Get Out (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery

An African American man heads to his white girlfriend’s parents’ house for the weekend to meet them for the first time. Although he’s uneasy about it his girlfriend assures him it’ll be fine, but he ends up being right for being concerned as things get weird pretty quickly- although not quite in the way he thought.

I’ve wanted to see Get Out for such a long time, but was a wally and for some reason never got around to it when it was at the cinema. I am now the proud owner of the DVD (yes, an actual physical DVD) so can enjoy it at my leisure from now on. I’ve always found Jordan Peele really funny and I was intrigued to see a serious film from him (I’m also pleased to see Daniel Kaluuya aka Posh Kenneth from Skins has made it to Hollywood). The plot is really original and goes against a lot of typical horror movie cliches, which made it all the more tense as I had no idea how everything was going to pan out. While it’s a horror movie it’s not packed with the usual jump scares, but the general atmosphere is totally creepy and the ominous feeling throughout is what makes it truly scary.

The racial element of the film also gives it a topical angle, which I really liked from a film of this genre. Usually horror movies are an hour and half of entertainment and that’s it, but Get Out does make you think and is a clever but subtle way of considering race relations in the US. It doesn’t smack you over the head with it in a super politicised way, but the issues are ever-present; you could probably watch this film and ignore the social commentary element of it and just enjoy it at face-value, but there are brief moments or lines throughout the film that really can make you think.

I would recommend this film even to people who don’t usually like horror, as it’s almost more of a thriller than a horror. There are some lighter moments so it’s not totally serious throughout, but as I mentioned the overall atmosphere of the film has a big impact and very tense. I really enjoyed it and I hope that Jordan Peele makes more films like this- hopefully his Oscar win for Original Screenplay from this will spur him on.

4 stars


The Village (2004)


Director: M. Night Shyamalanalamnayalanan Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt

A small village is surrounded by woods that cannot be entered due to mysterious and evil creatures lurking within. When once of the villagers is injured, another attempts to leave through the woods to find help.

So I actually knew the twist of this movie before I watched it, which I have to say did ruin it for me. It’s a shame because the twist is very clever, and I wish I had been surprised by it! So yes, if you don’t know what happens, do watch it- and be amazed.

Having said that, the twist is the best part of the movie and the rest of it is a bit weird and a bit flat. Do stick with it during the lulls to reach the shocking ending, but just be warned that not much really happens until the climax. If I hadn’t known there was a twist, I probably would have switched off to be honest as there is really very little plot. I find with M. Night Shyamalan that some of the time he gets it spot on and the rest of his stuff is just a bit meh. This was meh. (Except for the twist, I cannot express that enough).

The Village can be pretty creepy at points so not for those who can’t really do horror. It’s quite a thinking film so not a light flick. I probably would recommend it but I have no real desire to watch it again.

2 stars

The Reef (2010)

The Reef

Director: Andrew Traucki Cast: Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering

A group of friends take a boat out sailing in the Great Barrier Reef area, only for their boat to capsize and leave them stranded. They try to swim back to the island where they came from, but find that a shark has caught their scent.

We all know that there will never be a shark film quite as good as Jaws– but this was exceptionally poor. The concept is a good one, but has been done before and to a much better result (Open Water is actually rather good). From the beginning the film tries to create suspense, but it backfires. For example, there’s a line before they set off that goes something along the lines of “Don’t worry, we never get sharks this far north”, which I think we can all agree is a poor attempt at foreshadowing. The jump scares are predictable (long stares into the distance with suspenseful music and then a fish jumps into view), and when the shark finally arrives there’s about five minutes of “it’s gone NO IT’S BACK no wait it’s gone NO IT’S BACK”. Bored.

There’s also an attempt at a romantic storyline. To be quite honest, if I’m watching a shark film I just want to see people get eaten- but in The Reef, when they do get eaten there’s virtually no gore, which kind of defeats the purpose for me. Plus, the characters are so annoying that I actually ended up rooting for the shark.

To sum up, don’t bother with this: Open Water is a much better version of what is virtually the same storyline.

1 star