these movies aren't going to watch themselves
Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki returns after a decade of retirement for one last classic, the astonishing The Boy and The Heron. This is Studio Ghibli at its best, full of wonder and imagination all tugging at your heartstrings while riding an undercurrent of dreamlike subversiveness. It's almost impossible to imagine an American studio pulling off such a towering achievement in animation and you can't help but feel a bit of sadness knowing we'll probably never see this type of cinema again as an icon leaves the spotlight for good, at least that's what Miyazaki wants us to believe.
Following the breakout success of Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele's Nope arrived on a wave of expectations and a marketing campaign that kept its secrets. And, well, the reaction both critically and commercially was decidedly mixed, resulting in the film earning significantly less than Peele's first two films. It's a shame the movie didn't connect as well on its release because Nope is an instant classic, an inventive mix of sci-fi, horror, western, action, and comedy, exploding with energy.…
"I'm what more civilized people call Bohemian"
Watching Pearl, the followup prequel to Ti West's excellent 70s retro slasher X, is a jarring experience. The film is shot, staged, and lit like an old Disney live action classic and if that sounds weird, it's because it is. Adding another layer of past meets present, Pearl is set late WWI, during the fallout of the Spanish Flu pandemic, so the masks are out and paranoia of an unseen, uncaring villain shades many scenes. In any event, this highly experimental entry into the genre ends on a high note and Mia Goth as always is a beautiful terror.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because you let me"
Christian Tafdrup's slick psychological satire asks the question of how many red flags and missed opportunities can characters ignore. The answer is many my friends, so so many. The Danish horror film is beautifully shot and has no shortage of tension as social mores always win out over common sense because of course you never want to upset such gracious hosts. Speak No Evil has already been picked up by Blumhouse for a Hollywood version so you can look forward to another dull remake catering to an American audience like The Vanishing before it.
Talk to Me, the breakout Australian indie horror, made waves on the festival circuit and led A24 to buy the distribution rights after winning a bidding war. The gamble paid off as the film went on to gross nearly $100 million globally and has held strong on streaming charts after leaving theaters. It's easy to see what all the hype is about, this is a phenomenal feature film debut for YouTubers Danny and Michael Philippou, full of interesting ideas executed…
Holy shit! Demian Rugna's When Evil Lurks is an absolutely brutal possession horror film from Argentina, filled with unrelenting death and evil spirits. Beautiful lighting and cinematography aside, some of the expertly staged scenes will stick with you, and not in a good way, this is visceral horror that leaves an impression. When Evil Lurks mostly avoids a 3rd act let down you see in many of its genre peers but can't quite keep the momentum throughout. Overall an excellent effort from Rugna and I can't wait to see what he has planned next.