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Unsane (2018)

unsane-movie-review-2018-posterDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Main Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Zach Cherry, Polly McKie, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Plot: Sawyer is struggling to cope with being the victim of stalking, and visits a mental health centre to see a counsellor. She ends up being forced to stay there against her will, and what’s worse is her stalker is there too.

My Thoughts: I was gutted to have to wait for a home release for this one because I was so excited after seeing the trailer. This is my kind of movie! I love having a mystery to solve, and I was looking forward to finding out whether Sawyer was actually crazy or not, and whether her stalker was really there with her or if she was imagining it all.

There wasn’t as much mystery as I’d hoped as I found the answers out to the questions around the half-way point, but that didn’t matter so much because that’s when the movie turned into more of a thriller. I haven’t seen Claire Foy in anything else other than Wreckers (2011) but she looks so familiar – can anyone think of who I might be confusing her with? Anyway, I thought she was incredible, and I’ll be hunting down some of her other movies very soon.

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Best Bit: The padded room scene. That was all kinds of tense, and a bit gruesome too. I really liked the ending as well though in the diner…

Worst Bit: Finding out why exactly Sawyer was being held against her will. It’s logical (and corrupt) but just a tad boring. I was hoping there would be a different reason.

Fun Trivia: (This will be a few bits of trivia all mashed together because they’re related.) Unsane was shot entirely with an iPhone 7 Plus camera in 4K using the app FiLMiC Pro. It was shot in just 10 days and the budget was a mere $1.2 million, according to The Times.

My Rating: 3 and a half shivs handmade by that creepy girl in the bed next to yours.

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Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

A-Quiet-Place-movie-review-2018I know this isn’t a big deal for most people (or any people actually, other than my Mum) but can you believe I actually went to the cinema to see A Quiet Place? With my blogging buddy Jenna no less? Me, who only even started watching horror movies in recent years, and even then only at home in broad daylight, went to the cinema at nighttime to see A Quiet Place. If life were a video game, I just unlocked an achievement right there. It’s actually all my fellow bloggers’ fault for hyping this movie up so much and getting me excited.

Similar to last year’s Get Out (2017), this movie has been talked about so much now I think everyone knows the plot, but if not I’ll quickly recap it now, seeing as that’s what I do anyway! A Quiet Place is set in the very near future, where most of Earth’s population has been wiped out by an invasion of aliens who are totally blind but with an excellent sense of hearing. Because of this, Lee (John Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their children are forced to live in near-silence in order to survive.

Because of this, the majority of the movie is extremely quiet, if not silent, with very little or no soundtrack in the background. That alone ramps up the tension to near breaking point in the darkened cinema, so even though the jump scares are mostly such simple things, they scare the absolute pants off of you. Or me at least, anyway. Once you finally get settled and used to the lack of noise, something happens to set you on edge again. The pacing is really clever in that regard.

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Of course, it’s not a horror without someone doing something stupid. Guess what? Evelyn is pregnant. Lady, what on earth were you thinking?! I don’t care if you’ve already had 3 kids, you can’t give birth in silence and raise a baby that way. Could you not have taken some condoms from the supermarket?

All jokes aside though, A Quiet Place is a really, really good movie. It’s tense and scary enough to give you a real fright when you watch it, but for someone with an overactive imagination like me, it won’t give you nightmares afterwards. It’s the only time a horror hasn’t played on my mind actually, but I think that’s because the scare factor is making a sound, and back in reality I know that I’m okay to make noise, so I was quite happy. I’m odd, I know.

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Can we take a moment here to appreciate John Krasinski? Our adorable and hilarious Jim Halpert has only gone and directed and starred in what will probably be hailed as 2018’s greatest horror movie. Michael Scott would be proud.

If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed A Quiet Place. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to see it again anytime soon, but I can highly recommend it as a great horror movie for the wuss’s like me to go and see. I think I saw on Facebook earlier this week that it’s getting a sequel too – although I’m not sure how to feel about that. Anyway, 4 and a half toy rockets from me. Just take out the batteries, please.

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Review: Life (2017)

life-movie-poster-review-2017You know that saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’? Years I’ve been waiting for a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds together. Years! 2 of my ultimate favourite Hollywood hunks in 1 movie. I guess I imagined it would be some kind of romcom, preferably starring myself caught in a love triangle. Alas, it seems only half of my request was eventually heard, and although I got both stars together, it was for a Sci-Fi/Horror. Really, movie gods?!

What makes things even worse is that on paper, and in the trailer in fact, Life (2017) is nothing more than an Alien ripoff. You’ve got a spaceship, a solid crew, a mission to extract and protect a life form found on Mars. Hey presto, turns out the life form is dangerous and hostile! Now it’s a survival game. I sound bitter I know but here’s the shocker, Life is actually a pretty decent movie!

For a start, the crew are all extremely likeable, and they’re smart! Yes, you’ve got one who won’t stop harping on about protocols and rule-breaking, but when protocols are broken they’re for a logical reason, rather than a dumb reason for a jump scare. For a wuss like me, Life was a fairly scary movie, but that’s because this life-form (AKA Calvin) is so small and stealthy, and unpredictable. I’m glad I waited for a home release because some scenes are tense as hell.

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I’ll admit that at the halfway point my interest started to wane slightly. That might be because (highlight for spoiler) Ryan Reynolds got killed off in the first 30 minutes – perhaps I should have seen it coming, but it does drift into far too familiar territory after a while. Yes, Calvin is on the loose, no, we aren’t sure how the crew are going to survive, if they do at all, so just get on with the story so we can find out how it ends!

