The Forever Purge (2021) – So Close

Released: 22nd July
Seen: 18th October

The Forever Image Info

The Purge franchise might be one of the most overtly political horror franchises in recent years, which is saying a lot considering how political the Horror genre can get. Pretty much since the second movie, the franchise has been a metaphor for classism, racism and the way fascism can spread fast through a population which has even the hint of a suggestion that such behaviour is allowed. It’s always been a little controversial and very blunt, but usually, it can make for a half-decent time… The Forever Purge certainly has some political ideas that resonate today, just doesn’t really go all-in on them and that makes for a frustrating watch.

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There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021) – Nobody Home

Released: 6th October
Seen: 12th October

There's Someone Inside Your House Info

The slasher genre seems to be enjoying another big resurgence lately. With the monster hit Halloween, the upcoming Halloween Kills and the Scream reboot (along with Candyman, The Fear Street franchise, Wrong Turn and Spiral to name a few) all getting a ton of attention it seems as though everyone wants to revive the darling of 80s horror that was the slasher movie. The trick with slasher movies is you need to have a good villain to work with, an interesting array of victims and hopefully a lot of creative gore to excite the fanbase… There’s Someone Inside Your House certainly has some of those and an interesting idea, but that’s about it.

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Bad Girls (2021) – Talking About Bad Girls

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

The gloriously unsubtle is basically the bread and butter of the Sydney Underground Film Festival (which, by the time you read this, will possibly be finished for the year). Every time I’ve gone to see what they’re showing, most of their films are some level of bonkers, no ifs ands or buts. Well, it looks like someone’s stealing the show and decided to be the most bonkers thing around… ok second most bonkers, you can’t top Ninja Badass.

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Let Him Go (2021) – Can’t Hold Back Anymore

Released: 4th February
Seen: 29th August

Let Him Go Info

Let Him Go follows elderly couple Margaret Blackledge (Diane Lane) and George Blackledge (Kevin Costner), proud parents to their son James (Ryan Bruce) who is married to a young woman named Lorna (Kayli Carter). James and Lorna have their own son, little Jimmy, and things seem to be going well for this little family until one day when James falls from his horse and breaks his neck. 

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The Courier (2021) – It Absolutely Delivers

Released: 1st April
Seen: 25th August

The Courier Info

In a recent review of the movie Six Minutes To Midnight I pointed out that there were so many war films, particularly about the two big ones that the whole world took part in, that we had hit a point where it was hard to imagine someone doing something new with the genre. It’s grown stale, there is no real new story to tell and to back me up on this we have The Courier, a film that feels like it should bore me with its familiarity… but surprise, this one is actually good enough to work despite its recognizable tone.

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Six Minutes To Midnight (2021) – Too Slow

Released: 4th March
Seen: 23rd August

The “story about a small event that happened during one of the world wars” film is something that seems to come about yearly, either a film set during one of the wars that uses the horrific events as a backdrop for something else (such as the 2019 film The Aftermath) or actually telling a story that happened during either war (such as the 2020 film 1917). At this point it feels like we’ve been told every possible story about these two wars and yet they keep on making them for no perceivable reason other than an enjoyment of using the grimy filter that probably came with the cameras when they bought them… it certainly can’t be because there’s an interesting story worth telling because I just sat through Six Minutes To Midnight and it definitely didn’t have one of those.

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Infinite (2021) – Endless Boredom

Released: 11th August
Seen: 16th August

Infinite Info

Little behind the scenes info here, I normally only watch films once before reviewing them. Streamed, in cinema, copy I have on DVD, one viewing and then start work on the review. Why? Well, a few reasons. The main reason being time, I do not get paid to do this and don’t have extra time for multiple viewings. The second reason being cost, this is especially true with films I see in a cinema (you know, that thing I haven’t been inside of for 7 weeks because my state decided to be run by idiots who can’t seem to get other idiots to stay inside their idiot homes so we can stop the spread of a deadly plague!). 

In general I just don’t feel the need to, one viewing tends to give me a pretty solid opinion and when my opinions change it isn’t due to subsequent viewings but just due to having more time to think about the film… this is to say that I had to watch Infinite twice, not due to lack of understanding but because it actually bored me to sleep on the first go round and almost took me out on the second viewing. 

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Voyagers (2021) – Lord of the Tries Too Hard

Released: 8th April
Seen: 16th August

In 1954, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies was released and quickly became a cultural phenomenon that would become so well known that the title of the book is able to describe almost any group of people devolving into a mass of internal conflict and violence. You may also be aware of the multiple movies that’ve been adapted from it or, possibly more likely, the Simpsons version of it in the episode Das Bus (Season 9, so back when the show was universally considered “Good”). It’s a classic story that lends itself well to adaptation provided you have a charismatic young cast and can do something interesting to the material that’s been adapted multiple times… and here we find the issues that plague Voyagers.

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Hostage House (2021) – Hell House

Released: 27th July
Seen: 29th July

Hostage House Info

Film releases sometimes happen in little patterns. A certain period of the year is usually for the big blockbusters, another period tends to be for the prestige films trying to get an Oscar, other periods are known as dumping grounds go. Well I’m noticing a new pattern forming, it seems like this point every year is when Netflix seems to release a particularly pathetic wannabe TV movie thriller. First was Secret Obsession, then Dangerous Lies and now we have the utter excrement that is Hostage House, a movie I wouldn’t even program at 3am on the cheapest network you could contemplate.

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Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) – Almost Totally Badass

Released: 15th July
Seen: 28th July

Normally I start these things with a little fun thing that will provide some context for the review, either on why the film exists or on a bit about the genre or even just a bit about my relationship to the material in order to try and paint a broader picture. Today, just a little mild housekeeping before I talk about Gunpowder Milkshake. My home state of NSW has been in lockdown thanks to covid for the last month, which is why I’ve had the time to basically do one of these every day and why you might’ve spotted I missed out on some recent releases like Space Jam 2, Fast & Furious 9 and Escape Room 2. Well, that lockdown’s been extended throughout August so I’m gonna miss a bunch of those releases too, which is particularly annoying cos I know some of the big ones are gonna be on HBONow and I can’t access that (I think) so please just keep my home state in your thoughts, hopefully we can get things on track and return to normal… anyway, let’s talk about a film that only released in cinemas down here but was also on Netflix in the US so was therefore relatively easy to access.

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