The Little Stranger (2018)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Writer: Lucinda Coxon (Screenplay) Sarah Waters (Novel)

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Ruth Wilson, Liv Hill, Charlotte Rampling, Oliver Zetterstrom, Kathryn O’Reilly

 

Plot: After a doctor is called to visit a crumbling manor, strange things begin to occur.


Tagline – These Delusions Are Contagious

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Like a Little Dull

 

Story: The Little Stranger starts when small village Doctor Faraday (Gleeson) treats a maid at a mansion that is often seen as the outsiders of the village, the Ayres, with the mother of the house (Rampling) and her children Caroline (Wilson) and the injured war hero Roderick (Poulter) filling the mansion.

Faraday decides to help Roderick with his injuries, while becoming closer to Caroline, Faraday starts getting memories of his time in the mansion as a child, before strange events start happening around the mansion, ones that a medical person couldn’t answer with ease.

 

Thoughts on The Little Stranger

 

Characters – Dr Faraday is a young doctor who takes a fondness of an outcasted family, he wants to help the injured brother, wants to save Caroline, while being left in the middle being able to help them or a potential supernatural presence in the house. Roderick is the injured war hero, he was left with a limp and burns to his face, which make him feel outcasted from the rest of the village and useless to his family, he is struggling with the mental side of everything too, leaving him to make rash decisions. Caroline is the daughter of the household, she is the one that they family has hope of seeing escape their impending poverty and becomes the ones that Faraday takes an interest in. she comes off unsure of what to make of her own future. Mrs Ayres is the mother of the house, she wants the best for her children and is still haunted by the one that she lost.

PerformancesI don’t think any of the performances in this film are bad, Domhnall Gleeson does everything he can in the leading role, as does Will Poulter in his supporting role, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling don’t disappoint with what they try to bring to the film, the problem with most of this film, comes from the characters be so bland and the story not going anywhere.

StoryThe story here follows a doctor getting close to a family that are seen as outcasts only to start to fall in love with one member of the family just as the strange events start to happen within the mansion. This is where the story just doesn’t get going, we are promised a horror element to this film which just never comes to life, which makes the story feel like more of a class position story. if that sounds confusing, well that doesn’t change from the story in full, because we have very little happening here and end up just shrugging our shoulders at the end, wondering if anything was actually meant to happen.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film does seem to be non-existent, where anything supernatural does seem to only be part of the mystery over anything else going on in the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in the mansion in a village in the English countryside, it shows how the family can be seen as outcasts and how people can look out at these types of buildings hoping to be part of this society.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are down the practical additions to Will Poulter, they look great, everything else just seems basic.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The aftermath of the dog attack.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that seems to hint at something big, only to end up feeling dull and uninspiring.

 

Overall: Just fails to deliver.

Rating

 

 

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Midsommar (2019)

Director: Ari Aster

Writer: Ari Aster (Screenplay)

Starring: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Liv Mjones, Anna Astrom, Julia Ragnarsson

 

Plot: A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Wicker Man on Acid

 

Story: Midsommar starts when young lady Dani (Pugh) has her family die suddenly, turning to the only person left in her life, her boyfriend Christian (Reynor) who has started to move away from their relationship. Christian and his friends Josh (Harper), Mark (Poulter) and Pelle (Blomgren) are planning a trip to Pelle’s home in Sweden for a special mid-summer festival.

Christian trying to do the right thing for Dani, invites her along, but it isn’t long before the festival turns into a cultural nightmare for the outsiders who have never seen the customs before.

 

Thoughts on Midsommar

 

Characters – Dani is a young lady that has suffered a heart-breaking tragedy in her life, leaving her along in the world, struggle to get over the loss of her family, she is unsure about her relationship with her boyfriend and agrees to go with him on the trip to Sweden. Dani is trying her best to get on with her life, which is seeing her have the good and bad days, while on the commune she starts to relax more in life. Christian is the student boyfriend of Dani, he is starting to question the relationship about to end it before the tragedy strikes, he invites her believing she won’t go, while also hoping to find out whether they should stay together. Josh is a student friend of Christian, who has been working on his paper on different cultures, he sees this event a major part of his studies, only he doesn’t seem to respect enough cultures. Mark is the comic relief, he wants to go to Sweden to meet women, he is quick to turn to drink or drugs, while always putting his foot in it.

