risks being labeled derivative. Stray too far from that influence, and the audience might not recognize what is being paid homage in the first place. This is especially […]

Cross Bearer

Cross Bearer

| July 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Being a horror fan, I often find myself in discussions with other horror fans about what movies we may have recently watched, and unfortunately more often than not we compare notes on what we disliked about those films. Watching a lot of independent horror films naturally leads to these kinds of conversations for horror fans […]

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The Rambler

The Rambler

| June 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

Maybe this really isn’t the place to lament the steamrolling of digital video over film as the medium of choice for filmmakers, but it’s hard not to wonder how different Calvin Lee Reeder’s new film, The Rambler, would have been if it was shot on film rather than razor-sharp high-definition digital video. Reeder’s debut feature, […]

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The Giant Spider

The Giant Spider

| June 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

“Giant mutated animal” movies have made something of a comeback over the last few years thanks to the efforts of the SyFy Channel and their production cohorts, Roger Corman and The Asylum. As goofy fun as some of those films have been, though, it’s rare that any of them actually recall their ancient ancestors in […]

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The Synthetic Man

The Synthetic Man

| June 9, 2013 | 1 Comments

The independent horror film scene, perhaps more than independent film in general, often presents the dedicated fan with a peculiar problem. Legions of low-budget horror films are made every year, many of them barely-competent takes on the standard zombie or slasher film, and it’s tough to figure out who’s making movies in the hopes of […]

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Manborg

Manborg

| May 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

Canadian comedy collective Astron-6 has built a devoted following over the last several years thanks to its hilariously bizarre internet output of short films and faux trailers. Their following has boomed over the last year thanks to the release of two features from the troupe, Father’s Day (released by Troma) and Manborg (released by Raven […]