Don’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
YouTube 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
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