Brightburn (2019)

Okay, so every year I do end of year awards. These include the good (best actress, best film, etc), but also the bad (worst film, worst moment, etc). Usually these are decided near the end of the year once I’ve had distance from a lot of things, that way my response isn’t too immediate and I don’t put a meh film as one of the worst films of the year. It takes something truly special to get nominated for an award that soon after seeing it. For that to happen I have to be 100% certain it will deserve it. Why am I mentioning that now? Because this will get nominated, in fact it’s probably the frontrunner for one of the awards. So which one?

Best film?

I mean, it’s about what if Superman was evil, I love dark unique films and this fits it. But it’s not that. It’s way too pedestrian for that, and it never lives up to the potential that the concept promises. It feels way too restrained but I’m not sure what by.

Best actor for Jackson A. Dunn

He plays the title role as a young teen coming to terms with the fact he’s essentially God. A fascinating character that a lot of young actors would kill for. So is that where it wins? Nope, he is good, very good in fact, but not great.

Scariest Film

I mean, the idea of a Superman-like character being evil is a terrifying concept to think about. But it’s not that. A lot of the violent scenes come off more comical than scary. There’s a moment where he snaps a character’s hand, it’s the first piece of ultraviolence in the film, and it was met with laughter in the screening I was at.

Best Character

It has to be that, right? I’ve never been invested in Superman as a character as I’ve felt he’s too good and perfect. So a twist on that should enthral me, right? Nope, it makes so many allusions to Superman that it doesn’t feel like a real character in itself. It’s so in debt to its influences that it never stands out as an independent thing.

Best Moment

Close. This film needs chaos and violence, but 90% of it was in the trailer. Actually now I think about it, most of the film was in the trailer. Almost all of the major story beats, including the ending, were in the trailer. IIRC, two of the main characters final lines are in the trailer. That’s just weird. It does come close with the post-credits scene though. Setting up potential sequels and spin-offs which do excite me. Yeah this film kind of suffers the same problem as M.Night’s Glass Trilogy, where at the end of each of the three films (Unbreakable, Split, Glass) I wasn’t excited about what I just saw, but I was excited to see what happened next (not excited enough to go out of my way to see them, but meh). Same here, I want to see what happens next. This film seems very much like a prequel to a much better film, but there’s a chance that film (a kind of evil Justice League) might not happen. Which is a damn shame.

So, which award will this be nominated for? I’m ashamed to say:

Biggest Disappointment.

I really wanted to like this film. I bigged it up to people for months, so for it to be so boring is a huge disappointment. It felt too long despite only being 90 minutes. It had some interesting moments but overall it just felt like I was playing catch up to the trailer. This should have been great, yet it’s not even okay.


Us (2019)

Spoilers: this film isn’t as good as Get Out. That’s not damning it though, as VERY few films are as good as Get Out. I feel that film could weigh Jordan Peele down slightly, it has given everything he is involved with INCREDIBLY high expectations which it’s going to be hard for him to match.

That being said, this film is still spectacular. I don’t see it hitting pop culture quite as high as Get Out did, but it’s still probably one of the highlights of the year, and definitely the best horror film of the year so far.

Honestly, and as much as I hate to say this, the weakest part of this film is the script. It feels like it needed adjusting slightly. I mean, it is still good, but there are moments where it’s a bit too unsubtle, a bit too unfocused, taking too long to say certain things. It’s still great, it just needs slight tweaks. While the script isn’t as good as Get Out, this film is MUCH better directed, which considering how great a job he did on Get Out, really says something. EVERYTHING seems to have purpose visually. He’s great at making sure a sense of unease looms over the entire film, giving even innocuous scenes a sense of dread. You could watch normal scenes out of context, scenes of family just walking down the beach, and they’d be SOMETHING about it which would tell you it’s slightly off.

The performances are also SUPERB. Almost everyone in it has to play two roles, and they need to make them different enough to visually identify which character we are seeing. Lupita Nyong’o in particular really nails it. The way she makes her characters move effects how you see them as people, it’s truly great.

My favourite moment of this film? The wham moment (which is not to be confused with the scene from Keanu where they argue that George Michael was a gangster, that’s a Wham! moment) is one of the best I’ve seen. This moment has slight spoilers so if you don’t want this film spoiled, look away now, and I’ll tell you when you can look back.

Those fucking idiots. If they’re looking away then they won’t see when I tell them to look back, they’re going to be walking around forever looking slightly to the left, they’re going to walk into so many open sewers. Hah!

Wait, where was I? Oh right, the wham moment. For a lot of this film it’s played like the only clones (ok, they’re not clones, but if I call them “tethereds” that will make no sense unless you either see the film, or I explain it) that exist are the ones of the family. We then find out that they exist of another family, and they’re all similar; all sociopathic killers. We then see a news broadcast and find out it’s country-wide. This moment is SUPERB. We find out that what we have been watching has been happening all over the country, that there are millions of stories just like the one we’ve seen, and they’ve all ended brutally. That is what I will remember from this film, how I felt in that moment. Also, that moment had a piece of realisation of visual foreshadowing that made me say out loud “You magnificent bastard”. So that’s that, this film made me annoying.

Happy Death Day 2 U (2019)

First off, applause for that title. It’s the best/worst sequel title ever and I love it. Now, I LOVED the first movie. Yeah it wasn’t that scary, but it had a great plot and terrific performances, was truly one of the highlights of 2017. I heard initial reports that this one was a disappointment. Personally I liked it. I get why people wouldn’t though. It’s quite different from the first one, with a different emphasis which takes it away from the horror genre somewhat. It also wastes what would be a great plot in the opening 10 minutes where another character is trapped in the same day. Although part of me thinks that that plot wouldn’t have worked because it would have been incredibly similar to the first one. The moment where they find that character from another universe is in this one and trying to kill them definitely would have worked and it’s a shame they didn’t use it. I mean, the plot they used was incredibly good. She wakes up on the same day as the first one, but in an alternate universe where things are different. One of the major differences is that her mum is now alive. This sets up a brilliant sub-plot of whether she wants to stay in the new universe or go back to the one she knows.

I’m under no delusions that this is a great film. But it is a film I love already. Jessica Rothe  is damn amazing in this, and Phi Vu handles his increased duties incredibly well, stepping up from a one-note character to a fully-fleshed out supporting character. Quite a few minor characters from the first movie have increased roles this time. I mean, yeah it’s not the same as the first one, but it works great as a companion piece. They don’t feel too separated, they feel like they belong together naturally. Like this wasn’t a sequel, but was the second part of the first one. Crucially it didn’t need to do this. When you watched the first one it felt like a whole movie, you left it with questions, but not questions that distracted you from how much you liked the film. Your thoughts weren’t “but why did x happen?” it was “I liked that”. So this film wasn’t needed, but you’ll be very glad it exists.

