If “Men in Black” had been about vampires instead of aliens, it may have looked a bit like the tongue-in-cheek horror movie, “Day Shift.” Jamie Foxx plays a rogue vampire hunter in suburban LA. He tries to get back in the vampire hunters union, but has troubles with his new union steward, played by Dave Franco. Megan
Goode and Snoop Dogg also show up in supporting roles. This excessively bloody action comedy was directed by a stuntman…and it shows. The stunt work is extravagant and skillfully realized, but the rest of the movie seems pretty derivative. Sill, “Day Shift” may have just enough bite to satisfy action fans.
And speaking of horror comedies, there’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” a decadent Gen Z slasher movie with a nasty, sly edge. Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Pete Davidson lead a strong cast in the tale of idle rich kids partying at a palatial estate during a hurricane. They play a murder game that goes completely off the rails. When these spoiled brats start criticizing one another, things turn cutthroat…literally. Comedian Rachel Sennott is particularly amusing as a self- involved podcast host. This pitch-black comedy is a bit too gimmicky, but thanks to its cheeky approach and a terrific ensemble cast, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” works more often than it doesn’t.
A fierce and focused performance from Aubrey Plaza is the main attraction of the disquieting drama, “Emily the Criminal.” Plaza plays a desperate young woman drowning in student loan debt who dabbles in credit card fraud. She manages to get in way over her head with some intimidating gangsters but demonstrates some menace of her own. Realistic and intense, “Emily the Criminal” is an unsettling movie that serves as both a social commentary and cautionary tale.