2021 Film Awards

So we’re two months in, and it’s time to finish the summary of 2021 films in the way I usually do: randomly bitching and praising shit nobody has heard of. Some really tough decisions made, and some really easy ones. You might disagree, ask me next week and I might disagree with my own choices, but I had to make them, and here they are. Side note, there’s no “worst film” this year, there were a lot of bad films, but truth be told nothing felt quite bad enough to earn that.

Best Looking:

Blithe Spirit

One of the few things this film did well. It has a great colour scheme so that the visuals really pop. If the film itself was as good as it looked, it would have been one of my favourites of the year.


Almost entirely due to how the final third was directed, film geeks will love what they did with it in terms of how it looks. One of the best examples of using visuals to tell a story.

Come True

Just to warn you, this film is going to come up A LOT in this. I just loved the blue colours over everything. It perfectly matched the music and made the whole thing feel like you were watching it on a CRT monitor. Really unique and I love it.


Striking colours, combined with great costume design. The visuals for a lot of this film consist of dark or boring backgrounds, then bright and stunning foregrounds/clothes to create striking images that you’ll love. There’s something weirdly retro too, makes you think of the time period, and is perfect for story.

Godzilla Vs. Kong

Purely for the sense of scale, this series has been a great showcase for spectacle cinema, and this is no exception. There are obvious plot issues, but I can’t deny how much I loved just sitting there staring at this film.

Love and Monsters

Yeah it’s a surprise to me too, but I love the director brought the world to life. You don’t watch this and feel you’re watching something obviously fake, the CGI is pretty damn good for a film like this. Everything looks and feels like it belongs in that world. It’s so good that sometimes you don’t really notice it, you’re not sitting there going “wow, look at that creature”, the creature is just there, and fits so well into it that it can pass you by.


There were so many times watching this where I thought “yup, that would make a good poster”. Just let down by one of the special effects not really working for me.

Raya And The Last Dragon

The way that Sisu is animated is glorious, a solid character that flows through the air like she’s swimming. I love the way this looked, the little references to Southeast Asian cultures, the amount of water (which is notoriously hard to animate) which looks gorgeous. I just love the way this flows visually. Because of how similar they were I had to choose between this and Luca, this JUST inches ahead due to the building designs.


Mainly for the use of space, well, lines really. The fluid nature to the animation is reminscent of classic disney at its best. The whole thing just feels like an otherworldly dream. You look at it and you can almost hear the music.


Last Night In Soho

Yes, the neon look is great. And the final sequence is a masterclass in visuals. But the day-to-day stuff is great too. The lighting is done in a way that looks natural but has a sharp focus, almost like a spotlight. And the scenes in the club are full of visual beauty.

Most Disappointing

A Quiet Place Part 2

This is where they’ll be a big difference between “Bad” and “disappointing”. Just on its own, this might have been an okay film. But as a sequel to one of the most unique films (horror or otherwise) of the last few years, can’t help but feel this is a poor effort. The new characters don’t feel like they’ve always been a part of this world, and the shadow of the dads death from the first one doesn’t hang as heavy over it as it should.


I had really high hopes for this based on the trailer, particularly one completely bad-ass moment of her running through a warzone. It just didn’t work for me though. The pacing was way off and it has no idea how to keep the momentum going. I feel you could edit this, take out some of the fluff, change the order of some scenes around, and you could get a really good film. But starting on the plantation for about 40 minutes, doing a near thirty-minute flashback to her before she got there, then going back to the plantation makes the whole thing feel disjointed. Tbh you don’t need to know that much information about her before she got there, just a few minutes to establish her life and who she is, then have her wake up in the plantation, look at the horror around her, then credits. It has nothing to say about the past, and as such says nothing about the present. A lot of it is just misery porn.


I was fully on board with this for a lot of it. Sure there were a few moments where I felt “ouch that’s not good”. Bad music choices, the visuals looked too fake and stupid. And then the ending happened, and shat upon all the goodwill I had. It’s a shame as the concept was promising, and it had some good scenes. But it set up questions it had no intention of answering.

