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Sacrifice [2016] Sadako vs. Kayako [2016] Saint [2010]
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967] Saints and Soldiers [2003] Salt [2010]
The Salton Sea [2002] Samsara [2011] Sanatorium [2013]
Saving Private Ryan [1998] The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]
The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018] Scream of Fear [1961]
Scream of the Banshee [2011] Screamers [1995] Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]
Searching [2018] Seconds Apart [2011] The Secret Life of Pets [2016]
The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019] Secret Reunion [2010] Security [2017]
Serenity [2005] Se7en [1995] Sexy Beast [2000]
Shadow [2018] Shadow People [2013] Shadows & Lies [2010]
Shallow Ground [2004] The Shape of Water [2017] Sharknado [2013]
The Shawshank Redemption [1994] Shirkers [2018] Shooter [2007]
Shutter [2004] Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado [2018] The Silence of the Lambs [1991]
Silencio [2018] Sin City [2005] SiREN [2016]
The Sisters Brothers [2018] Skeleton Man [2004] Skinwalker Ranch [2013]
Skinwalkers [2006] Skyscraper [2018] Slaughter [2009]
Sleep No More [2017] Sleepaway Camp [1983] Slender Man [2018]
A Slit-Mouthed Woman [2007] Slither [2006]

The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [2008]


         

Although the 2nd Scorpion King film, it's the King's origin story where he has to find a great weapon to destroy King Sargon who killed his father and is a tyrant to his people. The straight to video feature comes off like a made-for-TV after school special loaded with dime-store philosophy, silly acting and cheesy dialog. Regardless, it was generally entertaining and relatively painless to sit through ...certainly not as bad as the ratings indicate. Best role I've seen Randy Couture in but I don't know if that means much. Your kids will like it.

Sleep No More [2017]


         

An original take on an drug experiment film. When a college sleep deprivation experiment, using a new drug, ends in a fatality, the college shuts it down. But, the school will be empty for 2 weeks so why not use the lab and experiment on themselves? Although a bit dry and long-winded at times, the tension is maintained throughout with a slowly escalating level of dread the longer they stay awake. And are those hallucinations or not? If not, what are they? Characters were realistic and sincere and the chaos is genuine. Great, edgy entertainment!

Shutter [2004]


         

A photographer and his girlfriend are haunted after hitting a girl in a hit-and-run. This movie had a lot going for it but the pacing was terrible. The first 30 mins were slow but they held my attention quite thoroughly Then there's about 40 mins that nearly put me to sleep ...found myself going, "Let's move this along, please." The final 15 mins were great. If they could have found a way to make a 97 min movie not feel like 2 and half hours, I would have enjoyed it much more.

The Silence of the Lambs [1991]


         
  
For those few who don't know, an FBI trainee is sent to talk to Hannibal the Cannibal to see is she can get info out of him concerning a new killer known as Buffalo Bill. Best Picture of the Year Oscar and awards for several actors and well deserving of every one of them ...an opinion I don't usually share with the Academy. Tense, complex, with two major story lines, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster and Ted Levine are all phenomenal. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?

The Sisters Brothers [2018]


         

An 1850's travelogue, from Oregon Territory into California, of two gunslingers, Eli & Charles Sisters, hired to hunt down and kill a Mr. Warm. Once again, slow and about a half hour too long, this was still quite a wonderful meandering western adventure with some exceptional performances depicting some colorful and, oftentimes, quite humorous characters. Few unexpected turns and there's a supremely torturous scene involving a spider that had me cringing and laughing out loud at the same time. Very nice!

The Salton Sea [2002]


         

Tom Van Allen / Danny Parker - tweeker, dealer, confidential informant, avenger, and trumpet player. Val Kilmer is spectacular as a man who's twisted journey takes one turn after another. Vincent D'Onofrio is awesome as the totally psycho drug dealer. The director, D.J. Caruso, gave everyone total freedom with their parts giving the characters a realism that's hard to find these days. A film noir that seamlessly moves between serious and humorous, a clever story that all starts with the tragedy at the Salton Sea. Brilliant!

