Review: Cast Lulu Wilson in a prequel to critically lambasted horror film and you might get a decent horror. That statement might sound silly, but if you look closely, there’s something virtuous to deduce that a ‘bad horror’ isn’t the end. Annabelle: Creation, an origin story to John Leonetti’s Conjuring spin-off, Annabelle (2014), along with Ouija: Origin of Evil—also casting Wilson, has proven that horror franchise might still have a second chance if done properly.
Creation goes further before the titular demonic doll came into The Warrens’ possession, even further before the haunting of The Forms. The title itself has pre-explained what this horror is about: the genesis on how a ‘seemingly lovable’ child-friendly (which I myself doubt) doll turns into an evil carrier. Question is: would knowing how things will turn out make this film scary-less or, say, obsolete?
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Review: In first two seasons of Fargo—a powerhouse of anthology based on The Coen Brothers’ 1996 film of the same title, Noah Hawley has proven his worth as a hell of most consistently stylist showrunner. Extracting the comedy-of-errors formula from the film and creating hollow modern folklore set in the film’s universe, Hawley also crafts unsympathetically likable characters and throwing them into an awkwardly cunning situation. The result: a pitch black comedy and mayhem at the same time.
As for the third season, Fargo returns with an unpretentious rhythm—smaller in scale, calmer in sense, lesser havoc compared to the first two seasons (the first renders the film quite closely, while the second feels more heavy-metal)—which ends up in a more traumatic result. It’s no longer a rough mix of petty-crime-gone-wrong and wrong-people-in-wrong-place situation, although the shades of it still become this season’s foundation. A stroke of enigmatic evil also presents, this time, in a more contagious fashion. Continue reading A Season with: Fargo (2017) – Season 3
Review: Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) uses his penchant to horror to create sharky open-water terror with a premise similar to Jaume Collett-Serra’s last summer cheap thrills The Shallows—involving deeper shallow-beach, more beautiful girls, and more sharks. Set in an exotic Mexican shore, 47 Meters Down sends Mandy Moore and Claire Holt straight to the hungry sharks in, as the title might suggest, 47 meters below the sea surface.
In 47 Meters Down, Kate (Holt), who has just found out that her sister, Lisa (Moore), ditched by her long-time boyfriend before their Mexican getaway, is at full earnestness to orchestrate an unforgettable vacation for her broken sister. Invited by two locals to cage-diving in shark-infested water, the more YOLO-induced Kate successfully persuades the more reluctant Lisa. What seems to be a larger-than-life excitement suddenly becomes a life-threatening moment for the girls when the crane falls, sending them into the bed of the ocean, with only limited oxygen to survive. Continue reading 47 Meters Down (2017) – Review
Review: Intriguing how Alien: Covenant opens with a birth, a genesis, in a majestic all-white background contrasts with the franchise’ primal return to its origin. That birth accompanied by Wagner’s Entry of The Gods Into Valhalla is designed to bridge over two worlds – the stark, horror space of Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and the odd, philosophy-heavy world of Prometheus (2012) – and continue the cycle. Of gods and men, of gods and monsters, this bleak covenant is more a continuation than a return.
For the flight of Covenant, Mr. Scott amalgamates small dose of Alien’s infernal, frigid space horror with larger dose of Prometheus’ dialogue-laden, existentialism wisdom unevenly, but perfectly, to ignite nostalgia, while at the same time, connect dots. Continue reading Alien: Covenant (2017) – Review
Review: Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire knows no cease fire in narrating a full-frontal arms deal gone awry chaos. With ten characters introduced upfront, initially dispersed into two opposing factions, before grouping into smaller groups later on, you know that there’s no guarantee that this bullet bonanza will end well… or start well.
Taking time to lead us to the main event – the claustrophobic bullet ballet, but the time Free Fire takes is apparently made into a delightful appetizer. We’re quickly introduced to two Irishmen, Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) who, with their henchmen (Enzo Cilenti and Sam Riley), are in full trust to a fixer, Justin (Brie Larson), who works with Ord (Armie Hammer), to buy guns from Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his men (incl. Jack Reynor and Noah Taylor within). We know from the beginning that something is off in this deal; therefore, when things escalate quickly as past grudge re-embarks, ‘surprise’ is no longer an appropriate vocabulary. Continue reading Free Fire (2017) – Review
Review: In The Circle, James Ponsoldt – a promising director with sympathetic character-driven dramas (Smashed, The Spectacular Now, and The End of the Tour) – attempts to create a Dr. Strangelove of the 21st century while substituting ‘The Bomb’ with ‘The Internet.’ Based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel, this is projected as a poignant satire to criticize how internet has taken over real life and, especially, threatened privacy. And yet, Ponsoldt ends up making a star-studded mess with mostly underused idea and, more, superfluous subject.
What happened was, by the time Eggers published the novel, the subject matter became highly relevant with global circumstances IN REAL TIME. Yet, one click later, three years have passed and, ironically, Eggers’ fears had some surfaced, emerged, and made real life stranger than fiction; and that’s how The Circle becomes irrelevant and, as I mentioned previously, superfluous. Continue reading The Circle (2017) – Review