The Last Thing He Wanted (2020) – No One Wanted This

Released: 27th January
Seen: 5th May

The Last Thing He Wanted Info

So, while I’m still learning how to effectively write these reviews, I have slowly developed a system that works for me. After I do the first paragraph (usually designed to be just eye-catching enough that if you were to scroll through my main page that it might make you want to know more) I will then stop and think about how to describe the plot. I might have IMDB open to remind me of character and actor names but I can usually come up with a decent enough plot synopsis that doesn’t give away more than I need to in order to get you to know just what kind of movie I’m talking about. The plot synopsis is always a quick thing for me, I try to keep it short and sweet because if you want a proper plot synopsis then Wikipedia is in the next tab over. I add it for context and little more than that… this time? I’m tempted to skip it because the plot is so poorly constructed that even just adding it for context feels pointless but it’s my structure now so I feel obligated to try.

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Dangerous Lies (2020) – LIEEEEEEEES

Released: 30th April
Seen: 2nd May

About a year ago I did a review for a film called Secret Obsession which was basically Netflix picking up the scraps left over from a Lifetime all-you-can-eat-buffet and turning it into something meant to resemble a film. It wasn’t exactly good and you could kind of tell what network it was made for originally but I figured “Oh well, if Netflix does a Lifetime movie every now and then that could be entertaining. Sometimes those are campy enough for a laugh” and Netflix apparently heard me and decided to make an even blander wannabe lifetime movie… I’m so ready for 2020 to be over.

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Horse Girl (2020) – Coming In In All Directions

Released: 7th February
Seen: 9th April

Normally when I write these reviews I do an opening paragraph that is intended to set the scene. Either I talk about the original text that inspired the film or I’ll talk about a cinematic trend or, in one case, talk about paint drying to create a subversive joke that can lead into the bulk of the review. Partially this is for context and it’s also done so that if people are scrolling through my page, the opening paragraph might catch their eye and make them want to read more. So, how does someone write an interesting and appropriate opening paragraph for a movie like Horse Girl, a film about a woman who is slowly being overtaken by her serious mental illness that starts as simple little obsessions and culminates in dressing like a peach-ninja and having imaginary sex with the nerdy guy from Criminal Minds? I sat here and tried to think of such an opening and ended up not having any idea, so that’s why you got that tiny bit of information about how I write this… it’s the most interesting thing I could think of because I do not know how on earth I can begin to explore this one.

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Lost Girls (2020) – Found It

Released: 13th March
Seen: 7th April

Lost Girls Info

Between 1996 and 2010, it’s believed that around 16 women who were either sex workers or closely tied to the sex work industry were murdered by someone who is currently only known as the Long Island Serial Killer. The identity of the killer has never been found and the story of how this case became known was so interesting that in 2013 it was turned into the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. The book rights were later optioned for a film that went through some cast changes and went from Amazon to Netflix before being released in March where it promptly got ignored because… I don’t know, we were busy anticipating the new season of the Boss Baby series. All I know is that I saw no discussion around this film whatsoever which is odd because it’s genuinely fascinating.

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Turnabout (2016) – It’s Fair Play

Released: 20th December 2016
Seen: 7th April

Some films are very complicated, with a large cast of wild and various characters who go on some convoluted quest and have to deal with some form of a serious antagonist who stands in their way and causes them a large amount of persistent trouble… then there are the films that feel like we’re just watching an hour in a couple of people’s lives. Sometimes you’re in the mood for something big and grand, sometimes you just need a little bit of character study and considering how we’re not allowed to be near actual people anymore, this seems like the right time to just enjoy a good little character piece since I am becoming that desperate for human contact.

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Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears (2020) – Sadly Not Great

Released: 27th February
Seen: 3rd March

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears Poster Info

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was an Australian drama series based on the novels by author Kerry Greenwood. It ran for 3 years, airing 32 episodes on the ABC and getting a spin-off, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, in 2019. The show itself was a decent hit by Australian standards and got average reviews throughout its run. The series fans did what a lot of fans do when a series they love ends, begged for them to go again one more time and thus we have been blessed with Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears, a film that knows it needs to be more impressive than the TV series was but somehow fails to find its footing.