The King’s Man

Not exactly a bad film, but nowhere near as good as the previous ones. I really hope they do a sequel to this one because otherwise, it’s completely pointless. It didn’t set up the other two films or answer any questions we had. It’s just to set up something else, it feels like this is Iron Man, and the original 2 Kingsman films are Infinity War and Endgame, like we’re missing a lot of stuff in the middle. It’s nowhere near as stylish as the other two, with no real stand-out scenes.

Black Widow

I avoided spoilers for this, I assumed it would be game-changing. Nope. It just sets up a new Black Widow, something that could have been a tv show. In Taskmaster it features one of the most underutilized villains in the history of the MCU (and all feels way too similar to what they did with Ghost in Ant-Man And The Wasp), I suppose the real villain is Ray Winstones character, but the true villain is his acting coach. Not quite as dull as Eternals, but I had much higher expectations.


Wonder Woman 1984

I remember talking about this with someone before it came out, I mentioned how this reminded me of Thor: Ragnorak and was looking like it was going to be a technicolour ball of fun, as it is it’s just technicolour bullshit. It’s turned a strong independent female character into “I just need a man”. It’s not even an original story, it’s just another soft adaptation of The Monkey’s Paw, which has been done much better in other media. Also, I genuinely can’t remember that much about Kristen Wiigs character, she’s ridiculously underdeveloped, she’s given barely anything to do once she becomes a villain. It still looks good, but the script is diabolical. This is a BIG film, released just over a year ago, and featured a cameo from Lynda Carter, yet nobody talks excitedly about it.

Best Performer

Amy Nostbakken/Norah Sadava in Mouthpiece

Cheating a bit as it’s two performers, but they’re both playing the same character so I’m counting it. For a lot of these, I’m counting things like believability, facial expressions, dialogue delivery etc. They do all of those things well, but sold this for me was how unbelievably in-sync they are throughout. This goes beyond acting into performance art. The way they physically interact with each other is almost ballet-like in its precision and use of space

Riz Ahmed in Sound Of Metal

I mainly know him from Four Lions, he was in Nightcrawler but that was mainly Jake’s film let’s be honest. This? This was incredible. I didn’t know he had this in him. The pain, the torment, the frustration. His character is suffering, and his performance lets you know that.

McKenna Grace in Ghostbusters Afterlife

If she’s in a film I watch, she’s likely to be nominated in this category, every year. That’s how good she is. It’s not bias either, I didn’t recognise it as her while I watched this, all I thought was “I have no idea who that is but she is absolutely nailing every piece of dialogue here”. The way she delivers bad jokes makes them funny, her comedic timing is impeccable, and she’s talented enough that she carries the emotional setpieces too. She’s in a film with Paul Rudd, and outshines him.

Magdalena Kolesnik in Sweat

All the way through she gives a good performance, but the scene near the end where she’s being interviewed and she just breaks down completely. She’s helped by some tremendous dialogue which she conveys beautifully. But there’s a moment in the end where she realises that it was pointless, that nobody cares, that she just needs to smile and get back to work. It’s heartbreaking, and she nails it.

Katja Herbers in The Columnist

The second foreign language performer to be nominated here, both fully deserved. This one slightly edged it out because of how wordless some of her best moments were. You could tell her character was trying to hide her annoyance. It’s a difficult role to do as she has to be likeable, but also a serial killer. So she has to have that weird mix of danger and sweetness. It’s a testament to both her performance, and to the writing, that it works as well as it does.

Billy Crystal in Here Today/Anthony Hopkins in The Father

This is going to be tricky making this work for both but the reasons they work are so similar for both I feel okay consolidating them into one. So here goes: Normally they’re actors who play characters who lead a film, in control of every scene. So to see them play somebody so vulnerable is devastating. It’s so unlike them that it really hits home their situations.

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Read a review which said she looked “like bad drag”. Fuck off. Besides, the important thing is how good she is in this role, and she’s great, her body language in each scene showing who’s in control. You can tell she’s instantly changed a situation to her advantage just by the way she’s standing. Plus she has an unsure confidence, she has to believe she’s doing what’s right, but there’s a part that’s not.

