Going to try something a bit different this year, rather than place every award in one post, I’m going to split it over three, mainly to avoid repetition, and to keep it to a readable length. In this one I’ll be focused more on moments, focusing more on how films started, ended, and the moments in between.
It feels like they cut a few scenes off. It goes from “here’s my plan” to “I succeeded” way too quickly. It’s a shame as there could have been a lot more tension in those scenes.
Really unsubtle sequel bait. The premise of the film itself is stupid, but whilst watching it I thought that was a deliberate “yes this is dumb, but it’s fun” stylistic choice. Then the way the story concluded made go all Benoit Blanc “no! It’s just dumb”.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED this film, and it is long, but the ending is the only part where it feels long. We got the point being made, they didn’t need to repeat it again and again.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness
Just a simply terrible ending. A great film leaves you feeling things, this just leaves you thinking “wait, what?”. It’s basically a “guys, there’s trouble at the old mill” shrugs shoulders “here we go again” ending that was popular in 70’s tv shows.
Vulture ends up here from the MCU. One of those endings which just gets dumber the more you think about it. It is technically a post-credits scene, but considering they put it in the marketing, I’m counting it. A shitty ending to a shitty movie.
A very sweet textual tribute. I’m normally not a fan of text ending a film, but it works brilliantly here.
The destruction of Michael Myers. The PERFECT way to end this franchise. If you ignore, you know, the whole middle section of the film.
The main character submits to a life of being a geek. It’s horrifying, and so bleak. But perfect.
The Justice Of Bunny King
A phone call with her kids. She knew she has screwed up, and she knows she’s made it a lot worse. The kids don’t seem phased though. Which makes it worse. They’re too young. Their innocence comes off as apathy and you can tell she’s doomed. Then the police shoot her. It’s really the only way it could end. It’s emotionally devastating but narratively satisfying. It also says a lot about her character that when she’s being loaded into the back of the ambulance she points out the windows are disgusting
Bodies, Bodies Bodies
The reveal changes everything about this. Closes what you thought were plot holes, and puts a whole new spin on the film on the characters. The build-up to it is great too, when you can sense it is about to happen.
Belle – Everyone Sings
When the world starts singing, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a sign saying “free cheese”.
Bodies Bodies Bodies – The First Death
Ties everything together perfectly, and is timed brilliantly. When I saw it I could sense when different people got it. The laughter of recognition made its way through the audience and it was a wonderful experience to be part of.
Bullet Train – The Wolf
Really there are a lot of options here, almost all of the fight scenes are worthy. But I have to go with the introduction of The Wolf. His entire sequence is a masterclass in how to set up a character’s motivations, and it’s stylish as hell. It gives what could be a small character SO much detail.
Catch The Fair One – The Kidnapping
It’s so naturally done. There’s no dramatic music leading up to it. It’s unexpected and shocking. There are a lot of choices in this though; the missing person group was also up there for being chosen
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – Illuminati
Gloriously vicious and violent. Plus it really shows how dangerous a character she is.
Fall – Ladder Break
A moment of incredible tension that truly shook up the audience in the screen I was in.
Nope – SNL
The fact that Jupe can only relive the trauma through an SNL skit says so much about him. That level of denial explains so much about his character, and why he does what he does. It’s one of those scenes which only gets better the more you think about the implications of it.
The Batman – Flood Saving
When he goes to save a group of people, they flinch away from him. Genius. It shows how his use of fear to keep order needs to be balanced with providing hope.
Thor: Love and Thunder – Relationship Montage
The Thor/Jane Foster romance is one that hasn’t really been well received in the MCU, with the whole thing feeling a bit flatand unnecessary. This saved it. It made the relationship feel real, and it meant you actually felt the heartache that Thor was going through.
You Are Not My Mother – Dance Scene
It has a really intense energy. I don’t see how they could have done that scene any better, the most perfect way. Also a great piece of dynamic storytelling and character-building.
Everything Everywhere All At Once – Googly Eyes On A Rock
Again, a lot of options. So many of the fight scenes are incredible. But I have to go with something simpler, a scene of a silent conversation between two rocks. Even remembering it brings me to tears.
Scream – Billy
The hallucinations of him are something that hasn’t really been a theme in the Scream series (outside of a brief few moments in the third one), so it just doesn’t feel like a tonal fit.
Clerks 3 – Ending Credits
Kevin Smith narrates over the credits, explaining what happened to the characters afterwards. Feels incredibly lazy and last minute.
Elvis – MLK death
Trying to tie the assassination of MLK into Elvis’s career feels really cheap and unnatural.
The Lost King – Ghost Clue
They changed a lot about the character, but I don’t think it’s particularly a big secret that in real life, the character had more to go on than “a ghost told me where he was buried”.
The Phantom Of The Open – Dream Sequence
Completely unnecessary and a bit stupid. Almost embarrassing to watch.
Firestarter – “It’s different for us”
Has THE worst piece of editing I’ve seen this year. Or a bad performance. The line is delivered as if it’s half of a sentence. She doesn’t get interrupted, she doesn’t slow down or lose her bearings, the camera just cuts away and there’s no sound of her talking anymore. It sounds like she’s been cut off by silence. It takes a lot for a scene of a simple conversation to be nominated for this, the scene is so bad that it managed it.
Morbius – Falling Fight Scene
It’s an incomprehensible mess. A basic necessity of a fight scene is you should be able to tell what’s going on. This is just a blob of grey falling down from a great height.
Avatar: The Way Of Water – The Entire Third Act
Not needed. When I saw it at the cinema the start of the final action scene caused a noticeable reaction, and not a good one. It was like the air had been sucked out of the room. If it was a live gig people would have thrown bottles of piss.
It automatically gets the audience asking questions, and kind of horrifies them too. It also sets up the reveal beautifully. There are some flaws in how this film approaches mystery and questions, but the set up is incredible.
Instantly sets up this universe as being something different from what we’ve seen before. It feels like every time we get a new Batman movie it’s advertised as “this is dark and gritty”, but this is the first time it feels truly earned. It’s genuinely disturbing and sets up the tone better than any other opening could have.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Mainly because it automatically answered the question everybody was going to ask, and did it in a respectful and dignified way.
The sound of knocking and someone asking their mother to open a door. The daughter apologises, the mother rejects her apologies and we hear electric noises and screaming. Good start, suitably creepy.
You Are Not My Mother
A baby in a pram in the middle of the street in darkness. Such a simple but effective way to open the film. The baby is then taken to the woods by its grandmother, who lights a ring of fire around her. Instantly gets you asking questions.
Broadcast Signal Intrusion
James is transferring tapes over at work, then goes home. Really well done actually. They don’t go with traditional horror music, they go with jazz, which gives it a strange ethereal quality. Some really creative shots too. It then goes into slightly more horror dream fare but the transition between reality and horror is handled well.
Corey is babysitting a kid and accidentally kills him. Apparently, this is frowned upon in babysitting circles. It was an accident (and kind of the kid’s fault), but the town still blames him. The film never gets close to this level of small-town paranoia and fear again.