Justin Long is the cisgender male version of a Scream Queen. In movies such as “Jeepers Creepers,” “Drag Me To Hell,” “Tusk,” and “Barbarian,” he’s established himself as one of modern horror’s go-to actors. His latest twisted turn, “It’s A Wonderful Knife” (RJLE/Shudder), is a horror/slasher reimagining of perennial winter holiday favorite “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

There’s little doubt that actress/screenwriter/filmmaker Emerald Fennell established herself as an unstoppable force after her 2020 full-length feature debut masterpiece “Promising Young Woman.” Especially after she took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at the 93rd Academy Awards. So, what did Fennell do for an encore?

The ongoing biopic craze shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. In 2023, movies about Bayard Rustin, Diana Nyad, and Leonard Bernstein, are among the offerings (and of special interest to LGBTQ viewers). 

It’s possible to dismiss the problems with “Down Low" (Sony) by saying it’s gay actor-turned-director Rightor Doyle’s feature-length directorial debut and he’s just inexperienced. Or maybe that it’s hot gay actor Lukas Gage’s (“The White Lotus,” season one) first screenplay co-write on what is essentially a vanity project. But because of the dedication of the lead and supporting actors, the problems aren’t insurmountable.

The 38th annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) runs Nov 3-16, featuring nearly 200 films from 40 countries and filmmakers from across the nation and around the globe. The party lineup includes Poster Reveal Party, Opening Night at Hard Rock, WinterFLIFF (joint production of FLIFF and Winterfest) at Villa De Palma, the IMAX Reception, FLIFF On-The-Beach at Las Olas Oceanside Park, plus nightly receptions at the cinemas.

In just a matter of days, Halloween 2023 will be a thing of the past. Until that time, there are still plenty of horror movies to watch to put you in the mood to be sufficiently scared, as well as amused. In keeping with the currently popular horror comedy trend, consider queer filmmaker Nahnatchka Khan’s “Totally Killer” (Amazon Studios).



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