Category Archives: Mystery

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

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SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL (2020): The Things I Liked…

Spenser Confidential (2020), Mark Wahlberg, Netflix
Spenser Confidential (2020), Mark Wahlberg, Netflix

Spenser Confidential isn’t a perfect movie, but it is a fun action/comedy with some well-executed standout scenes.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Iliza Shlesinger and Alan Arkin; director Peter Berg’s story about an ex-felon who takes on Boston’s criminal underworld to solve a twisted murder conspiracy, may have a dip in pace near the beginning. It may also feel as though at least one specific aspect of the story comes across aa tad contrived. But overall, there’s enough humour, action and well-executed scenes to make Spenser Confidential more fun than not.

My favourite line in the whole film is ‘Don’t play with me right now, Ok? Give me the cloud.’ I promise it’s more amusing in context, which I haven’t provided here as that would spoil it.

In terms of the most memorable scenes, The first one take takes place at a Mexican restaurant, while the other involves much of what happens at ‘Wonderland’ towards the end.

Watch Spenser Confidential if you’re curious and for a central mystery that you’ll want to see solved.

Happy Film Loving

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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

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KNIVES OUT (2019): The Things I Liked…

Knives Out (2019) LaKeith Stanfield, Ana De Armes, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Lionsgate Movies
Knives Out (2019) LaKeith Stanfield, Ana De Armes, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Lionsgate Movies

As far as murder mystery movies go, I certainly haven’t watched very many and can’t say that they’re my favourite. However, writer / director Rian Johnsons’s Knives Out isn’t a bad one. 

Centred around the sudden death of the patriarch (Christopher Plummer) of an eccentric, combative family, Johnsons’s film kept me engaged throughout. The story and familial tensions kept building and building until its final quite satisfying conclusion.

I enjoyed all the performances including and especially Daniel Craig as private investigator Benoit Blanc. I also rather liked the facial expressions of Jamie Lee Curtis’s character, Linda Drysdale.

Knives Out has humour, clever twists and surprises to keep you locked in till the end.  I say definitely watch it if you like murder mysteries, and Daniel Crag… and the rest of the talented cast which includes LaKeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Toni Collette.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE QUARRY (2020): New Trailer Starring Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon, Catalina Sandino Moreno…

The Quarry (2020), Michael Shannon
The Quarry (2020), Michael Shannon

The Quarry is a crime / thriller about a drifter (Shea Whigham) who kills a traveling preacher and takes his place at a small-town church. Unfortunately for him, the local police chief (Michael Shannon) suspects foul play.

Directed by Scott Teems; Catalina Sandino Moreno, Bobby Soto and Bruno Bichirare among the key cast.

What on earth was the drifter thinking and how much research did he carry out in order to even think his plan would work? I’ll be watching to get an answer to these questions and for Michael Shannon’s performance.

Alvaro Martinez, Jimmy Gonzales, Abel Becerra, Anthony Reynolds, Rose Bianco, Julia Vera, David Jensen and Giovanni Cohea also star.

The Quarry Release Dates: April 17th, 2020 (US)…

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THE POSTCARD KILLINGS (2020): The Thing I Liked…

The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan

‘Overall, it’s watchable’ is really the best I can say about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo and Naomi Battrick’s latest crime / mystery, The Postcard Killings.

Based on a book by Liza Marklund and James Patterson, I was hoping for a truly thrilling serial killer movie experience. What director Danis Tanovic delivers instead is a story where the killer is not quite what one might expect, which ordinarily would have been a great thing. Only I really didn’t quite buy into the story of the killer, their motivations, let alone completely believe that they were even fully capable of the crimes in question.

Part of the problem is that the film’s edit didn’t serve the story well overall. For example, there are one or two moments in Tanovic’s film that could have been truly memorable in a good way. Particularly in terms of the shock and surprise they could have induced. Except the way these moments were captured just made it all fall almost completely flat .

There was admittedly one or two suspenseful moments where I held my breath in anticipation. Nevertheless, The Postcard Killings is still not a movie I’d insist you watch unless you absolutely must. Some of acting was OK at best but had the story edit, casting and direction been even better, one can only imagine. 

Lastly, it’s really got to be time for me to re-watch Se7en. That film really is serial killer movie excellence.

Happy Film Loving 

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DEFENDING JACOB (2020): New Trailer From Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Betty Gabriel, Jaeden Martell…

Defending Jacob (2020), Chris Evans, Apple TV+
Defending Jacob (2020), Chris Evans, Apple TV+

Based on the best selling book by William Landay, Defending Jacob is a new mystery / thriller starring Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell and Betty Gabriel.

This is the story of Andy (Evans) and Laurie Barber (Dockery), whose fourteen year-old son (Martell) has been accused of murdering his friend and classmate.

Based on this trailer, Jacob seems guilty. Assuming he’s innocent, how awful would it be if Evans’s character ends up having to go to jail? Looks like a very promising mystery to me.

Sakina Jaffrey, Cherry Jones, Bradley Ryan Knispel, Pablo Schreiber, Jordan Alexa Davis, Daniel Henshall, Ben Taylor, Ted Arcidi, Megan Byrne, Tamara Hickey and Poorna Jagannathan also star.

Defending Jacob Release Dates: April 24th, 2020 (US), Apple TV+

Happy Film Loving

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THE POSTCARD KILLINGS (2020): New Trailer Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Famke Janssen, Cush Jumbo, Naomi Battrick…

The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cush Jumbo
The Postcard Killings (2020), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cush Jumbo

Read my spoiler-free movie review of The Postcard Killings (2020).


New crime / mystery The Postcard Killings has Jeffrey Dean Morgan as New York detective Jacob Kanon. Kanon is investigating the death of his daughter who was murdered in London during her honeymoon…

Based on the book of the same name by Liza Marklund and James Patterson; directed by Danis Tanovic; Cush Jumbo, Famke Janssen and Naomi Battrick are among the key cast.

I’m getting Taken (2008) vibes for more reasons than Janssen playing the mother role in both movies. Morgan’s Kanon also has something in common with Julia Roberts’s The Secret In Their Eyes (2015), where Roberts plays a law enforcement officer whose daughter is murdered.

A good Morgan performance and a hopefully memorable mystery are my reasons for wanting to see this one.

Ruairi O’Connor, Joachim Król, Eva Röse, Lukas Loughran, Steven Mackintosh, Dylan Devonald Smith, Sallie Harmsen and Pål Espen Kilstad also star.

The Postcard Killings Release Dates: March 13th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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