Rebecca Hall in The Night House

She’s always had a lot of promise but somehow manages to find herself in slightly disappointing roles (Iron Man 3, Godzilla Vs. Kong, Dorian Gray), in this she lives up to the potential you always knew she had. She plays a character dealing with intense personal loss, and that loss is written through every fibre of her performance. So even in the horror moments, you are always fully aware that this is a character tinged with sadness and regret. It’s the kind of performance that would be talked about for oscar nominations if they didn’t hate horror movies for some reason.

Niamh Algar in Censor

Occasionally you get a performer who you truly feel is representing the directors vision, and I feel Algar is doing this here. Her performance feels like it suits the character, the film, everything about it. I really hope her and the director work together in the future as they compliment each other wonderfully. She looks broken throughout and it’s amazing to watch. Even when she’s saying things she’s certain about, her face still seems unsure. It’s perfect for the character and I want to see her in more stuff.

Thomasin McKenzie in Last Night In Soho

This could not have been an easy performance for her to deliver, the emotional range needed is off the charts, and she had to do it all in a Cornish accent, and how did they even explain that accent to someone from New Zealand? Have to say, I never noticed though. I knew I recognised her from somewhere, but I couldn’t place where and I assumed it was some random Channel 4 show. The fact that she is this good, and is only 21 is terrifying and exciting.


Julia Sarah Stone in Come True

Already known to cinephiles in Canada due to her award-winning roles in The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom and Wet Burn, this is the first I’ve seen of her and I now want to see more. Her performance is utterly captivating. This is without a doubt one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in my life. Her performance is seen in every moment of her performance, from her body language, her facial expressions, everything is filled with little nuances that sell her character.

Worst Performer

Ray Winstone in Black Widow

You’d think he’d be great at this, he’s basically a mob boss with access to superpowered beings. But his accent is SO bad it’s laughable. It’s so hard to take him seriously as a threat when his accent his travelling more than someone who doesn’t understand the rules of basketball. I haven’t heard accents this bad outside of someone being slightly racist.

Leslie Mann in Blithe Spirit

Again, the accent. I can’t tell what nationality her character was supposed to be, was she supposed to be British and couldn’t quite manage it, or was she just supposed to be posh and her mind automatically leant slightly British?


Lebon James in Space Jam

He can’t act. At all. His character admits that in the film, doesn’t make it better.

Best Soundtrack

Come True

Has one of my favourite songs I heard in 2021. If you listen to this you can instantly tell the tone of the film. Is great to listen to. But even outside of that song, it’s great. Haven’t heard a soundtrack this creepy this It Follows.


One of the best examples of music syncing with animation in a while. The whole thing plays like an art piece, the animation moving with the music in a wonderful flowing motion. Not quite sure how it would work independently, but it is marvellous as part of something bigger.


Following the John Wick rule of using older music, and just like that it worked. It gives the violent scenes an air of beauty and class they wouldn’t have otherwise. Not exactly a soundtrack I would go out and buy, but it suits the film perfectly.

The Suicide Squad

Not quite as good as the others on this list at matching the tone of the movie, but the choice of songs is amazing. Probably one of the ones I’m most likely to listen to on its own.

In The Heights

Another musical, but very different from Annette. I’m not sure these would work on their own, not exactly the kind of soundtrack you’d show somebody who didn’t know the film, you’d needed to have watched this to truly get the songs I think. But once you watch it, you’ll love the music. The best one is probably the opening one, it does a great job of telling you who everybody is. This film had the advantage obviously of coming from an already established musical.

Last Night In Soho

Edgar Wright is one of those directors (similar to Gunn actually) who knows what songs to pick to make a great soundtrack. Definitely the case here, obviously the key musical motif is Downtown, but the rest of the film has songs that suit it too. They’re great at setting the tone.



