Movies reviews

  • The House That Jack Built

    Watched on

    7

    The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

    The House That Jack Built

    Review

    Controversial filmmaker Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Melancholia) returns with this dark and violent anti-hero story of a serial killer.

    Split up in to chapters, we're first introduced to the protagonist – an unnerving performance by Matt Dillon – as he helps a stranded woman who antagonises him saying he looks like a serial killer. We don't know whether he is or whether this triggers him, but as the movie progresses we're shown more and more of his despicable acts and obsessive thought process.

    The violence is graphic and unglorified - each subsequent murder becomes harder and harder to watch. The evil acts are conflicted with the mild demeanor, which only add to the cognitive dissonance of the character.

    Throughout the movie, the murderer is talking with an unknown person, discussing his acts and their context. There is a lot of allegory and religious symbolism. This person is revealed in the epilogue, although I felt it relatively obvious who the character was.

    Aside from the in-your-face intellectualism and the epilogue which wasn't needed, this is a worthy watch if you can stomach it.

  • The Green Knight

    Watched on

    6

    A fantasy retelling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

    The Green Knight

    Review

    This movie by up and coming director David Lowery and produced by A24 studio was one I was looking forward to.

    Based on a 14th-century story, it is visually impressive, with a lot of subtle themes especially honour. It features knights, witches and the mythical titular character. However, there isn't much substance and the ending was particularly frustrating.

    It's worth watching if you're a fan of Dev Patel, for a curious look in to King Arthur's folklore, or some breathtaking cinematography and costume design.

  • Midsommar

    Watched on

    8

    A couple travels to Scandinavia to visit a rural hometown's fabled Swedish mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

    Midsommar

    Review

    Ari Aster follows up the impressive Hereditary with another stellar movie. The movie is incredibly well made. There is very impressive and meticulous craftsmenship throughout, from the direction to the production design, camera-movement and cinematography.

    This wasn't as scary or dark as Hereditary, but gives a definite sense of unease and dread. The spirital cult-like setting with strange traditions and culture clash is very reminiscent of The Wicker Man. There are some crazy scenes which you as the viewer know how they'll play out, but you're unable to warn the unsuspecting visitors.

    Although there are a few strands that are left a little untied or abruptly disregarded, there is plenty to keep you intruiged – the whole movie will stay with you long after the credits role.

  • The Night House

    Watched on

    8

    A widow begins to uncover her recently deceased husband's disturbing secrets.

    The Night House

    Review

    This is a very creepy movie. It starts off quite slow but builds the suspense pretty well. After a jump-scare which caught me off guard, the movie gets quite intense and reveals start happening. I really liked a few of the concepts explored in the movie – you have to pay attention as some of them are quite subtle. The use of "negative space" within the objects / house to create the ominous presence was really cool – artful but obvious enough to engage unease and fear. The twist towards the end was pretty obvious and I would have liked it to explore the confusion concept more, but it's a solid super-natural thriller which deals with life after death.

  • Dawn of the Dead

    Watched on

    6

    A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

    Dawn of the Dead

    Review

    This misses the simplicity of the original. Instead of a tight-knit group of four at the mall, they start with five and then more and more are added to the mix.

    This remake starts far stronger, as the original lingers before they arrive at the mall, but the original features far more suspense.

    Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better and this version lacks the social commentary of the first. As expected, with the much larger budget and more modern techniques, the make-up is way better. However, aside from the directors flare, the cinematography doesn’t stand out.

    I found the slower zombies of the original have more impact, although the faster versions posed more of a threat.