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Lauren Badillo Milici

 Buy SAD SEXY CATHOLIC (2023) now from CLASH Books

♡ Senior TV & Film Writer @ GamesRadar+ / Total Film

♡ lauren.milici@futurenet.com

♡ Buy the PDF version of Final Girl here ♡

Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn’s new drama is a queasy meditation on grief that will break your heart

There are movies about grief and loss and childhood trauma... and then there's Hoard. Directed by Luna Carmoon, the pic is approximately two hours and six minutes of quiet, glittering devastation that will have you reaching for your phone to call your mom the second the credits roll. It's also gross. And I don't mean that as an insult: Carmoon even described herself as "gross, animal and carnal" when explaining how she sprayed down the sets with saliva, sweat, and blood – and told neither cast n

This Twilight Zone Day, I can’t stop thinking about two of the show’s eeriest episodes

It's been 64 years since The Twilight Zone first crept onto our television screens, quietly unnerving us with the bleakest and most terrifying of tales. Created and hosted by the late great Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone remains one of the most influential television shows in pop culture history – and I can't imagine a world without it.

Though there are many standout episodes from the show's original 156-episode run, there are two in particular that have stuck with me my entire life. These part

30 years after its release, The Crow is still a timeless cult classic – and the reboot has a lot to live up to

The Crow, a supernatural fantasy horror hybrid that doubles as a superhero movie, turns 30 this year. Coincidentally, the first feature-length remake of the film is also set to hit theaters this year – and Bill Skarsgård has some pretty big shoes to fill.

When the remake was officially greenlit two years ago, I asked the reader (and myself) if we truly needed a new version of this story, a story that has remained virtually untouched for three decades. Sure, there have been three Crow sequels, b

Dead Boy Detectives review: “Delightfully dark, deeply moving, and the perfect companion to The Sandman”

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Hollywood is at the peak of TV and film adaptations, and I'm a little burnt out. When a TV series based on Dead Boy Detectives was announced some two years ago, I was nervous. Neil Gaiman's work has a delightfully dark whimsy that has to be handled delicately, and beautifully complex characters that need to be treated with care

Netflix's One Piece has finally broken the live-action anime curse

I don't expect much when it comes to live-action anime adaptations, and we have Paramount's Ghost in the Shell, Netflix's Cowboy Bebop, and the streamer's Death Note to thank for that. That's not to say that all of them are bad, seeing as the 2006 Japanese live-action Death Note movie is a near-masterpiece, but it's the Western adaptations that keep continuously missing the mark.

That being said, I had low, low expectations for Netflix's One Piece. The series was officially announced in 2020, a

Blade turns 25 – and it’s still one of the coolest superhero movies ever made

Blade, directed by Stephen Norrington, is a superhero movie that begins with a blood rave. We get a brief origin story by way of a flashback to 1967 where a woman goes into premature labor after being attacked by a vampire – and then we cut straight to a club that makes Gotham City look like Disney World. The sprinkler system goes off, blood rains from the ceiling, and everyone is soaked. Welcome to the first commercially successful live-action Marvel movie.

And that’s something that people ten

The Exorcist remains the scariest movie of all time

The Exorcist isn't just one of the most influential horror films of all time – it's one of the most influential films of all time, period. If it scared your mother in 1973, it's still likely to scare you now. Fifty years and hundreds of possession horror movies later, nothing comes close. How did a 1970s horror flick (one without CGI or practical, modern-day effects) withstand the test of time? The answer is a bold director with a daring vision, one who knew exactly what he was doing – even if i

Nobody is talking about this clever thing from the Barbie soundtrack

What do queer folk-pop duo Indigo Girls and peak-'90s dad rock band Matchbox Twenty have in common? Well, they both have hit singles that would later become the parallel anthems for Margot Robbie's Barbie and Ryan Gosling's Ken – and the songs are cleverly juxtaposed in Greta Gerwig's summer blockbuster, highlighting the stark contrast between what men and women want.

