Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: David Kajganich (Screenplay) Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (Characters)

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Sylvie Testud, Jessica Harper, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lutz Ebersdorf

 

Plot: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.


Tagline – Pain cleanses all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing & Chilling

 

Story: Suspiria starts with Patricia (Moretz) going into hiding from her dancing company, turning to Dr Josef Klemperer (Swinton), this leaves a space in the program which American Susie Bannion (Johnson) gets given the chance to take in Berlin. Susie impresses the artistic director Madame Blanc (Swinton) and it isn’t long before she gets to learn about the most popular dance.

Susie soon gets given the lead in the dance, the one Madame Blanc has spent years perfecting, only she gets to see the darker side of the company which has the ability to consumer the dancers.

 

Thoughts on Suspiria

 

Characters – Susie is the American given the chance to perform in the biggest dance company in Berlin, one with a huge reputation for being one of the best and strongest in the business, it doesn’t take her long to impress as she becomes the lead in the performance, she is left to wonder at what cost though. Madame Blanc is the director of the show, she knows talent and knows how to get the bet out of the talent, while disposing of the unwanted talent. She is a strict perfectionist, that will get the moment she needs for the show. Sara is the member of the dance academy that is friends with the one that vanishes, while being the friend that guides Susie through the welcoming, she learns more about the truth behind the plans. Dr Josef Klemperer is one Patricia turns to for help, he stats to learn more about the dance company while dealing with her own loss from the world. Patricia is the one that goes missing and opens up the space for Susie to take, she has become paranoid about what is going on, which will force Sara into investigating in more detail.

PerformancesDakota Johnson steps away from the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise with ease here, bringing new life to her career, which is much needed, she shows us here that she is going to be one of the top stars for years to come. Mia Goth continues to show us why she is picked for the roles that never seem normal, while Chloe Grace Moretz steps away from her younger roles with a much more mature role. It is Tilda Swinton that shows her true talent with her roles in the film, the dance director is an easy one for her, while the male doctor shows us just how talented she truly is.

StoryThe story follows a young American that joins a famous dance company only for the company to have a much darker side which the dancers are becoming consumed by. This is a remake and as I have never seen the original, I don’t know how similar the story is, which is fine, because it may have a couple of nods to the original and casting choice including original cast members, the story focuses on just what could be going on within the dance company and how it operates. We learn early on what they are up to and just how shocking it is and for the most part we are left wondering just what is going on with the main performer.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy side of the film goes hand in hand with the horror of just what is going on, it is a very dark world and the mystery of just how we get there is what will drive the audience to enjoy.

SettingsThe film is set in Berlin, this shows us that the world is still affecting the people around the city and how strong this dance company had become.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are shocking in their realism which will disturb and shock through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long film for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest horror films from a year which was filled with the horrors that fit that quota. It does feel very long which will turn away audiences, but the committed horrors fans will enjoy what they see.

 

Overall: Crazy, disturbing and one you won’t forget.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 2 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth

 

Plot: The continuation of Joe’s sexually dictated life delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman’s care.


Tagline – Forget About Love

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker, but Not Interesting

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 2 starts where the last film finished as Joe (Gainsbourg telling the story, Martin acting the story) is feeling lifeless when it comes to sex and even after having a child with Jerome (LaBeouf) the two start to become distant in their relationship as Joe still requires her sexual times. Now we are watching the older Joe only as she gets involved with risky sexual experiences.

When her body starts to struggle with the sex in her life, she starts going through treatment for her sex addiction and what she goes through next shows just how addiction can take over the lives of people.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 2

 

Characters – Joe continues her story in this one we look at her taking on more extreme sexual encounters as she does continue to take on daily encounters to satisfy her lust. We see the affects on her body as she grows to the middle aged woman. The rest of the characters we meet don’t get enough screen time, Jerome is here only to try to take Joe’ child away. Seligman does have a bigger secret about him.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg does take the centre stage this time around going through the sexual encounters, she does commit to the performance. We have new actors joining this film and they do a good enough job when given the time.

