Movie Review: Pig (2021)

Pig (dir. Michael Sarnoski, 2021) – When his foraging pig is kidnapped, Robin Feld returns from the wilderness to the city in search for answers that may lie in his past.

5/5

It is difficult to review Pig for there is no better way to enjoy it than going in blind. Implying vengeance in the making, Michael Sarnoski’s directorial debut soon subverts expectations of its initial premise, shifting gear from an ostensible thriller to a meditative character study with depth and compassion.

The story begins with the quiet solitary life of Rob (Nicolas Cage), who lives in the far wilderness with a truffle-hunting pig. We begin to wonder who he once was and what had driven him into isolation, especially when a young man Amir (Alexx Wolf) shows up at his door in contrastingly gaudy fashion.

Rob waits in stony silence as he trades Amir his truffles for necessities, impatient for the trader to leave and his comforting quietude to return. But what he wants doesn’t last. One single bad night leaves him bloodied and distraught, when strangers break into his home and snatch his pig. Springing back into the city that he had left for ten years, he ropes in a reluctant Amir in search of his only companion.

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Movie Review: Words on Bathroom Walls (2020)

Words on Bathroom Walls (dir. Thor Freudenthal, 2020) – Diagnosed with schizophrenia midway through senior year, Adam finds himself struggling to keep it a secret at his new school.

4/5

Ostensibly about high school romance, Words on Bathroom Walls defies most expectations of a typical coming-of-age drama, built by misleading posters. The movie instead lends the inundated genre an often shunned perspective, taking on the voice of a young teenager coping with the throes of mental illness.

Charlie Plummer plays Adam, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia in senior year after suffering a psychotic break in chemistry class. Ostracised and eventually expelled, he transfers to an distant Catholic school to complete his diploma, while trying to keep his affliction a secret.

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Movie Review: Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves (dir. Matthias Schweighöfer, 2021) – As a zombie apocalypse looms in the near future, a mysterious woman recruits Ludwig Dieter on a secret mission to break into three legendary  uncrackable safes.

3/5

Did Army of the Dead really need an expansive cinematic universe? Probably not. But Netflix does have a tendency to grant the wrong wishes. That is not to say Army of Thieves isn’t worth the time. In fact, the entertaining spin-off easily surpasses its relatively dull predecessor, which only contributed to misplaced preconceptions of how it should play out.

So let’s clear things up first — those looking for zombies would be disappointed. This isn’t the Ocean’s 11 tribute that one might had hoped for either. Comparisons are futile and will only lead to letdowns, for there is nothing more to expect than a solid laugh-out-loud comedy in this prequel, solely dedicated to the most memorable charmer of Zack Snyder’s ensemble.

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Movie Review: Fever Dream (2021)

Fever Dream / Distancia de rescate (dir. Claudia Llosa, 2021) – Amanda lies in pain as she is questioned about what had happened to her – by a young child who is not her own.

3/5

Amanda (María Valverde) keeps her daughter Nina at a safe rescue distance, protective of her only child. Carola (Dolores Fonzi) doesn’t share the same love for hers, whom she had almost lost to poisoned water once. Not anymore. Her boy David had only survived because of a spirtual healer, but at the cost of part of his soul, or so she claims.

Before its filmic adaptation, Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream was once a book that begs to be read. Unlike a standard narrative, the story unfolds in nothing beyond a seamless conversation between a woman and a boy, who bear no direct relations as one might think. What ties them together is their bonds with their families that were similarly severed by circumstance.

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Book Reviews: October 2021 (Spooky) Reads

Here’s me again, ending my favourite month of the year with 3 atmospheric horror books, before I delve into Neal Shusterman’s disturbing Unwind dystology this November. What are your favourite creepy reads?

Sorrowland (Rivers Solomon, 2021)
5/5

Sorrowland Novel

I like the woods,” she said. “In them, the possibilities seem endless. They are where wild things are, and I like to think the wild always wins. In the woods, it doesn’t matter that there is no patch of earth that has not known bone, known blood, known rot. It feeds from that. It grows the trees. The mushrooms. It turns sorrows into flowers.

Fifteen years old and pregnant, Vern is barely surviving in the woods. Escaping the only home she’s ever known behind, she struggles alone with no certainty of her future. But she knows that returning to Cainland is not an option, even if they refuses to let her go easy.

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Movie Review: Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (2020)

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (dir. Bartosz M. Kowalski, 2020) – A group of teenagers is sent to an isolated camp to break their screen addiction, only to face worse dangers in the woods.

3/5

Back from my hiatus with a horror review, in time for Halloween!

Of mutant killers and slaughtered teens, Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight revives every trope from the horror playbook, lifting the monstrous cannibals off The Hills Have Eyes and throwing them in the midst of unwitting campers of knock-off Crystal Lake. Rid of phones, the rehab camp setting even serves as a perfect throwback to the 80s, where help is far from reach.

The massacre begins in no time. In their search for the first victim, one of the teenagers starts to spell out the cinema sins to avoid — no sex, no splitting up — and gets wilfully ignored. We all know how the story goes from here. Those looking for a stroke of ingenuity may do better with genre-benders like The Cabin in the Woods or even a self-aware tribute in The Final Girls. A pastiche of tropes it may be, the Polish slasher is nonetheless entertaining and relentless with its brutality.

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