Peele’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
It’s hard to critique indie cinema with quite the same vigour as you might a mainstream blockbuster flick. Often huge differences in budget and production quality make comparison virtually impossible; but usually what indie flicks often lack in production quality, they compensate for in narrative ‘gumption’ and imagination.
Struck, an indie teen drama from rookie filmmakers Alexander Milo Bischof and Michael Couvaras, subverts these expectations. Favouring production quality over narrative originality, Struck is an ambitious attempt at rehashing a familiar story for a millennial audience. Continue reading
Watching Home Again is an experience akin to drinking an entire bottle of a Muscat-Blanc. It’s deliciously sweet and gets you all giddy to begin with but ultimately you’re going to wake up with a head-ache. The debut feature from Hallie Meyers-Shyer, daughter of the genre empress Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, continues the family tradition of the perky female rom-com with a keen eye for soft furnishings and pristine kitchen-ware.
Alice (Reese Witherspoon) plays a recently separated mother of two going through a bit of a rough patch. By rough patch I mean that she is unable to truly express herself in her work as an interior designer, whilst living in a plush LA mansion she inherited (along with a comfortable bank account) from her deceased millionaire father, who was once the darling of old Hollywood gentry. Because you know, money isn’t everything. Continue reading
In the early 1970s, Stanley Kubrick acquired the rights to the 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss titled ‘Supertoys Last All Summer Long.‘ Intellectually obsessed, Kubrick began working on a screenplay to turn Aldiss’ short story into a modern-day Pinocchio, hiring a team of writers to work on a script for over 20 years including the original author, sci-fi author Bob Shaw and eventual screen-story credit Ian Watson.
The film stagnated in development for years. Kubrick felt that a child actor would make David too human and that the CGI capabilities of the day weren’t quite up to scratch. Rather than give up on the project, Kubrick chose to wait for technology to catch-up with the demands of the film. Attempts were even made to create automated, robotic version of David, though efforts were quickly stopped as the robot was described as ‘too creepy’ by the production team. Continue reading
J.J Abrams has always had a knack for injecting his films with a jarring dose of body horror. Cloverfield (2008) had the infamous exploding woman, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) had a melting John Goodman after he got soaked in acid, and The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) had, well, a truly horrifying script. Whilst Overlord (2018) is a firmly stand-apart feature from the Cloverfield franchise (despite the rumours), there’s definitely enough body shock and gore to feel like an Abrams production.
There are so many descriptors one could attribute to Overlord; delightfully nasty, bloody and nauseatingly tense are but a few. This film is a grungy B-movie horror disguised as a slick WW2 drama and boy, is it fun. Continue reading