Musicals normally have a sense of playfulness, except for adaptations like Les Miserables. This is dark, but in a beautiful way, and the music suits that. The opening number is probably the scene I’ve watched the most on youtube this year, when I watched it originally I rewound it multiple times because I wanted to feel the magic again. Part of that was the song chosen. It’s dark, but also playful, a Sparks song about how the film is starting, starring the cast, and the musicians. There are other really good songs throughout, actually I can’t remember any dialogue, in my head it was all music. Such good songs, there’s one where Adam Drivers character is just going on a rant on stage, and the audience are booing him and telling to go away, all in the medium of song.

Most Surprising


Assumed this would be one of those “oh it’s very well made for a low budget foreign indie film”, but this is genuinely one of my favourite films now. The emotion, the performances, the originality. I loved almost everything about it. Not going to go too much into it as will mention it later.

Love and Monsters

Probably not the best film in this category, a lot of the others I expected nothing and was surprised by them, this, I expected it to be quite bad. If it wasn’t for someone messaging me telling me to watch it I would have avoided it. This is much better than you may think it would be by looking at the poster. Heatwarming, funny, and just overall brilliant

Come True

Went into this knowing nothing, came out with one of my favourite films I’ve seen. Won’t be talking about it much in this one because I talk about it A LOT in other categories.


Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Some of these I went in blind and surprised me that way, some I thought were bad, but then checked them out after being told otherwise. This? I went in thinking it would terrible. The early reviews were very negative, and lets be honest it looked like it could miss the point of the originals completely. The first few minutes I was still unsure, it wasn’t until McKenna Grace’s character was on screen and started talking that I started to realise this could be good. It was better than that. Others in this category are better, but none have had such a big difference between expectations and reality. Loved it.

Best Character

Mav1s – Love And Monsters

Not in the film for very long, not even human. But gives the film some more humanity in its actions. Provides emotion, depth, and some very heartwarming moments. Very reminiscent of Baymax.

Red Guardian – Black Widow

The film was disappointing but it was never down to him. His character was funny and added a weird sense of pathos to it. I know the MCU is moving towards focusing on Yelena moving forward, but I’d much rather see more from him, weirdly I’d actually really want a prequel focusing on him.

Christine – How To Deter A Robber

There’s something so goofy and loveable about her. The moments where she’s on-screen are among the best. Essentially the type of character that Anna Kendrick would play.

Peacemaker – The Suicide Squad

There’s a reason this character got a spin-off. A sociopath who believes he’s a good guy. He is basically America personified.


Podcast/Phoebe – Ghostbusters: Afterlife

With just one of these characters, the film would be good, with both of them it’s amazing. The chemistry between them brings to mind classic 80s films like The Goonies. They’re just so perfect together that I had to include them both. They’re both great for the same reason. Incredibly well written and very funny. But the jokes they make don’t detract away from the tension, they’re not cracking wise while staring death in the face, they’re also not making jokes that kids wouldn’t make. They’re goofy jokes, which reluctantly raise a smile.

Best Film


Oh, this is tough. I may regret this decision. Usually, I just list the films nominated and then put the winner. I know there were a lot of films in the best of the year blog, but when it came to what my absolute favourite was, in reality, it was between this and Come True. I felt it would be disingenuous to list films I know had zero chance of winning, pretending they had a chance, would be a waste of my time writing, and your time reading. It is really close by the way, for different reasons. Come True is a film-makers film, Mouthpiece is a scriptwriters film. In terms of look and technical prowess, Come True runs away with it. In terms of originality, this has it. Come True is better from an analytical and film student perspective, Mouthpiece is better from an emotional one. In the end, it came down to this: If I had to watch both, which would I watch first? And the answer is Mouthpiece, it hit me harder.

So, that’s it for 2021, a surprisingly strong year for cinema. 2022 will probably have more foreign-language and independent reviews, so look forward to these getting a lot more pretentious and finding more obscure stuff. Should be fun.

2021 In Film: Day Three (The Meh)

Films I could take or leave. I didn’t like, but I didn’t dislike either, they just existed.

A Quiet Place Part 2

Nowhere near as good as the first one. Part of that, for me anyway, is that it used music. The first one didn’t, it played everything in silence so that every sound was story-based and realistic. It felt like you were alongside these people on the journey with them, because they use music in this one it meant it felt like you were watching a film. It really took you out of it.

