Category Archives: Horror

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT (2020): New Trailer From kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Blumenau…

You Should Have Left (2020), Kevin Bacon, Universal Pictures
You Should Have Left (2020), Kevin Bacon, Universal Pictures

Starring Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried and Colin Blumenau; writer/director David Koepp’s horror/mystery You Should Have Left is set at a remote house in the Alps.

Having travelled there with his family, Bacon plays a screenwriter who’s hoping to write the sequel to his big hit film. Only, he begins to regret his decision following a severe case of writer’s block.

I’m drawn to this one because of Bacon, and certainly at the risk of never looking at light switches the same way again.

Maybe this movie will be more ‘mystery’ than ‘horror.’ You know, since I appreciate a good nights sleep free of nightmares more than I do movie induced scares. Fingers crossed we have a good great one here.

Eli Powers, Avery Tiiu Essex, Lowri Ann Richards and Joshua C Jackson also star.

You Should Have Left Release Dates: June 19th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MIDSOMMAR (2019): The Things I Liked

Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24
Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24

I wanted to watch Midsommar because it came recommended by many. I needed to watch Midsommar because the murals in the very intriguing trailer looked great. I had to watch Midsommar because of its young, talented cast, mainly Florence Pugh and Will Poulter.

Now that I’ve finally seen Midsommar, what I really wouldn’t have done is watch Midsommar; had I remembered that it is, in fact, a horror film.

For those who might be thinking ’How could you not have known?’ Well, in my defence, the trailer I initially saw didn’t scream ‘scary movie,’ and neither did the synopsis, at first.

The original synopsis said something along the lines of ‘Things start to go awry on a summer trip after a young woman reluctantly caves in and goes along with her boyfriend’. Now, doesn’t this sound more like ‘relationship woes’ than ‘increasingly violent and bizarre competition involving a Pagan cult?’

The things that impressed me most about director Ari Aster’s film, in addition to the performances include the story and tension. There’s also the sense of dread and the general unease that never seems to leave, but instead expertly builds and builds until the very dark and scary end. There’s also the memorable vulnerability and intensity in the way the opening scenes are captured.

The main thing I wish wasn’t quite so is how long it took for things to unfold at specific points. For example, approximately fifty minutes in, there’s a ceremony that went on for eternity, before a scary revelation happened. I also found it irksome to watch several of the characters make some extremely poor decisions; the kind that went against every single one of my survival instincts.

For everyone who isn’t a horror fan, including the version of me before watching this movie, ‘Stop right there!’ For the rest of you, enjoy!

Happy Film Loving

G

THE HUNT (2020): The Things I Liked

The Hunt (2019), Betty Gilpin, Universal Pictures
The Hunt (2019), Betty Gilpin, Universal Pictures

Betty Gilpin’s smart and badass character Crystal is my favourite thing about director Craig Zobel’s The Hunt; the most controversial near release of 2019.

Also starring Hilary Swank, Justin Hartley and Emma Roberts; Zobel’s story centres around twelve strangers who get kidnapped for the specific purpose of being hunted.

The Hunt‘s original 2019 release date was cancelled because following the launch of the trailer, America was unfortunately having to deal with another mass shooting. Additional complaints also came to light about the movie’s presumed controversial politics, concerning the relationship between the left and right.

I remember the filmmakers were happy to delay the movie’s release. And having now watched it, I can see why they insisted that The Hunt isn’t as problematic, in terms of premise and politics as many were assuming. Any talk of politics in the movie is mainly amusing. The real fun starts as we start learning more and more about Gilpin’s Crystal.

The Hunt isn’t the kind of movie to get top marks for story or all-round great acting where one or two earlier characters is concerned. But that doesn’t mean I won’t watch it again. For me, there’s just had too much fun to be had with Crystal.

Watch it if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE INVISIBLE MAN 2019): The Things I Liked…

The Invisible Man (2019), Elisabeth Moss, Universal Pictures
The Invisible Man (2019), Elisabeth Moss, Universal Pictures

The Invisible Man is a pleasant surprise of a film. From a clever story with twists and turns you don’t quite see coming to Elisabeth Moss’s impressive emotionally and physically demanding performance. Director Leigh Whannell does a good job of telling a thrilling and equally terrifying story about a woman who’s being hunted by her very abusive ex who also happens to be invisible.

Considering the nature of this story which is based on H.G. Well’s novel of the same name, let’s just say that The Invisible Man isn’t partly categorised as a horror film by accident. The horror part is very real, especially in the psychological sense.It’s also incredibly terrifying for women especially, but generally because very abusive partners exist.

Then there’s the idea that invisibility technology could also exist and end up in the hands of the wrong kind people. I’m no technology expert of course, but Whannell’s film somehow makes such technology or something like it seem far closer to what is possible than I’d like to admit.

Lastly, for those who aren’t the biggest fans of scary movies, will The Invisible Man give the average person nightmares? Probably not. But just know that it isn’t exactly comfortable viewing either because no horror / mystey / sci-fi that’s intent on terrifying us is.