Life even had it’s emotional moments, mainly centered around a children’s book you may know quite well, Goodnight Moon. You can forget listening to Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories, try watching Jake Gyllenhaal read Goodnight Moon whilst stuck in the situation he’s in and not get misty eyes!

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Finally, and I’ll have to obscure this paragraph mostly for spoiler reasons, I can’t end this post without mentioning the ending. Should I have seen it coming? Maybe? I don’t know, but it caught me completely off guard! That moment when you realise who (and what) is in that capsule that landed in the sea straight up gave me the chills. I’d rather Life stay as a standalone movie but if it had a sequel, heck I’d probably go and see it.

For being surprisingly good as a totally unoriginal movie, Life gets 3 and a half copies of that darn children’s book I’m now never going to be able to buy for my own kiddo.

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Review: A Cure for Wellness (2017)

a-cure-for-wellness-movie-review-2017Some movies look really promising when you catch that first trailer, and then they fall off your radar. Some movies look like they’re definitely worth a watch, but when you see the runtime you feel put off. 5 months after it’s release in the UK, coming in at a whopper of 2 hours and 26 minutes, A Cure for Wellness hit both criteria for me! Thankfully, my Flick Chick Jenna came to stay over the weekend and recommend that we give it a go! It’s amazing how much easier a long movie is to watch when you can have several snack and chat pause breaks.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that A Cure for Wellness is a weird movie. Dane Dehaan plays an ambitious young executive known as Lockhart, sent by his company to retrieve their CEO from a mysterious wellness centre in the Swiss Alps. When he arrives, things seem a little…off. Although the residents are known as ‘guests’ free to leave whenever they wish, no one has actually ever left, and they all seem quite odd. In fact, you could almost say they look ill, which surely can’t be right?

Dane Dehaan has always reminded me of a young Leonardo DiCaprio for some reason, so with that in mind it was impossible to not try and compare this movie to Shutter Island. It has it’s similarities for sure, but they’re very different movies.

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Perhaps it was the dessert and the company, but I didn’t feel like this was a particularly long movie. There were definitely scenes that didn’t add much to the narrative of the story, but what they did provide was their ability to give you the creeps. There’s a mystery to solve here in the mountains, and the pieces of the puzzle are fed to us slowly in a way that helps us put it all together, but the atmosphere of it all leaves us wondering if we can trust our own judgement or not, which is exactly what’s happening to Lockhart.

Some scenes are difficult to watch, and one in particular (involving a dentists chair and a drill!) was impossible! We had to cover our ears, look away and make noises until it was all over. I peeked every now and again, and wished I didn’t.

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Is it the best mystery/thriller out there? No, and I feel like it might even be a bit of a love/hate kind of movie for most, but there was enough here to keep me interested and guessing as to how it might end. I think I had a much better experience watching it with someone – I don’t think I could have put up with it solo. Right at the very end we’re left with a very confusing scene which opens up a whole bunch of questions. My favourite thing about these kind of endings is that everyone will have their own take on it!

I was pleasantly surprised by The Cure for Wellness, and so it gets 4 out of 5 glasses of water (that you should absolutely NOT drink) from me.

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TV Rambles: Fargo Season 3

Aw geez, I’ve been looking forward to Season 3 of Fargo even more than Game of Thrones this year and I can’t believe it’s already over! Where did 10 weeks go? I deliberately stayed away from every bit of news as I could so everything would be a surprise. In fact, by the time Episode 1 aired, all I actually knew was that it starred Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

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I gotta say, the first half of Episode 1 didn’t get me at all. I loved the fact McGregor was playing both brothers, but I felt like so much information was being thrown at me with no links whatsoever. That all changed the second David Thewlis came onto screen. I had no idea he was even in this season and it took a full minute for my brain to register it was even him. What a character! It was a wild ride from that moment on.

Just like the previous seasons, this one is an entirely new story set in an entirely different year, but still linked to the bigger Fargo universe. Also joining the cast is Carrie Coon, a newbie to me, playing Gloria Burgle. Gloria is the former Chief of the local police department, and together with traffic cop Winnie Lopez (Olivia Sandoval) she is the force that just won’t quit when she knows to trust her instincts.

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I think Season 1 will always hold that key place in my heart as my favourite season, but this one is only just so slightly behind. The story was as brilliant as you can expect, but it was the characters this time round that really made it special. I’ve never seen David Thewlis play the bad guy, let alone a guy so disgusting in both a literal and metaphorical sense. Some of his scenes were honestly difficult to watch (though it may just be pregnancy nausea on my behalf) and so I have to give him a shout out for that.

Ewan McGregor also shone in both of his roles, managing to play the 2 Stussy brothers so well that it was easy to forget they’re played by the same person. I’m actually tempted to say he did a better job than Tom Hardy did in Legend!

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The real MVPs for me though were Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Carrie Coon. These ladies just steal every scene that they’re in, and they kick ass. Both of their characters go on such emotional journeys, and they’re just a pleasure to watch. I seriously hope these ladies land some big roles in the future, because they’re ones to watch for sure.

I won’t go into of course, but can I just mention that ending? Perfect. I love it and I hate it at the same time, because we’ll never know what happened after those 5 minutes. Arghhhh. Now I have a Fargo-shaped hole in my life. I really hope we get a Season 4 in the future!