+ It still has the ability to shock you.

– The fact it has music. Ruins the tone. The first one was made by the silence and this film seems almost scared to have it.

Best Moment: The opening scene, a flashback to when the event first happened. Wonderful chaos, and to be honest I wish we saw more of that stuff.

Worst moment: The sub-plot back at the base. It just distracts away from the main plot. So easy to deal with, if you killed the kid. It would have improved the pacing, added stakes, and broke the audience.

Best Performer: Millicent Simmonds, obviously.

Worst Performer: Djimon Hounsou, a good performer, but he’s way too big for such a small part in this film.

Best Line: “The people that are left, they’re not the kind of people worth saving”. A line which made me feel the film was going to be much better than it ended up being.

Original review here


This is on me. I probably would have liked it more if I had seen the others, if I had more history with the franchise. But I didn’t know I’d need to do homework, and the way it was advertised made it looks as if it was something new and was more of a soft reboot. I recognise this is just a personal opinion but this lacked tension to me. There was no chance of a fightback for the characters, so it was just people you had only just met being killed, repeat. Another 15 minutes or so to flesh out some of the background characters would have really helped it.

+Nia DaCosta is one hell of a director. Visually it’s a real feast for the eyes.

-Don’t really care about secondary characters

Best moment: When they use shadow puppets as a way to tell the story. Very creative, and perfect for this film.

Original review here

Coming 2 America

I’ll say this, this film is VERY fortunate I watched the cinemasins video for the original a few days before watching this otherwise I wouldn’t have got half the references it makes. It’s so in debt to the original that it doesn’t carve out its own legacy. It also seems unsure how to treat Eddie Murphy’s character, is he a sensible mature king who has grown into the role since we saw him last? Or is he the cocky slightly immature character that he was? This tries to play it both ways and it doesn’t really work. Available on Amazon prime so if you have a subscription already I’d say watch it, but don’t hunt it down.

+All the cameos, sure to raise a smile

-Feels a little lazy at times

Best Moment: The celebrations for the current king. Showcases just how out-of-touch the current king is, the hero-worship of someone who’s only real achievement is being born is brilliantly hilarious and so bombastic.

Worst moment: The conception of his son. Let’s not split hairs, it was rape. He was drugged to the point where he can’t even remember it. The fact that nobody pulls the woman up on this is, well it’s problematic.

Best Performer: Kiki Lane. She isn’t given a lot to do but she plays her character perfectly. You can sense the internal battle of tradition vs. worthiness.

Worst performer: Arsenio Hall. His performance isn’t bad, but there are moments where he plays it a bit too comedically. We’re talking live-action Disney sitcom level of overacting.

Best Line: You’re dressed like a slave from the future.

Original review here

Gunpowder Milkshake

I had high hopes for this. Looked like it would be slick fun. It’s not, it feels very derivative of Edgar Wright’s work. It should not be as forgettable as it is, and that’s a shame. It should at the very least look gorgeous. I mean, it looks okay at parts, but in a Snyder way, where the visuals of the shot are more important than writing how to get there in a logistical way. The whole thing feels like a video game, and not a good one. A cheap one from the late PS1 games where putting women in latex outfits and having the camera focus on their arse in a game was considered “progressive”, even when the game was called something like “Phwoar! Look At Those Tits” and the tagline was “It’s okay to masturbate over this, women aren’t people”. The fight scenes are predictably overedited. Also, the sound design is a little “off”. It feels muffled so that some hits don’t land quite as hard as they should.

+ When it leans into what it actually is, it works.

-Trying so hard to make every image seem “cool”, that none do.

Best Moment: There’s a great fight where Karen Gillan’s character loses the use of her arms, so she gets someone to tape a knife to her hand and fights like that, just swinging her arms around. It’s incredibly creative, can’t remember the last time I saw a fight scene like that.

