Greta (2019) – Great

Released: 28th February
Seen: 3rd March

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One of my favourite films of all time is Fatal Attraction. The tale of a woman obsessing over a man who she has an affair with created one of the tensest motion pictures that I’ve ever experienced. It’s the film that I believe Glenn Close deserved an Oscar for and it’s a story archetype that I’ve grown interested in. Tales of obsession slowly turning into something terrifying will always get my attention, so when I heard that there was a new thriller out there that tried to handle the idea of obsession I was intrigued and hopeful that I might find something to join Fatal Attraction in my list of great thrillers and while Greta might not be as great as Fatal Attraction, it’s pretty damn awesome.

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Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – Déjà vu

Released: 14th February
Seen: 14th February

Happy Death Day 2U Info

In 2017, the year I started reviewing, I was unfortunate enough to be embroiled in a large amount of University work. Because of that, any movie that came out during October of that year was impossible for me to get out and watch. One of those movies was Happy Death Day, which I heard a fairly large amount about but didn’t get to watch until mid-January 2018 when it came out on DVD. Having seen it, let me state this clearly as I can… if I had seen that movie in 2017, it would’ve been on my Top 10 film list that year and probably on the upper end of that list. It is one of my favourite slasher films of all time, it’s deceptively simple concept (Groundhog Day, but it’s a slasher!) and the charming performance by its lead actress created an engaging horror comedy with several moments of brilliance and pulled off one of the hardest things you can do as a modern slasher movie… be PG-13 rated and not suck! So when I heard there was a sequel planned I was pumped, I was eager to see how they would follow this idea with another film and honestly, it’s pretty good.

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Escape Room (2019) – Get Me Out Of Here

Released: 7th February
Seen: 4th February (Advanced Screening)

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In 1997 there was a film released called Cube, a glorious little horror film about six strangers waking up in a cube that turned out to be part of a gigantic maze. During the 90’s horror resurgence this was one of the big markers of change, showing you could basically create a tense powerful horror film that relied on people being intelligent instead of just being the dumb jock and the virgin girl. They also dealt with things like suspicion, doubt and the general fear that comes from not knowing which room is going to carve you up into tiny pieces like a box-shaped blender, creating a sense of tension that built every time they would enter a new room and find a new math puzzle. That’s right, it’s a horror film and everyone tries to save themselves with complicated mathematics. It’s a genuinely brilliant thrill ride and I highly recommend it… because that’s basically what Escape Room is, except Escape Room wishes that it was as intelligent as Cube was.

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Glass (2019) – Shattered

Released: 17th January
Seen: 17th January

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In 2000, M. Night Shyamalan brought out the movie Unbreakable. Unbreakable was a movie that posed the question “What if superheroes were real people?” roughly 8 years before anyone had even contemplated the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it barely made its budget back domestically, the film is considered one of the best superhero films made and was made back when the name M. Night Shyamalan didn’t immediately elicit a groan from paying customers. Then in 2016, Split came out and was a huge success and basically rehabilitated M. Night’s image after a string of disasters. It also had a scene at the end of it that told the audience that Split and Unbreakable were in the same universe and it was only a matter of time before the main characters from both movies would have to meet… but did they have to meet in a place like this?

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Clyde Cooper (2018) – Oh Noir He Betta Don’t

Released: 22nd November 2018
Seen: 11th January 2019

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I’ve now been writing reviews for a little over the year and in that time I’ve had some interesting experiences when it comes to picking what to cover, like when I was just starting out and did a run at a film festival or covering a film I supported on Kickstarter, but I think my favorites have been when someone has messaged me asking me to do a review of a movie for them. This has only happened a few times, most notably when a friend of mine asked me to take part in a 70’s 80’s & 90’s review set and I reviewed the horror classic Friday the 13th. Well today we have another case of this happening. I received a message on my Facebook page asking me to review the movie Clyde Cooper, a film that I’d never heard of before but the trailer alone made my eyebrow go up out of curiosity. This is something I’m always happy to do, especially with films that are more on the indie side. If you know of any you think I might enjoy or that I might hate and want to enjoy my suffering, feel free to send me the name and a legal way to view it in Australia (Because, as I’ve mentioned on some of my end of year lists, Australia is dumb and bad when it comes to release schedules) and I’m happy to do it when I have a break from the mainstream release schedule and Netflix.

SO, is this film going to be one I enjoy or one that ends with me suffering?

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Summer Of 84 (2018) – Way WAY Before Nirvana

Released: 10th August
Seen: 28th November

Official Trailer for Summer of 84

One of the fascinating things about pop-culture, particularly the impact nostalgia plays on it, is something known as the 30-year cycle. To get a good explanation of this you need to look at Lindsay Ellis’ video essay Stranger Things, IT and the Upside Down of Nostalgia but basically, this cycle is why we’re seeing so many 80’s style content in pop culture recently. Not only is it why shows and movies like, well, Stranger Things and It are getting such buzz and are hitting something special in the audience, it also explains things like the stylistic choices of Thor: Ragnarok or the throwback nature of Mandy. The nature of the 30-year cycle lends itself really well to the horror genre, especially now since that 30-year cycle means we’re seeing echoes of one of the golden ages in horror. Summer of 84 capitalises on that and its echoes of a distant cinematic past are loud, vibrant and engaging.

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Bad Times At The El Royale (2018) – The Royale Without Cheese

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Released: 11th October
Seen: 12th October

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Right on the borderline between California and Nevada, there stands a hotel that’s perfectly divided between the two states. That hotel is called the El Royale and it has one heck of a bad history, a history that’s been meticulously recorded on orders from the Management. One particularly dreary night, a bunch of strangers walk into the hotel. Each one hiding a secret that they are unwilling to share with anyone, but the night is young and there is no telling just what secrets will be revealed at the El Royale tonight.

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