Scream of the Banshee [2011]


         

An antiquities appraiser at a high school finds a banshee's head in a box. ...and the fun begins. A low-budget TV movie with chintzy effects and lame acting. However, it did have a few things going for it. It never resorted to making the principals do moronic things as a way of driving the story ...something I really appreciate. It had some intensely, cringe worthy visuals, and it moved along at a good steady pace ...I was never bored. Yeah, it's not a good film but I was entertained, nonetheless.

Sadako vs. Kayako [2016]


         
  

What would you expect from a film exploiting the success of Ringu and Ju-On by bringing the two cursed characters together to duke it out? Exactly this!! Mildly entertaining in its own goofy way.

Skinwalker Ranch [2013]


         


Found footage style film about a bunch of ghost investigators investigating a ranch which seems to be a hot spot for UFO and other unexplained phenomena. They were asked to come out by the ranch owner who's son simply vanished during a birthday party. Beyond a few spine tingling moments and some really nightmarish imagery, there's nothing here we haven't seen before.

The St. Valentine's Day Massacre [1967]


         


Roger Corman at his best with this bio-pic about the title event. One of the most historically accurate films I've ever seen, complete with a narrator to fill in the names and dates of all the events and participants. If you haven't seen this Capone era masterpiece, you've really missed one of the best gangster films of all time.

Secret Reunion [2010]

aka Ui-hyeong-je

         

A cop, who loses his job over a botched attempt to capture an assassin known as the Shadow, and an associate of the Shadow, gone into hiding from the Shadow, team up ...each knowing who the other is but believing the other doesn't know. Yes, they were that inept. Sounds more complicated than it is but, who cares. After a rather serious, violent, exciting and auspicious beginning, the film went into a huge ponderous stall that lasted until the unbelievable and overly sentimental ending. Had its moments but mostly I was bored.

Sexy Beast [2000]


         

An ex-heist man's refusal to go on another job causes a few problems. This argument over doing the job or not goes on for the first hour of the film in long scenes of vulgar dialogue. The rest of the film deals with the results of this discussion which climax into ...well, nothing really. It ends the same way it starts. The acting was good and the movie has good ratings and a cult following but I just don't see the appeal of watching a bunch of unlikable characters treating each other like hell ...and taking their time doing it.

Slaughter [2009]


         

A young woman moving away from an abusive stalker ends up living on a pig farm with a few secrets. During the first 55 mins, we get a man walking around without an arm, a bad dream and a woman that we're supposed to accept as being so totally oblivious to what's going on around her as completely normal. Then we are treated to 40 minutes of repulsive torture that results in the entire story being pointless and senseless. They were shooting for something like Frontier(s) and ended up with this asinine load of tripe.

Searching [2018]


         

A man tries to find his missing daughter by searching through her computer realizing he knows very little about her life. A excellently portrayed story presented vicariously through computer screens depicting an extremely realistic view of what a father may do with a computer as his only resource. Being a computer geek myself, I found no logic gaps in the way things played out and the emotions of the characters were genuine and heart wrenching. Throw in a surprise ending, earning it a spot on my Profoundly Twisted List, I was thoroughly entertained. Bravo!

Sin City [2005]


         


Extremely stylish comic book movie that is so true to it's source that it really feels like you're reading a full motion comic book. Over-the-top characters, great action, good, zany stories and a truck load of violence. All it's missing is the occasional ARGH!, POW!, and WHAM!.

Saint [2010]

aka Sint

         

If Dec. 5 falls on a full moon, St. Nick and his horde of dead elves will kill everyone in Amsterdam. I'm split on this one. The action and scare scenes were quite humorous and entertaining with some absolutely wonderful gags. The parts in between, however, were lacking humor and just sort of lifeless making you want to get to the next action sequence. Good for an evening's entertainment, though, and watch a native language version with subtitles. As you'll note in the trailer, the English dubbing is not the best I've heard.

