The Devil All the Time (dir. Antonio Campos, 2020) – A young man devotes to protecting his loved ones in a rural town shaped by war and violence.
On the battlefield, Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgård) stares at the half-dead sergeant, mutilated and crucified by Japanese soldiers. He pulls out his gun and puts an end to the man’s misery. The traumatic memory will cast a shadow on him for the rest of his life.
He is granted a reprieve when he meets diner waitress Charlotte (Haley Bennett) and falls in love. They move to the rural town of Knockemstiff and start a family. But when Charlotte is stricken by cancer, the feeling of being powerless comes back to haunt the veteran. His fervent prayers go unanswered, his sacrifices unseen.
Continue reading Movie Review: The Devil All The Time (2020)
His House (dir. Remi Weekes, 2020) – A refugee couple escapes from war-torn South Sudan and begins a new life in an English town, where they struggle to adjust to their new home.
War refugees Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) have arrived on British soil. When they are granted probation asylum for 3 months, they make clear of their gratitude in tears. They embrace their new home, despite it being distant from the city and infested with pests.
They settle in, only to start hearing whispers and seeing shadows in the hallways. Baggage is not all they brought back with them from the war zone. An apeth, also known as a night witch in Dinka folklore, has come to claim its debt.
Continue reading Movie Review: His House (2020)
It’s almost time for me to start writing my big year-end lists of favourites! That means it may get quieter over here in December as I bury myself deep in my pop culture reflections.
Now, does anyone know where I get an extra 25th hour a day for all these writing, art and music projects that I’ve left hanging…
Set My Heart to Five (Simon Stephenson, 2020)
I asked Dr Glundenstein if he thought humans and bots could ever understand each other the way Rick Deckard and Roy Batty had come to understand one another.
‘Ha!’ he said. ‘Ha!’ I replied. With hindsight, I really do not know what we were Ha-ing about. Humans and bots failing to understand each other is not funny. It is the great tragedy of our times. At least, it is for us bots.
Jared the Android has become depressed, though he doesn’t quite understand why. He decides to embark on a quest to figure out what his new emotions mean, where the world of cinema becomes his teacher.
Continue reading Book Reviews: November 2020 Reads
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