In 2020 alone, there are at least 4 full features titled "Alone" with more short films bearing the same title. Whether it's the side effect of self-quarantine or not, the word 'alone' has become an enigmatic choice of title. With movies like Vladisav Keshin's thriller, Alone, or Johnny Martin's zombie apocalypse thriller, Alone (based on Matt Naylor's story, same as South Korea's #Alive), on the market, it's easy to get mixed-bag feelings for any other movie with similar title. John Hyams' Alone, however, is the classic breed of it—a lean, minimalist thriller that stays true to the titular state.
Sarita Choudhury (from the arthouse hit, Mississippi Masala) and Sunita Mani (supporting star in the recently cancelled GLOW) star in a hybrid of South Asian and Hollywood horror, Evil Eye. Based on Madhuri Shekar's Audible original of the same title, the story chronicles the harsh conflict between a first generation Indian immigrant in America and the American-born second generation within a horror frame. In between superstition, cultural clash, and past trauma, the intercontinental horror has just enough odds to be heavily misguiding for unfamiliar audiences.
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We've seen it before and we've seen it again; the problem with American-born immigrants from Eastern culture has always been with the cultural clash. The older generation, however liberal,...
Remade from the 2015 German thriller, We Monster, Veena Sud's The Lie premiered in the 2018 TIFF before Blumhouse took it under 'Welcome to the Blumhouse' anthology for Amazon. The story, as the title suggests, is built upon the titular lie; but, as you might have known, a lie does not stop on the first count. There has to be another lie and another to follow and cover up. In no time, the lies had spinned out of control; and, that's basically what the movie is all about.
In Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.'s full-feature directorial debut, Black Box, a visionary doctor stores human's memories, consciousness, and soul as brain waves in a device that works like an airplane's black box. The neuro-tech experiment comes into use when a braindead patient arrives at the hospital after a fateful car accident that kills his wife and wipes his memory. In a hope of restoring his memory, the patient agrees to sign up for the experiment. Unbeknownst to everyone, what initially appears as a hopeful sci-fi drama takes a sinister turn into a Black Mirror-esque tech-horror passage.
Related Post: Get Out (2017) - Review
Mamoudou Athie (The Get Down) portrays the patient, Nolan, excellently. His portrayal of a blank-slate man is enticing; he helps making audiences question h...
The devil is cunning and, most harrowingly, resilient. Its whisper can transcend time and space; bend and slip through even the slightest crack in human's soul. It is deceitful and seducing, even in the place illuminated by the lights of heavenly or worldly love. The devil implicitly takes the centerpiece in Donald Ray Pollock's Southern gothic novel, The Devil All the Time—consuming people's soul with godly obsessions and numbing them with an endless cycle of violence. That's where Antonio Campos' (director of Christine and producer of Martha Marcy May Marlene) screen adaptation takes its brutal root—unraveling the devil within even among the people of God.
The Babysitter: Killer Queen, the follow-up to Netflix's 2017 sleeper hit—The Babysitter, brings almost every single element of the first movie in for a supposedly victory lap. Judah Lewis, portraying the protagonist, Cole, has naturally grown into a fully bloom teenager; so does Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), who portrays his neighbor. The all-spectacular Samara Weaving does not get into immediate actions as the titular sinister babysitter, Bee; but her presence is felt throughout the movie—fuels the narrative and literally takes the steering wheel.
"I'm thinking of ending things," Jessie Buckley's character mutters to open the movie with the titular quote. When her character, referred only as a Young Woman when not going by inconsistently different names throughout the movie, utters the sentence, it radiates ambiguity—not some sort of sinister feeling the title has suggested. A dark sense, however, still looms everywhere in the movie as the young woman and her lover, Jake (brilliantly versatile Jesse Plemons), as they embark on a bizarre road trip.
Chris Hemsworth has gone into a complete action-hero mode in Extraction, a ‘Call of Duty-esque’ bravura with so much machismo and bravado. Written by Joe Russo and helmed by his Civil War and Endgame stunt collaborator, Sam Hargrave, this actioner is the closest to a non-comical comic-book movie for Hemsworth. It’s undoubtedly a cliche-ridden no-brainer, but it’s done right.
Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia's 2019 sci-fi movie, The Platform (known as El Hoyo or 'The Hole' in Spain), is an enigmatic social commentary about social class and wealth distribution, much like Snowpiercer but this one is vertical. It is elusive from beginning to end, probing more questions than answers, but at the same time delivering the message quite smoothly.
