Brent Simon is a regular contributor to Screen International, Magill's Cinema Annual and ShockYa, among many other outlets, and serves as film editor at H Magazine.
A three-term president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Simon has contributed to many online sites, including New York Magazine's Vulture, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, FilmStew and
Reelz. He has worked with AFI Fest, served as a juror on COLCOA and many other film festivals (plus a nasty three-week criminal trial), and is currently working on a book project. SharedDarkness.com
is his online blog, and he thanks you for stopping by.
Six discrete stories of varying levels of effectiveness come together in The Theatre Bizarre, a macabre horror anthology that eschews the laborious weirdness of something like Christopher Landon's Burning Palms, and instead focuses more forthrightly on crafting and sustaining a mood of uneasiness. The main commingled narrative ingredients are genre staples — sex, compulsion, paranoia and obsession — which work well for a movie that doesn't shy away from gore, but is generally interested in more psychologically rooted fear. If, in the end, The Theatre Bizarre suffers from the same main problem that plagues so many anthology efforts — a couple weak entries weighing it down — it still compares relatively favorably to the qualitative mean established by Anchor Bay's "Masters of Horror" series from a few years back. For the full review, from ShockYa, click here; for The Theatre Bizarre's trailer and more screening information, meanwhile, click here. (W2 Media, unrated, 111 minutes)