The Essentials



Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’ Is a Delicious Look at Men and Their Meat


Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’ is an essential genre mash-up, bouncing between comedy and horror and educational period film. Don’t miss it.

Afraid Of The Dark Essentials

Mark Peploe’s ‘Afraid of the Dark’ Explores a Growing Terror


Mark Peploe’s ‘Afraid of the Dark’ is a bizarre film rarely mentioned in the hallowed halls of the genre, but it’s time to reveal its essential qualities.

The Legend Of Hell House Essentials

‘The Legend of Hell House’ Chills With a Smartly Supernatural Tale


‘The Legend of Hell House’ is a spooky, intelligent tale of the supernatural, too often dismissed by horror hounds. Time to correct their error.

The Black Stallion Essential

The Twin Desires of Freedom and Friendship in ‘The Black Stallion’


Carroll Ballard’s ‘The Black Stallion’ is a pure adventure film featuring genuine emotional moments that champion humanity without the need for spectacle.

Brotherhood Of The Wolf Essential

‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Defies Labels by Being Everything at Once


‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ overflows with bloody deaths and bone-crunching martial arts as justice is served at the end of fists, blades, and wolves’ teeth.

Real Genius Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer’s ‘Real Genius’ Reveals Itself Within his Comedies


In ‘Real Genius,’ Val Kilmer controls the jokes, every character, and the tangibly vibrant joy that rises from every frame.

Kim Ki Duk Iron

Kim Ki-duk’s ‘3-Iron’ Finds Beauty and Romance in the Words Not Spoken


Kim Ki-duk’s ‘3-Iron’ is uninterested in explaining the events and interactions and instead lets them speak for themselves.

Assault On Precinct Essential

The Bloodletting and Humor of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’


‘Assault on Precinct 13’ is a tight, entertaining thriller that also delights with humor and effortlessly memorable characters.

Porky's Essential

‘Porky’s’ Was So Much More Than a Shower Scene


‘Porky’s’ is crass and sophomoric, but it’s also very funny, filled with heart, and home to a surprising message of tolerance.