Overall and more than anything, Whannell’s movie is thrilling, well, paced, cleverly shot and very likely surprising in a good way.

Happy Film Loving 

FANTASY ISLAND (2020): The Thing I Liked…

Fantasy Island (2020), Lucy Hale, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Fantasy Island (2020), Lucy Hale, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Starring Michael Peña, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday and Maggie Q, the best time I had watching director Jeff Wadlow’s new fantasy / adventure / horror film Fantasy Island is at the very start because it opens well. There were also a few other suspenseful moments and chase sequences that commanded my attention.

The unfortunate thing is that it became quite clear soon after the start that this is a story that isn’t as well thought out or clever as I’d hoped. It felt simplistic, slow in parts and unconvincing. The latter especially because how could one book a stay at a resort that promises you the chance to live out your most elaborate fantasies but without finding out the detail of what that actually really means? Particularly since you had to complete a questionnaire beforehand to state what your fantasies are. I’m clearly not a big fan of surprises that aren’t guaranteed to be pleasant, especially if I’m paying big bucks for it.

If you really, REALLY must, then hit that play button. Otherwise, maybe watch Lost; a TV show also set on a mysterious Island. Unfortunately no movies similar to Fantasy Island came to mind as I wrote this.

Lastly, I actually never even made it past half of season two of Lost so I probably shouldn’t be recommending it.

Happy Film Loving

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS – PENINSULA (2020): New Trailer From Sang-ho Yeon and Starring Dong-won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee…

Dong-won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee
Train To Busan Presents – Peninsula (2020)

Dong-won Gang and Jung-hyun Lee are the stars of Peninsula, the sequel to director Sang-ho Yeon’s well received zombie thriller Train To Busan (2016).

Set four years after the zombie outbreak, the Korean peninsula is devastated and Jung-seok, a former soldier who escaped overseas is given a mission to go back. To his surprise he finds survivors.

Train To Busan has been on my list of movies I should probably watch for a while now. It’s just that I’m not generally drawn to zombie films . However, due in part to me not wanting to miss out and after the brilliance of the first Korean movie I ever watched (Parasite (2019), I really should make time.

It’ll probably be nice to spend a little time reminiscing about that one time in 2012 when I was there. Not Busan, but Itaewon, South Korea.

Train To Busan – Peninsula Release Dates: August 7th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SWALLOW (2019): The Things I Liked…

Swallow (2019), Haley Bennett, IFC Films

Swallow, the story of Hunter, a housewife who finds herself more and more compelled to swallow dangerous objects (a psychological condition named pica) is a movie that’s well acted, particularly by its lead Hayley Bennett.

I wanted to see this one to find out the cause of Hunter’s far from healthy compulsion. The good news is that writer / director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’s film does offer some explanation. Nevertheless, for me, the way the story is told / edited made Swallow seem incomplete somehow.  

As the movie played, I kept thinking ‘something’s definitely missing here.’ I cant say that I’m not sure that ‘psychological thriller’ is the right categorisation. Psychological? Yes. Thrilling? Not quite. Also, I didn’t feel as though Swallow dived in deeply enough in some areas. Whether it be a specific character or aspects of the story. It seemed as though there was a rush to wrap things up at the end, whether it fully made sense or not. For example, I really can’t say that I was shown enough for me to buy the final actions of the live-in nurse. 

Swallow is a body horror film that definitely gets super gross and uncomfortable at times – and not always because of what it shows you but because of what it forces you to imagine. Particularly if for you (and likely every mentally well human), you’re generally grateful for how well your insides work. 

Besides Bennett’s performance, what I enjoyed most is the general cinematography. Whether it be the beauty of the main marital home and the nature that surrounds it or the colours, plus Hunter’s stylish attire.

I can’t deny that at the start of Swallow I found myself frustrated by Hunter. Her repression seemed to fit that of women in the 1940s and 50s. Luckily for me though, compassion eventually kicked in when it became clear she was suffering mentally and otherwise.

Swallow is one you watch if you’re especially curious. It may be just the kind of film you didn’t know you needed. Admittedly, for me, it wasn’t quite that.

Happy Film Loving 

G

CANDYMAN (2020): New Trailer From Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd, Teyonah Parris…

Candyman (2020),  Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Universal Pictures
Candyman (2020), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Universal Pictures

Candyman (1992) was a horror hit about  a murderous soul with a hook for a hand. A dark soul that can be summoned simply by a person saying his name in the mirror five times.

Starring  Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd, Teyonah Parris, plus co-written by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta, we have a new Candyman story for 2020. This time the dark murderous soul returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighbourhood where it all began…

I remember watching the original Candyman movie but I’d forgotten about the bees. I don’t believe the original movie gave me nightmares. However, I may have blocked out such memories.

This trailer looks good, DaCosta is a promising new director and Jordan Peele is involved as producer. I therefore can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Colman Domingo, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Rebecca Spence, Cassie Kramer, Brian King, Miriam Moss, Avery Moss, Nadia Simms and Hannah Love Jones also star.

Candyman Release Dates: September 25th, 2020 (US)…

Happy film loving

G