I. Shank

I. Shank

Ian Shank, Entertainment Writer

The 2019 South by Southwest Festival, which ran from March 8 to March 17, offered a wide variety of new and inventive horror films for fans of the genre to get excited about, one of them being one of the biggest films of 2019, “Us,” the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s 2017 Academy-Award winning film “Get Out.” Not only was “Us” going to be a big film, it also received much enthusiasm and praise from those in attendance. Manohla Dargis from The New York Times wrote in their review “Jordan Peele’s new horror movie, “Us,” is an expansive philosophical hall of mirrors. Like his 2017 hit, ‘Get Out,’ this daring fun-until-it’s-not shocker starts from the genre’s central premise that everyday life is a wellspring of terrors. In “Get Out,” a young black man meets a group of white people who buy—at auction—younger, healthier black bodies. What makes “Get Out” so powerful is how Peele marshals a classic tale of unwilling bodily possession into a resonant, unsettling metaphor for the sweep of black and white relations in the United States—the U.S., or us.”

In addition to this, the next adaptation of a classic Stephen King novel (following “It” and “The Dark Tower”) “Pet Sematary” premiered to positive reviews. Perri Nemiroff from Collider Movie Talk and Collider The Witching Hour wrote in her review that “Jeff Buhler’s screenplay excels on so many levels. The Stephen King source material digs deep into grief, the scars trauma and loss leave, and the impossible questions surrounding our own mortality, and Buhler, Widmyer and Kölsch embrace it all. Pet Sematary is highly engaging and entertaining, but it isn’t a rollicking ride that dishes out jump scares followed by a quick breather courtesy of comedic relief. It’s a layered, deeply sinister family nightmare that, yes, is packed with scares, but also a significant amount of complexity that takes those scares well beyond fleeting thrills.”

Finally, the surprise addition to the “Conjuring Universe,” “The Curse of La Llorona” also opened to mixed-to-positive reviews. The most consistent criticism of the film was its lackluster script.

“Us” opens on March 22, “Pet Sematary” opens on April 5, and “The Curse of La Llorona” opens in theatres April 19.