The story sets in a prison-like facility called 'Vertical Self-Management Facility' where inmates ranging from the clueless ones to the most brutal are randomly placed and paired in each level. Every day, a platform filled with sumptuous gourmet foods descends each level and stops for a while to allow the inmates to feed themselves. The rule is simple: the foods will not be refilled and you can eat as much as you want, but the platf...
When it comes to high-concept modern horror, Leigh Whannell is one of the frontrunners. Together with James Wan, Australian writer-director conceived Saw and engineered several sequels before crafting the sci-fi-tingly horror franchise which "reinvents" long-corridor-and-dark-corner terror in Insidious (with the third chapter marking his directorial debut). When Blumhouse is set to small-sized reboot Universal's now-scrapped Dark Universe, they begin with The Invisible Man; and, when they give him creative credentials, it's a game on.
Whannell's Invisible Man remodels the concept in almost its entirety—leaving only the terror not visible to bare eyes. While based on the character by H.G. Wells, the monster movie elements, which might sound campy, are held minimum. There's no bandage-ma...
Evil Dead's distant prodigal cousin, Sebelum Iblis Menjemput (May the Devil Take You), has finally gotten a tougher, grittier, and more fucked-up sequel dubbed as Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat 2 as if it's a chapter in a demonic bible. In the follow-up story, writer-director Timo Tjahjanto does not really bother with narrative merits as he's busy sacrificing souls to the cinematic god of death (as in The Night Comes for Us). Compared to the predecessor, the second chapter is way nastier, campier, and more frivolous with the "nightmares exist out of logic" credo held dear.
The myth still follows the protagonist of the first movie, Alfie (Chelsea Islan), who has succumbed to sedative drugs in the aftermath of the first taking. The news of her survival from the cataclysmic nightmare has s...
There's this kind of electric energy in Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems that makes us anxious for the whole duration. Everybody yells instead of talking; everybody moves frenetically, violently, and urgently. There's Adam Sandler wearing a striking attire seemingly inspired by Lando Calrissian, complete with a full-frontal display of jewelry. There's NBA star, Kevin Garnett, as himself and there are actual Celtics' match footages. There's The Weeknd portraying his younger, rising-to-stardom self. And yet, the centerpiece of it all is a piece of a rare gemstone—the titular MacGuffin.
The gem is a mysterious African black opal smuggled from a troubled mine in Ethiopia before arriving at Howard Ratner's gem & jewelry store. Sandler at one of his pinnacle-performances (after Punch-Drunk Lo...
It's hard to tell if Underwater is an under-water homage to Aliens' franchise or simply a rip-off of some under-water survival horror, like Leviathan or DeepStar Six. You will see bad-ass Kristen Stewart running for her life wearing only underwear like Ellen Ripley; but, her haircut is taken unashamedly from ALIEN³. The setting, however, suits George P. Cosmatos' Leviathan quite unashamedly as well. You are excused if thinking the whole event feels derivative because it is what it is.
Stewart (straight from Charlie's Angels) portrays Norah, an engineer on a mining station located approximately seven miles under the ocean's surface, precisely around Mariana Trench. The location alone should have given you a chilling atmosphere (there is a convincing tracking shot at the beginning of the...
Rebooting a failing remake is maybe the most logical or, otherwise, the most cringe-worthy gig a Hollywood studio would do. While the argument to right the wrong is plausible, the tendency to repeat the same mistake is as imaginable. Sadly, Nicolas Pesce's remake of The Grudge (2004)—Takashi Shimizu's own remake of his own J-Horror classic, Ju-On—tends to take the messed-up path.
While Shimizu's 2004 remake attempted to position itself as close as possible to the source material (the remake went even further to place it in the same geographical map), it's still a messy thread with more questions than actual terrors. One of the most bugging creative decisions is related to the mechanism of the curse, which becomes the franchise's epicenter. Shimizu engineers the curse to work as a super...
Black Christmas offers a progressive premise incorporating feminism and home-invasion slasher. It's a well-intended remake of Bob Clark's slasher classic of the same title. The idea is not highly revolutionary, but, from the corner of the eye, it is commendable in an idea-pitching award. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The remake falls where it should not be.
The feminism-invasion slasher takes place in sorority houses where a survivor, Riley (Imogen Poots, Green Room) and other sorority women are terrorized by black-hooded killers with some medieval weapons. The killers are no other than some frat boys—endorsed by a supernatural force that doubles down their patriarchal pride which has made them somehow invincible. Only after the women began to speak up, the male supremacist force...
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