Hasn’t been my longest review, or my best. This is a film that has to be seen to be believed. It’s really weird and worth your watch; even if only for Jessica Rothe’s performance. And the music. And the editing. Editing in movies are like drums in music, I tend to only notice them when they’re really bad (There’s a scene in Bohemian Rhapsody in particular that’s a mess) or really good (this). The montage editing is superb, flows brilliantly and has a great rhythm to it. The emotion this film manages to bring to the table should be commended too. Has genuine tear-causing moments. Which in a film THIS funny is something special. So yeah, go see it, especially if you loved the first one.

Escape Room (2019)

I love the premise of this. The idea that an escape room actually being a torture device that tests people’s wits and logical thinking? I love that! I did not love this film, mainly because they don’t seem to make to the most of the actual premise. It reminded me of Saw, and not in a good way. I insulted that series a lot, but when it was good, the storytelling was superb; when it was bad, it was just a mess. This is closer to the bad. It never gets quite as messy as the Saw movies, by which I mean in terms of how bad the storytelling of those films got, not by the gore. Although more mess in this film would improve it. It is lacking in gore. I’m not a fan of needless gore, but in a horror film, it’s kind of needed. You need some form of brutality to the physical pain to make the audience feel it. I don’t just mean “you need to see lots of blood,” but if you don’t see blood, you need to make up for it through either the performances or the sound design. Sound is an element which often goes underlooked in horror films. A lot of them know you have to use music but don’t really know how to use it effectively. Most of the time when they use music and sound it’s like this:





Seriously, that is at least 80% of horror films approach to sound, and it sucks. But yeah, back to the point I was making. This film could have maybe worked if it had excellent sound design, excellent performances, excellent ANYTHING really. But it’s all just so plain. Some of the rooms are pretty unique (there’s one in a bar which is a particular highlight), but that just brings me to another issue I had with it. There are multiple rooms. The point of an escape room (not the singular room, not rooms) is you’re locked into one room and there are things which don’t make sense until you see them in a new context later on. It’s about making the most of limited and confined spaces to create terror. Now THAT’S a horror movie. What this one does is constantly move from one room to another. The rooms don’t really seem to link together well in terms of spatial geography. (Seriously, I’d like to see the architectural blueprints of the building this film takes place in.) So, not only does it not really work, but it also wastes a potentially great idea. Seriously. Think about it: a horror film with multiple deaths in a closed room would be incredible because you’d have a constant reminder of the deaths. As it is, because of this, the way it changes from one room to the next, as soon as somebody dies their body disappears and is never seen again, effectively making it like a video game. If it was a singular room, then all the deaths would have a constant presence in the film, which would give you a lot more interesting shots to work with. It could be used to justify almost any stupid decision the characters make. All it would take is someone looking sadly at one of the bodies and it would justify anything as you know they’re full of fear and panic.

So, the actual rooms/puzzles themselves? They’re okay, and some are better than others. I feel this would have been better if it wasn’t done by one director. If each room had a different director, then everything would have felt truly unique. Honestly, I would have LOVED a different writer for every room, too- have them written sort of like a series, then one person comes in and makes the characters consistent between each room. Then they could have had different kinds of scares in every room. They could have one that seemed very supernatural, one that was essentially a slasher, etc. It would have made this stand out in a crowded genre. Some of the rooms are okay. As I’ve already mentioned, the bar scene stands out as a true highlight for the film in terms of aesthetic, set design (similar to aesthetic, but more how everything WORKS together, not so much how it looks), the tense nature, and the absolute GENIUS use of music. It also seemed to be the best use of lateral thinking and intelligence, much more so than in the rest of the film. (There’s a moment where a key is trapped in ice and they use their body heat to melt the ice. It’s a group which contains 4 guys, and none of them suggests pissing on the ice to melt it.) The puzzles themselves are okay, I guess. But it commits a cardinal sin for a movie dependent on people doing puzzles like this: a lot of the time the audience arrives at the conclusion WAY before the characters do. The best example of this is the second room where they have to guess a certain word. The clue is “You’ll go down in history” and there are reindeer heads mounted everywhere. It takes longer than you think it would for them to figure this out. There’s no sense of “oh! so THAT’S the answer! I never would have guessed that! That’s so smart! Colour me impressed!” It’s just “well, obviously that’s the answer.” The disappointment continues to the ending, where we find out that the reason they’re all here is that *surprise* rich people are betting on them. Sigh. I know, rich sociopaths are awful, but you know what else is awful? Formulaic endings which would have been considered bland in the ’90s. It’s a secretive group which builds a high-tech building and kills people whilst watching them from a set of cameras at all times. OF COURSE it’s rich people, and of course they’re doing it to gamble, and of course, the audience realises this about 20 minutes in.

I do feel the performances need to be pointed out though, they’re pretty good. Taylor Russell could lead a Netflix drama series easily, Logan Miller would be a great “main characters best friend” in a sitcom (or just take the roles which TJ Miller won’t get any more due to him being TJ Miller), and I want to see more of Nik Dodani. It’s also great to see Tyler Labine in more stuff, although it does make me want to watch Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil. In fact, I think I will do that, I loved that film.

So in summary, I wanted this film to be smarter and it kind of frustrates me that it’s not. I’m not mad, I’m disappointed.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

I came into this film in an uneasy mood. The original goosebumps movie holds a warm place in my heart and is a film I genuinely enjoyed. I really didn’t want that to be tarnished by a sub-par sequel, as often happens (looking at you Die Hard). These fears were confirmed when I heard that Jack Black is barely any in it, and neither are any of the other characters from the first film. This had all the hallmarks of a terrible sequel, the reviews even said as much. Now I know a lot of the reviews for this are scathing but I liked it. It’s not a film I need to see again but for the time it was on, it was an easy movie to escape into and lose yourself.

I know a lot of the reviews are negative, but I did enjoy this. It was fun. It was a good way to pass the time. To me, a lot of the jokes worked (the IT joke in particular still makes me laugh), and the characters were well-rounded and performed actions which made sense. The script was actually really well done. It’s only 90 minutes long but almost every second counts. The pace is frantic, never letting go for a second, and is all the better for it.

