The sacred and the profane: Religious themes in vampire fiction ARTICLE

The sacred and the profane: Religious themes in vampire fiction

Almost from the beginning, vampire fiction has been a battleground between the powers of heaven and hell.

How do you make a documentary about purgatory? Not like this. ARTICLE

How do you make a documentary about purgatory? Not like this.

That our hatred should burden souls in the process of purification makes sense, but that our grief should burden them seems baffling and cruel — and it’s not a passing idea tossed off in one line.

<em>Midnight Mass</em> is drenched in blood and Catholicism, but there’s one thing missing ARTICLE

Midnight Mass is drenched in blood and Catholicism, but there’s one thing missing

Midnight Mass isn’t the first vampire story to blend vampirism as a metaphor for addiction with literal substance abuse. It is, however, probably the only paranormal horror story to focus so intently on the role of religion in recovery.

A deep cut: <em>The Green Knight</em> ARTICLE

A deep cut: The Green Knight

After the library of books that is the Bible, no literary corpus means more to me than Arthuriana, and no Arthurian work means more to me than Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Interview: <em>The Chosen</em> producer Derral Eves ARTICLE

Interview: The Chosen producer Derral Eves

Part of the success story behind writer-director Dallas Jenkins’ popular life-of-Jesus TV series is the remarkable crowdfunding approach spearheaded by viral marketing strategist Derral Eves.

Jungle Cruise REVIEW

Jungle Cruise (2021)

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are highly watchable, but Disney’s latest theme-park movie trails haplessly in the wake of Pirates of the Caribbean without a ghost of its inspiration.

Black Widow REVIEW

Black Widow (2021)

If it took a full-on case of amnesia to put Jason Bourne on the path to redemption, how do you redeem a Black Widow?

<em>Of Animals and Men</em>: Extraordinary story, mixed presentation ARTICLE

Of Animals and Men: Extraordinary story, mixed presentation (2019)

Of Animals and Men tells a story of light shining in the darkness — but the preciousness of the light depends in a way on the prevalence of the darkness, and, in that connection, it must not be forgotten that the Nazis were not the sole agents of darkness.

Luca REVIEW

Luca (2021)

In Pixar’s Luca, a gentle, overtly Miyazaki-esque coming-of-age period piece struggles under the heavy weight of iron-clad Disney/Pixar formula requirements and story beats. The charming elements work well enough to carry the film, but only just.

A Quiet Place Part II REVIEW

A Quiet Place Part II (2021)

There are day-to-day crises and traumas that are somehow absorbed into the continuity of our lives, and then there are inexorable turning points that divide our lives into “before” and “after.”