Every film we watch reviewed in 255 characters… or fewer!
Writes. Latest: 2019: East of England - a noir thriller.
Other books: Benches of Louth (2018); Juggernaut: a sequel to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (2017); Torc, (2016); The Prospect of This City (2015). Twitter: @eamonngriffin
A recently widowed woman starts to believe her house is haunted by her dead husband. Effective ghost story with some terrific scare moments and lingering unease. The payoff is a little tricksy, but this is well worth your focus nevertheless, not least for Rebecca Hall’s immaculate central performance.
Twin boys begin to suspect that their mother is not who she claims to be. Muted and perhaps over-respectful English-language remake of the 2014 Austrian original. The performances are uniformly good, mind, even if the reveals aren’t strong: Naomi Watts delivers another variant on her mum (or not…) under pressure specialism.
A meteorologist struggles with family and professional pressures as a freak weather event threatens Australia. Bargain basement though watchable cover version of the likes of The Day After Tomorrow: SciFi Channel / The Asylum production values, but this is no worse ultimately than the big-budget versions.
A detective crosses Europe on the trail of serial killers responsible for his daughter’s death. Tickbox post-Lecter thriller (from a James Patterson novel) held together by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and – initially – some strong moments. It collapses, though, under the weight of ho-hum twists and a throwaway ending.
A history of Black representation in US cinema, with a focus on the 1970s. An excellent and detailed chronological overview. Lots to think about here, and fresh light on relative obscurities offered. Clips and interviews galore. Recommended.
A high-stakes poker game among old friends gets out of hand. It’s messy (takes an age to get going) and both sweaty but not quite sleazy enough. At 80 minutes plus credits, it’s only just a movie too. There’s a solid half hour in the middle though: Benedict Hardie is especially fun.
A year after Lost Bullet, Lino has a chance to get justice for the deaths of his mentor and brother. Amped-up sequel delivering as before in close combat, chases, reversals, and vehicular mayhem. A slightly lighter touch this time: sterling genre (SF and western touches in the mix) entertainment all the same.
1921 London: a debunker of fake mediums is asked to investigate a haunting at a boys’ school. Autumnal and good-looking psychological thriller: it takes a hard left turn late on that requires a huge leap of faith, but there’s plenty in the first hour especially to please subgenre fans. No relation to the 1980 flick of the same name.
After experiments backfire, a scientist develops vampiric abilities. Ho-hum second-tier Marvel adaptation, halfway between Blade and Venom, and much less fun than either. A decent cast struggles to make much of the material, which is standard antihero origin story stuff.
A murder occurs during a performance of The Mousetrap: an investigation begins. Ever-so-slightly pleased with itself mashup of allsorts – The Real Inspector Hound, Noises Off, Agatha Christie, even a Brian de Palma moment or two – that’s nevertheless brisk, funny, well-played, and looks great.