Saw the Belko Experiment on Netflix, had a glimmer of an interesting concept at first but rapidly turned into utter carnage. The part where guy says You haven’t actually changed anything kind of made me think of the film itself but in a way perhaps that kind of worked to its advantage as it’s about as nihilistic a film as I’ve seen for quite some time.
i think Greg McClean has lost it after a promising couple of films (Wolf Creek, Rogue). i watched his new Wolf Creek tv series, season 2, and it’s just nihilistic, heartless violence, nothing more. the Belko Experiment is really odd, there’s a couple of characters who seem like they’re in a different film (James Gunn and the desk clerk from ER) and the film can be summed up by that bit during the execution scene where one of the ‘bad guys’ vomits. it’s a nasty, nasty film and you really do wonder why you’re watching it.
June 8 can’t come soon enough - this looks like it could be genuinely terrifying. Yes!
Watched last night, Remainder…
Didn’t know much about this going in, so didn’t realise that this was based on an acclaimed novel. Not sure you would know it’s a book adaptation as the visual style and languid pacing is such a feature (it’s the directorial debut by visual artist Omer Fast). The storyline is a slow peeling back of layers, and almost secondary to the general vibe of the whole thing, shot in various familiar London settings. It’s very cold, and the main protagonist is not particularly likeable. The violence, when it does occur, is both shocking and mundane. It’s built on deliberate repetition and reminded me a lot of Memento, although also with undertones of Donnie Darko. Enjoyable. 7/10
The thinly veiled was away this weekend, so managed a couple of new-ish releases…
Tragedy Girls - this was great fun.Two slasher obsessed high school girls are desperate to stage their own murder spree before heading off to college. Alexandra Shipp (Storm from the most recent X-Men) and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool) are both piss funny as the female leads in this. The teen dialogue is spot on and the kills are delightfully gory. 8/10
mother! - expected to love this. Did not love this.Started off ok, and was pleasingly unpredictable initially, but then didn’t really do anything beyond establishing an overlong allegory. Jennifer Lawrence was decent in this, and Michelle Pfeiffer did good stuff with her brief screentime, but overall this left me cold. 4/10
Definitely up for Tragedy Girls - been hearing pretty much nothing but good stuff about this.
mother! seems to be the definition of a Marmite film - personally I loved it…
I was literally going to describe it as a Marmite film! I’ve loved every other film that Aronofsky has made, so was left fairly disappointed. I blame it being his first film without Clint Mansell doing the score - not enough Pop Will Eat Itself influence…
I saw There are monsters on Amazon last night. Very similar to the 70s version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. It’s worth a watch. A well made small budget film.
Watched last night, The Cloverfield Paradox…
First things first, yet another stylish snap release for a Cloverfield film - this one was trailed during the Super Bowl and then dropped on Netflix as soon as the game finished, which if nothing else is guaranteed to build instant buzz. Unfortunately, it’s downhill from that point. The set up of scientists in space trying to source an alternate energy source for an ailing world was pretty much nailed in Sunshine. Paradox does not have much to add to the space peril genre at all particularly, beyond some token mentions of the Higgs Boson. In fact, this film wasn’t supposed to be part of the Cloverfield mythos at all but for some reason was square-pegged in after actually filming - from the link in the OP of this thread:
Retconning already-written screenplays to shoehorn them into the Cloverfield universe sounds like a terrible idea…
Which turns out to be fairly accurate. Aside from the space set scenes, there’s a largely pointless earth-based side-story, plus some actual Cloverfield action right at the end. Taking time out from trying to shoehorn Cloverfield references in where possible, the film in general suffers from not knowing what it is - the scares are not scary, the science fiction is hugely un-scientific, and the comic relief is largely cringeworthy (Chris O’Dowd in particular seems to have parachuted in directly from The IT Crowd). It’s a total waste of a strong cast (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl and Elizabeth Debicki all do their best tbf). Just read some reviews while writing this, and unsurprisingly it seems to have gone down like a cup of cold sick across the board. Disappointing, particularly after how great 10 Cloverfield Lane was. Hopefully this is a wake up call to get the next Cloverfield installment proper up to scratch. 3/10
Sorry - not looking at this until after I’ve seen it. Which, knowing me, will take a while… Still, I’ve heard it’s fairly awful, which is a shame as I really, really enjoyed the first two. Hardly surprising though - re-tooling pre-existing scripts to shoehorn them into your franchise didn’t seem like it could work well for too long. I mean, that’s pretty much what all the latter-day Hellraiser movies did and for the most part, they suck…
Watched this on Friday night and… it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting it to be. I kind of wish that I could have come to this without any preconceptions because I think I might have looked even more favorably on it. There’s certainly plenty here to dislike if you feel so inclined: nationality alone does not a character make; I really think a lot more could have been made of the alternative dimension stuff; the Cloverfield connection feels even more tacked on here than it did in 10 Cloverfield Lane. But overall, I didn’t hate this nearly as much as I’d expected to. I’d been prepared to give up on the Cloverfield universe after this one, but I’d give another sequel a shot. You have to wonder if this is all actually going anywhere at this point though – is there ever going to be a sequel that’s purpose-built as a sequel rather than just a series of sequels made up of pre-existing scripts that get Cloverfield-ised???
Right before this my son and I watched the vastly superior It Came from Beneath the Sea. They knew how to do it in the 50s. Solid characterization followed by magnificent scenes of a Harryhausen-animated giant octopus attacking San Francisco. My son and I loved it, while my wife went to bed after the first 8 minutes because the thought of a giant octopus really started freaking her out…
Watched again last night: Get Out. What a film. I’m not even going to try to talk about how amazing this film is because hopefully you already know. If you haven’t seen this yet, try to change that ASAP. And then after you’ve watched it go here: http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/2017/06/horror-blackademics-get-out-2017.html for a list of articles about the film. I’ve only just started working my way through these and am already finding myself thinking about the film (and life) in ways that I hadn’t previously.
Things I’ve seen recently
Tragedy Girls - Seen a lot of good reviews of this but it bored me to tears
The Thing (2011) - I’m sure this was all said at the time but why make a prequel that mirrors the original for the vast majority of the film? The CGI already looks laughable in places whereas the physical effects in Carpenter’s still pack a punch.
Jigsaw - Not sure what I was expecting, but this was just the same old Saw. Got very, very bored of this by about an hour in
Currently half way through 78 52, a documentary about the Psycho shower scene. Pretty enjoyable so far
What was it about Tragedy Girls that you didn’t like? I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve been hearing only good things about it…
It had next to no character introduction, it felt like the first 15 minutes had been cut out. Then (this might just be me being an old grump) the editing seemed really frenetic, like someone with ADHD was asked to make as many cuts as possible, this seemed to calm down a bit in the second half or maybe I just got used to it. The humour was a bit flat and I couldn’t warm to either of the main girls and by the end I just didn’t care what happened.
Fair enough. Have you seen Get Out?
Yeah, loved it. Nice avatar by the way!
it really is amazingly layered. in fact i think this worked against it the first time i saw it, where i thought the third act was a bit of a let-down and the (keys) twist was way too obvious. i think sometimes the narrative is working to fit the underlying messages/metaphors. i tend to watch films on the surface on first viewing and pick up on the deeper stuff on a second/third
I know what you mean. I’m looking forward to going back to this a 3rd time soon, after having read some of the stuff I linked to below… Horror is at its best when it’s scary/suspenseful and has something going on in its head.