Movies of the Weeks #30 #31 (2018)

I was out on a week with the guys, which generally leads to some dark experiences. We tried our luck with a bunch of horror movies and were mostly pleased by what we saw.

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Foreboding dominance

  • Revenge (2017): I’ve rarely seen an opening fifteen minutes as luscious as this. Shot with a lot of flair, at a great location and featuring a sensual lead, it set up the movie exceptionally well. Things get rough after this, before the movie asks of you to disconnect your brain and just take things as they come. Ultimately, the plot disappoints and the violence is borderline excessive, which is quite a shame. For a first film, however, this is not a bad effort from Coralie Fargeat. 7/10

Guess who’s coming to dinner

  • It Comes at Night (2017): Director Trey Shults impressed the awkwardness out of me with his previous movie, Krisha (2015). This one’s a different experience, as it looks at a post-apocalyptic world without telling us much about it. A highly contagious virus kills people, that’s all you need to know, because the gist of it is about how people treat each other when faced with their own survival. There are no good and bad guys, just two families trying to make the best out of a horrible situation. I would argue Shults doesn’t take things far enough to make a truly enticing movie, but the manner in which he defies convention and his attention to detail elevates It Comes at Night to a character drama. But no, it’s no horror movie and the title does it not favours. 7/10

Spanish Ouija

  • Verónica (2017): Another stylish horror for this crop – the closest to a horror movie of the lot – proves to be a let-down. I’m not a big fan of spiritualism and possession plots, which is part of the reason why I just couldn’t get behind Veronica. Add to that the fact that I don’t care much for young protagonists either, and it’s pretty clear my prejudices didn’t help at all in how I experienced the movie. It felt slow and uninspired, with the odd scare making an appearance – nothing like the kind of stuff you’d expect from the director of [REC]5/10

The zombie movie everyone has been craving for

  • Zombeavers (2014): If you love beavers and you want to be a zombie when you grow up, this is the right movie for you. A very camp, silly low-budget B-grade piece of filmmaking, Zombeavers proves to be a fun ride if you’ve got a group of like-minded connoisseurs around you. All you need is an appreciation for gore and nudity. Otherwise, it’s probably not something you should spend a lot of time on.  6/10

AKA a documentary on all things witchcraft in the 1630s

  • The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015): It’s funny how three of the six movies reviewed this week were by first-time directors. The VVitch was highly acclaimed on release and I would have to concur with the critics on this one. It’s not really a horror movie, as it is a historical movie embedded in folklore. Great acting and exceptional cinematography flesh out what is, essentially, a family drama. If you’ve ever wondered how one could have thought women were witches, you’ll get some meaty insight here, as the movie treads the line between the real and the supernatural. Pretty special, this. 8/10

Composite stories abound

  • Ghost Stories (2017): As opposed to The VVitch and Revenge, the directors behind Ghost Stories don’t have quite the same mature cinematic eye. Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman propose a plot-driven film, with Nyman playing the lead character, a Professor Goodman. A debunker of the supernatural, Goodman is faced with three cases that are said to be unsolvable. Whether you’ll like it or not depends on how much you care for Shyamalan-esque twists and turns. I didn’t really have fun with it, but it wasn’t a terrible story either. 6/10