Enemy (DVD Review)

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15 – 86mins – 2013


 

MULTIPLICITY

Jake Gyllenhaal plays an average Joe college professor who catches a glimpse of a very familiar face in the background of a DVD he has rented, kickstarting an increasingly obsessive quest to track down his fame-seeking doppelganger (also Gyllenhaal). Well, I was sold by the synopsis! I didn’t even have to know that Oscar winner Denis Arrival Villeneuve was behind the lens – I needed to see this film and I was shocked that it had evaded my attention for five years.

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It Comes At Night (Blu-ray Review)

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15 – 91mins – 2017


 

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

Having been intrigued by the stark and mysterious marketing campaign, I was devastated to miss writer/director Trey Edward Shult’s post apocalyptic horror at the cinema. Therefore, It Comes At Night was an instant blind buy on Blu-ray for me, on the strength of its critical acclaim alone. I purposefully refrained from reading up too much on the intricacies of the plot, only aware from a couple of podcast reviews I had listened to that it was ‘nothing like you expect’.

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The Open House (Netflix Review)

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15 – 94mins – 2018


 

DEATH MOVES IN

13 Reasons Why must be the sole reason why Netflix bought up this lacklustre home invasion thriller. Their acquisition team must be hoping that the presence of lead actor Dylan Don’t Breathe Minnette will persuade fans of the headline-making, smash-hit teen mystery drama series to give something else with him in a watch. Any viewers that do will no doubt be as disappointed as I was by this poor excuse of a horror from unseasoned all-rounders Matt Angel (an actor by trade) and Suzanne Coote, who wrote, produced and directed.

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Solstice (DVD Review)

15 – 87mins – 2008


 

BURYING THE BAD ENERGY

One of only a handful of films from acclaimed The Blair Witch Project co-director Daniel Myrick since his triumphant breakout hit 18 years ago, Solstice is an unremarkable and cliché-ridden genre effort which limped out straight to DVD in time for Halloween 2008, in spite of the star power of Amanda Seyfried – who had recently hit it big in musical megahit Mamma Mia – in a supporting role.

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Jigsaw (Cinema Review)

18 – 92mins – 2017


FUCKED UP CONFESSIONAL

Seven real-world years after Saw 3D was marketed as “The Final Chapter” [sic] and over a decade in-universe after the death of eponymous Jigsaw Killer John Kramer (Tobin Bell), Daybreakers directing duo the Spierig Brothers resurrect what used to be an annual Halloween tradition with the eighth instalment in the popular torture-porn horror franchise.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Cinema Review)

12A – 114mins – 2017


 

NO BEACH-SIDE HOLIDAY

Kenneth Romeo & Juliet LIVE Branagh has dual duties as both headliner and director of this fourth adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel, featuring “probably the greatest detective in the world” (self-professed), Hercule Poirot, the Dickens-loving gentleman with the distractingly-iconic moustache which successfully upstages a train-full of Hollywood A-listers.

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Happy Death Day (Cinema Review)

15 – 100mins – 2017


 

TOMORROW ALWAYS DIES

Openly acknowledging its similarity to a charming early-90s cult classic in a meta closing exchange in which protagonist Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) claims, rather unfathomably, to never have heard of the film nor star Bill Ghostbusters Murray (as if!), Happy Death Day is unabashedly Groundhog Day given a Scream-esque slasher reimagining.

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RED DWARF XII.1 – “Cured” (TV Review)

Dave – 9pm – Thursday 12th October 2017

Available to stream NOW from UKTV Play

Created by: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor

Written and directed by: Doug Naylor


 

TEA WITH MESSALINA

“Okay, starting her up…”

Having had to endure a ten year gap between 1999’s Series VIII cliffhanger and anniversary mini-series Back to Earth, followed by a further three-and-a-half year wait before the series-proper returned with 2012’s Series X, and another four before XI was commissioned, it’s fair to say that the comparatively sprightly 12-month turnaround between last year’s Red Dwarf XI and today’s UKTV Play online premiere of XII’s opener, “Cured”, feels like a mere blink of an eye – but more Dwarf is always a welcome treat and the sooner the better!

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mother! (Cinema Review)

18 – 121mins – 2017


 

MATRIACHAL METAPHORICAL MADNESS

From the controversial Requiem for a Dream to the crucified Noah, via underappreciated The Fountain to Oscar-winner Black Swan, acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky certainly cannot be accused of ever holding back on his confrontational and surrealist visions. In his latest audience-dividing vision, striking psychological thriller mother!, he may well have crafted his boldest, bloodiest and most bonkers audio/visual art-piece to date – for better or worse!

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Rings (DVD Review)

15 – 102mins – 2017


 

COPY AND WASTE

Gore Verbinski’s 2002 remake of the Japanese supernatural horror classic Ringu (1998) kick-started a Western surge in popularity for “J-horror” and established lank-haired, TV-emerging Samara as an icon of the genre. That it has taken 12 years since 2005 follow-up The Ring Two to continue the Hollywood-ified franchise is surprising, particularly as interest seemed to remain at least temperate, but Rings’ disappointing box office gross is testament to the rule that no matter how long you take to “perfect” a sequel, sometimes they just aren’t required.

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