PerformancesFlorence Pugh is the star of the show, she does show the grief required in her role, which shows us how hard to is finding life. Jack Reynor has finished turning his career around after Transformers, with one that must make people take him seriously now. Will Poulter will make you laugh with nearly everything he says, while William Jackson Harper will make you dislike his characters arrogance quickly.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman dealing with grief of losing her family, trying to get away from her past by getting away from the world with the festival which soon sees her trapped with her friends with a cult that has strict rules. Much like Hereditary, we are tackling grief on a personal level, unlike Hereditary we find ourselves not seeing a timeline to make us understand the recover process that Dani is trying to go through. The story does have a huge problem for me though, is that this is a story which the people should just walk or run away after seeing the first major incident, not just calmly say ‘sure this is a different culture we should see what happens next’ this is easily one of the biggest let down in any horror. We also do spend way too much time just turning to drugs as an excuse rather than trying to solve the real problems and the students just being arrogant not seemingly wanting to do anything with their lives.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from graphic imaginary that we see from the injuries, we do have tension growing and the make up team should be praised for just how real everything looks. The mystery comes from just what is happening with this cult and what they will do next.

SettingsThe film is set in the Swedish countryside away from the world, the only type of place a cult could operate in around the modern day. The sets are the best thing about this film because they are crafted which such love and you can’t help but think everything you see is a clue to what is happening.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do bring us the graphic images of the injuries that people are going through. The make up team work wonders on this film.


Scene of the Movie –
Dancing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just using drugs to explain why these people are friends.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that is set and created wonderfully on the outside, only to fall short on the story which only drags along without reaching any levels of scares.

 

Overall: Not reaching the potential.

Rating

 

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

Director: Wes Ball

Writer: T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) James Dashner (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Will Poulter, Jacob Lofland, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper

 

Plot: Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.


Tagline – Who Will Make it to the WCKD End

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Enough Finish

 

Story: Maze Runner: The Death Cure starts where the last movie finished off, Thomas (O’Brien) is leading the attempts to save the member of his team captured, Minho (Lee) and Teresa (Scodelario) from the hands of Ava Paige (Clarkson).

Thomas mission is to get into the city, joined by friends Newt (Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Darden), Brenda (Salazar) and Jorge (Esposito) they must do what they have been trying to avoid, getting into the city which are continuing their experiments in search for a cure for the ‘Flare’, joined by an old friend to help navigate the big city.

 

Thoughts on Maze Runner: The Death Cure

 

Characters – Thomas is continuing his fight against the people that placed him in the maze, he has become the leader in the fight back and now will risk everything to save the ones his side of lost, even if it risks his own life. He will be faced with the difficult questions and decisions in the final instalment of the franchise. Minho is the member of the team that has been captured, the one that Thomas fights to rescue, Minho goes through memories as we see his point of view from inside the laboratory. Teresa is now one of the scientists working on a cure, next to Ava Paige, this shows how she has seen the bigger picture, the cure, but deep down she is still conflicted with which side to support. Newt is Thomas’ brains, he pulls the strings when it comes to inventing and planning the attacks. Ava Paige is the mind behind searching for the cure, she knows this is the only way to save the remaining humans, but even she is starting to accept defeat in her efforts. Janson is the man hunting down the Glades, he will do anything to find them and won’t give up on the idea of a cure.

PerformancesDylan O’Brien in the leading role is good especially after what happened to him during production, he shows us that he is ready to become a leading man in the action genre. The returning cast in the younger performers have all gotten to the levels we have got used with the franchise. Patricia Clarkson and Aidan Gillen provide us with the villainous figures we need too.

