Category: Suspense/Thriller

“The Lodge”

8.1

Somewhere within “The Shining,” “Hereditary,” and “Midsommar” lies this film. What begins as a straightforward tale of cabin fever gone awry quickly unravels into one of the most shocking and unsettling endings I’ve seen in quite some time. Classic A24 style, but not made by A24. Was wondering what happened to this film after it’s initial release and hype from Sundance… glad to see it finally see an official release and live up to, if not exceed the hype. Very artfully executed horror. Not a gore film, but more tense thriller with horror elements. Beware the faint of heart.

“Narcos: Mexico” Season 2

9.1

One of the best seasons so far. The dynamic between agent Breslin and Miguel Gallardo is electric, and caps off the finale with one of the best speeches this side of Benicio Del Toro in “Sicario.” Controlled chaos slow long devolving into complete anarchy, only to be momentarily reigned back into temporary peace… however, Gallardo’s final line of “the animals have been set free” leaves a sense that the next season is going to be especially epic. The heinous violence this series has become known for, set in gorgeous set pieces. Rich characters, exciting “real life often writes better than Hollywood” story… another home run for the red menace. (Netflix.)

“Parasite”

8.1

Definitely see why this is getting so much attention during awards season. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a foreign language film this much. Beautiful cinematography and powerful storytelling. The imagery and substance somehow overcome the distraction of the subtitles, and almost transcends the language barrier to tell the story of the families involved. A striking twist, and a Tarantino-esque ending. Bravo!

“Underwater”

6.7

Well, the title isn’t a lie… it does happen underwater. Somewhat copying the themes of “The Meg,” the film follows a doomed crew of explorers who drilled too deep and unleashed something unintended. Calamity ensues. Kristen Stewart is in her underwear 79.8% of the run-time. TJ Miller provides much needed comic relief to a group of total Debbie Downers. Meh…

Part of me was thinking “did Fox just green-light every crazy project 2 years out from the merger with Disney? Just for laughs?”

“The Hurt Locker”

8.2

Definitely can see why this cleaned house at the Oscars back in the day… what a wild ride! Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie team up pre-Marvel Universe to bring the same chemistry to this pulse pounding thrill ride of a film. Director Kathryn Bigelow at the height of her powers, directing actions scenes with unmatched intensity and thrill. Overall, a classic war film, and a great Christmas movie.