The downsides? It could have been so much better. It’s not as good as the first one, not even close, but it could have been. The potential was there, they just do nothing with it. This is especially noticeable in regards to the cast; Ken Jeong is woefully underused, but when he is in he steals the scene. It is also incredibly similar to the first one in the way the characters have to deal with the menace. A lot of people have said that “it doesn’t continue the story from the first film, this means it awful”, I disagree. As far as I know, the Goosebumps books weren’t connected in terms of characters, so it’s more in the spirit of the films for them to do the same. Okay, this is ruined by the fact the first one was kind of a “greatest hits” of characters from the books, so it kind of screwed up that concept for this one, but my point still stands. To be honest I think it might have worked better as a shared universe where individual characters were built up in their own movies, before all being unleashed in a script similar to the one for the first movie. Ah well.

So yeah, I did enjoy it, I don’t need to see it again, but it was incredibly fun. I mean, I should discuss the ending though. It ends with Slappy the dummy trapping RL Stine in a book. It’s a shocking ending that comes completely out of left field and I really fucking hope that goes somewhere. If they just use that as an excuse to keep him out of future films, then it’s awful. If it sets up the next film, I’m in. If they don’t even mention it, fuck this film.

See-Saw Day Eight (Jigsaw)

Director: The Spierig Brothers

Budget: $10million

Box Office: $103million

  • And here we are. The final one. Described by the company as a “return to form” which is their way of admitting the last few were shit.
  • Open on a really weird shot of a police light taken through a rolled-up set of those spikes police put down to stop cars. Unique shot and I kind of dig it.
  • A guy has a bomb in his hand which will go off unless a detective Halloran is there.
  • Halloran turns up, the guy ends up getting shot in the stomach and kill shim, which starts off a new game. We know this because the character says “the game is starting”. Why are people who are dying in films so unhelpful and vague?
  • People wake up with buckets on their head chained to a wall. Chains pull them towards a spinning blade. The game here is; if they cut themselves on the blade, no matter how little, the blade will stop. They all do it except for one guy who is passed out, but I’m sure he’ll never be referenced again.
  • “i hope for our sake this is a game, because games can be won”. Tell that to Battletoads on the SNES.
  • A woman jogs under a bridge, turns around and realises there’s a body hanging from the bridge.
  • “Think it’s Kramer?” “hope not, he’s been dead for 10 years”. Two things: I know Jigsaws real name was John Kramer. But you can’t say Kramer and not expect me to think of this:


  • Secondly: what’s the timeline for these movies? Because it’s been about 10 years since the film where Jigsaw died was released, but I thought all the other films happened pretty soon after that one?
  • Logan, the morgue guy knows the guy investigating it, who tells him “sorry about Christine”. So this guys wife is dead? That will definitely come back later.
  • Wait, Logan was attacked by the Taliban in Fallujah? That’s racist. Oh you need me to explain? Ok, here goes: Fallujah is in Iraq, the Taliban don’t operate there, they operate in Afghanistan. This would be like saying a gang from California are operating in South Dakota.
  • Well whoever the new Jigsaw is, he has finally upgraded to digital, leaving an SD card in the body this time.
  • The people with the chains round their neck all have to admit their sins. The chains have stopped being attached to the wall and are now attached to the ceiling. I wonder how this will end up.
  • This is aimed at a specific person, someone who stole a purse from someone who then died because the purse contained medication which led to the person dying. There’s three needles in the room, one has an antidote to poison, one has saline solution, and one has acid, one needs to be injected into her or they all die by strangulation from the chains rising up the ceiling. What would have happened if she died in the first room? This game would be unwinnable.
  • All three end up injected in her neck, so she dies from the acid, but at least she’s not poisoned.
  • Ryan, (for some reason I thought he was called Mitch, and Mitch was called Ryan) tried to go through a door labelled “no exit”. This ends badly and his feet go through the floor, ending up entangled in razor wire that starts tightening.
  • The other two (Mitch and Anna) go into a silo, the door locks, and grain starts filling the silo. This on its own I would like, it’s slow, methodical, but unique. But then it kind of ruins it by dropping blades down into them as well. Yes, that’s more gruesome, but it’s not unique to me. For them to escape, Ryan has to pull a handle, severing his own leg.
  • The woman doing the autopsies (Eleanor) turns out to be a massive fan of Jigsaw. I thought this would go somewhere but nah.
  • Now we find out why Mitch is there, he sold someone a motorbike with faulty brakes which led to them dying. The tape there is specifically for him, so again I have to ask; what would have happened if he died in the first room? Or in the silo? This film only works because the characters act in the way they need to for the script to develop. If any of the characters do anything else other than what the script tells them to, this plan would fall apart. I mean, what if Mitch got his leg chopped off and died?
  • The kid who died on the bike; Jigsaws nephew. He ends up being lowered into a thing I can’t really describe; it’s like a spiral blade that gets thinner towards the end. He needs to reach through the middle of it as it’s spinning and stop the brake.
  • “Stop it, I don’t wanna die” I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.
  • He dies. But Bohemian Rhapsody is a great song.
  • Okay now Eleanor being a fan is making sense. The cops are suspecting her and Logan are murdering people.
  • Logan said that Halloran is framing him. He proves this by taking the bullet out of the guy who got shot earlier, saying the bullet is one that only Halloran uses. To me, this means it’s definitely not Halloran. As this film series doesn’t plant clues like that, it doesn’t like doing things which are simple. It likes the twist ending which means you can’t trust anything you see, which means you have a real trust issue as you assume no “clues” are actually worthwhile. That’s the issue with these, they try so hard to be intricate and clever they end up being kind of stupid.
  • Jigsaw unveils himself (not like that) in front of Anna. Thereby proving that this film (or at least the main test section) takes place in the past, because we know he’s DEFINITELY dead and a twin brother hasn’t even been hinted at.
  • More proof “what are you doing John?”, Anna says, not “Holy fuck it’s a zombie”.
  • We now find out why Ryan is being tested. He was being a drunken dickhead, which caused his friends car to crash, killing three people.
  • Anna saying “I didn’t do anything, you know me” which is a stupid thing to say. She knows what she did, so the fact he knows her means he knows what she did. It turns out Anna’s husband didn’t suffocate their baby by rolling onto it. Instead she suffocated it with a pillow to stop it crying. He got arrested, went mad, and committed suicide.
  • The final trap; a shotgun which John describes as their “key to freedom”. Anna grabs it and tries to shoot Ryan, but it fires backwards and kills her. And turns out Jigsaw meant it literally, there were keys to their chains in the gun, which are now ruined due to the gunshot.
  • Halloran and Logan have woken up with laser cutters around their necks, buttons on the desk in front of them start up the lasers and they have to confess. Halloran presses the one on Logans side, setting Logan’s trap off, because he’s a dick. Logan confesses he was the one who messed up Jigsaws diagnosis which mean his cancer wasn’t diagnosed in time. Logan “dies”. Halloran now, he admits he’s locked innocent people away and taken bribes so guilty people stay safe. Halloran notices the roof above him was destroyed by lasers, but the one above Logan wasn’t. Surprise surprise Logan rises and turns out to have been faking it. Who isn’t surprised?
  • Turns out Logan was the first guy, the one who passed out in the first room. The barn game took place 10 years ago. Halloran is responsible for Logan’s wife dying. He put people in identical tests this year to recreate the one from 10 years ago (and we didn’t see this one, because why would we want to see new things when we can see old things?)
  • This “explaining the film we just saw” (hah, “saw”) thing has taken far far too long, and still doesn’t explain some characters motives.
  • Wait, that’s it? Okay that’s odd. It has made zero references to the previous films really. On the plus side that means it stands alone. On the downside it means you’re kind of punished for watching the previous ones as it was a waste of time as none of it meant anything. Dr. Gordon isn’t mentioned despite being a very important character apparently. None of the cops come back. This film series has a toxic relationship with continuity. It’s either burying it underground or fucking it.

