Friday 18 June 2021

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) - Movie Review

Over the past couple years, my opinions on the Conjuring cinematic universe have gone from strength to strength. To the point where I’m likely in the minority for such things, given how favourably I’ve been towards the recent run of spin-off features. I still maintain that the first two Annabelle movies are a hard pass, but The Nun, The Curse Of The Weeping Woman, and even Annabelle Comes Home are still in my good books at the time of writing this.

As such, I was reasonably looking forward to the new mainline Conjuring film, albeit slightly taken aback by the real-life inspiration this time around (making it about a real-life murder case hits a bad note that just a haunted house doesn’t manage). But it turns out that I was looking in entirely the wrong direction as far as misgivings with this feature, sad to say.

Tuesday 15 June 2021

The Woman In The Window (2021) - Movie Review

There’s something… refreshing about this movie, and I mean that in the worst way possible. Where other films usually take time for the flaws within to really present themselves, The Woman In The Window almost seems eager to get it all out in the open within the first five minutes. As Bruno Delbonnel’s camera work glides across the house of Amy Adams’ Anna, a child psychologist with agoraphobia, it lingers on a TV set playing a stuttering slideshow of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. With how much older cinema gets shown throughout, including a few more Hitchcock efforts, it gives this inexorable feeling that I’m watching the result of someone who’s been stuck inside for months with nothing but black-and-white flicks for company, and decided to write a screenplay because they need something, anything, to alleviate the cabin fever.

Of course, the actual genesis of this story is far more complicated than that, to the point where it could take up the bulk of this review all on its own (here’s a beat-by-beat breakdown of the author done by the New Yorker a couple years ago), but that impression still lingers regardless. Not that this is the first modern film to crib heavily from Rear Window, but this is a weirdly straight-forward example of such, as if it’s trying to pre-empt critics and general audiences pointing out such things. Then again, that ranks fairly low on my list of priorities with this particular flick. I am far less sceptical of a story being retold than I am of it being retold well. And to be brutally honest, this isn’t Rear Window. Or Disturbia. Or even Bart Of Darkness. This film wishes it could reach that level of genuine quality.

Wednesday 9 June 2021

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) - Movie Review

In most circumstances, a sequel that’s just more of the same that made the original what it is can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it serves as one of the only conditions when the advice of Mike Love is a good thing to adhere to ("don’t fuck with the formula"), making sure that what worked last time isn’t tampered with. But on the other hand, if a continuation is going to exist in the first place, there needs to be something new added to the mix, if only to justify the exercise. And with A Quiet Place Part II finally making it to theatres, it feels like a good middle ground between those two ideals, resulting in a film where it being similar to what came before is far from a bad thing.