Sanatorium [2013]


         


Basically, a Grave Encounters clone with a pinch of Blair Witch mythos about a paranormal research group investigating an old, deserted sanatorium. Found footage format which is just like watching an episode of Ghost Hunters, except the ghosts bite back in a big way. Well made with some good scares and a lot of 'out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye' stuff but nothing really new to add to the genre.

Saints and Soldiers [2003]


         

5 soldiers, trapped behind enemy lines in the Ardennes, must travel 20 miles to a town. 'Based on a true story' only applies to the opening. The rest is religious propaganda. And they did a boring job of it. Mostly walking and long scenes of dialogue about beliefs in God for 3/4 of the film then some unrealistic warfare scenes then an atheist Medic finds God and gives aid to a Nazi soldier he saw slaughter dozens of American prisoners. Seriously? I'm supposed to find that inspirational? I'm sorry ...my pragmatism is showing.

Shooter [2007]


         

Good conspiracy thriller where certain government officials hire the expertise of one of the best snipers in the world to prevent an assassination of the president. As usual with spooky government officials, things don't go as planned. Good action and gun play sequences, the story has a few plot holes but nothing that can't be overcome by keeping tongue firmly in cheek and a nice vengeance ending pretty much sums it up. Good, exciting entertainment!

Salt [2010]


         

Angelina Jolie is at the top of her game in this action thriller about her possibly being a Russian mole in the CIA. The story is complex and twisted leaving you to wonder who's side she's on from one moment to the next ...and her final kill is precious! The action is top notch with several gags I haven't seen before. Overall, very exciting and fun and left wide open for a sequel which, I guess, ain't coming. Pity.

The Scorpion King 5: Book of Souls [2018]


         

The Scorpion King is brought out of retirement to find a Book of Souls to destroy a sword called the Fang of Aribus being welded by an evil warlord. Surprisingly, I really liked this one. Zach McGowan was a complete natural as a barbarian making the character very real. In fact, everyone did a good job for a low-budget adventure. The only thing I didn't like was the golem ...not serious enough and using it for comedy relief was a big mistake. But, overall, exciting fun ...just don't expect too much from it.

Screamers [1995]


         

A war between the companies and the miners on a distant planet has led nearly to total devastation. The miners created small robotic killers called screamers and gave them the ability to replicate themselves. Well, they have ...with upgrades. I was quite pleasantly surprised with this film. There isn't anything really new here but it was tense with believable characters and the screamers were sufficiently threatening to keep the viewer on edge. The end was sort of sappy, cliche and expected but still a fun ride.

Shirkers [2018]


         

At age 18, in 1992, Sandy Tan wanted to make a film more than anything else. Along with a group of friends, she made a road movie in Singapore ...something no one else was doing. After creating 70 rolls of film, their director took everything and disappeared. Sandy Tan now tells her remarkable story of dreams destroyed and regained in this personal and heartfelt biography. I don't normally watch biographies but this one was well worth the time and the journey.

Screamers 2: The Hunting [2009]


         

Several years after the commander from the first film killed himself entering earth's orbit, earth receives a distress signal from Sirius 6B and launches a rescue mission. This is pretty standard fare for a low budget, direct-to-video sci fi with weak dialogue, bland acting and a story neither very complex nor original. The action was passable and despite it's faults, it was fair, escapist entertaining as long as one does not expect it to be anything more than that. The ending twist was expected and they went out of their way to make a bit too silly. I enjoyed it, though.

Serenity [2005]


         

I never caught the series Firefly, although I know it's got quite a fan base. So, this movie, and its characters, were a completely new experience. The spaceship, Serenity, is composed of a group a pirates who have a girl on-board who is incredibly psychic, fights better than Mystique, and mentally, quite unstable. Chaos ensues. Absolutely excellent sci fi Western with Star Wars quality spec fx. I can see why Marvel picked up the director, Joss Whedon, for serious MCU input.