See-Saw Day Six (Saw VI)

Director: Kevin Greutert

Budget: $11million

Box Office: $68million

  • The sixth film in the series. Let’s see what new things this brings to the table.
  • Two people have woken up in a strange room with no idea how they got there. How new, fresh, inspired and never been done before in this series.
  • They’re money lenders, well, loan sharks to be more precise. They lend money then ask for extortionate amounts back. Kind of like Wonga did. Actually I doubt they’re worse than Wonga. That company was literally evil. They would quickly lend you money, but at an almost 6,000% yearly interest rate. Then when people couldn’t pay them back (which considering the nature of their business and their advertising being aimed at people who are out of work or in severe financial hardships, was pretty likely) they would phone them and say that them being in debt could lead to them being fired from their job. They would then send letters from fake law firms to them demanding payment. The (I repeat) FAKE law firm charges were then added onto the debt, increasing it even more. The company executives then would store their profits offshore so they didn’t have to pay tax. So, that company can go fuck themselves with a cactus wrapped in barbed wire. Anyway, back to the film. These two are now in competition; whichever one can cut the most flesh off themselves (in terms of weight, not size etc) gets to live. I have criticised this series a lot, but I do like this trap, mainly because of the poetic nature of it. They’re literally asked to pay their pound of flesh.
  • The fat guy shows his advantage by slicing his fat off his stomach, which considering the other person is a skinny woman, seems like cheating somewhat.
  • She realises this and chops her arm off, she wins, let’s celebrate, come on, give her a hand. Oops, this is awkward.
  • Was there any way to check they weren’t cheating by like throwing their shoe onto the scales instead?
  • We see the end of the last movie. Surprisingly Strahm DIDN’T survive being crushed into a small cube. I know, shocking right?
  • A guy in an office can’t make dinner. And the look the woman sitting opposite him gives definitely makes me think they’re fucking, and on the (presumably) wifes birthday.
  • Oh, it’s possible he’s just a dickhead. He runs a health insurance company which denied healthcare to someone with cancer, because AMERICA! The only country where you’ll get shot at a school, then bankrupted when they take the bullet out.
  • I realise that last comment might seem insensitive considering there was a school shooting today in America. To that I respond with this; if I waited to publish then on a day with no school shootings I might never get a chance. At the moment it seems the most likely way the American government will stop school shootings is by destroying all schools so they don’t have to pay for education.
  • Wow, there’s a group of people in this, their entire job is to find reasons to deny people health coverage. Imagine that being your job. You get money by ensuring sick people don’t get the treatment they need. You couldn’t pay me to do that job.
  • Hoffman is at the crime scene of the dead fat guy.
  • Oh it turns out Perez didn’t die. You know Perez, she was in it very briefly 2 movies ago and didn’t really do much.
  • Hoffman meets the one-armed girl and seems annoyed she doesn’t seem to have learned anything. She doesn’t even give him applause.
  • More Jigsaw. Because despite being dead for a long time, he’s still the most compelling character, and the writers know this.
  • The dickhole character from earlier (William) is walking around his office late at night where he shoots a suspicious character who turns out to be a security guard. He is so fucked, he will lose his job, possibly get executed and his name will be spat on for generations. There’s no coming back from this.
  • Oh wait, the security guard was black. At most he’ll get a $10 dollar fine.
  • You know what the best/worst part about that joke is? It will probably always be topical.
  • He gets kidnapped and wakes up to a Jigsaw tape (how many of these did he make?)
  • He’s locked up with the janitor from his work. Every time one of them breaths, a vice tightens around their chest. The janitor is a smoker so this is deeply unfair to him. Jigsaw openly admits he is punishing that guy because he smokes. That……..does not seem fair. That’s not equal to causing people to die. Like, at all.
  • Flashback to William meeting Jigsaw and openly admitting he developed a formula for deciding who to give healthcare coverage to so he could only give it to people who aren’t likely to need it. Because again….America.
  • The next test he has to kill one of his colleagues. This is kind of weird way to test him, by killing an innocent person. I mean, it is a kind of cool way of showing the choices he is actually making day to day with his business. But it’s punishing people who had nothing to do with it. His colleagues didn’t do anything to deserve this, they’re being killed to punish someone else.
  • We now see Hoffman putting the guy on the rack from the (I think) 4th movie. The fact I don’t know says a lot. These films have no individual identity. They all run together into one mess.
  • Oh wait, Amanda is still alive, it’s the 3rd movie this is from. So to summarise, now we have a scene featuring Jigsaw, Amanda, a guy whose name I can’t remember, and Hoffman, planning a trap for Jeff. So we have a scene with 5 people involved, only one of whom is still alive. How does this advance the narrative in any way? Seriously, at times it feels like these films are mainly comprised of deleted scenes from earlier films.
  • “Did you know that in the far east people pay their doctors when they’re healthy, and don’t pay when they’re ill?” That’s…….actually kind of a better system.
  • There’s the team from earlier; the ones whose job it was to deny sick people healthcare. They’re tied to a merry-go-round and one of them will be randomly killed until all of them are dead, and to “deselect” someone from being shot he has to put a spike through his own hand when the gun is aimed at them.
  • The cops (including perez) work out that Hoffman is actually the killer, so he kills her and the other two people in the room. He then burns the room down, because he really wants to be caught.
  • We find out that it was Hoffman who put the letter that freaked out Amanda at the end of the third movie. It turns out he knew that she was also responsible for Jigsaws wife miscarrying, and unless she killed Lynn then Hoffman would tell him. I’m so glad we have closure on that plot point from THREE MOVIES AGO.
  • William makes it to the last room. Where he’s met with the two people have who have been locked in the cage (Yeah i should have mentioned them earlier, a mother and her teenage child. They haven’t really done anything relevant yet so haven’t mentioned them). Turns out they’re the family of the guy who William denied health coverage to. They have a choice whether to forgive him, or inject him with acid. They chose the second option. Meaning we have lots of flashbacks of things we’ve already seen in the film which help explain the ending for those who are stupid to understand why it’s happened.
  • Oh, Hoffman has been put in a bear trap face-hugging device by Jigsaws wife. He escapes by breaking his own hands to escape being tied down, then jamming the trap in between two REALLY conveniently placed bars in the door. But he still has half his cheek torn out.
  • And that’s how this ends. Again, with not really any closure. If he died, that would be closure. If he got caught by police….closure. This all just feels like another chapter rather than a separate story. It’s admirable how they link together but none of them past the first one stand on their own merits.