Worst moment: She bowls a bowling ball at someones head, it smacks against it with a dull thud. With the right sound effect (and obviously the correct levelling of it against the music) it would have been a lot better. Plus it would have confirmed whether it knocked them out or killed them. It could have done either and that scene alone doesn’t do a good enough job of indicating which one it is. It later turns out that it did just knock them out

Best Line: “There’s not a single person on earth that I’d rather kill people with”. That’s my chat-up line btw.

Original review here

Red Notice

One of the last films I watched last year, but I still can’t talk at length about it. It’s the film equivalent of mediocre cod and chips. You don’t know what else you expected, but you know you expected better. It was in that weird middle ground where it didn’t have enough twists that you were constantly on your toes admiring the genius, but it had enough that when there was another one you just felt it was a bit stupid.

You know how when you used to play Tony Hawk games and everything in the levels would be lined up so that you could skate it in one continuous motion? That’s how the action scenes feel here. Like the world was specifically designed to be in an action film. There’s no sense of realness to it.

+ It’s highly unlikely you’ll be bored while watching it

-Nothing stays with you

Best Performer: Gal Gadot

Worst Performer: Ed Sheeran

Original review here

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw

I admire what they tried to do. Making it more of a procedural buddy cop drama rather than a straight-out horror is a great idea and at least shows they’re willing to do something new rather than sit on the same old tired stories this franchise is known for. But the non-Saw parts are probably the weakest sections. The buddy cop elements aren’t given enough time, we don’t buy the central friendship so we don’t feel anything when the partner “dies”. That’s in quotes for a reason, scriptwriters must know by now that in a film like this when a cops partner dies and we don’t see it, we all know they’re not really dead. It’s basically cliche at this point. Nobody is shocked by it anymore, apart from people who have never seen a film.

Also, horror doesn’t really mesh well with Chris Rocks style. He’s a good performer but he’s too “I need to prove I’m funny and cool” to pull it off. It’s so necessary for him to swear and make jokes that it’s hard to buy him as the lead in a horror movie (it’s why nobody has cast Will Ferrell in a similar role).

+ A film that goes this hard on police corruption is incredibly brave to do in the current political climate. It shouldn’t be, “police shouldn’t shoot unarmed people in the back of the head” shouldn’t be a controversial position, but sadly it is.

-Tries to do too much, and doesn’t manage to do any of them that well.

Best Moment: The first kill, really sets up how psychopathic the killer is.

Worst moment: The ending, cool at first, but then when you think about it it just becomes stupid.

Best Performer: Marisol Nichols. Perfect in her role, and her death is the most brutal.

Worst Performer: Max Minghella, his voice is just not intimidating.

Best Line: “Listen up. I know some of you guys think I’m a rat. Some of you think I’m a snitch. Some of you are mad I fucked your mother.” funny, but also weirdly emblematic of the issues with the dialogue in this movie.

Original review here

The Nowhere Inn

I was on board with this film for a portion of it. But as the film went on I just stopped caring It was being weird for the sake of being weird. I like weird, but narrative will always be the most important thing. For a mockumentary to work it needs an element of truth to it. More so than any other method of telling a story, you need the characters to feel real, otherwise, it breaks the whole immersion and just feels like people acting in front of a camera they’ve borrowed (yes, I know they are acting, but a good film makes you forget that). There are moments where it feels like it’s going to examine the characters, but then pulls away. Last year, St. Vincent made an album called Daddy’s Home, about her fathers release from prison. That’s a better method of examining who she is than this film is. O

+ The music is amazing.

-Feels a bit too staged and “quirky”

Best Moment: When she’s being interviewed by a journalist who clearly isn’t listening to her, and who just wants her to send the journalists girlfriend a voice message.

Worst moment: The sex tape with Dakota Johnson, it’s a good scene, but it comes very soon after the previous scene I mentioned and the tonal shift in terms of character is too jarring.

Best Line: “From now on I need more say in how people are going to act” “let’s only document things I can control”. Great at showcasing her delusions.

Original review here


Liked the idea, and technically it was good. It’s just the story was dull and I didn’t really care for the characters. The issue with an anthology film is just as you’re getting used to certain characters, their story is over and never referenced.

+ Very good on a technical level. Very well directed.

