Category: Suspense/Thriller

“Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”

8.4

Your move, Dr. Strange. The bar has been set for multiverse movies.

I’m still not precisely positive about how to explain this A24 home run, other than to say you will cycle through all the feels by the time the credits roll. A wonderful tale of family, the meaning of life, and our relationship with others is a wonderfully whimsical adventure across the dimensions to drive the points home. A lot of this runtime will be spent with your jaw on the ground. They take a lot of risks, and they all pay off in the end. Keep up the great work, A24!

Side note – The song you can’t quite place that serves as the film’s title theme is “Absolutely” by Nine Days. Makes about as much sense as everything else. It is, after all… a story of a girl…

“The Outfit”

7.8

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” – Oscar Wilde

I KNEW there was more to the old man than met the eye!

Zoey Deutch got me into the theater. This one-room play put to film that has better twists and turns than most trying to be mystery films kept me there and engaged until the credits rolled. It was like “Phantom Thread” meets “Goodfellas,” and I was all-in. The actors all do a superb job of slowly revealing their true selves and motives and keep the audience guessing almost until the film’s final frame. It was indeed a work of art.

“Deep Water”

8.2

Why is it that Ben Affleck keeps getting caught in these toxic on-screen relationships? Between this and “Gone Girl,” his red flag detection is… well, it’s worse than mine.

This is a fantastic ride – a masterclass in suspense. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for the entire runtime and was sincerely surprised with every twist and turn. I found myself yelling at the screen more often than usual with this one. Everything from “… and now your dead” to “DUDE, RUN!” There’s not an innocent soul in the entire cast. Everyone’s secrets play a role in their demise and play off each other’s flaws to keep the story mysterious and drive the plot to its conclusion.

I’ve done some crazy things in the name of… love? Lust?… But never anything nearing this lunacy.

Content Warning – Hulu may be owned by Disney, but this is NOT a Disney movie.

“Don’t Bother to Knock”

7.2

Be careful who you flirt with at the hotel bar… Or from across the courtyard. Or who you hire as your babysitter.

This was far closer to “Psycho” than I expected. Marilyn Monroe had quite the acting chops to pull off this premise. At first, I thought I was watching a romance novel projected onto the silver screen but ended up engulfed in an enigma. Despite the short run time, there is an unexpected depth to this classic, and it alone justified my purchase of a 10-film Marilyn Monroe film bundle.

“Nightmare Alley”

6.5

Beautiful film. Meh story.

I was hellaciously intrigued by the trailer and what I thought was the film’s premise. Sometimes that intrigue hits; sometimes it misses. Unfortunately, this one ended up being a trapeze act of a narrative, swinging wildly all over the place for far too long and with no rhyme or reason. All to, I think, come full circle. I’m still not quite sure what I was supposed to take away from this one. There are some great premises and possibilities, but the story opts for the path of least resistance and goes for tricking the audience into thinking that misdirection and the resulting confusion is evidence of its cleverness, instead of just a cheap Christopher Nolan rip-off. Honestly, I think the overall lesson here was a “don’t stick your dick in crazy” cautionary tale dressed in a noir disguise.