See-Saw (Day Four: Saw IV)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Budget: $10million

Box Office: $139.3million

  • Fine. Let’s do this.
  • We open with an overly-long autopsy of Jigsaw. I’m going to give this film the benefit of the doubt and say this was done so we know for certain Jigsaw is dead so the audience doesn’t expect him to come back to life. No excuse for it to be quite this long though. And in quite so much detail. It’s odd, they’re playing it like it’s a scene from a horror movie. They’ve got the spooky scary music, dark lighting, and intense close-ups of body parts. But it’s not meant to be scary, it can’t be. How can it be?
  • We get the in-story reason for this now. They find a tape in his stomach. The one that he was shown to have covered in wax in the last one and eaten. They show that scene again in case you couldn’t remember it. This series has a weird approach to how it treats the audience’s memory. It replays A LOT of stuff from previous films, but also has so much where if you weren’t taking notes in previous films you wouldn’t remember who certain people were or why they matter.
  • I’m not lying about this being overly long by the way, it was five minutes long.Five minutes of someone just being cut open.
  • The tape is played, is pretty much what you expect. “my work will go on” etc.
  • Two people wake up in a room, one with his eyes gouged out, one with his mouth sewn shut. They’re chained to a machine that is gradually pulling them closer to a machine that will kill them. Who are these people? Does it even actually matter this point? Does anybody care?
  • Fight scene, and I have to say this isn’t really a fair fight, the guy with his mouth sewn shut is at zero disadvantage, you don’t need your mouth to fight really, whereas the guy with his eyes gouged out is fucked, not literally.
  • The guy with mouth sewn shut wins the fight and gets the key from the back of the other persons head. Because of course he wins. Don’t worry, you won’t see the guy from this scene again for like an hour, by that point you’d have forgotten who he was.
  • The police find Kerry from the last movie. Again, not much reason for this to be in this movie and not the last one. I actually want to see what this series would be like if it was edited into one long chronological story.
  • The police assume Jigsaw has a new accomplice.
  • There’s a book about Jigsaw, titled “John Krama aka Jigsaw. Is he the murderer the police say he his”. That’s not a typo on my end by the way, it genuinely says “he his”. Also, why would lead with his real name, then the fake? Also also, that book got published really damn quickly.
  • Daniel Rigg (who I think has been in previous Saw movies) seems to be the lead of this one. A cop who feels guilty for not being able to save people, particularly Eric Matthews (donnie whalberg from the 2nd one, who is still listed as missing). This film series has to be commended for that though; it’s done the film series equivalent of promoting from within. Most of the main characters for each film have been introduced in previous ones. It’s a great way of doing things and shows forward planning, rewards loyalty, and makes it feel less like a film and more like an actual world that exists.
  • He’s kidnapped, as a lot of people are in these films. Yeah, he’s definitely the lead. As condescending as this sounds it’s great to see a black lead in a horror movie. Especially one where his being black isn’t his main character trait. He’s not the black lead from Saw, he’s just the lead from Saw.
  • Oh, Donnie wahlberg is still alive it turns out. Barely, he’s being kept alive as the test for Daniel, who has 90 minutes to save both him and Detective Hoffman (who was in, erm, the 3rd one I think, I don’t know at this point).
  • His first test: he finds a woman in a pig mask tied to a chair, her hair tied to a machine that slowly pulls her head back. The tape tells him to let her die as it’s not his job to save her. From what I can tell her crime was being a prostitute. That does not seem worthy of death and torture. Or she might have been a pimp. Yeah that’s pretty bad.
  • He can’t find a knife to cut her hair loose so decides to deal with the problem in the most American way possible; he shoots the machine.
  • He gets the combination and saves her, but not before she gets nearly scalped and looses a lot of blood. What would have happened if her hair was fake and mainly made of extensions?
  • She grabs a knife and tries to stab him. In her defence, he was a black man with a gun, in his own house. The police have shot people for similar reason.
  • Oh that’s how she knew where to get the knife from, her tape said she had to kill him as he was going to arrest her for prostitution, so the only way for her to escape jail was to kill a cop. Obviously.
  • Wait, for him to have listened to that tape, she would have had to rewind it after listening to it?
  • Back to Donnie, who is chained to a ceiling suspended above an ice block. We flash back to the third one where he was knocked out by Amanda, because otherwise how else would we remember who he is? And we’re shown him being kept alive through tiny portions of food and an awful disgusting room. If he was on benefits the British government would describe that as “luxury”
  • Daniel goes to a disgusting motel run by an overweight guy in a white vest who owns a dog. He’s almost definitely a pervert/rapist/paedophile.
  • When he gets to the room there’s the picture of the motel owner and instructions to go to his room and do something whilst disguised with a pig mask. He’s still wearing the exact same clothes though and didn’t get the mask until he was in the motel room. So if there’s cameras all over the place as the tape said, then that would be noticed.
  • Yup he’s a rapist. We’re shown video evidence, he recorded it. I mean, I don’t care what happens to this guy, he’s a serial rapist who tried to deny it until the final moment.
  • He’s made to climb into a bed and tie himself up. Then gouge his own eyes out. He succeeds until the final part, and his limbs get torn away. Ah well.
  • Flashback to the time Daniel beat up a guy for abusing his wife and kids. Most the victims are kind of assholes so there is a cathartic quality to the deaths.
  • More flashbacks, this time to when Jigsaw was alive and his wife (oh yeah, she’s been in this movie, but her scenes have been really dull) worked at a health clinic and got robbed by a drug addict who caused her to miscarriage, causing him to become Jigsaw. Nice touch, kind of unnecessary.
  • Daniel now goes to a school where he finds the guy abused his wife and kids. They were being held together with spikes running through both them. To survive she has to pull the spikes out, she’ll live but he will die. This is weird as it’s a test for her. She seems to be being punished for being abused. We don’t need Jigsaw punishing women for being in abusive relationships, the police and courts already do this. He decides to let her save herself by giving her the key and setting off the fire alarm so that people are alerted. I don’t get what Daniel’s lesson in that was.
  • Crime scene technician there seems to be the worst ever and accidentally sets off a harpoon that kills another person at the scene. That’s not Jigsaw that did that, that’s not applying health and safety rules.
  • The cops (one of who i’ve already forgot her name) go into a room where the puppet is. They play the tape round it’s neck, obviously (seriously, why do none of the people in these movies remove the tape from the room and play it somewhere safe where more people can help solve it). The puppet explodes in her face giving her a shrapnel facial. I really wish the make-up team did a better job here, she looks fine just with stuff in her face. It’s not particularly devastating to see.
  • Just realised Donnie and Hoffman trap is being overseen by the guy who had his mouth sewn shut at the start. I haven’t mentioned that much but only because there’s not much happening there. I think Hoffman can die but not sure how. This film has WAY too much going on yet also somehow manages to have nothing happen for a lot of it.
  • Flashback to what was possibly Jigsaws first test. He kidnapped the guy who killed his unborn child and nailed him to a chair.
  • Jigsaw puts a torture device on his head, a series of knives where the drug guy has to push his head into them to unlock it. Jigsaw refers to it as a “tool”, which sounds silly, but that’s how Americans refer to guns.
  • The trap doesn’t work, mainly because the chair breaks. The guy decides that whilst he’s been heavily mutilated and lost a lot of blood, it would be a good idea to attempt to kill the guy who put him there. Jigsaw just moves out the way, causing the guy to fall into barbed wire.
  • Daniel, and another cop (Peter Strahm) end up in the same building the third one took place in. We get more flashbacks to that movie.
  • Wait, this isn’t a flashback, the entire film is. It’s taking place alongside the third one. Clever idea, but not cleverly done enough.
  • Daniel bursts through the door before he should, despite them not being any real warnings against this this is seen as a cardinal sin, it releases ice blocks which finally kill Donnie. He does this after shooting the mouth-sew guy. He shoots him again as he was reaching for his own tape recorder. Weird, a black cop shooting a white guy for reaching for something innocent. That never happens the other way around.
  • The tape tells him that “your impatience killed Donnie, if you did nothing he would have been saved. You failed”. That just seems unfair as he didn’t know what he was supposed to do. He was penalised for rules which weren’t really stated. I mean, he was told “don’t rush through a door, ever!” but that was by a cop, a long long time ago as part of a different moment.
  • And now we find that Hoffman is the real accomplice. Oh no, not Hoffman, he was so……he existed.
  • Hoffman locks Strahm in a room and I’ve gone past caring tbh. I don’t care about any of these people. There are too many twists and character turns that make zero sense and add nothing. It’s like watching late 90’s wrestling, just without the actors later killing their wife and child due to brain damage.
  • Oh, that’s the end? So to sum up the ending; one cop is locked in a room, one has been shot, one has had something blow up in their face but is still alive, one has become evil. Does that sound like the end of a movie? Or the end of a second act? NONE of these films stand on their own. I can only imagine how fucking pissed I’d have been if I saw these at cinema, having to wait a year to find out if a character died, but not really caring either way.
  • Wait, I forgot to say. Jeff died too.

