Nothing like a smart, original horror movie – admittedly, we don’t get enough of them.
Right up there with “Get Out”, “Saw” and “Hereditary”, a fright-flick that will make you stir and give the noggin’ a workout.
Written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns, the film tells of a teen on the run that volunteers to participate in a sleep study that opens up her mind in some of the wildest, frightening ways possible. Where it goes is – mostly, if you excuse the iffy last sequence – mostly surprisingly.
Burn’s script serves as somewhat of a love letter to films of the ‘80s and ‘90s, particularly the work of David Cronenberg, but by and large, it’s a unique and contemporary spin on those types of films. Sure, it mightn’t encompass the wham-bam razzle-dazzle moments teen viewers seem to bequest from their horror films but those with a penchant for the intelligent genre piece will find much here to savor
Considering it first went into production three years ago, and ignoring the fact this subgenre of film seems to have worn out its welcome in the marketplace, director Doug Liman‘s adaptation of the Young Adult novel “Chaos Walking” will likely come as a pleasant surprise.
Tom ‘Spider-Man’ Holland plays Todd, a young man raised in Prentisstown, a spot on the planet that’s occupied only be men – because the woman apparently died from a germ. Even more interesting, each man can hear the thoughts of the next.
When Viola (Daisy Ridley) crash lands on the planet, and without the ‘everyone can hear what I’m thinking’ curse, the self-proclaimed mayor of Prentisstown, David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen) is quick to want her permanently erased. Her only hope? Free-thinking Todd.
Much hacking away is evident, especially in the film’s third act (the production commissioned a bunch of reshoots a year ago or so), but overlook those bumps and you’re left with a traditionally-entertaining popcorn movie from multiplex-regular Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”, “Edge of Tomorrow”).
An interesting concept, two endearing, relatable performances by Ridley and Daisey, and some award-worthy visual effects see “Chaos Walking” worth a look – and a follow-up.
If there’s one thing film reviewers should try and do, it’s think of the audience the film has been crafted for. In the case of Netflix comedy, “Yes Day”, it’s kids.
Reviewing it from an adult’s perspective, the Jennifer Garner film will likely be found lightweight, the stakes are too low to grip, and the actors don’t so much perform as they do bounce around.
The kids though? They’ll love this. The story alone will capture their attention and put a beaming smile on those mugs – heck, they might even learn a lesson or two, especially in relation to why us parents sometimes have to say ‘no’.
In it, a couple (Garner and Edgar Ramirez) decide to give their kids a ‘Yes Day’, 24-hours in which the children make the rules. And it unravels just as you think- – wearing ridiculous things, the house looks like a bomb hit it, and there’s way too much Ice Cream eaten.