StoryThe next chapter of the stories of Nymphomaniac Joe, this does show her going into extremer formers of sexual pleasure which has cost her child, but found her a career she could never have imagined, one which lets her use her sexual desires. The thing with the story here, is that you do need to have seen the first film to have any idea what is going on, while most two part movies you can miss or get recap this offers us nothing to help.

SettingsThe settings continued to show us just where Joe finds herself through her different encounters, none become the most important to the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The new job for Joe.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It’s just unrealistic conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is the second half of a film, that if you don’t make it through the first one, you will not enjoy the second, this might be darker, but it just isn’t enjoyable enough to sit through.

 

Overall: Still difficult to watch.

Rating

 

 

The Secret of Marrowbone (2018)

Director: Sergio G Sanchez

Writer: Sergio G Sanchez (Screenplay)

Starring: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth, Matthew Stagg, Nicola Harrison, Kyle Soller

 

Plot: A young man and his three younger siblings, who have kept secret the death of their beloved mother in order to remain together, are plagued by a sinister presence in the sprawling manor in which they live.


Tagline – No One Will Ever Separate Us

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Shot Horror Mystery

 

Story: Marrowbone starts as we meet the newly named Marrowbones, Mother (Harrison) and siblings Jack (MacKay), Billy (Heaton), Jane (Goth) and Sam (Stagg), they have escaped from England on the run from their father, they set up a home in the country away from anyone and look to stay in hiding.

When mother dies, Jack must take responsibility for the family, keeping them safe until he is 21, where he can now become the guardian, but things take a turn when an unexpected guest changes everything they want to keep secret.

 

Thoughts on Marrowbone

 

Characters – Jack is the eldest sibling, he will become the guardian to the rest once he hits 21, he does the jobs to keep food on their table, saving face about his mother and does everything he can to protect his siblings. Allie is the girl next door literally, she becomes friends with the family, but when Jack tells her mother is sick, she must stay away and the two keep their relationship secret from the rest of the town, she is very well educated for the time the film is set 1969 (we see the moon landing on a television) and she could leave the small town and achieve greatness. Billy is the hot-headed of the siblings, he will get the dirty work done, but is also get tired of being trapped in the home. Jane is the sister and does the general cleaning jobs around the house, she will also be Sam’s mother if anyone asked. Sam is the youngest of the siblings, bubbling bursting to enjoy his young life, everything is an adventure to him, but we learn early on he can mis-read shapes to be ghosts. Porter is the town’s lawyer that does have a crush on Allie, he works for the Marrowbone’s and starts getting nosier than he should have.

PerformancesThis movie has an impressive cast of young actors that are making names for themselves. George MacKay is the standout here, he shows incredible range and could easily have given one of the best male performances in horror this year. Anya Taylor-Joy continues to impress, while this character is more withdrawn from the horror side of things, she keeps us interested in her every action. Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth and Matthew Stagg complete the siblings list and each is great, when Stagg’s character is upset, you do complete feel with him too.

StoryTh story is one of the most interesting and fascinating ones to be watching this year, in the opening 5 or 10 minutes we learn where the characters have come from, what they are hiding from and just how much will change in a moment, all this before the title appears. We see how things unfold and how the secret needs to be kept, though nothing will prepare you for the direction this movie will end up going in. I just don’t want to get into any true details of this film, if loved the set up and you will spend the rest of the film trying to unravel the events of the opening sequence.

Horror/MysteryThis brings be to my only negative for the film, though it is surrounding in a positive, the horror in the film, while set up nicely is mostly predictable, though most of the horror in the early part of the film does try to get explained away as seen in the trailer, as a way to protect young Sam. The mystery is what we have come to see now, we are left guessing through nearly every scene and by the end, you will feel like you didn’t want to solve this mystery.

SettingsThe film puts our family in a remote mansion by the beach outside of a small town, we learn why they are off the grid and this gives us some of the most beautiful countryside shots you will see in a horror film.


Scene of the Movie –
Reading the Story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One part feels slightly off, but it is spoiler heavy so won’t mention it.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to horror films people will want different things, if you want blood and gore, this won’t work for you, if you want a beautiful story that has a horrific side to it, this one will be for you.