Okay this film makes many many mistakes. The big one is it focuses too much on Jigsaw and his teachings. He’s an interesting character but he’s now dead and his disciples are ignoring his teachings, so as a character he is completely irrelevant to the narrative going forward. Yes, it improves the narrative of the previous movies. But Saw IV is not Saw II (despite containing a lot of the same fucking scenes), Saw IV is Saw IV, and as such it needs to focus on the characters in THIS movie instead of developing ones we know have no future development. It’s a huge logical storytelling flaw.

See-Saw: Day Three (Saw 3)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Budget: $10million

Box Office: $164.8million

  • Okay the advertising to this features lots of teeth ripped out of mouths. That shit better actually be relevant.
  • “game over”, weird start to a film.
  • This starts as the second one ends, with Donnie Wahlberg in a room in near darkness. What’s that, it’s been a year since you saw the last film and you can’t remember too much about it, and the lack of light makes it even harder to see what’s going on? Pfft.
  • Like seriously, you can see what’s lit up by a flashlight that never stays still. It would be great as a video game, but this is a film, you kind of want to see the basic layout of what’s going on.
  • Ok from what I can tell he just broke his own foot so he could get out of being chained up. Why the police didn’t follow him there I have genuinely no idea.
  • The police think they’ve found him, but nope it’s just a random guy called Troy. He had eleven chains inside him that he needed to rip out of his body before a bomb went off. You’ll notice this as being quite similar to the traps in the previous films, only turned up to 11.
  • Oh good. Seizure-inducing editing. Why do horror movies hate people with epilepsy?
  • He doesn’t make it and he explodes, then how do they know where the chains were located in his body if the body is now mushy sludge?
  • Okay something VERY clever just happened. They found the tape that was left at the scene (Jigsaw still hasn’t gone digital, hipster). One of the other cops called Mark Hoffman immediately went and grabbed it. Now in a future film he’s revealed as working for Jigsaw (as seemingly everybody in this series does. You either die a hero or live long enough to be a…..okay that’s too much Batman for me).
  • Detective Kerry is caught in a trap, she can’t get out, she can’t believe a word you say. I had to say something here, she’s in 3 films and barely made an impression. That’s an issue with this series as a whole actually, with the exception of Jigsaw himself, none of the other characters are memorable enough. It’s not enough to have a good villain, a horror series needs a great hero too. Nightmare On Elm Street has Nancy, Halloween has Laurie Strode, the Scream movies have Sidney Prescott. If you want to you can do a Child’s Play and not use the hero eventually, but you need to do enough with them before doing so. This doesn’t have that, it tries to provide different “heroes” every film. But there’s nothing to them.
  • Kerry dies, but before she does she says “you” to someone we don’t see as the face is in darkness. The body looks like Amanda from the last two movies, and we already know Amanda is an accomplice of Jigsaw. So why is this being treated as if it will come as a surprise to the audience when it’s finally revealed near the end?
  • Amanda has been setting these traps but making them impossible to survive. Jigsaw disapproves. Yet somehow it’s still his voice on all the tapes presented to the victims.
  • Here’s a doctor, helping people. She’s going to be kidnapped.
  • And there it is, being abducted by Amanda from the last movie. Bought to jigsaw who is clearly in bad health, that’s probably from the cancer. She got abducted from the hospital where she works. Because hospitals are well known for being easy for people to sneak into without people seeing them.
  • “who are you?” asks a character who then says she knows who he is.
  • They force a weird necklace on her neck which will explode if Jigsaw dies. Very Battle-Royale.
  • So the main character is a dude named Jeff who has a dead child, and is very annoyed about that. He’s still mourning his son, so Jigsaw has kidnapped him, like a shitty therapist.
  • Jeff walks into a freezer and finds a naked woman. He also finds a tape recorder telling him the woman was a witness to the hit and run that killed his son, but she didn’t testify, she’ll be sprayed with freezing water until she dies. This is where the film falls apart for me and shows the difference between a great plot, and a great script. Firstly; why did she have to be naked? Once clothes are soaked in freezing water they won’t exactly keep her warm, if anything it will make her colder and will stick to her body causing her more pain. Is it because “booooooobs”? I fear it is. Because even when a woman dies, she has to be sexy, damnit! Now my next point, and the most important one. Why does the tape explain who she is? He knows, he obviously knows. If he’s been obsessing over this court case he obviously knows her, so why does the tape say it? It’s just for the benefit of the audience. It’s the horror equivalent of a character saying “as your sister who you haven’t spoken to properly in a while because of an argument we had years ago” (which I swear is pretty close to actual dialogue I’ve heard in a film). Jeff tries to save her but fails and she dies anyway. I mean you could argue that because she drove away he didn’t know who she was. But then how did Jigsaw find out who she was?
  • And we’re back to Amanda and the Doctor (not the doctor from the first one, this one’s a lady doctor, so she automatically gets hate mail from lonely nerds, her name is Lynn). Her and Amanda are having tense moments, Amanda teases her in a way that would be a lot better if it was a more charismatic character. Telling her about the way she could kill her but it would be pointless as she’s going to die anyway.
  • Amanda: “you’ll be surprised what tools can save a life” then she picks up the torture device she was locked in. Symbolism! Really, really, really unsubtle symbolism.
  • We get another flashback, this time to Amanda being put in the trap. I’m genuinely interested whether all this stuff was filmed at the same time as the first one, or whether they just re-recorded/recreated a lot of it. If they did it all at the start I’m impressed at their forward planning.
