Midsommar review “Ari Aster does it again”

Midsommar movie posterWatch the walls. Director Ari Aster’s advice to cinema-goers heading out to see his second directorial feature may seem strange, but it makes sense once you see it. Aster’s Hereditary (2018) follow-up is sunny, funny and so pretty you barely notice the horror.

Our protagonist Dani is reaching the end of a four-year relationship with Christian (Jack Reynor), an uninterested, inattentive boyfriend who wanted to end it months ago but stayed with Dani when tragedy befalls her and her family. Dani joins Christian and his pals Josh (William Jackson Harper), Mark (Will Poulter) and Swedish native Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) for a nine day once-in-a-lifetime festival celebrating midsommar in Pelle’s hometown of Halsingland. Continue reading

The Best Alternative LGBTQ+ Films of the Past Decade

best alternative lgbtq+ films of the last decadeRepresentation is powerful. Film is by far the easiest way we can expose ourselves to experiences and lives that differ from our own. Film creates empathy and allows us to develop an understanding of both the characters we see on screen and ourselves. For the LGBTQ+ community representation, – and by representation I mean quality representation that represents a multifaceted queer experience – has seen a marked improvement over the last decade.

Films like Tangerine (2015), Moonlight (2016) and Love is Strange (2014) have all brought much-needed representation, as well as portraying a diverse range of queer stories. Whilst we may still have a long way to go when it comes to diversity in all aspects of cinema, we’re certainly light-years away from Rupert Everett’s two dimensional ‘gay pal’ of 1997’s My Best Friends Wedding.

Here are my picks for five of the best alternative LGBTQ+ films to adorn our screens over the past ten years. Adam Brannon will be bringing you his top picks for the top 5 mainstream LQBTQ+ movies very soon. Continue reading

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile review “Making serial killers sexy again…”

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile movie posterDon’t you just love a sexy serial killer? Hollywood certainly does. Recent onscreen depictions have been accused of romanticising men who have committed atrocious crimes because the actors chosen to play them are significantly more attractive. For example, Ross Lynch, the teen heartthrob star of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, played serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer back in 2018; a man who brutally raped and murdered 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991.

In the same year, former Glee star Darren Criss was cast as Andrew Cunanan, the spree killer who murdered five people during a three month period in 1997.  Now it’s the turn of serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy to receive an aesthetic upgrade in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, directed by Joe Berlinger. Continue reading

Eighth Grade review “Charming and painfully honest”

Eighth Grade movie posterYouTube comedian-turned internet sensation-turned filmmaker Bo Burnham recently described his directorial debut as “an attempt to represent the kids who live their lives online.” To describe Eighth Grade (2018) as merely an attempt would be a true disservice. Burnham feature debut is a exquisitely insightful look into the agony of growing up in the age of the internet.

Hailed by many as a strikingly accurate portrayal of what it means to be a Gen Z-er, Burnham prompts an in-depth conversation about the plight of ‘post-millennials’ who, in his own words, have been “forced by a culture they did not create to be conscious of themselves at every moment.” Yet for all for it’s cutting cultural commentary, Eight Grade succeeds because Burnham has created a universally human story; one that gives you all the laughs and all the feels. Continue reading

Us review “Smart and stylish”

Us movie posterPeele’s sudden and swift success with Get Out (2017) left many wondering if the sketch comedian turned director really could be the horror pantheon’s saviour. After a lean half century brimming with blood, gore and gratuitous torture porn, the genre emerged into something of a renaissance. Following the release of Get Out came a swath of imaginative and intelligent thrillers like Raw (2016), The Babadook (2014) and It Follows (2014) and the horror genre began to establish itself as the go-to vehicle for social commentary.

By far the most commercially successful iteration was Get Out, which grossed just over $250 million worldwide. But after such overwhelming success, could Peele really do it again with Us? Well, the answer is yes. Just as Get Out was a chilling survival horror that had oh-so-relevant things to say about the African-American experience, Us is a chilling survival horror that equally has a significant amount to say about duality, privilege and the swelling vein of apathy running through the heart of America. Continue reading