Verónica (Netflix Review)

Carla Campra, Ángela Fabián, and Sandra Escacena in Verónica (2017)

15 – 105mins – 2017


 

GAME NIGHT FRIGHT

Based (albeit sketchily) upon a real-life case from Madrid in 1991, this haunting new horror from [REC] co-director Paco Plaza takes full advantage of its “true crime” roots by beginning and concluding with title cards establishing the unique police case which investigated this occult-dabbling nightmare. Purportedly this was the first ever case in Spanish history to be officially attributed to “paranormal phenomena”.

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The Cloverfield Paradox (Netflix Review)

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15 – 102mins – 2018


 

CREATING CHAOS

“We’re definitely not in Kentucky anymore.”

You certainly cannot accuse the burgeoning Cloverfield cinematic universe (for that undoubtedly is what it now is) of resting on its laurels. Ten years and three films in, we have been treated to three distinct and intriguing genre pictures released in three distinct and intriguing ways. For those who thought 2008’s ground-breaking viral marketing-tease and 2015’s quick-drop cinema rollout too longwinded, Paradox dropped onto streaming giant Netflix just FOUR HOURS after its trailer debuted during this year’s Super Bowl. Wow.

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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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Personal Shopper (Netflix Review)

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15 – 107mins – 2016


 

DESIRE FOR THE FORBIDDEN

Renowned by fans and detractors alike for her tight jaw and sullen gaze, former Twilight megastar and blossoming indie darling Kristen Equals Stewart is perfectly cast here as glum American spiritualist Maureen Cartwright. Moonlighting as a personal shopper for high-profile French fashionista Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) while she stays in Paris, Maureen is mourning the recent death of her twin brother, who she shares a heart malformation with.

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In Bruges (Netflix Review)

18 – 106mins – 2008


 

NOOKS AND CRANNIES

“How can a fucking fairy-tale NOT be someone’s cup of tea?!”

Rejoice, CR@B fans, for I am back! Did you miss me?

What do you mean you didn’t even know I had gone?! Well, as my none-too-subtle choice of film illuminates, I have just got back from a glorious mini-break in the medieval, alcove-ridden Belgium market town of Bruges (or Brugge to the locals). Of course I ate my body weight at the numerous chocolatiers and drank the local brewery dry, but I also climbed the 300+ steps to the apex of the clock tower, which features prominently in writer/director Martin McDonagh’s blackly-comic BAFTA-winning crime drama, which recently made its Netflix debut (what timing!).

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Child’s Play (Netflix Review)

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18 – 87mins – 1988


 

BATTERIES NOT INSERTED

“Hey, wanna play?!”

The Conjuring‘s breakout star Annabelle – who has since been granted not one but two origin stories, reviewed HERE and HERE – may have recently reawakened the public’s fear in perturbed porcelain playthings, but the first toy to terrorise audiences (and court controversy for allegedly invoking violence in children) was creator Don Mancini’s possessed Good Guys doll, who over a near 20-year period has headlined a further six supernatural serial-killing sequels.

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The Babysitter (Netflix Review)

15 – 85mins – 2017


 

ORGY OF BLOOD

Cole Johnson (Judah Lewis) is bullied for being the only 12-year-old in class to still have a babysitter. But when your babysitter is as smokin’ hot and too cool for school as Bee (Samara Weaving), it can’t be all bad – right?! Under strict instructions from his vacationing parents (Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino) to be in bed by 10:30pm, Cole is persuaded by best friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) to fake sleep in order to see what Bee really gets up to when her pubescent change goes to dreamland…

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.5 – “Choose Your Pain” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 16th October 2017

Story by: Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Kemp Powers

Teleplay by: Kemp Powers

Directed by: Lee Rose


 

SURVIVAL MODE

“Glory must be earned from sacrifices… and PAIN!”

While the sets and lighting are as opulent and dazzling as ever this week, the showrunners behind Star Trek: Discovery are instead taking a different tack in their efforts to make this new prequel series darker and more mature by inserting scenes of brutal violence and random instances of foul language into what has fundamentally always been a family-friendly show set in an optimistic future striving for a universal utopia.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.4 – “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 8th October 2017

Series created by: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman

Written by: Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite

Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi


 

UNIQUELY INTERESTING

“Let’s send our Klingon friends a message they won’t forget.”

Settling into its new post-‘second pilot’ direction, episode 1.4 of Star Trek: Discovery gave me the distinct impression that it was panicked about how grand, impressive and memorable it was, and frequently felt the need to throw everything at the audience in a shallow attempt to impress. While it’s by no means a complete shipwreck, “The Butcher’s Knife…” is both the busiest and my least favourite of the new series thus far.

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JACK WHITEHALL: TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER – Series One (Netflix Review)

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15 – 6 x 30mins – Streaming on UK Netflix from: Friday 22nd September 2017

Series Producer: Mark Chapman

Executive Producers: Jack Whitehall, Michael Whitehall, Ben Cavey

Produced and directed by: John Hodgson


 

DAD EDUCATION

Despite being on a plethora of popular panel shows and performing sell-out stand-up comedy tours for the best part of the last decade, Fresh Meat ‘toff’ Jack Whitehall is still in his twenties. His act has often played upon not only the naivety of his age but also his sheltered-if-cushy upbringing by his stuffy agent-to-the-stars father, Michael. The jovial comic and his often stubbornly-rigid pa have previously partnered up as an odd couple on BBC chat show Backchat, but now streaming super-service Netflix has paid for the Bad Education star to have the gap year he never went on – provided his dad tags along for the (joy)ride!

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