StoryThe story continues the battle between the Glades and the rich using the children in hope of finding a cure for the disease which has swept the land. This time the kids are fighting back in an attempt to rescue their own, while the rich are facing the reality they can’t cure the disease. Unlike many other young adult book films, we only get one final chapter, thank God, we don’t need two every time. This follows the usual lines we are used to seeing, we have returning faces and being left in the middle of the final battle to end the divide.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is by the book, we are left for a final act which is a major battle sequence, like we have seen before. The idea the world has become devastated by this virus helps bring us into the sci-fi side of the story, seeing how the human race could be divided in the quest to survive.

SettingsThe settings bring us to the big city for the battle, we have escaped the dust of survival and now take the battle to the enemy. It feels like a generic city, one we have seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects we see through the film do the job well, they could be better, but they could be a lot worse.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequence feels like the best watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Why do they keep taking their masks off?

Final ThoughtsThis is everything you would want from the final instalment of a young adult series of books, it is easy to watch without being the most memorable.

 

Overall: Solid, average finish to the series.

Rating

 

 

Detroit (2017)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal (Screenplay)

Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor

 

Plot: Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.


Tagline –  It’s Time We Knew

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Intense Film

 

Story: Detroit starts in the 1960s Detroit, where African Americans are restricted to limited neighbourhoods that were enforced by strict and brutal white police force, the equality act is nowhere to be seen here, which has only risen the racial tension between the races. In 1967 the tension has reached new heights, the army has entered the city to try and cover the problems as the Detroit riots start, days of looting, we follow white police officer Krauss (Poulter) who use his power to control the streets with force leading to him finding himself in trouble with his superiors. We also follow black security officer Dismukes (Boyega) who is called to try and control the looting, to complete the main people we will be following is Larry (Smith) and Fred (Latimore) musicians whose big opportunity is taken from him when the riots require a curfew at night as the group must hide out in a hotel.

When Carl (Mitchel) sends shots into the night, he sparks the events of this night, as the military focus on the hotel in which Larry and Fred are staying, with Dismukes wanting to make things end peacefully but Krauss, well he sees it as a chance to continue his violent ways, how will the night turn out?

 

Thoughts on Detroit

 

Characters – Dismukes is a security officers trying to stop looting during the riots, he plays the man between the lines, the violent white officers don’t respect him, the fellow black prisoners in the siege don’t trust him. He is the only one that has the power to find a peaceful outcome. Krauss is the violent police officers, he is about to face murder charges after killing a looter by shooting him in the back, he takes charge of the siege on the hotel which gets him a chance to continue the violent behaviour to anyone who supports the black side of the riots. Larry and Fred are two musicians that get caught up in the middle of the siege on the hotel, they are nothing more than kids who are just wanting to make a living. Greene is a war veteran that gets caught in the middle of the siege that served his country and still gets treated the way he did, he remains strong during the incident. We also meet the two white young women who are believed to be involved in the shooting and the officers working for Krauss who are just as twisted as him.

PerformancesJohn Boyega continues to show he is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood right now, he is gives us an authentic accent, never seeming like he is riding the Star Wars fame. Will Poulter is hauntingly disturbing in this role, he shows us that he will be a main stay in Hollywood most likely in villainous roles until he wants to step away. The new kids on the block Algee Smith & Jacob Latimore are both great showing the fear they are going through. The rest of the cast are brilliant too showing what the characters are going through.

StoryThe story faces the reality of one of the most violent nights in the Detroit riots, the build up to why people were there and how the events went down, as well as the aftermath. We have snippets of real footage that showed us what was going on in the bigger picture to the events around this incident. This is an interesting way to tell the story, because the first 1 hour and a half is leading up to and showing the siege while the remaining time is focusing on the aftermath which at times can drag along because we know the events, we don’t need to see a court case recounting them for us again.

Crime/HistoryThis is an important moment of history in America, the crime was horrendous, the action are almost unbelievable the crimes we witness, if you know the events then you will know the outcome, which could become negative if you want to see where things will go.

SettingsThe settings keep us in Detroit which is where the film is set, well the title tells you that, we are transported back to the time with everything seeming authentic too.


Scene of the Movie –
The whole siege is edge of your seat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The film seems to keep going when it should have ended a lot earlier.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most intense thrillers of recent years, but then the thrilling side ends and the film just keeps rolling through details we didn’t need to see after what we have seen.