  • Now back to *checks notes* Jeff. In his next room: the judge who sentenced the driver that killed Jeff’s son. He’s at a bottom of a vat slowly being covered in liquidised pig bodies. The only way to get the key is to burn his sons belongings. This REALLY should be better than it is. It should be full of emotion and despair, but it’s not. I don’t know whether it’s the acting, the fact it’s shot like a standard horror movie, or the music being completely wrong, but it just rings hollow. You don’t feel the gravity of what’s happening. He does it, and saves the judge’s life. This is the other reason this film doesn’t really work for me, he should have tried to save everybody. He should have gradually come round to the idea of saving people. So there’s not really any “will he attempt to save them or will he not?” as we’ve already seen that he will. It completely robs it of any dramatic tension.
  • And back to the doctors office. Lynn is planning to relieve the tension on Jigsaws head by drilling into his skull. Pretty disgusting but again, it could be better. You see it happen but you don’t feel it. You don’t wince when she cuts it with it a saw, or anything. Compare that to the arm severing scene from 127 hours. You FELT that. When he went through the nerves in his arm, it was uncomfortable to watch as you felt how much it hurt. You don’t get that in this. The only editing tricks they use are the typical “quick cuts and bright lights” they’ve used throughout these movies.
  • And now more flashbacks back to Amanda surviving the first test. Jigsaw points out that the old Amanda is a completely different person and she needs to devote herself to him now. Incredibly creepy the idea that he can have a cult of followers. Never really touched upon though. I mean, yeah, he has a lot of followers it turns out, but never really feels like a cult.
  • We see Amanda abducting Adam from the first movie. I hope you remember the first movie, because if not then a lot of this film will mean absolutely nothing to you. MAJOR problem with these films actually; absolutely none of them stand up on their own. Every film feels incomplete somehow.
  • Oh, we’re seeing the entire preparation for the room in the first movie. Because that’s what this horror movie needed; flashbacks of people moving stuff. It adds to the first movie yes, but it adds NOTHING to this movie. If you take that entire section out it would take nothing away from the narrative, all we discovered from it was “Amanda helped Jigsaw with the room”.
  • A bit with Lynn, and then BACK TO THE FLASHBACKS. This film is attempting three narratives at once, and none of them are working. Amanda kills Adam, I think. It was mostly dark.
  • We’re back with the (I think) main story of Jeff. The judge is alongside him, and seems remarkably well-composed considering. Actually, they both seem really clean considering. Jeff triggers the next trap by kicking something, I think he kicked the door open. A guy (the one who killed Jeff’s son) is tied in what is essentially an iron crucifix. It slowly twists, breaking the guys limbs, but doesn’t start until the end of another recorded message on tape.
  • The judge is smart, he looks at the key to the machine and tries to figure out what to do. Jeff wastes the entire time just staring at the kid being tortured. This is one where time is of the essence, so now he’s realised he’s wasted all that time just standing there when he should have been doing something, and now with a definite time limit, he monologues. Jeff’s a dick.
  • The key activates a shotgun, killing the judge. That entire trap could have been avoided if they pulled the key out and got out the way. Or if they hooked it with a coat-hanger.
  • The trap twists the guys head, killing him, but after Jeff got the key. If he hadn’t dicked about he definitely would have managed to save him, it’s the same for the first trap too.
  • Lynn calls Jigsaw a murderer. His response “I despise murderers”. Really? So you don’t count “rigging 5 shotguns so it kills a police officer when he triggers it” murder? You can’t claim manslaughter as you knew what would happen, and you know what it would cause, and it’s five fucking shotguns.
  • Jigsaw covers a tape in wax, and Amanda freaks out over a letter. Why did either of these things happen? You won’t find out. Not in this movie anyway.
  • More flashbacks! Amanda killed Donnie Whalberg. This scene doesn’t belong in the third saw movie, at least not near the end. It’s not part of the narrative of this film, it’s the narrative of the second one. Yes, it’s about Amanda, who a lot of the narrative of this has been about, but it’s the conclusion to his arc, so it’s more his. He dies because he taunted Amanda by saying “you’re not Jigsaw, bitch”. Which, I can’t explain why, but is just a shockingly bad piece of dialogue. This scene went on way too long, and was so badly lit it was kind of hard to see what was going on.
  • Okay and now we’re back to Lynn etc. Amanda has a kind of monologue about how Lynn isn’t shit, and she’s better and still needs help. She cries, emotes, but…..nothing. The performance just doesn’t work. It’s first-year drama student level of “emoting”.
  • Amanda manages to shoot Lynn. You knew it was going to happen, and you knew Lynn was Jeff’s wife. I think it was supposed to be a twist but the whole “Lynn and Jeff are a couple” was really obvious. The only surprising part is that Amanda shot her without looking at her. Of course, Jeff sees this and shoots Amanda. She lives long enough to hear Jigsaw monologue his motivations to her for a few minutes in a scene which again isn’t needed as we kind of guessed everything he said. More to the point; how did Amanda not realise Lynn was Jeff’s wife? She didn’t realise they shared the same last name? Or look at ANY photos in their home?
  • Just realised Jigsaw uses tapes a lot. Is he buying hundreds of tape players in bulk?
  • Jigsaw makes a reference to Jeff’s daughter, making it obvious she’s been kidnapped.
  • Jeff goes to his wife’s side. She’s in pain but doesn’t seem to make it clear to him that if Jigsaw dies, she dies too. Which would be pretty useful information considering that Jeff then slices Jigsaw’s throat, with a saw, possibly a jigsaw, I’m not that well versed on my saw types. Okay, I get that her voice is wavering due to the blood loss, but she could hit something metal against something else to get Jeff’s attention.
  • Oh, this is the twist. Jigsaw plays a tape as he dies indicating that he’s kidnapped his daughter (was that a twist? It was pretty obvious really). And now he’s dead nobody else will know where Jeff’s daughter is. So, Jigsaw essentially killed a child here. Will she be saved? Find out in another movie! Because god knows this film can’t be allowed to close it’s own stories.
  • And so yeah that’s that over. The main villain of the franchise is dead. So I’m sure they’ll be no more sequels. I mean, it would be stupid for them to do more, right?
  • One final point; why did so much of the promotional material depend on ripped out teeth when there was NOTHING like that in the film?