 

Overall: The most wonderfully shot horror of the year.

Rating

 

 

The Survivalist (2015)

survDirector: Stephen Fingleton

Writer: Stephen Fingleton (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Goth, Martin McCann, Barry Ward, Andrew Simpson, Olwen Fouere, Kieri Kennedy

 

Plot: In a time of starvation, a survivalist lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest. When two women seeking food and shelter discover his farm, he finds his existence threatened.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Driven Drama

 

Story: The Survivalist starts as we follow our lone survivalist (McCann) who after the world is suffering from a great starvation has built himself a small garden off the grid to live in. when his peace and quiet is shattered by Kathryn (Fouere) and her daughter Milja (Goth) they enter his life in search of food, offering him sex in return.

After an incident, the survivalist becomes injured and the women decide to stick around but with the food only designed to feed one we are left building the suspense to what might happen when it runs out or when they get discovered by others.

 

Thoughts on The Survivalist

 

StoryThe story is very simple, the world has come to the near end and our one survivalist just wants to survive alone but when other people turn up he gets a glimpse into a new happiness that will ultimately be his downfall. It is all slow moving but you do just want to see what happens next throughout which is a huge plus for the film.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of the film comes from the end of the world and you are left just wanting to know what will happen next from the opening scene till the final moments.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all good all very much driven just to survive and always planning against the others to make sure they can. The performances of the three leads are all great because you are left hanging on their every word and action.

SettingsThe settings are all based within the woods showing how far away from the world out character wants to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is one tense thriller that will keep you on edge until the final outcome.

 

Overall: Thriller that is well worth watching for all the thriller fans out there.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski (Story)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie

 

Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa’s treatments are not what they seem.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extended Mystery Horror Thriller

 

Story: A Cure for Wellness starts young executive Lockhart (DeHaan) is sent to a remote wellness centre in Switzerland to bring the CEO Pembroke (Groener) back to help close a merge in New York. After being involved in a car accident Lockhart finds himself with a broken leg and now a patient of the Wellness Program.

Still searching for Pembroke, Lockhart makes a deal with the director Volmer (Issacs) to stay for a couple of days to finish up the treatment for Pembroke. In this time Lockhart meets a mysterious young woman Hannah (Goth) the only other young patient who he tries to unlock the secrets of the program, which will test his own sanity.

 

Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness

 

Characters/PerformanceLockhart is the driven ambitious young man who has nearly reach the peak of his career at such a young age, he is haunted by his past which does include his father’s suicide and his mother’s death, this leaves him alone but in search for answers once he becomes the latest patient in the program. Volmer is the director of the clinic, he constantly remains calm through any incidents that occur and does have his own motives for the clinic. Hannah is the mysterious young woman also in the clinic, she is the only young patient there and she is Volmer’s main project but we are left to wonder about her past.

Performance wise, Dane DeHaan is good in this leading role and you can clearly see why he is tipped for a great career. Jason Isaacs always makes for a good doctor figure and this is no exception, while Mia Goth continues to make a name for herself in these stranger roles.

StoryThe story is filled with questions which always makes for a good story, I will have to point out that this is a long film nearing the 2 and half hour’s mark and even at that you can see how the pace can be questioned but it doesn’t feel long. We get a new look into the asylum genre which I feel is something we needed but the weakness is that we never hit the full levels of any of the genres involved.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy elements of this film come from the world we are placed into, this also comes for the sci-fi side of everything too. The horror comes from see what happens within the walls which is quite shocking at times but the best use of the genres comes from the mystery element which keeps us guessing from start to finish as we simply don’t know where it will go.

SettingsWith most of the film taking place in the clinic we find ourselves trapped just like Lockhart in a place which doesn’t have an escape because being there means you don’t want to leave.

Final ThoughtsThis is one long mystery thriller that doesn’t stop you wanting to see where the film will go and then it will leave you shocked by the end.

 

Overall: A rewarding mystery thriller

Rating