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 scope out scary movies to get you in the mood for Halloween.
OUT THIS WEEK & PROCEED WITH CAUTION:
- Unfriended: Dark Web. Here’s Kaitlyn Tiffany over at The Verge:
Unfriended: Dark Web depends far more on the quirks and secrets of software (both everyday and obscure) than the original film, which is to its credit, in that it allows for a far more complicated, difficult-to-predict plot. But the real thrill of Unfriended was that it looked exactly like our lives as we actually live them — waiting for typing bubbles, groaning at the spinning beach ball of death, trying to pick out micro-expressions in a blurry webcam recreation of a beloved person. The horror of seeing the interfaces we rely on for most of our daily doses of intimacy turned against us was genuinely innovative, and actually scary. In Dark Web, the audience I was with laughed out loud at lines like “Oh God, they pulled you across The River, didn’t they?” As the movie races through its egregiously brutal final 20 minutes, it gets darker and more punishing, never slowing down to explain exactly what the audience is being punished for.
- Arizona. Here’s James James Berardinelli over at Reelviews:
Arizona illustrates that, if a filmmaker intends to make a comedy-thriller, (s)he would be better served by emphasizing either the humor or the suspense, not trying to walk some invisible line down the middle. By choosing the latter option, first-time director Jonathan Watson crafts a film that’s neither funny nor exciting, although it often seems to be straining to be one or the other. It’s a tonal mess and its inconsistencies make it a frustrating viewing experience.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (scary weird movies edition):
- The Endless (now on Netflix). Here’s Scott Wold over at Paste Magazine:
One can’t describe the plot much more than that without spoiling the film’s sci-fi-flavored reveals but suffice it to say that the tension ratchets up beautifully, whether through enlightening arguments between the brothers, or through the same skillful editing and cinematography that Benson and Moorhead have exhibited in their past efforts. Speaking again of those past efforts—the duo’s move in front of the camera reveals that the two have been hoarding some legit acting chops this entire time. They really nail the patter of brothers whose connection is close but contentious, very much echoing the rapport between Michael (Peter Cilella) and Chris (Vinny Curran) in Resolution. It’s obvious the filmmakers know what this kind of relationship looks, sounds and feels like, and it’s hard to overstate the importance of this chemistry to the film.
- mother! (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s what we said in our original review:
For those familiar with the directorial stylings of Darren Aronofsky, mother! starts off not too dissimilar from what one would expect. Like The Wrestler and Black Swan, mother! keeps the camera close behind its star, almost as if Aronofsky wants the audience to literally live in their skin. In many ways, mother! is almost the conclusion of Aronosky’s self-harm trilogy, where his leads give and give all they can of themselves for the creation of art. But Aronofsky makes a decision to throw subtlety to the wind, indulging the ambitious, bombastic style shown in The Fountain, yet contained into a smaller, more personal story. Mother! allows Aronosky to unify his his two wildly varying styles in one of the most insane and ballsy films ever released by a major studio.
- Apostle (now on Netflix). Here’s Bilge Ebiri over at Vulture:
After following Thomas for so long, Apostle eventually starts to show us the ways that the seams in Erisden are growing in the face of want, and fear. That’s an interesting idea that the film could have done more with. Evans seems interested in showing us how a society begins to plunge into chaos when its future becomes uncertain and its belief systems get upended, and there’s certainly some contemporary resonance there. But he doesn’t go far enough, perhaps because he’s also got a lot of genre thrills to orchestrate. Apostle is ultimately an absorbing, horrifying movie that’s maybe not as smart as it wants to be. But it is a lot stranger, and more disturbing, than you might expect.
That’s it! Get streaming, kids.