Step aside Voorhees, we got another Jason killing it at the movies. After just a few years, starting with Paranormal Activity, producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions have changed the horror landscape with its brand of so-called ‘low budget, high concept’ releases, carving out a spectacular niche in a market that has seen the alleged demise of mid-budget movies and utter reliance on superhero flicks and blockbusters. Continuing this month’s focus on all things spooky, our gallery looks at 24 best and worst Blumhouse horror movies by Tomatometer (and don’t forget to read our Five Favorite Horror Films with the guy himself).

It’s a good thing there’s plenty in theaters for people to see right now, because there isn’t much coming out on home video this week. The only big release is a supernatural thriller from one of the people who brought you Paranormal Activity and Insidious. Then there are a handful of smaller releases that are, in fact, so small that you may not have heard of them. See below for this week’s ultra-short list.

Dark Skies


If you’ve had enough of ghostly possessions and spooky old houses, then perhaps you’d be more in the mood for something of an otherworldly nature. At least, that’s what the people behind Dark Skies were banking on. Unfortunately, most critics didn’t find the film so convincing. Lacey Barrett (Keri Russell) and her husband Daniel (Josh Hamilton) are a young couple raising two sons in a typical suburban community. When unexplained occurrences begin afflicting their family, Lacey discovers they may be explained by supernatural phenomena… of “the third kind,” so to speak. For what it’s worth, critics largely conceded that Dark Skies isn’t particularly terrible; it’s just a little tame and uninspired. It stands at 34% on the Tomatometer, so it probably won’t appeal to any but the most ardent (or desperate, perhaps) horror fans, but those who give it a shot might find a few worthy moments amidst all the familiar plot devices.

Also available this week:

  • The Criterion Collection’s release of Mike Leigh’s 1990 breakout film Life Is Sweet (100%) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The Loving Story (100%), a documentary about the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in the US.
  • German war film Lore (93%), about a group of five siblings who must trek across the country after the end of World War II.
  • John Cusack espionage thriller The Numbers Station (30%).

This week at the movies, we’ve got an undercover dad (Snitch, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Susan Sarandon) and terrorized suburbanites (Dark Skies, starring Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton). What do the critics have to say?



At first glance, Snitch appears to be a run-of-the-mill action flick. But critics say it’s a bit deeper than that, using a thriller framework to make a point about minimum sentencing laws, and while it doesn’t always hit its mark, it’s well-acted and often thought-provoking. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a father who infiltrates a drug ring after his son is wrongly accused of drug trafficking; soon, he finds himself in over his head, caught between the cartel and an ambitious prosecutor. The pundits say Snitch is a smarter-than-average crime picture with a strong performance from Johnson, but it occasionally succumbs to plot contrivances.

Dark Skies


It looks as if the people behind Dark Skies didn’t want to rain on the critics’ parade, as the film wasn’t screened prior to its release in theaters. Produced by some of the same folks who brought you Insidious and Sinister, Dark Skies is the tale of a family that moves into a suburban house and is increasingly subjected to terrifying and inexplicable events that seem to be supernatural in origin. Time to guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • 11 Flowers, a coming-of-age drama about a Chinese schoolboy whose life intersects with that of a fugitive killer, is at 100 percent.
  • Red Flag, starring Alex Karpovsky in a road comedy about an indie filmmaker who finds himself in a strange relationship while on a promotional tour, is at 85 percent.
  • Bless Me, Ultima, a drama about a young boy who befriends an elderly woman with magical powers, is at 73 percent.
  • Rubberneck, also starring Alex Karpovsky as a research scientist who becomes obsessed with his coworker, is at 58 percent.
  • Inescapable, starring Marisa Tomei in a thriller about a man desperately searching for his daughter in Syria, is at 29 percent.

Finally, props to Pep Danguilan for coming the closest to guessing Escape From Planet Earth‘s 29 percent Tomatometer.

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