A Slit-Mouthed Woman [2007]

aka Kuchisake-onna / Carved

         

Light-weight Japanese horror featuring a woman, whose mouth is slit open, kidnapping kids. Mildly entertaining except there were far, far, far too many scenes where everyone just sort of sat there and did nothing ...I kept finding myself going, "Somebody do something"! The final confrontation featured everyone getting really freakin' stupid. I was totally frustrated by the time this was over. Apparently, there's a lot of versions of this urban legend. I don't think this is one of the good ones.

Seconds Apart [2011]


         

The Bad Seed X 2, and reminiscent of Dead Ringers, this is a story of twins who telepathically create illusions with deadly results. Extremely well written, very well made and quite disturbing and insidious, this film features excellent performances by Edmund & Gary Entin (the twins), Orlando Jones (Detective Lampkin), and Samanta Droke (Eve). Another nice aspect of the film was that you knew a surprise was coming ...you just didn't know what. They didn't disappoint.

The Secret Life of Pets [2016]


         

An animated story of two dogs, Max & Duke, whose animosity towards each other gets them trapped outside in an adventure between their neighbor pets trying to find them and the 'flushed pets' who want to destroy them. This is a hysterically funny film that had my wife and I in stitches. Easily appreciated by those that have pets and understand all the subtleties of their personalities. Works as an exciting and moving adventure, as well. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

Shadows & Lies [2010]

aka William Vincent

         

When a man misses his plane, and it crashes incinerating everyone on board, he takes on a new identity and his life changes for the worst. Visually stylish art film with brilliant performances that let you know the characters intimately without really knowing anything about them at all. Despite its pluses however, every scene was tediously long and the whole thing ended up being completely pointless. In a nutshell, this movie was just plain boring with no payoff.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019]


         

Unlike the first film, which was basically one grand adventure, this one is broken down into 3 mini-adventures, led by the dogs, Max & Duke, the dog, Gidget, and the dog, Daisy & the rabbit, Snowball. These stories then converge for the big finale. But just like the first one, it is laugh-out-loud funny. Not as intricate but still obviously written for those that have spent their lives living with animals. The scenes with the cow imitating a dog and Chloe the cat on catnip had my wife and I rolling with laughter. Excellent entertainment.

Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado [2018]


         


After the Mexican cartels are known to be smuggling terrorists across the border, a highly covert black-ops mission is established to create a war between cartels. Then everything goes wrong. Superb performances by Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, intensely realistic firefights and a constantly evolving story line makes this one far better than the first film ...which I found to be rather ho hum. Nicely done.

Skyscraper [2018]


         

A security expert's family is stuck in the highest building in the world when terrorists attack. This modern era Die Hard is pretty much what you'd expect it to be. What it lacks in depth of characters and story it makes up for in one outrageous cliffhanger (literally) action sequence after another. And they manage to make it all look believable even though it's ludicrously over-the-top. Impressively thrilling, severely acrophobic and quite entertaining.

Samsara [2011]


         

Another view of the world, through sight and sound, of life, culture, nature and the earth in general ...sort of. I usually find these films hypnotic and fascinating, like Ron Fricke's previous film, Baraka, a visual masterpiece. This one, not so much. Although it did give us a wide variety of life and culture, it spent a significant amount of time on subjects like slaughterhouse production lines, abject poverty, human misery, and a segment of performance art that seemed wildly out-of-place. Fricke has a knack for vision but, in this case, that vision is mostly bleak.

Saving Private Ryan [1998]


         

A day after the D-Day invasion in Normandy, a captain is given orders to find a Private James Ryan, who, as a result of the war, has become the only living son of 4 brothers, and bring him home. By far, this is the most honest and brutal depiction of warfare ever made. Winner of 79 awards and nominated for 74 others, the acting is genuine and heartfelt, the action is terrifying and painful to watch and the experience can never be forgotten. Well worth the "Hall of Fame" tag.

