Preston Barta // Editor

EVERLY | 92 min. | Rated R
Director: Joe Lynch
Stars: Salma Hayek, Jennifer Blanc and Togo Igawa

Fantastic Fest favorite, EVERLY, an action-thriller about a woman who must fight her way through a team of assassins, features Salma Hayek kicking butt and showing off her butt. What can go wrong? A lot.

Aside from a few funny lines here or there and some unique action scenes, EVERLY pulls from every cliché in the book. Not once do you feel for any of the characters and their situations. The whole film is just one big ego trip for director Joe Lynch, who fails in nearly every department.

EVERLY is available today on VOD, and opens in theaters next month.

SUBURBAN GOTHIC | 90 min. | Rated R
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Stars: Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings and Ray Wise

SUBURBAN GOTHIC may not be a film for everybody, but if you and your friends like strange yet goofy movies, then it just may be the most fun you’ll have at the theater or home this weekend.

The film follows the story of Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler) as he fights to solve the mystery of the spirit that is threatening the lives of those around him.

Almost always with a low budget horror-comedies, you expect the usual poorly acted schlock fest; however, Gubler and writer-director Richard Bates Jr. keep your smiles big and your laughs constant. Note: It’s best to think of it as a R-rated Disney Halloween movie.

Check out our exclusive interview with Matthew Gray Gubler on the film.

SUBURBAN GOTHIC is playing in limited release and is also available on VOD.

THREE NIGHT STAND | 86 min. | Rated R
Director: Pat Kiely
Stars: Sam Huntington, Meaghan Rath, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Reagan Pasternak, Jonathan Cherry and Dan Beirne

On a weekend getaway to focus on their relationship, Carl (Sam Huntington) takes his wife Sue (Meaghan Rath) to a mountain lodge to enjoy some snow and wine. However, upon arrival, he discovers that his ex-girlfriend Robyn (an always stunning Emmanuelle Chriqui) is now the proud owner of that very lodge. After which, awkwardness and tension ensue as Carl tries to keep as much of his past relationship hidden from his wife as possible.

While the acting all around is in strong order, especially Rath, THREE NIGHT STAND is neither funny or enjoyable to watch. Props to writer-director Pat Kiely (BEING HUMAN) for taking the story down a different rabbit hole (one would expect our protagonist to fall back in love with his ex). However, the narrative steers in a more dark and depressing direction. Although this may be more a little true to life, it’s difficult to say THREE NIGHT STAND is an amusing experience. It’s just sad, and not in a beautiful kind of way (i.e. BLUE VALENTINE).

THREE NIGHT STAND is playing in limited release and is also available on VOD.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.