At Home : John and the Hole, Spider-Man : No Way Home, The Institute

A round-up of films available at home this week

Sony Pictures/Gravitas Ventures/RLJE Films

The Institute

Digital, Blu-ray, DVD One of the more surprising psychological thrillers the indie market has unveiled in recent times, “The Institute” is a very complex, unique and, I imagine, quite challenging to market film about a young couple, struggling to fall pregnant, that book into a doctor’s secluded facility. A fix-all this place isn’t, and if the eerie title doesn’t alert you to it enough, there’s some wicked stuff going on behind the sterile corridors.
Directed with obvious passion by Hamza Zaman – who also co-stars in the film – the film’s lower budget restricts it from being too daring, or striking in presentation, but the story at hand is one that should hold most who discover ”The Institute” reasonably captive. [ML]

John in the Hole

Digital, Blu-ray, DVD Based on writer Nicolas Giacobone’s short story, “John in the Hole” expertly chronicles the unsettling yarn of a young man who decides to drug and then consequently put his family (his parents are played by Jennifer Ehle and Michael C.Hall) in an underground bunker. We don’t quite know what ‘John’ is up to, only that his motives seem slightly unhinged and menacing.
Without giving too much away, there are moments when the flick seems to be unintentionally riffing on films of the ‘why would x do this to his family?’ subgenre but it is handled a lot more delicately and impressively than many similar-themed films have in recent years. Equally impressive is the craftmanship’s on show here – from Paul Ozgur’s striking cinematography to Caterina Barbieri’s eerie music and imaginative pacing and structure by director Pascual Sisto, everyone is firing on all cylinders.

Spider-Man : No Way Home

Digital. With it’s drive to wrap Jon Watt’s recent Spider-Man film series as well as celebrate two decades of web-slinger movies, (the character first appeared on the big screen in 2002’s simply-titled Spider-Man from Sam Raimi), Sony’s “Spider-Man : No Way Home” assigns itself the near impossible task of having to please each and every fan of a live-action “Spider-Man” film.
Thanks to a thoughtful script by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and warm direction by returning helmer Watts, No Way Home comes closer than any film in recent history at achieving that.
If you’ve seen the trailers and art, you’ll know the film brings back some of the villains from the pre-MCU “Spider-Man” movies – Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and ‘Doc Ock’ (Alfred Molina) from Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films, and The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Electro (Jamie Foxx) from Marc Webb’s films. This time, however, the Sinister Five encounter a Peter Parker they’re not familiar with – the one wearing Tom Holland’s face. [CC]

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