Silencio [2018]


         

After the death of his daughter's family, including the 2 granddaughters, a scientist finds a stone that allows him to go back and save one of the granddaughters. This, of course, creates problems. It's unfortunate but the filmmakers spent the entire movie draining the viewer of every drop of emotional energy through one heart-wrenching scene after another creating an extremely painful distraction to an otherwise intelligent concept. Great acting but if they would have removed the overly long scenes of human anguish it would have made an excellent short film.

Sacrifice [2016]


         

A doctor stumbles across the desiccated body of a young woman in her backyard and begins to connect it to a local cult involving new births and sacrifice. Labeled as a horror movie but it's not. It's actually a fairly good conspiracy mystery with a good story and performances and with a nice twist ending. Not much more than what you'd expect but it was certainly good enough to hold my attention till the final credits.

Skinwalkers [2006]


         

Two werewolf factions. One wants to be cured, the other doesn't. The key lies with a 13-year-old half-breed. This is really nothing more than a chase movie where the bad guys are after the kid. The fact that the pursuers and the protectors of the kid are both werewolves really don't make much of a difference as far as the story goes. It wasn't horrible ...it's just that there's nothing original here and everything in this film, right down to the make-up, is mediocre, at best.

Sleepaway Camp [1983]


         


A bunch of kids at a summer camp are dying one by one. I liked the ending for two reasons. First, it genuinely surprised me ...well, not who the murderer was - I figured that out. It had an additional twist I didn't see coming. The other reason I like the ending is because it signified that the movie was over ...Thank, God! And they made 4 ...count them, 4 sequels!!

Scream of Fear [1961]

aka Taste of Fear

         

You gotta love innocuous movie titles like those that just throw words together like 'scream' or 'taste' and 'fear' without giving you a clue as to the movie's intent. This movie is basically your "let's drive the heir crazy to get her fortune" story but with some well handled surprises ...the surprise I saw coming hid the one I didn't. Good acting all around. It is somewhat slow and, at times, a bit wordy and redundant, but at only 1h 20m, I'm not complaining and it was quite good entertainment.

Shadow People [2013]

aka The Door

         

A pseudo-docudrama about a radio talk show host who gets sucked into the paranormal sightings of shadow people after the unexplained death of one of his distraught callers and he begins to meltdown while others, who have listened to his show, die under equally suspicious circumstances. A few good spooky moments does not overcome the obvious problem (at least, obvious to me) that a professional CDC expert doesn't figure out till nearly the end nor the unsatisfying and unresolved, anti-climactic ending.

Se7en [1995]


         

A serial killer is killing his victims in grotesque ways to mirror the seven deadly sins. David Fincher has made some fabulous films over the years but this early effort is arguably still his best. If it isn't the darkest, dirtiest, most disturbing and most intense serial killer movie ever made, it has to be in the top 10. Phenomenal story and performances by everyone and an ending that will rip your heart out. "WHAT'S IN THE BOX"?!?!?

Shallow Ground [2004]

SPOILER WARNING: Trailer details the entire movie in less than 3 mins.
         

At a rural sheriff station, a naked boy shows up covered in blood and anyone touching the blood sees visions of murder. The opening credits waste no time in letting you know that you are in for a gory ride. The story was original, gruesome, and everything followed a logical course right up to its twist ending. The characters were genuine, believable people and they weren't morons! Exceptionally well made movie. If you want a preview, watch the first 30-40 secs of the trailer. Watching all of it gives away far too much.

Sharknado [2013]


         

A hurricane strikes Los Angeles bringing storm surges, water spouts and tornadoes full of sharks. Totally cheesy from the dialogue to the spec fx, this completely self-aware movie doesn't take itself seriously for a minute. As such, it's garnered an incredible cult following and 4 sequels (so far). Unless you're simply unable to appreciate good quality camp, this movie is just plain fun. Bring out the popcorn!

