5 posts categorized "Psychological Thriller"

November 15, 2017

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Killing_of_a_sacred_deerGreek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthamos is, in the words of Blondie’s Debbie Harry, “a case of partial extreme.” Since making his overwrought and under-executed feature debut “Dogtooth” (in 2009), Lanthamos has veered into the mainstream via A-list actors. If you saw his 2015 film “The Lobster” (starring Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, and Rachel Weisz) then you have an idea of what I mean by partial extreme. An unsatisfying movie with a good cast is nonetheless a disappointing experience.   

The Killing of a Sacred Deer review: the weirdest, most mesmerically  unsettling film of the year

Lanthamos’s visually drab film’s all begin with a promising high-concept first act that crumbles into an unrecognizable pile of filmic detritus by the time the third act grinds into gear. They represent a cinematic hoax. His 2011 film “Alps” is his best effort, but that isn’t saying much. Lanthamos is a self-styled auteur who drafts artsy screenplays infected with magical realism that he attempts to pawn off as surrealist in nature. Needless to say, Lanthamos's grasp of surrealism is vague at best. 

Sacred deer

Lars von Trier (“Breaking the Waves”), Michael Haneke (“Funny Games”), and Ulrich Seidl (“Import Export”) are clearly Lanthamos’s idols, but he doesn’t possess the intellectual or practical rigor of those established filmmakers. Lanthamos’s films don’t even begin to step into the superior realm of surrealist allegory laid down by the great Mexican-Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel.

Обзор фильма ужасов "Убийство священного оленя" | Башня континуума

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is a glacial revenge fantasy involving Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a cardiothoracic surgeon with a wife (Anna — Nicole Kidman), his young son Bob (Sunny Suljic), and Kim (Raffey Cassidy), a pubescent daughter who all come under attack by Martin (Barry Keoghan), the teenage son of a man who died on Steven Murphy’s operating table a decade before. Steven is a recovered alcoholic who very will may have been drinking on the day he operated on Martin’s dad.

The_killing_of_a_sacred_deer

Martin is special. He has the ability to put a curse on Steven’s family that renders them unable to walk. Eventually the curse will cause them to bleed from the eyes before killing Martin’s entire family unless Martin murders one of them, hence the “sacred deer” of the film’s title. Clearly, we are in the genre land of a psychological thriller concealing a social satire (think Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!”).

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Whatever allegorical connection Yorgos Lanthamos is attempting to make regarding King Agamemnon’s experiences after killing a deer owned by Artemis, the polemic presented in this film is too abstract and drawn out to flourish. If you’re going to spend two hours of misery in a darkened cinema there had better be a thematic reward. The only just desert that this film deserves is being ignored with a vengeance by audiences who know better than waste their time. Pay your respects to Von Trier, Haneke, and Seidl rather than to this third-rate hack.

Killing-deer

Rated R. 121 mins.

1 Star

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

September 16, 2017

mother!

Colesmithey.comDarren Aronofsky cribs liberally from the Old Testament for allegorical inspiration toward a mind-blowing social satire disguised as a psychological thriller. You might not recognize Adam and Eve in the guise of Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, but you’ll probably pick up on the Cain and Abel metaphor when it arrives.

Jennifer Lawrence is the 20-years-younger wife to Javier Bardem’s grumpy poet, suffering from a bad case of writer’s block in spite of the couple’s idyllic life in their newly renovated Victorian home in a remote wooded area. Yes, Bardem's spirit animal is none other than God. Gulp.

Here's Where They Built That Stunning, Gigantic House For Mother! | Dream  house movie, Mother pictures, Old mansions

The home’s octagonal design presages the nefarious battleground that the house is doomed to become as a stream of uninvited guests start to arrive. Luis Buñuel's surrealist masterpiece "The Exterminating Angel" was another touchstone.

mother! (2017) – A film by Darren Aronofsky – Jennifer Lawrence, Javier  Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer (Download the movie) | Darren  aronofsky, Film, Movies

In Jennifer Lawrence, Aronofsky has found his most invigorating muse to date. The result is the performance of a lifetime from Lawrence (Aronofsky’s real-life love interest), doing her due diligence as a corporeal stand in for Mother Earth.