 

Overall: Such a strong movie for the most part.

Rating

 

 

The Revenant (2015)

rvenantDirector: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Writer: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mark L Smith (Screenplay) Michael Punke (Novel)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas, Brad Carter, Kristoffer Joner, Brendan Fletcher, Paul Anderson

 

Plot: In the 1820s, a frontiersman named Hugh Glass sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visual Masterpiece

 

Story: The Revenant starts as Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) and his frontiersmen including John Fitzgerald (Hardy), Andrew Henry (Gleeson) and Jim Bridger (Poulter) come under attack by the locals Indians who take out large numbers of the men before fleeing looking to find a way back home. While guiding the men back to safety Hugh gets savagely attack by a bear leaving him on deaths door as the few remaining men have to make a difficult decision about what to do next with him.

When Hugh gets abandoned he is left with nothing but the desire for vengeance on the people who took everything from him, as we watch a truly broken man in body and in mind set out against impossible weather condition to get his revenge.

The Revenant is going to be talked about as one of the best films of the year and simply put, it deserves the praise it is getting. The story of revenge all comes of brilliantly, while each character is bought into the story to bring us to the overall outcome. The triumph against the odds is hard to watch with the battles against nature shows how desire for revenge can get through anything. While there isn’t too much dialogue you simple don’t need to spend any time listening to what is happening because it is all visual.

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Hugh Glass is one of the frontiersman who knows the area the best, he leads the men around danger, he is part of this with his son Hawk after the rest of their family is killed. When he gets attacked by a bear he ends up finding himself on deaths door as the rest of the men leave him to die, he just won’t quit as he comes for all the people that left him there to die. Leonardo gives us one of his best and hardest most brutal performance of his career here.hgh

Tom Hardy: John Fitzgerald is the frontiersman who is always looking out for himself, he wants to get away from the enemy quickly by leaving people behind before he makes the final decision on leaving Hugh, he is with Jim Bridger and his example is teaching him about how to survive. Tom does a great job in this role playing the character opposite to DiCaprio’s.john

Domhnall Gleeson: Andrew Henry is the leader of the frontiersman who lets the correct people make the decision while using his higher education to keep them grounded and healthy. Domhnall gives us a brilliant supporting performance showing that he really is a major player in the acting world. andrew

Will Poulter: Jim Bridger is the young man who is part of the frontiersman, he is left with Fitzgerald to make sure Hugh gets a proper burial but is tricked by him into leaving him alone, but along the way he learns a valuable lesson about surviving in the situation they find themselves in. Will is also brilliant in this supporting role with great scenes with Hardy.bridger

Support Cast: The Revenant has a brilliant supporting cast that all give us performance worthy of the film itself with everyone looking like they are part of the story.

Director Review: Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituAlejandro gives us a visual masterpiece that will get talked about for years to come.

 

Adventure: The Revenant shows the dark but stunning adventure Hugh must go on for his revenge.

Thriller: The Revenant keeps you on the edge of your seat as you never know what Hugh will come up against next.

Western: The Revenant uses the western time period to show the scenery as our characters are being put through.

Settings: The Revenant creates visual settings that will make your eyes just go wow as we see the harsh condition the story goes through.
Special Effects
: The Revenant has brilliant special effects especially with the animal related scenes,

Suggestion: The Revenant is one of the best films this year and has to be watch by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Visuals are breath taking.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final act.

Oh My God Moment: Hugh versus the Bear.

 

Believability: Based on real events of the story of Hugh Glass.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 4 Golden Globes including Best Picture and Best Actor.

Oscar Chances:

Budget: $135 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

Tagline: Blood lost. Life found.

Trivia: Tom Hardy has stated that he doesn’t read scripts and at one time was due to star in Splinter Cell (2017), he wanted to play a soldier but Leonardo DiCaprio begged him to read the script for this movie. Hardy read half the script and accepted the role.

 

Overall: Visual masterpiece this year that will show you just how far one man will go for revenge

Ratingcard