Category Archives: Thriller

LOSING ALICE (2021): New Trailer Starring Ayelet Zurer, Lihi Kornowski, Gal Toren…

Losing Alice (2021), Ayelet Zurer, Gal Toren, Apple TV+
Losing Alice (2021), Ayelet Zurer, Gal Toren, Apple TV+

In new eight-part Apple TV+ series, Losing Alice, fascination spirals into a Faustian bargain (a pact whereby a person trades something of supreme moral or spiritual importance, such as personal values or the soul).

All after an ambitious female film director (Ayelet Zurer) meets-and obsesses over-a younger femme-fatale screenwriter.

If someone told me that Zurer was related to Gal Gadot, I’d probably be inclined to believe them. I know that the likeness is mostly because of their shared hair colour and a very similar, if not the same accent, but still I see it

As for this enchanting trailer, I say well done, to the editor. I’m in for the intriguingly dark story. Especially since it looks like we’re going to get a brilliant Zurer performance.

Additional key cast includes  Lihi Kornowski and Gal Toren.

Losing Alice Release Dates: January 22nd, 2021 (US), Apple TV+

Happy Film Loving

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS – PENINSULA (2020): The Things I Liked…

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

Train to Busan Presents – Peninsula, the sequel to my second favourite Korean film, Train to Busan (2016) has unfortunately not managed to escape the dreaded ‘sequel curse.’ The curse being that movie sequels are rarely, if ever, better than, let alone as good as the original.

Set four years after South Korea was devastated by a zombie attack, the story of Peninsula follows a former soldier who managed to escape overseas. The same soldier takes on a mission to go back. And to his surprise, there are survivors.

Had Peninsula been absolutely terrible, I’d have stopped watching and I probably wouldn’t commit any words to type about the experience. ‘Great’ is not a fitting word to describe Peninsula. Yet, there are a few moments in director Sang-ho Yeon’s movie that I’ll remember fondly. The first being the ‘daughter’s driving’ and the second involves a scene or two where the action is so intense that I had to pause to catch my breath.

As for specific elements that didn’t work well, part of what made Train to Busan great was the humorous moments. There’s sadly none of that in Peninsula. Furthermore, the zombie makeup looked as good as the first time. But the first movie had much better zombie action sequences.

Performance-wise, generally, everyone did well. Yet, they were let down by the film’s reliance on many very familiar tropes. The most frustrating moment of all frustrating moments in Peninsula concerns the use of an overly familiar trope to the most EXCESSIVE degree; to the point where it was r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. Ridiculous!

If you haven’t already watched the original movie, please do so because it’s great. Now, try your best to forget that this new one exists. That is, of course, unless disappointing sequels happen to be your thing.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LITTLE THINGS (2021): New Trailer From Denzel Washington, Rami malek, Jared Leto, Rami Malek…

The Little Things (2021), Denzel Washington, Warner Bros. Pictures

Jared Leto, Denzel Washington and Rami Malek are the stars of new thriller The Little Things.

From writer/director John Lee Hancock; the story follows two cops in their efforts to track down a serial killer.

A very good trailer. I like the music almost as much as I love seeing the names Washington, Leto and Malek on one cast list.

For a moment there, I thought Washington was playing the serial killer. I say ‘thought’ but I’m still not sure. It’s almost too scary if he is, isn’t it? I can’t wait for the truth to be revealed. Oh, and yes, Leto is wearing a prosthetic nose.

Sofia Vassilieva, Natalie Morales, Tom Hughes, Michael Hyatt, Chris Bauer, Terry Kinney, Jason James Richter, Stephanie Erb and John Harlan Kim also star.

The Little Things Release Dates: January 29th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

POSSESSOR (2020): The Thing I Liked…

Possessor (2020), Christopher Abbott, Neon
Possessor (2020), Christopher Abbott, Neon

I’m not surprised that director Brandon Cronenberg’s new sci-fi/thriller Possessor has a moment or two that took me back to the work of his well-established director father, David Cronenberg. A.k.a the man behind one of my favourite crime/dramas, A History of Violence (2005)

The signature both Cronenbergs share is, of course, the visceral violence; something that’s present in Possessor, the story of a secret organisation that drives its agents to inhabit other people’s bodies so they can assassinate targets for money. 

One might say that I was never going to love this movie considering its premise of picking unsuspecting strangers to kill. And that’s partly true because I don’t love this movie for reasons including the way the dark premise is executed. However, there’s also the fact that throughout I felt as though something was missing in the narrative structure. 

Possessor tried hard to be something; whether it’s clever, engaging or memorable. Unfortunately it just never succeeds at it for me. There’s also the seemingly rushed/confusing last quarter which presented more questions than answers. Furthermore, there’s a moment in the movie where some dialogue about a parasite/worm that suggests Possessor was likely inspired, in part, not just by young Cronenberg’s father, but also by Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010).

I enjoyed Christopher Abbott and Tuppence Middleton’s performances most. Still, overall, I say only watch Possessor if you absolutely must.

