nine things tagged “thriller”

The Lighthouse (2019) IMDb A

"Robert Pattinson said to me before agreeing to this, ‘I don’t want to make a movie about a magical lighthouse. I want to make a movie about a fucking crazy person.’”

Jess Joho, “What the hell did ‘The Lighthouse’ even mean?”, Mashable

Saw with LD. Noir, Jung, myth and mythology, Proteus, Prometheus, masculinity, sexuality, very large phallus, isolation, identity, lobster dinners, psychosis, mermaids, flatulence, alcoholism, omens, portents, songs, odes, the-father-is-the-son-is-the-father, Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

“Every Frame a Painting” and it somehow manages to be quite funny at times. Oh and this (emphasis mine):

Underneath the jargon and flatulence, the film is mostly concerned with identity.

Vinnie Mancuso, “‘The Lighthouse’ Ending Feeds Myth and Symbolism to the Birds”, Collider

Bravo!

Candyman (2021) IMDb B+

Saw with BE and NN. Eh. Clear messages about creatives’ struggles and temptations, and the importance of continuing to tell past and present stories of horrific pain and suffering.

I suppose I just lazily wanted to watch a well-made scary movie without actively engaging with it, without searching for the clever and occasionally deep symbolism that has come to characterize a movie with Jordan Peele’s name on it. It was adequately scary.

The title of Anthony’s piece [“Say His Name”] also is recognizable as a play on the Say Her Name slogan meant to memorialize victims of anti-Black violence and police brutality such as Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland. The recognition of that inference is the only point of connection to it.

Beyond that, little about the plot makes a statement about over-policing or the socio-economic violence that gentrification creates by destroying and displacing low-income communities. Its characters blithely discuss these concerns over drinks or Brianna’s well-appointed living room, but only as part of a litany of urban ills. The sequences are the film’s ways of throwing a message that’s on-brand for 2021 behind a horror movie meant to speak to an audience that supports protests against racial injustice and biased policing in principle without having any actual skin in the game.

To those impacted in a real way by these issues or savvy enough to recognize when they’re being used as mechanisms to impart a sense of relevance, they come across as didactic nonsense. All that noise strangles the twin melodies that make up the Candyman character’s siren song: seduction and legacy.

Melanie McFarland, “No sweets for the sweet in new “Candyman,” which neglects the legend’s seductively scary legacy”, Salon

Speaking of these “twin melodies”: I haven’t seen the 1992 original and it’s on my list. Didn’t know that Philip Glass did the score for the movie.

Taboo (2017) IMDb B+

Saw with LD. Eight-episode miniseries, with Season 2 in the works. Could’ve been at least two episodes shorter. Trippy, wonderful cinematography, just unbelievable production quality, and backed by (yet another) amazing score by Max Richter.

Especially great if you, like me, are a fan of Tom Hardy. His character growl-mumbles his way through Regency-era London as a traumatized 5-D Chess-playing badass with a vendetta who takes on the East India Company and the Crown, and who may or may not have supernatural powers that allow him to commune with the dead.

And when I say “growl-mumbles”…

My favorite character was Brace (😭😭😭), played to perfection by David Hayman.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) IMDb A

Watched with CK. This was Hitchcock’s favorite movie:

This was my father’s favourite movie, and it was because he loved bringing the menace into a small town1, into a family that had never known any bad things happen to them. They adored this uncle. They just adored him. Yet they had no idea what he is like. The whole suspense of the movie is, “When are they going to find out?”

Patricia Hitchcock

And then there’s this exchange 🤣

CHARLIE
Oh, what’s the matter with you two ? Do you always have to talk about killing people?

HERB
We’re not talking about killing people.

JOSEPH
Herb’s talking about killing me, and I’m talking about killing him.

ANN
It’s your father’s way of relaxing.

CHARLIE
Can’t he find some other way to relax? Can’t we have a little peace and quiet without dragging in poisons all the time?

  1. The thick black smoke at Uncle Charlie’s arrivals is meant to be a bad portent. He uses this a lot. ↩︎

The Nest (2020) IMDb A-

Watched with LD. Reminded me of “Hereditary” (it’s a slow burn) but with The Evil being this chimera of financial insolvency, really bad trust issues, childhood trauma, and severe affluenza. Jude Law was perfect, but Carrie Coon was so fucking good as the beleagured yet passively complicit partner and mostly grieving person. The scene shot from the stable facing the manor was genius. Sean Durkin (writer and director) stuck the landing perfectly. Lovely stuff.