Colesmithey.com2

Overpopulation, a lazy world-governing egomaniacal Patriarchy, militarized police, and self-obsessed millennials come together en masse to rip out shreds of a Mother Earth on the verge of collapse.

Movie Review: mother! (2017) – I Write Things

There will be plenty of complaints about “mother!” being a “confusing” film, from dim-witted audience members that Aronofsky refuses to talk down to. Good for him, and good for audiences willing and able to tune in for the wild and witty cinematic ride on display. Those viewers will savor meticulous storytelling, terrific ensemble performances, and brilliant editing in a cinematic masterpiece comparable to anything Polanski has done.

If you get a waft of Polanski’s “The Ninth Gate” during this film’s explosive climax, rest assured it is by design.

Mother2

Eschewing background music proves a masterstroke in a stylized work of far-reaching thematic ramifications. The lack of a score adds to this film’s creepy atmosphere as it builds toward an apocalyptic crescendo produced by sheer narrative force. This is eco activist cinema on par with the politically charged dramaturgy of the famed Group Theater.

Mother

Here is Darren Aronofsky’s most powerful film to date, and the same goes for Jennifer Lawrence. “mother!” could well be the best film of 2017; it certainly is the most haunting one so far.   

Rated R. 121 mins.

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

September 09, 2017

IT

Colesmithey.comThe direction, editing, pacing, and tone are so off in director Andy Muschietti’s filmic adaptation of Stephen King’s child-led psychodrama horror picture that the movie is more of a chore than a source of entertainment. The film’s by-committee screenplay is at once overwrought and under-polished. Three screenwriters is one too many. 

Gallons of corn syrup fake blood don’t help. Here is a glorified haunted house movie that doesn’t hold a candle to “Frankenstein,” “Dracula,” “The Mummy,” or any of the other famous Universal monster movies of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Blame it on a lack of backstory for this hollow clown monster creation.

It' Reviews Disappointed Over Film's Jump Scares | IndieWire

It doesn’t help that there are no likable (read reliable or responsible) adult characters to be found in or around the small Maine town of Derry, circa 1988 and 1989 where the action takes place. Blame Steven King for this aspect I suppose. Crucial plot holes abound.

Colesmithey.com

When Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), the first of our seven shared-child protagonists, loses his little seven-year-old brother Georgie to a whacked out clown living in a gutter drain, not even the woman who witnessed the savage attack from her living room window seems to give a damn. The house cat, however is bothered. Already, our suspension of disbelief is strained over a killer clown with a many-toothed vagina dentata where his mouth should be.

Movies Jeopardy Template

The Riverdale neighborhood of Toronto subs for Maine. Missing persons signs adorn brick walls in a picturesque small town populated with teenaged reprobates, pedophiles, and racists. Naturally, there is Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs), a token black kid bullied and victimized by Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton), the mullet-wearing son of the town cop. The subplot tips its hat to Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep” by introducing Mike as a child slaughterhouse worker tasked with stunning sheep with a captive bolt pistol prior to their slaughter. Henry should know better than mess with a kid whose killer instincts are already awaken.

Colesmithey.com

Gratuitously, our motley collection of nerdy boys enjoy the company of Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis), a local redhead smeared with the scarlet letter of slut. Sexual abuse victim is more like it. Beverly’s dad is the kind of bastard for whom you wish an especially hot version of hell. The kids rally together against all form of everyday and paranormal evil towards defeating the fear that invades their every waking moment. “It” is not an especially scary movie even for its intended youthful audience; for most part the film’s R rating is a ruse.

Colesmithey.com

“It” just doesn’t cut it. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Frank Darabont’s “The Mist,” based on Stephen King’s novel, and enjoy a genuinely creepy movie that will give you nightmares.

Rated R. 135 mins.

1 Star

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series