-Leaves audience emotionally cold

Best Moment: An absolutely brutal double murder at the end

Worst moment: The opening could do more to draw you in. The opening to a film like this should shock you, it should make you think “holy shit” either in surprise or horror. You should be able to show someone it and have them want to watch it. In this, it’s, well it’s kind of dull.

Original review here

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

I really wanted to like this, but it’s far too short. It plays like a film that has already set up Carnage/Cletus as characters. In an ideal film, we will see a world where he is a serial killer first, then have Brock be the one who takes a picture of him which leads to him being put in prison. This would mean that the characters actually have a personal connection before Carnage makes an appearance. As it is it just feels like “Cletus is obsessed with Brock because plot reasons”. To be honest you didn’t even need Carnage in this. Have the film be about Brock/Venom hunting a serial killer, and focus the plot on the separation of Brock and Venom. Have it end with them catching Cletus, THEN go into Carnage in the next film. That way when it comes along we’ll have that feeling of “oh shit, this guy was a psychopath before, he’s going to be even worse now.”

+ Looks great, and the performances are brilliant throughout.

– It should be an 18 rated film. Too bloodless. Ironically, the film never lets there be carnage.

Best Moment: Cletus talking about his childhood, very disturbing, and uniquely told.

Worst moment: I’m still not entirely sure if Reece Shearsmith’s character died.

Original review here

A Quiet Place Part 2 (2021)

FINALLY! I got “out next week” style trailers for this before the first lockdown. Buses have had the poster for this on them for so long they’re starting to fade. I’ve been waiting for the cinemas to reopen, and this film is the reason why. I should point out, because of the delay, it’s been so long since I saw the trailer, I actually can’t remember much from it. I remember how it made me feel, excited, and a little creeped out. The idea that in some ways the surviving humans would be the villains in this is strangely compelling, and it has a hint of truth to it. To survive in this world, it would have been an advantage to be a complete prick. I was really looking forward to seeing that play out in this.

But…..it doesn’t. Not really. There’s one scene where a group of people trap two of the characters, rob them, leave one of them to be killed, and will (probably judging by how they acted) rape the other one. That scene lasts I’d say about ten minutes. After that we see a community that has survived and thrived by helping each other. That lasts much longer. I suppose in some ways that’s nice, it shows a glimmer of hope for the world. But to look at it another way: this wouldn’t be the film I’d chose to watch if I was looking for something nice, that’s not what I want from this film, especially with how it was marketed.

Not my biggest issue with the film. My biggest issue is the sound. Now, I LOVE the sound design of the first one, the use of silence helped it stand out in a crowded field, and it’s a great film to watch in a full room as you can sense everybody in the audience trying their best to not make a noise. It modified viewer behaviour, and you don’t get that in this film. You don’t get that in this film for one simple reason: it uses music. Yup, over dramatic scenes, it plays suitable music, it seems like the film is scared of letting films be silent, which considering that’s what made the first film stand out, is a weird choice. It would be like making Saw II and having all the traps take place off-screen. It’s weird as it’s the same director as the first one, but it feels very different. The only major difference is that Krasinski wrote this one, whereas he only directed the first one. That explains the difference in tone of the script, but it doesn’t explain why it feels so different to watch.

Maybe it’s the age difference as well. It’s been a few years since the first film, but it’s set very soon after. Sadly it means at least one of the kids looks very different. That kid gets caught in a bear trap really early on, personally I think he should have died there. It would have taken him out of the film and done away with one of the most distracting sub-plots. It also would have made the characters feel more panicked, so add to their suffering. Plus, imagine that scene playing out. Unlike the death of the child in the first film, which was quick, this would be slow. The family would be hiding, too scared to make a noise in case they attract the aliens, they’d have no choice but to sit and watch, knowing what is going to happen but being too powerless to stop it long term. It would be an incredibly powerful scene, and would impact every decision made from then on.

So yeah, this film is kind of a disappointment. It is still a very solid piece of film-making. It still does everything it needs to. If this was a new franchise it would be a solid 8/10. But as a sequel to one of the most unique horror films of the last few years, I can’t help but feel a little cheated.