The Night Comes for Us (dir. Timo Tjahjanto, 2018) – Turning on his mission, Ito falls out of favour with his Triad crime family.
Following in the boisterous footsteps of The Raid, The Night Comes for Us invites controversy in its relentless savagery, which never lessens the evocative weight of familial bonds.
Determined to escape a life of murders on the Triad’s orders, Ito (Joe Taslim) goes on the run after sparing a child’s life. A prolonged bloodbath ensues. Sure enough, horror no longer monopolises gore in film these days. The Night Comes For Us comes at the tail end of a New Indonesian Extreme in the action scene, following the unexpected success of Gareth Evans’ ultra-violent The Raid.
As Evans moves into a more atmospheric and considerably less bloody territory with Apostle, director Timo Tjahjanto comfortably takes his place at the forefront of bone-snapping, throat-slitting, and tendon-slicing brutality. Not that he needed the cue from Evans in the first place.
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Revenge (dir. Coralie Fargeat, 2018) – Left for dead in the desert, a young woman survives her assault and goes on a bloody manhunt for the wealthy businessmen responsible.
Revenge wears a bright warning against strait-laced individuals, who takes offence at jet-black humour and a generous amount of violence.
A good horror movie does not necessitate blood, but a gallon of the deep red sure is a hell lot of fun. In its retread of vile rape-revenge fantasy I Spit On Your Grave, Revenge puts forward a final girl who shares both an insatiable thirst for retribution and a name with the notorious anti-heroine.
Things are set in motion when Richard (Kevin Janssens) attempts to silence his mistress, whom his hunting partners had sexually assaulted. Jen (Matilda Lutz) tries to escape, but ends up brutally impaled through her gut at the bottom of a cliff.
Unlike its inspiration, the transgressive genre entry takes itself less seriously thereafter. What follows takes on a sheath of dark humour, and unleashes an early test of whether one is to enjoy the rest of the vengeful minutes.
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Many cases of disappearances around the world go unresolved every day. Clues often point to crime, yet answers remain indefinite when there is no body found. People are curious creatures, and interest surround these cases even over years, as evident in the proliferation of armchair detectives and their public speculations especially online.
Nervous Breakdown finds inspiration in these disappearing acts, and the more sinister speculations behind them. Set in 1983, the story’s missing person is a young woman June, whose only trace left behind was her abandoned car. Five years later, the investigators are nowhere near an explanation for her mysterious vanishing. But her twin sister Jane (Melissa Blackwell) is resolute that something supernatural had been at work that night.
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Apostle (dir. Gareth Evans, 2018) – Thomas Richardson travels to a remote island to rescue his sister from a religious cult, demanding a ransom for her safe return.
Ostensibly to do with the supernatural in its grim mythology, Apostle concerns itself more with the devious nature of Man in their acts.
Writer-director Gareth Evans may be best known for his choreography-driven craft in The Raid and Merantau. But his latest venture is an altogether different beast. Abandoning the high-octane action that defined Evans’ early career, Apostle contrastingly keeps its pace steady with patience, and prowls with quiet intensity.
Following a brief exploration in anthology V/H/S 2 (‘Safe Haven’), Evans’ first true step into horror cinema marks a deeper foray into the subject of pagan cults. The suspenseful genre feature comes in at a little over two hours. Not a second feels extraneous, continually building a palpable sense of dread.
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Bohemian Rhapsody (dir.
Bryan Singer Dexter Fletcher, 2018) – In 1970, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon take the stage by storm with the formation of Queen.
Bohemian Rhapsody pays tribute not just to Freddie Mercury but Queen and their music, keeping the spirit of the legendary band alive.
Bohemian Rhapsody could have gone the obvious direction, massively drawing upon the darker recesses of Freddie Mercury’s arduous life. But he deserves better. Defined by much more than his personal tragedies, the Queen frontman was ultimately the legend who changed the lives of many with his immortal music and inspiring tenacity.
Writer Anthony McCarten and director Dexter Fletcher (shall we all refuse to acknowledge Singer) fortunately recognised this. While never avoiding Mercury’s struggle with the pressure of his celebrity and sexuality, they neither dwelt on nor exploited it. Instead, the limelight rightfully falls on his many triumphs, be it in his defiance against Queen’s detractors or his inspired penning of the titular magnum opus.
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