SiREN [2016]


         

This is a full movie re-write of a short story called "Amateur Night" from the V/H/S anthology featuring the same siren / harpy character. This one involves 4 guys on a bachelor party road trip that end up at the wrong place. Although they do make some rather stupid decisions (and you know how I feel about that), there were good performances all around and the movie was sufficiently creepy to keep me wholly engaged throughout. "I like you". Yeah, definitely creepy with a good, "Oh, hell no!", ending.

Security [2017]


         

A three tour war veteran gets a job as night security for a mall. Meanwhile, a convoy of US Marshals are ambushed to kill a young girl who runs and makes it to the mall. Let the siege begin. Once again, we have a movie where a few fairly defenseless people have to survive an attack of numerous, highly professional thugs. Nothing new here but extremely well done. Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley as adversaries were an excellent match and, man ...can Ben deliver a line. Quite exciting despite the fact that it's predictable and somewhat contrived.

Slender Man [2018]


         

High school friends conjure up a paranormal entity known as Slender Man which proceeds to make their lives miserable. This certainly isn't original horror nor does it have any depth but it certainly deserves better numbers in the ratings. The fact that the characters acted like normal, intelligent teenagers was greatly appreciated. There's really some pretty good spooks here, as well. My biggest gripe is there are scenes in this terrifying trailer that I wanted to see in context and they're not in the film. That's just cheap bait-and-switch.

Slither [2006]


         

Before making the Guardians of the Galaxy films (and then unjustly fired from Marvel / Disney before being rehired again), James Gunn wrote and directed this little gem about an alien creature who inhabits a host and uses it to create thousands of slugs that inhabit everyone else ...and they really have an appetite. A perfect mix of gross, gory and giggles, this movie is just plain fun if you can handle the bloodshed which, for some, can be difficult ...especially if you're an animal lover. Nothing overt but a lot of animals meet their demise here.

Shadow [2018]

aka Ying

         

A commander from one province challenges the ruler of another to a dual in an attempt to take back control of the city of his birth. The acting is good and the photography, done in a desaturated style, is incredible and very artistic ...but those are the only compliments I can give it. It only has one action sequence (about 10 mins) that was certainly unique but not particularly thrilling. The rest of the film bored me to death with extended scenes of conversation reminiscent of a soap opera in desperate need of something to fill the empty spaces.

The Shape of Water [2017]


         

In the '50's, a mute cleaning lady befriends an aqua creature in a secret government research lab. This movie could be categorized as a sci fi, fantasy, cold war thriller but mostly it's a romance and you do have to give credit to Guillermo del Toro for taking the farcical idea of a woman falling in love with an aquaman and making it credible and realistic. The romantics among us (except, perhaps, cat lovers) are going to love this film. It's not my cup of tea but it was a good story, well made, good characters, great aquaman.

The Shawshank Redemption [1994]


         

A highly intelligent banker, falsely accused of murdering his wife, spends 20 years in prison suffering one calamity after another but somehow manages to find hope and redemption. For 20 years, people have told me they're amazed I haven't seen this movie ...it's just something that, for whatever, never drew my attention. So, I finally did ...and I'm very glad. Everything about this story is magnificent and the characters were amazing. Not the type of film I usually watch but I can easily see why it's regarded as a cinematic masterpiece.

Skeleton Man [2004]


         

A ridiculously bad yet oddly entertaining film about a guy in a skeleton suit wearing a robe that looks like a black shower curtain that switches from brand new to torn and tattered with every scene slicing, stabbing, decapitating and impaling a lot of supposedly trained military personal who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag. Interrupt this excitement for some really bad acting and horrendous dialogue and there you have it. But, I was never bored and I actually found myself giggling at times. MST3K would have a field day with this one.

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