It’s incredible how the Scream series has managed to stay relevant over the course of nearly three decades. Surpassing expectations film after film, here is a horror series that has gone from strength to strength – culminating in last year’s absolutely fantastic “requel” Scream.
Coming 11 years after Scream 4, Scream or Scream 5 was a box office and critical success. That success meant Scream VI was greenlit soon after, and just over a year later – we’re back in the cinema. Talk about a quick turnaround!
But has the franchise finally started to run out of steam? Or are we looking at the best Ghostface yet?
When I think of live-action video-game adaptations, there are a few franchises that spring to mind. There’s Angelina Jolie’s sultry Lara Croft swaggering through a senseless plot line. Milla Jokovich going quite literally all guns blazing amidst a constant bombardment of zombie hordes, without any recollection of quite how she got there. Then there’s the painful horror/unintentional comedy of the 2000s Silent Hill films.
What do these all have in common? Well, aside from the Resident Evil franchise having a die hard base of guilty fans (myself included), the films named here are not likely to be cropping up on any critic’s top 10 list. Although the last few years have seen a sudden rise in highly successful animated video-game adaptations like Arcane and Castlevania, The Last of Us seems to be, in my opinion, the first to master a live-action adaptation of the platform: sorry Witcher.
Mentioning Darren Aronofsky’s name in a cluster of film critics is a lot like unpinning a grenade on a battlefield where sharp wit and scathing reviews are typically favoured over weaponry. To say the least, he is a man who generates debate.
Over 5 years later I can still pinpoint the exact moment I realised I well and truly, through to the last fibre of my being, hated his pseudo-biblical, pseudo-environmentally-conscious, profanely indulgent 2017 gore fest Mother!
If his latest A24 flick hadn’t been met with a standing ovation at several film festivals, I doubt I could’ve stomached to do more than glance in its direction if I spotted it decades down the line in a thrift market. And yet, The Whale absolutely surprised me in a way that Aronofsky has not been able to before.
Damien Chazelle’s Babylon begins with a rip-roaring 20s Hollywood party. An extravagant set-piece that ultimately sums up Chazelle’s sprawling epic.
Think of it like this – The party starts at an electric pace. You’re so caught up in everything that time absolutely flies by with one memorable moment after another. Until, things are dying down a little. People are leaving, the music’s getting slower and so is the party.
Then with only the last dregs of party goers left, you’re cornered by that one guy that is so off-their-nut that they believe everything they’re saying is so profound, deep and meaningful, when in fact it’s just pretentious nonsense! After all is said and done, you have a terrible hangover the next day but you can’t stop reliving memories from the night before.
Never has a director caused so much trepidation with the release of a new film. In the late 90s and early 00s, M. Night Shyamalan was an unstoppable force, grabbing headlines and box-office takings with smash-hits like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs.
Fast forward to the late 00s, and this rising star’s shine was fading somewhat. With poorly reviewed films like The Happening, After Earth and The Last Airbender, audience confidence in Shyamalan was waning.
Thankfully, the director found somewhat of a resurgence with 2016’s Split – mainly down to a fantastic performance from leading man, James McAvoy, but cinema-goers were brought straight back down to earth with the lacklustre sequel Glass.
Fast forward to 2023 and he’s back with Knock at the Cabin, based on the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay, with a cast that includes Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint and Jonathan Groff. But is it any good?
In the build up to the release of Glass Onion– Rian Johnson’s latest in the Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) whodunnit series- fan buzz had more or less accumulated into the same question. When taking a stab at Craig’s second on screen case, how could Johnson possibly manage to make a satisfying sequel to one of the greatest modern murder mystery movies?
How do you follow up the biggest film of all time? Good question isn’t it? And it’s clear that it’s a question director James Cameron has been asking himself hundreds of times.
You see, Avatar was released way back in 2009, and it also happened to be my first ever review on this site (ignore the rusty writing back then). It’s taken 13 years for Cameron to release The Way of Water. But is it any good? And more importantly, are people going to be at all interested in it?
With the emergence of Disney’s own streaming service in Disney +, the once distant possibility of having a live-action Star Wars TV show has become a reality. First came The Mandalorian, a solid entry into the ever expanding Star Wars universe that while being slightly overrated by die-hard fans, is a welcome addition to the small screen, still possessing the fun, large-scale storytelling and world-building that we’ve come to expect from this franchise.
Next came The Book of Boba Fett, a disappointment in the eyes of many with a plodding narrative that seemed to care more for the other helmeted hero even side-lining the titular character for a couple episodes to effectively become The Mandalorian Season 2.5.
As of September 2022, only 51 films have ever crossed the coveted $1billion mark at the global box office. And only 5 have managed to cross the even more elusive $2billion mark.
But does this achievement actually have any meaning? After all, cinema tickets are a lot more expensive than they used to be – often hitting £10 or more per person.
Nevertheless, this list showcases the movies that made a billion dollars at the box office, and whether or not you should spend your time watching them – or give them a pass.
Intrigued? You should be!
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande stars the legendary actress Emma Thompson and up-and-comer Daryl McCormack (who plays Isaiah Jesus in Peaky Blinders). Sophia Hyde directs the film. Hyde started her career focusing on short documentary films and made her full-length feature debut with 52 Tuesdays in 2014.