Since we know how important at-home-entertainment is for all of us – every week we do a little “what’s getting released on DVD/on demand/Netflix this week” round up for you, with nice little excerpts of our past reviews and more. You’ll love it. Trust us. This week we’re focusing on movies that will creep you the fuck out.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Gadgets and props define so much of the Star Wars galaxy. Longtime fans cannot think of Vader without his helmet, Luke without his lightsaber, or Han without his vest. Rian Johnson, the writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is keenly aware of what these objects represent. How he uses them – he venerates some, while disregarding others – serves as a statement of purpose. Unlike The Force Awakens, a fun film that relied on the original trilogy, The Last Jedi wants to tell a new kind of story. This is a deliberate shift away from the soap opera surrounding the Skywalker family, and instead has a grander canvas, with more ambitious themes. It is unclear how this film will rank among others in the franchise, but for now The Last Jedi’s wildly succeeds as entertainment, and being arguably the darkest Star Wars film yet.
- Hostiles. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Hostiles is a new western that, thankfully, is not terrible. In some ways it’s a revival of the classic style, but in others, it is a modern analysis of the conflicting and centuries of violence that have marred the United States’ relationship with Native Americans. The manuscript was originally written by the late Academy Award-winning screenwriter Donald E. Stewart, who wrote Missing and The Hunt for Red October, who died almost twenty years ago. Director Scott Cooper reworked the screenplay and shares credit with Stewart. Is it good? Yes. Is it great? No, but that’s just fine by me.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (horror that’s more creepy than scary edition):
- Creep 2 (now on Netflix). Here’s Eric Kohn over at Indiewire:
Creep 2 barely gets to the end of the first act before Mark Duplass stands naked in front of the camera with a dopey grin on his face. It’s not the actor-director’s first rodeo (he also bared all on HBO’s “Togetherness”), but it’s an unusual decision in the context of goofy found footage horror-comedy, not to mention a sequel to one. That should give you an indication of the peculiar ambitions of this microbudget franchise, which takes the familiar mold of privileged white guy problems and turns them into a nightmare.
- The Invitation (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
Like the best psychological thrillers, The Invitation escalates tension until it’s nearly too much to bear. What’s sneaky about the film, and makes it so involving, is that the tension is more about manners than anything else. The characters may be privileged, yet there is a universal component to the situation in which they find themselves. Director Karyn Kusama’s best asset is her patience – she knows that once the other shoe drops, her command of the film falls with it – so this is a thriller where the opening acts are more fun than the final payoff.
- It Follows (now on Netflix). Here’s what we said in our original review:
On one level, anyway, this is a horror film about a sexually transmitted disease. But unlike the slasher films of the early eighties, Mitchell is no prude who views grisly death as comeuppance for promiscuity. Jay and the others are sophisticated about sex – insofar that kids their age can be – and there are no mean-spirited jokes, nor do any characters conflate sex with love. By letting his characters Mitchell treat sex as a matter-of-fact part of their lives, he’s free to abandon grandiose themes and instead lead his characters/audience through an entertaining, cathartic mix of tension and relief. As long as they don’t accidentally learn the premise beforehand, It Follows is so good that it has the potential to convert non-fans into full-on aficionados.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.