Category: Suspense/Thriller

“Swallow”

7.1

Well, get ready to say “what the hell?!?!” a lot. Like, the whole time. Suspenseful, horrifying, and just plain strange. A great performance by Haley Bennett as she slowly loses her mind and reclaims her sanity at the same time. Definitely a love story gone very, very wrong. Still not quite sure I had my head wrapped around this one when the credits rolled.

“Memento”

7.3

I’m going to allow this one on the grounds of a maestro honing his skills. An unpolished Nolan time bender. Left me more confused than anything. With an ending that gave me strong “Shutter Island” vibes. Ignorance is bliss, am I right? Solid premise, but a bit clunky in its execution. Little too much jumping for my taste. Took away from the big reveal moments that I felt lost at times, as a viewer.

“Phone Booth”

7.9

A man. A phone. A gun.

Simple, suspenseful, and laser focused.

Excellent acting by Colin Farrell and Kiefer Sutherland. Sutherland lands one of the top spots on the phone based villains list with this masterpiece of suspense. Perfect runtime to ensure there isn’t any unnecessary distraction. Miss these types of endings, too. The completely expected/unnecessary cliffhanger that gets me every time. Weird to think the same guy who directed this (Joel Schumacher) is the same guy who flew the original Batman movie series into the ground.

“Upgrade”

7.9

“Westworld,” with a little bit of “John Wick.” A classic revenge story straight out of a western, with a modern twist. Fantastic action directing and cinematography makes for a wild ride in this quest for his wife’s killers and finding vengeance. Spent almost the entire runtime on the edge of my seat as the narrative navigated around each new corner, revealing a new twist. Very well done!

“Duel”

7.9

Spielberg’s genius on full display! A game of cat and mouse on the open road. Really, you could circumvent an entire road rage course by just showing this film as what can happen when things go awry on the highway. So simple, yet so effective! A master class in tension building and cinematography. Spielbergs eye for framing and storytelling are evident in even his earliest of works. And… it gave us the infamous noise from the shark death in “JAWS.” (I’m a film nerd, and yes, learned about this by watching all of the special features of both movies.)