Happy Film Loving

G

TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016): The Things I Liked…

Train to Busan (2016), Well Go USA Entertainment
Train to Busan (2016), Well Go USA Entertainment

Train to Busan is as good as everyone said it is. It delivers a thrilling ride with one nail-biting event after another to keep things interesting.

Starring Yoo Gong, Jung Yu-mi and Dong-seok Ma; its guaranteed that Train to Busan is going to break your heart. Because, well, it is a zombie apocalypse movie. A subgenre of film I don’t often watch, but this one is special.

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon; there’s a good mix of interesting characters in this story. Exactly the kind you’d expect on your ordinary commute. That is until the inevitable zombie infestation happens. Then you get a good look at the variety of human beings out there. From the incredibly selfish to the less so and everything in between. You’ll likely find yourself wondering about the kind of human you might be in a situation where everyone is desperately struggling to survive. Do you know and will you like yourself, or care if you don’t? I know what I want to believe about me. Yet, I feel it would be quite foolish to proclaim to know for sure.

I enjoyed the visual effects, action scenes and much of the acting. I say ‘much’ and not ‘all’ because I did catch a moment where one character’s expression seemed far calmer than it should have been during a grave situation. And by ‘calm’, I don’t mean the kind that comes over you when you’re ‘shocked into inaction’.

In addition to the expressionless face, the only other downside to Train to Busan for me is the use of one or two movie-making tropes. An example being, keeping a seemingly underdeveloped character around, just so they can perform one or two key tasks to advance the story.

Even with the few elements I didn’t love about the film, Train to Busan remains worth watching. Especially since I wouldn’t call it ‘nightmare-inducing scary‘. What it is is a fun, affecting ride with good zombie action sequences, special effects and notable performances; particularly by young Su-an Kim.

Happy Film Loving

G

SWEET HOME (2020): New Trailer Starring Dane DiLiegro, Darren Keilan, Chase Yi…

Sweet Home (2020), Netflix
Sweet Home (2020), Netflix

Starring Dane DiLiegro, Darren Keilan and Chase Yi, Sweet Home is a new Korean drama/horror/thriller that’s set in a world where humans turn into savage monsters and wreak terror.

Hyunsoo, a troubled teen and his neighbours fight to survive. Not at all easy if, when you open your eyes, all you see are monsters.

Ever since Parasite (2019) gave me an appetite for Korean productions, I find myself more and more intrigued by what comes out of Seoul and beyond. Even though scary movies give me nightmares, Maybe I’ll get brave, just in time to see this one.

Full disclosure, my initial thoughts as this trailer revealed the scary nature of this story was: ‘Er… Isn’t Halloween over? What’s going on here? Then I remembered that Halloween is forever. Particularly if you love horror movies.

Song Kang, Jin-wook Lee, Lee Si-young, Park Gyuyoung, Kim Nam Hee, Kim Kap-su and Yoon-Jung Ko also star.

Sweet Home Release Dates: December 18th 2020 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE MARKSMAN (2021): New Trailer starring Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Teresa Ruiz…

The Marksman (2020), Liam Neeson, Madman Films
The Marksman (2020), Liam Neeson, Madman Films

New action/thriller The Marksman has Liam Neeson as Jim, a rancher on the Arizona border who becomes the unlikely defender of a young Mexican boy.

Directed by Robert Lorenz; with additional key cast that includes Katheryn Winnick and Teresa Ruiz; Jim desperately flees the cartel assassins who’ve pursued him into the U.S.

Why am I interested in this, even though it looks like it’ll follow a very similar formula to past Neeson movies? Very simple. It’s Neeson and the formula keeps being repeated because I’m still here to keep watching. That is all.

Juan Pablo Raba, Dylan Kenin, Luce Rains, Dominic Cancelliere, Chase Mullins, Alex Knight and Ming Wang also star.

The Marksman Release Dates: January 21st, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE MAURITANIAN (2021): New Trailer From Benedict Cumberbatch, Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, Tahar Rahim…

The Mauritanian (2021), Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, STXfilms
The Mauritanian (2021), Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, STXfilms

In director Kevin Macdonald’s latest thriller, The Mauritanian; Tahar Rahim (A Prophet (2009) is Mohamedou Ould Slahia; a detainee at the U.S military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center.

With additional key cast including Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jodie Foster; Slahia is detained without charges for over a decade and seeks help from a defense attorney for his release.

So excited for this! Talk about a powerhouse cast. That, combined with the very promising dialogue and my love of great courtroom dramas; I can’t wait to see Cumberbatch (that voice!), Foster, Woodley and Rahim on screen together.

I’m also looking forward to watching Cumberbatch’s character navigate this particular moral conundrum.

Lastly, on a side note, had it not been for the voiceover at the end of this trailer, I’d have mistakenly called this movie ‘The Mauritian.’ So, thank you, movie trailer voiceover man.

Zachery Levi, Langley Kirkwood, Corey Johnson, Matthew Marsh, Saamer Usmani, David Fynn, Andre Jacobs, Meena Rayann, Stevel Marc, Robert Hobbs and Arthur Falko also star.

The Mauritanian Release Dates: February 19th, 2021 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G