From a young age, the horror genre has always stood out to me. It was the ultimate escape from reality and the pure adrenaline from being scared shitless was my go to for a good time. The more I got into film, I realized that a large part of why I enjoyed certain films came from whether or not I liked or could relate to the characters. I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) is quite literally why it’s one of my favorite movies. But the older I got and the more I began to understand who I was, I started to notice that I wasn’t necessarily seeing someone like me in horror. There was never the gay friend in a slasher movie, the queer kid who’s part of a family living in a haunted house, or even a gay couple in a home invasion, etc. Thankfully that’s finally changing.
To what extent does the past continue to dictate our future? Antebellum explores the relationship of slavery to the modern day, as main character Eden/Veronica (Janelle Monae) tries to navigate her life as a slave.
They say The Lord works in mysterious ways. He certainly does in Antonio Campos new Netflix film, The Devil All The Time. Based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock, the film explores the vengeful life stories of several god-fearing Americans as they try to come to terms with a higher power, but truly attempt to come to terms with themselves. It is a dark window into a society where evil can be justified in simple terms and good can be difficult to distinguish from its more aggressive opposite.
As a long time fan of both the Jurassic Park/World movies, I’ve been dying to see if they’d ever make a series and what exactly that’d look like. Well, they did and it was nowhere near what I pictured or hoped for; being that it was an animated children’s show. But just because it wasn’t what I’d hoped for, doesn’t mean I didn’t like.
I first heard of Luca Guadagnino with 2016’s A Bigger Splash, a film that has been on my radar but still sadly hasn’t seen (will fix soon). His next two films hit me like bricks – Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria (the remake is the superior version, and I will die on this hill). Since Call Me By Your Name, Luca’s name has been everywhere including a Lord of The Flies adaptation, and also the Scarface film that the Coen Bros wrote. On top of that, he also co-wrote and directed 8 episodes for HBO. I’ve seen four of the eight episodes, and I am absolutely head over heels for his latest project.
Romantic comedies aren’t always my cup of tea. Too often they follow the same idea or story and it feels like they are just the same. But once a year, a little gem appears and takes me by storm. Last year, to me, that was the Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron lead Long Shot. This year, I am pretty sure that it will be The Broken Hearts Gallery. Is it perfect? No, but it just had so much heart and was hilarious. There’s something when you find a film that you go in thinking it will nothing more than a nice little comedy that will take your mind off your life but it becomes more and all of a sudden you find yourself dying of laughter one second and the next you are crying like a baby. That was The Broken Hearts Gallery for me.
Road trip movies are fun because it allows the filmmakers to explore their characters in situations that often we don’t find ourselves in. But they need to have interesting characters and relationships but also a premise that can be sustained. Summerland had potential and the acting and relationships are enough to make it something more, the problem is that Summerland can’t hit all the marks it needs too. It finds itself muddled into a story that never finds it’s footing and, quietly frankly, becomes boring when it should be entertaining.
Sometimes just from a premise of a show, you just know something is for you. I usually navigate more towards comedy when it comes to television but sometimes a dramatic show will come and sweep me off my feet. Away comes from a team that I trust. Produced by Matt Reeves (Felicity, The Batman, Cloverfield) and Jason Katims (Roswell, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby), it had everything to succeed. My only concern was how one could sustain a drama set during a mission to Mars where most of the show would take place onboard a ship. Well, Away was capable of finding a way and make a show that maybe isn’t always on point but certainly shows it’s potential.
Horror-comedies, especially of the creature-feature variety, have become more and more common in recent years. Films like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and Jennifer’s Body have come along, setting a pretty high precedent for what these types of movies should be: funny, entertaining and filled to the brim with gore. But like all genres, you also have the lifeless duds that don’t provide more than a few chuckles and rely far too heavily on just being gross. Uncle Peckerhead, written and directed by Matthew John Lawrence, is an absurd little film that falls somewhere in between.
Charlie Kaufman is the person behind so many of my favourite films. After it came out in 2015, Anomalisa was my favourite film of that year. Not to mention the film that got him his Best Original Screenplay Oscar, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Or his debut film as a director, Synedoche, New York which kind of shatters me every single time I see it. So when I found out he was going to make a new feature film, it suddenly became one of my most anticipated films of the year.
I was so excited I even went out and read the book.