Hereditary (2018)

It’s been a few days since I watched this. I needed the cool-down period so that I could approach this with the sophistication and slick analytical nature which we are known for. So here goes: WHAT THE COCKING SHIT-FUCK WAS THAT?

I mean, I liked it, I think. I’m still not entirely sure to be honest. I thought it was very, very good, I’m just not sure if I ever want to see it again. It seems to have divided opinion, some people view it as a fantastic film that could lead the way for horror movies, whilst some people view it as a boring mess. Me? I see it as a boring mess, that could lead the way for horror movies.

There is a very good chance you’ll find the opening third incredibly tedious, and you will look at your watch/the person next to you/your own reflection in the shiny surface of something as you contemplate how you’re wasting your life. But like all films; once the small child gets decapitated, it really picks up. But only compared to what was going on before, compared to standard films it is still incredibly slow. Almost two-thirds of the film is basically foreplay, which is always a risky strategy as it means if you flub the actual orgasm then it’s just been a massive waste of everyone’s time. Luckily the cumshot here is really good. The closing section is just insane, in a brilliant way. I feel it could have been a better film if you cut a lot of the opening, but then that also could have hurt it. Part of the brilliance was the way everything was set up, there is SOOOOO much foreshadowing it’s actually genius. So many things you think are inconsequential (even the play being studied in class) actually turn out to be deeply important. After leaving the film you’ll suddenly remember a seemingly throwaway line, and how it actually foreshadowed something important, and you’ll think “fuck, that was brilliant”. And it is. The script is the work of someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Same with the directing, scares are punctuated with audio cues. What normally happens in a lot of horror films is this: person is sitting in an empty room, suddenly there’s a loud piece of audio, and a face appears behind them. The way this does it; person sitting in an empty room, you suddenly notice there’s a face behind them, and you wonder how long it’s been there. This shows fantastic competence from a first-time director and is a brilliant idea. It forces you to feel you have to pay attention to every single moment. You can’t look away, not even for a second unless you want to risk missing. A lot of the times for films you can be a passive watcher, you’ll be watching the film but you won’t really be fully focused on it, you’ll be thinking of how hungry you are, whether England will win the world cup (Spoilers; yes! But not the football one, the cheese-rolling world cup), or whether that person sitting in front of you will ever SHUT UP and if he doesn’t stop talking you’re going to go down there and twat him with a crowbar. This, you’re very active, you can tell this even in the body language of the people who were watching it whilst I was there; everyone was leaning forward. It’s not just that that makes it seem the work of a seasoned director, the way they cut between scenes is unique, and brilliant, and is sure to lead to many poor directors attempting to imitate it and failing miserably.

This makes the very last scene even more frustrating. The film does a brilliant job throughout of teasing you with the truth, giving you glimpses of why what is happening is happening. Which makes it very puzzling that the final scene is someone explaining exactly what it was about, it would be like if you were watching The Thing and at the end John Carpenter appeared on screen and said “That guy on the left, he’s not human”. It treats the audience with so much respect for most of the film an then thinks we’re idiots who need it explained to us for the final section. I mean, I am an idiot, but still.

That being said, kudos to the film for having the sheer balls to kill what looked like the main character, and so brutally too, I like marketing works like that, when it deliberately deceives you, but not in a way that you feel cheated, but in a way that it means the story beats come as a complete surprise. It’s the way of saying “okay, now all bets are off” and it throws you off, I love it.

So should you see it? Maaaaaybe. There’s another film you should watch first: The Witch. If you hated that, you’d hate this too. But if you liked it, you’d like this too.