There's only one song that plays on the radio in Barbie Land, and it's 'Closer to Fine' by Indigo Girls. The duo, made up of Amy

Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling was a television pioneer and a sci-fi horror visionary

If you've ever had a weird day, there's a good chance you've probably asked yourself 'am I living in The Twilight Zone?' When the unexpected and unexplained happens, the theme music might start playing in your head. And both can be true, even if you've never seen an episode of The Twilight Zone – it's just that iconic.

Though the show has been widely celebrated over the last 60 or so years –culminating in countless parodies, pop cultural references, revivals, a Disney theme park ride – it seems

Renfield is a surprising healing commentary on surviving narcissistic abuse

Every now and then I see a movie that combines several of my niche interests and make the joke that it was made specifically for me. When behind-the-scenes photos of Nicolas Cage donning a velvet suit and a widow’s peak reminiscent of Christopher Lee’s 1958 Dracula hit the internet last year, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I read that Cage planned to channel David Bowie in his portrayal of the famous count, I screamed. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was how niche Renfield would get on a

Hear me out: Now is the right time for Shrek 5

My Hinge profile mentions Shrek in three separate places: About Me, My Type, and Getting Personal. There's no descriptor or mention of a specific movie, just one simple word that is strong enough to elicit some kind of emotional reaction in a potential suitor: Shrek. So, while some of you may have rolled your eyes at the news about a potential fifth instalment in the beloved animated franchise and wondered, "who is this even for?", I'm here to tell you there is an audience for it. But it’s not j

Skinamarink recaptures a primal horror we’ve not felt since Blair Witch

I used to have nightmares in the Old House. They weren’t frequent, they were vivid: so much so that I can still see, hear, and feel them some 24 years later. Being a little kid in a big house was always fun up until nighttime hit, and even night-lights couldn’t keep the monsters away. Darkness is a primal fear.

Skinamarink knows this. In fact, Skinamarink knows this so well that it’s shot through a filter of grain and static – effectively concealing our adult eyes from what lies within the shad

Why Severance is our pick for the best TV show of 2022

It's not too often that a TV show comes along and turns your life upside down –if only for 45 ad-free minutes. Moments ago you were laughing, maybe even tearing up a bit, and now you're lying awake in your bed reevaluating the reasons you get up in the morning, the things you love most in this world. That's the power of Severance, a psychological sci-fi thriller from the mind of Dan Erickson.

Disguised as a dystopian workplace drama a la The Twilight Zone meets The Office, Severance is an anti-

11 Underrated comedies you need to get on your watchlist right now

We could all use a laugh nowadays – a good laugh; one that makes your abs sore. For just that, we've rounded up some of the best comedies streaming right now that may have slipped under your radar. From a fictionalized biopic on the first women-only baseball team to a mockumentary about life in rural Ohio hosted by the town 'disappointments,' there's something here for everyone. If you've ever wanted to watch ordinary people literally rehearse on an elaborate film set for the most emotional mome

Why Netflix's Blonde fails Marilyn Monroe

All biopics take creative artistic liberty – when they stretch the truth as far as it can go. But make no mistake, Andrew Dominik's Blonde is not a biopic; it's a fictionalized account of Marilyn Monroe's life, based on Blonde, a fictional novel by Joyce Carol Oates. And in this case, "creative artistic liberty" means a big-budget black-and-white exploitation film featuring scene after scene of abuse, violence, sadness, and desperation that add up to nothing. Blonde wants you to see Marilyn, the

How Madisynn with two Ns and one Y (but not where you think) stole our hearts – and why she deserves a comeback

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has given us several gifts: 1) the first-ever MCU superhero to frequently break the fourth wall; 2) it's shown us an even goofier, softer side to Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner; and 3) it brought us Madisynn with two Ns and one Y (but not where you think).

