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Sundance Review || "The Witch"

What do 1630, a silver cup, Christian fervor and a goat named Black Phillip have in common? The Witch. Unholy goodness through and through, Robert Egger's feature film debut is a horror masquerading as a costume drama that's as beady, black and misshapen as the center of a goat's eye. Beneath the dirt-stained, leather-bound waistcoats, the perfumed, toity language of the New World, the white bonnets and constrictive girdles, The Witch has a vicious, illict and suspicious center and though admittedly scaled back on "scares" is deeply atmospheric, deeply disturbing and deeply great.

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Sundance Review || "Z for Zachariah"

There are so many pivot points in Z for Zachariah that it becomes hard to nail down exactly what director Craig Zobel intended for it. At one point, it seems decidedly about gender politics, at another about race relations, and eventually it boiled down to themes of suspicion, greed and jealousy. Spliced with a domineering amount of ambiguity. All this from a cast of three. To call it thematically rich may be overly generous - maybe thematically crowded would hit the nail on the head more - but nonetheless, it strives for something thoughtful and great, even when it comes up just short.

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Sundance Review || "The Overnight"

Last year, Patrick Brice showed up to SXSW with Creep. Devilishly crafty and expertly focused, it fell in with the usual suspects of found footage horror, even though it was so much more than just another point and shoot, "gotcha!" scare effort. The natural tension that Brice was able to tease out of a scene - the inherent discomfort and overarching ambiguity of character relations - made for a plucky and generously bewitching offering of horror comedy.

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Sundance Review || "Reversal"

There's a flicker of hope early on in Reversal. A scuzzy captive batters her captor, gaining the upper hand and chaining him in the very binds she was kept in for who knows how long. She scours the house for car keys, stumbling upon a folder filled with Polaroids of similarly imprisoned females. She rages downstairs, pistol cocked, face splattered with blood from their recent altercation. Tensions run high and the stage for a decent horror flick is set. And then she opens her mouth.

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