Or, Jack Ryan v. bits of the IRA. Awkwardly-conceived thriller which tries to have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists (this was pre-9/11; the IRA tended to be romanticised in US popculture). Some decent set-pieces, and a picture-postcard view of the UK.
Month: August 2017
King Cohen (2017, dir. Steve Mitchell)
Documentary offering a career retrospective of writer/director Larry Cohen. And an utterly splendid thing it is too; Cohen is engaging and forthright, and a blend of clips, archive footage, and interviews underlines Cohen’s significance to genre. Well worth your time.
Leatherface (2017, dir. Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo)
An origin story, tenuously linked to Chainsaw 3D. And not a very good one. Clumsy scripting, awkward directorial choices, continuity errors, and an inconsistent tone mar this prequel. Veterans Dorff and Taylor do what they can to add a little class.
Radius (2017, dir. Caroline Labreche & Steeve Leonard)
A man with memory loss finds that anything that comes close to him dies. A splendidly Stephen King-ish premise is generally effectively handled in this modest and character-focused flick, though unnecessary relationship twists takes it into awkward territory.
Sequence Break (2017, dir. Graham Skipper)
A shy video game repair shop worker finds a strange circuit board containing a mesmerising new game. A homage to Cronenberg/Tsukamoto-ish body horror which doesn’t quite know what do do with its premise, and so goes the freakout route.
Freehold (2017, dir. Dominic Bridges)
An estate agent’s flat has a secret lodger, who shifts from a subsistence existence to a campaign of psychological warfare. The first hour is great, but the lack of an ending and a clunky coda undermine some of the movie’s earlier successes. Worth watching tho.
Snatched (2017, Dir. Jonathan Levine)
Confusing, incoherent mess of a film. Occasional one liners from Schumer playing to an expression-disabled Hawn who seems uncomfortable throughout while trying to navigate a weird kidnap plot. Schumer is funnier than this. 😡
Death Note (2017, dir. Adam Wingard)
A teenager finds a notebook with the power to compel a death-demon. Manga/J-horror Americanisation; effective if you go with its dream-logic (the Phantasm movies get a shout-out as a clue), with some good performances and strong direction from Wingard.
Cult of Chucky (2017, dir. Don Mancini)
7th(!) in the franchise finds adult Andy obsessed with killing Chucky, while Nina is in a psychiatric institution where inmates start dying. A superior series entry which makes few concessions for newcomers, but has much fun with asylum-set tropes and some decent production values.
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016, dir. Mike Flanagan)
A fake medium find her daughter channeling real spirits. Much-improved 60s-set prequel to the 2014 original Ouija, with some lovely period detail and a sense of attention to the genre. No real surprises or outright horror, but a decentjob well done.
Want another 255Review opinion? Here’s Xussia on the movie.