Madisynn King (played by Patty Guggenheim) entered our lives in episode 4 after she volunteered to participate in a magic trick and ultimately spoilt a very important episode of The Sopranos for Wong. It's arguably one

Why we don't need another solo Hulk movie

She-Hulk, ever the meta series, took the fourth-wall breaking to the next level in its second episode: they acknowledged the fact that, even though he’s been the Hulk since 2012’s The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo isn’t the only scientist who’s smashed through a wall or two.

Thanks to the introduction of the Multiverse, Marvel doesn’t really have to account for its changes in casting anymore. For example, Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland all exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spid

Event Horizon at 25: Paul W.S. Anderson reflects on his misunderstood cult classic

Back in 1997, moviegoers and critics alike were confused and horrified by Paul W.S. Anderson’s Event Horizon, a haunted house movie set in deep space, not unlike a planetary version of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Twenty-five years later, the film has been cemented in pop culture history as both a cult classic and vital addition to the sci-fi/horror subgenre.

Set in 2047, the film follows a crew of astronauts who embark on a mission to rescue a missing spaceship called the Event Horizon. What

19 Shows like Stranger Things that will turn your world Upside Down

Stranger Things season 5 is on its way, but we might be waiting a while – the Duffer brothers have only just begun the writing process. If you need a new show (or 19) to fill the Hawkins-shaped hole in your heart, don't worry, we got you covered.

Some of these shows have the same 1980s horror slasher vibes from Stranger Things season 4, and some of these have been compared to the popular Netflix series since season 1 first premiered. From mysteries solved by kids on bikes to bloody revenge agai

Severance gave me an existential crisis in the best way

I can’t remember the last time a show made me pause, take inventory of my life and surroundings, and ask myself, "Are you happy?" And while that might sound a little grim, it’s a marker of a great story, great execution, and an important show – one that has the power to change our perspective and steer us in a better direction.

Severance, on the surface, seems like The Office meets Twilight Zone: a series set in the not-so-distant future in which people have the option to get 'severed', a speci

Jenna Coleman on preparing for Sandman role: "I was walking around doing exorcisms as I'm doing my groceries"

Jenna Coleman had a quite peculiar way of preparing for her role as Johanna Constantine in Netflix's The Sandman. The former Doctor Who actor plays two versions of occult detective Joanna Constantine: 18th-century aristocrat Lady Johanna Constantine and her present-day descendant – the latter of whom is an "upgraded" version of The Sandman's John Constantine.

When asked how she prepared to play arguably the most unique version of Constantine ever seen on screen, Coleman laughed and replied, "Ap

Neil Gaiman explains why it took Good Omens succeeding for The Sandman to come to screen

A live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman seemed doomed to failure for 30 some-odd years – until the writer eventually stepped into the role of showrunner for Good Omens.

When Amazon and BBC Studios ordered a series adaptation of Good Omens, Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's joint 1990 novel of the same name, Gaiman was brought in as showrunner for the very first time – having only ever served as executive producer and consultant for other adaptations of his works such as American Gods,

Gwendoline Christie on playing Lucifer in Sandman: "I wanted to play something very different from Brienne"

Gwendoline Christie says she was elated to take on the role of Lucifer Morningstar in Netflix's The Sandman, as the devious character greatly differed from her Game of Thrones counterpart.

In the live-action series adaptation of The Sandman, Christie plays Neil Gaiman's version of the Biblical fallen angel who rules over Hell – a part unlike any she's ever played before. "I wanted the challenge so badly to play something very different from Brienne," the actor explained during a press room inte

Riverdale has gone completely off the rails – and I'm not mad about it

Back in 2016, Riverdale was sold to audiences as a gritty Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars – a dark and sexy mystery live-action series centered on a group of protagonist teenagers and a few shady adults. The head-scratcher: it was set in the notoriously wholesome universe of Archie Comics, known for its ongoing series where a popular teen redhead named Archie Andrews is in an on-and-off love triangle with his two best friends Betty and Veronica, and a guy named Jughead is just off to the s
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