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Brahms: The Boy II (2020) – Brahms Dull-uh-bye!

Released: 20th February
Seen: 25th February

Brahms: The Boy 2 Info

So, most paints you buy at a hardware store are made up of four ingredients. The pigment is what gives it the colour and comes in several forms, such as organic and inorganic which work differently depending on where you’re using it and have different kinds of colour. There’s also extender pigments which include things like clay, silica, diatomaceous silica and zinc oxide to name a few. After pigments, there are binders which basically is what holds everything together (hence the term binder, it’s very self-explanatory in that way) and the binder is what gives pain it’s gloss retention, makes it washable and helps with fade resistance. There’s a lot of binder types, like latex and water and oil so that’s probably what gives them their names, I’m not a paint expert. After that there are solvents, basically the thing that makes paint into a liquid so it’s usable. Lastly, there are additives, things that change the viscosity of the paint or keeps it from separating. Now you know this, it might help you understand why it takes so very long for paint to dry. Hell, go out, buy a 5 dollar tin of paint (I suggest a nice hickory brown) and a large piece of wall and just paint a single line so the paint can drip down as it dries. Congratulations, I just offered you a cheaper and more exciting experience than Brahms: The Boy 2.

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Black Christmas (2019) – Coal In My Stocking

Released: 13th December
Seen: 14th December

When we look back at the history of the horror genre and specifically the modern American slasher film we end up having a few early films that could claim ownership of being the first of that subgenre. Black Christmas, a 1974 film by director Bob Clark, is regularly cited as one of the earliest slasher films and a major influence on everyone who followed. It was notable for having a cast of almost all women and for never showing the face of the killer, known only as ‘Billy’. While it was only a modest box office success at the time it’s gone on to get the accolades it deserves for its genuinely groundbreaking narrative and aesthetic… and then someone remade it in 2006, sucked out every bit of subtlety and intelligence from the film and made something that’s almost emblematic of what not to do with a slasher movie remake. So naturally, when another remake of Black Christmas was announced, people were sceptical… and then they announced it would include lots of feminism and the people on the internet who like to claim they know about horror movies but clearly never saw the original Black Christmas lost their freaking minds for all the wrong reasons when they should’ve waited to see the film and lose their minds because it’s just not that good.

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Knives Out (2019) – It Murdered Me

Released: 28th November
Seen: 23rd November (Advance Screening)

One of my favourite films of all time is the immortal Clue, the camp murder mystery based on the board game of the same name… in the states, in Australia it was named Cluedo for reasons I don’t understand. Everything about it makes me so happy from its quotable dialogue to the crazy camp characters to the luscious set that just begs you to enjoy every element of it. The film is a cult classic but it contains one massive flaw… no way in hell could you actually solve that thing. It has three different endings and all of them rely on information the audience never gets until the moment Wadsworth starts running around and telling everyone who did it. For years I was waiting for a movie to come around with great dialogue, crazy fun characters and a murder mystery that actually feels solvable as the plot comes out… and Rian Johnson clearly heard my plea because he made that exact film and I love it so much.

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Cut (2000) – A Little Dull

A few months ago I talked about a movie called Porno, a comedy movie about a cursed porno film that summons a demon when played. It’s a brilliant idea that was just not quite done right so naturally I wanted to see if someone had done a serious version of this idea and it turns out that back in 2000, someone did the “Character from a film comes to life to kill people” idea in a little Australian slasher film called Cut. The film came out in 2000 and boasts an alarming 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, at the time barely making a half million at the Australian box office. This is partially due to bad marketing and just bad timing since a comedy slasher film in the year 2000 wasn’t exactly rare. This was also the point in the horror genre where we were up to the third Scream movie, self-aware horror had kind of been wrung dry and Cut got lost in the shuffle. It only just recently got re-released in a 4K restoration and that’s what I got to see so… does it get better with age? Not really, but I can appreciate its cheese a lot more.

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