Category: Suspense/Thriller

“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.)

“Death Proof”

7.6

Serving as his own director of cinematography, this may just be one of Quentin’s best. Very different from his usual style, but I appreciated the way the rawness of the storytelling really fit the story. Kurt Russell plays a great madman in what reminded me of the Spielberg classic “Duel.” A menacing presence, haunting those who dare trespass on the open road.

“Fractured”

7.7

Recommended by a friend by way of a review that concluded “it’s f**ked.”

Well, I’ll simply add one word to reach peak summation of this film. “It’s f**ked up.” One of the more disturbing films I’ve seen in ages. To quote Charlie Sheen in “Scary Movie 3”: “I will never believe what I just saw.”

Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Strap into your straight jacket, and get ready to take a drive to crazy town. Every twist and turn leading the viewer closer and closer to the edge of madness. And then an ending that will leave you saying “what the hell just happened?!? You can’t do that. That ain’t right. Oh no…” Just a loving father who’s trying to save his marriage and daughter from a traumatic event…

Fun fact: I have a hard time watching movies with healthcare scenarios. I lost count of the number of times I said out loud to myself “that’s not how that works, movie!”