The Lie (2020) – Pants On Fire

Released: 6th October
Seen: 17th October

The Lie Info

One of the many repeated tropes of horror that has worked time and time again is “Someone does a murder, they or someone who loves them helps them lie to cover it up, the secret comes back to haunt them in the end”. This simple concept has led to literary classics like The Tell-Tale Heart, to cinematic classics like Rope and even been used in fun 90s slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer. When done right, it’s a setup that creates tension right off the bat and the way the characters react to the knowledge of what they’ve done (or how what they’ve done turns them into the ultimate victims) creates the emotional core of the story… when done wrong you get The Lie.

Continue reading “The Lie (2020) – Pants On Fire”

Antebellum (2020) – The Horror Of The Past

Released: 1st October
Seen: 7th October

Antebellum Info

In my review of Vampires vs The Bronx I opened with a lengthy paragraph about how great Horror is when it’s used as a metaphor for some kind of social issue. Race is one that pops up a lot in horror, the genre has always been a useful way to put that issue into ways that can be understood by all. If you would like to know more about the history of race in horror cinema I suggest you go watch Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror which is easy to find, Shudder put it up for free and I’m linking you to it so go and learn. Go and learn so then you can come back here and sit with me as I try to understand why Antebellum just didn’t work for me as much as it could’ve.

Continue reading “Antebellum (2020) – The Horror Of The Past”

The Boys in the Band (2020) – The Band Plays On

Released: 30th September
Seen: 1st October

The Boys In The Band Info

In 1968 the groundbreaking play The Boys in The Band premiered off-Broadway. Written by the late Mart Crowley (who passed away in March of this year), the play revolves around a group of gay friends coming together for a birthday party which slowly turns into a chaotic night of revelations, bitchiness and a lot of self-loathing. It’s one of the first plays that showed gay men as actual characters with love lives and personalities, it’s so ahead of the curve that it premiered roughly a year before Stonewall putting it right at the start of the gay liberation movement. The 1968 play would later be adapted into a feature length film in 1970. 50 years after the off=Broadway play premiered, in 2018 it was revived on Broadway and now here we are, 2 years later and we have a new film adaptation and it’s just wonderful.

Continue reading “The Boys in the Band (2020) – The Band Plays On”

The High Note (2020) – A Little Flat, But OK

Released: 24th September
Seen: 30th September

The High Note Info

So, we’re approaching the final quarter of the year. The home stretch. The time when the fat lady starts warming up so she can hit the high note. The point when everyone should have started working on the “Good Fucking Riddance 2020” banners that we will all be hanging up because this year has been, to quote Jake Tapper, a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. This has definitely been reflected in what has been available at the cinema. 

Continue reading “The High Note (2020) – A Little Flat, But OK”

Enola Holmes (2020) – Elementary School, My Dear Watson

Released: 23rd September
Seen: 27th September

Enola Holmes Info

December 26, 2018. A date that will live in infamy. This is the date when Holmes & Watson was released and, despite the year being almost completely finished, made a case to be called one of the worst movies of the year (a case it won, easily, since it made it on my list with 5 days to go!). It was truly a ghastly nightmare but as since then it looks like it may have done something even more sinister… it may have killed the Sherlock Holmes brand! 

Continue reading “Enola Holmes (2020) – Elementary School, My Dear Watson”

Feel The Beat (2020) – The Beat Feels Familiar

Released: 19th June
Seen: 23rd September

Feel The Beat Info

Not long ago, I reviewed the Netflix original film Work It which was about a young girl trying to put together a dance troupe in order to get into college. Dance films are a very rare breed because they tend to require actors who can pull off the vastly different skills of acting and dancing. The problem with dance films is that it takes something kind of special to break out into the mainstream, films like Dirty Dancing, Hairspray and Step Up managed to infuse dancing with a plot that people latched onto and have kept in the cultural landscape for years… something tells me Feel the Beat isn’t going to be one of those movies, but it’s fine.

Continue reading “Feel The Beat (2020) – The Beat Feels Familiar”

The Devil All the Time (2020) – The Devil Went Down To Ohio

Released: 11th September
Seen: 18th September

The Devil All the Time Info

In 2011, the novel The Devil All the Time was released and was instantly showered with awards and praise. Written by Donald Ray Pollock as a follow up to his book Knockemstiff, it was a big enough hit that, inevitably, the rights to the book were bought and a film adaptation was announced way back in 2018. Well, now we are here two years later and what did they make? They made… a film. A film with two great performances that is a film, it’s not much more than that.

Continue reading “The Devil All the Time (2020) – The Devil Went Down To Ohio”

Becky (2020) – Oh My God

Released: 10th September
Seen: 15th September

Home invasion movies are a staple of many genres, have been for years but I think we can all agree that they really hit their pinnacle with a little comedy film called Home Alone (sidebar, you know there’s 4 sequels to that movie? AND a reboot that was filming until *gestures at the apocalypse*) that showed us the fun side of what would happen if a pair of criminals broke into the house of a kid who just discovered who Rube Goldberg was. Of course this idea is a big staple of the Horror genre, films like Hush and You’re Next pit a home invader against an intelligent home owner who will defend themselves to the death… and now someone has gone “OK, let’s take the young kid from Home Alone and blend him with the badass women from Hush and You’re Next” and turns out you can get something kind of interesting out of that.

Continue reading “Becky (2020) – Oh My God”

After We Collided (2020) – Complete Car Crash

Released: 10th September
Seen: 11th September

After We Collided Info

2019 brought the hit series After to cinemas and… it was awful. A bland flavourless movie that only exists because the One Direction fanfiction it’s based on did well online. It made about $12 million on a $14 million budget and in a fair world that would mean the series died there… of course, that’s just the domestic total. Worldwide, After made (I swear I’m not joking here) $69 million and therefore it was going to get a sequel. Now, the first film was spectacularly bland so surely the second film is going to be just as bland right? Right?

…So, this is somehow less original than 50 Shades of Grey and a lot less interesting. 

Continue reading “After We Collided (2020) – Complete Car Crash”

Just Mercy (2020) – Mercy Mercy Me

Released: 23rd January
Seen: 6th September

Just Mercy Info

Racial injustice is a topic that never ever makes anything controversial or hard to talk about. Never, I never ever go “oh how do I open this review” when I watch any film about racial justice because surely it is a non-controversial topic that I can never say anything wrong about, right? Of course not, that’s impossible but yes today I’m reviewing a movie, specifically Just Mercy, that does that thing where it tries to remind people “Hey, the justice system as it currently exists has a horrific problem regarding race that disproportionately affects people of colour and it would be great if someone would do something about that” because apparently that’s a thing we still need to be reminded of in the year 2020 because some mouthbreathers don’t seem to realise that there’s this big horrific problem so maybe they’ll pay attention if they hear it from Jamie Foxx, Michael B Jordan and Brie Larson in a legal drama… and a really good legal drama, like one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

Continue reading “Just Mercy (2020) – Mercy Mercy Me”