Nocturne (dir. Zu Quirke, 2020) – A gifted pianist makes a Faustian bargain to take her twin sister’s place at a prestigious institution for classical musicians.
Success takes more than talent and hard work. Not all who dedicate their lives to a craft can achieve greatness. What then if you’ve spent every second into perfecting your life’s work, only to realise that it isn’t for you? Young pianist Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) learns this hard truth when she fails her audition for Julliard.
Her wound deepens when she realises that her twin Vivian (Madison Iseman) made it to the esteemed institute. Living in the shadow of her favoured sister all her life, she almost gives up on her lifelong dream. But she soon finds a way to change her fate when she discovers a score of Giuseppe Tartini’s Devil’s Trill, left behind by her deceased classmate Moira (Ji Eun Hwang).
Continue reading Movie Review: Nocturne (2020)
The Lie (dir. Veena Sud, 2020) – On the way to a dance camp, one wrong move turns the lives of a family upside down.
When Kayla (Joey King) confesses to the murder of her best friend, her divorced parents make a difficult decision – to cover up for her crime. But every lie has its consequences. Their game of deception soon reveals its hefty cost when the missing teen’s father comes a-knocking.
Contrary to expectations, The Lie does not promise the elegance of a perfect plan. In fact, the would-be conspirators are no natural criminals. Their scheme is but a series of poor decisions that comes apart in seconds. Intrigue is then clearly not in the lie itself, but what compels it.
Continue reading Movie Review: The Lie (2020)
Evil Eye (dir. Elan and Rajeev Dassani, 2020) – Usha Khatri becomes convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend may be connected to her own past.
It is a common belief among Asian parents that one should form a family first and that love will come in time. Second-generation Indian-American Pallavi (Sunita Mani) does not believe in that. She chooses to wait for true romance, unmoved by the attempts of her mother Usha (Sarita Choudhury) to play matchmaker.
Everything seems to fall into place for her when Pallavi finds the man of her dreams in Sandeep (Omar Maskati). She believes that her mother would be pleased. But as it were, this is far from a romantic comedy. Usha instead becomes fearful at the sight of Sandeep. She starts to warn her daughter of a family curse, convinced that the man may be the reincarnation of her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Continue reading Movie Review: Evil Eye (2020)
Think Blumhouse, and you might think of poltergeists and flickering lights. The studio is after all known for backing big names in horror like James Wan, Oren Peli and Jordan Peele. It is easy to forget that they have also financed several ghoul-less dramas, including the acclaimed Whiplash and The Normal Heart.
Welcome to the Blumhouse finds the neat balance between the two seemingly opposite genres. Leveraging the studio’s name, the anthology shines a light on four very different films by relatively unknown filmmakers. Some lean towards dramatic storytelling while others launch straight into the supernatural, serving up the best of both Blumhouse worlds.
Continue reading “Welcome to the Blumhouse” Films – Ranked
October wasn’t just about the films. I managed to finish some books, including last month’s read I Am The Messenger, which delivered some much needed optimism in tougher times.
Of course, the Halloween season couldn’t end without some horror novels in the mix. Here are my library picks of the month.
I Am The Messenger (Markus Zusak, 2006)
Why can’t the world hear? I ask myself. Within a few moments I ask it many times. Because it doesn’t care, I finally answer, and I know I’m right. It’s like I’ve been chosen. But chosen for what? I ask.
Ed Kennedy is a 19-year-old cab driver without much hope and thought for his future. That is until playing cards arrive at his doorstep. On the cards are cryptic cyphers that reveal to him names and addresses, only to leave him to figure out what his mission is with them.
Continue reading Book Reviews: October 2020 (Spooky) Reads
30 Days of Night (dir. David Slade, 2007) – A tribe of bloodthirsty creatures attacks an Alaskan town during its month of darkness.
This post is part of Preamble to Halloween, an October marathon of horror features before the dawn of All Hallows’ Eve.
Barrow seats at the northern tip of Alaska, earning renown for being quite literally the top of the world. Because of its very location, the town experiences a polar night every year, plunging into 2 whole months of cold darkness. 30 Days of Night halves that number for a title with a nice ring to it. The shortened duration doesn’t lessen the terror of homicidal vampires having the upper hand over a mere 4000-strong population.
Gruesome fates soon befall the unsuspecting good folk of Barrow. Blood spills from torn throats and cracked skulls, but it isn’t just visceral violence that evokes fear. The absence of daylight in the middle of the wintry storm makes the air all the more suffocating. A new-to-town Stranger (Ben Foster) helps things along by cutting off all communications to the outside world, leaving no clear path to escape.
Continue reading 30 Days of Night (2007) – Hearts of Darkness