This summer, Oscar® winner Jordan Peele unleashes a fresh take on the blood-chilling urban legend that your friend’s older sibling probably told you about at a sleepover: Candyman. Rising filmmaker Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) directs this contemporary incarnation of the cult classic. For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.
Expected May 14, 2020
Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran, brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his rookie partner take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.
Ready or Not is a dark comedy horror starring Australian actress #SamaraWeaving. Weaving is an ex Home and Away star who seems to be making a bit of a break into Hollywood now. It’s rare you would talk about someone’s performance in a movie of this genre, but without her at the centre I feel this could have gone quite south.
The film is certainly fun and entertaining. The #ReadyorNot premise surrounds the classic tale of the elites hunting the less fortunate. It’s very Get Out without the smarts. In this case a family who has made their fortune from the games industry have an initiation game for any newcomers to the family. The game could be Checkers or Chess, but it could also be a deadly version of Hide and Seek. I think we all know which card Grace picks to the terrifying disappointment of her newly wed, Alex.
While the film is fun there’s quite a bit here that doesn’t quite work. A lot of the comedy doesn’t stick well. Like a blunt axe welded through a forest it makes a few marks but doesn’t nearly cut through. I’m also really not sure Andie MacDowell wanted to be part of this game, as she gives a performance so wooden it wood make a lumberjack jealous.
As I say though, Weaving is fabulous and that combined with a truly awesome finale I was definitely content by the end.
Reviewed by Josh
A bride's wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.
“A fresh feel steeped in Nostalgia.”
There's only one way you should go into Doctor Sleep. As a sequel I'm not too sure it works, but as a spin off, Mike Flanagan nails it!
I was not hyped about this film. The trailer gave the feeling of an ultra glossy, new age horror, trying to get a leg up off the back of 'The Greatest Horror of All Time'. Much to my surprise, Doctor Sleep is a clever spin off tale, that gives enough homage to Kubrick's masterpiece, but also steps out in its own new threads. This gives the film a fresh feel steeped in nostalgia.
I love The Shining, but I'm no mega fan, so I can only comment from that stance. I'm not sure whether diehards of the 1980's classic will be pleased, I'm really not. But as a cinephile who loves the original I really did love this take. I also think to anyone new, or even those who haven't seen The Shining, there's a lot to love about this style of film. Doctor Sleep is not scary, but neither was The Shining. Instead of cheap jump scares, Flanagan builds a lot of the tension through the score, the cinematography and character development.
There's a far bigger, in your face, supernatural element at play here, and that's why I think it works better as a spin off. Rebecca Ferguson does an extraordinary job with her character, and it is a make or break character to the film. I'm not sure how, but she has made a crazy, top hat wearing carny exude sexual appeal. I thought Ewan McGregor does a great job with some lovely little nuances that really make you believe he was once that messed up little kid.
Don't worry about the 2hr31 runtime. It flies by. It's the first movie this year to really hold my attention for that period of time. While the 3rd act is the weakest of the film, due to it quite heavily leaning on its predecessor's material, the film as a whole is a big win, and at the moment it would likely sit in my top 10 list of 2019.
Reviewed by Josh
Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the 'shine'. Instinctively recognising that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers.
I honestly didn't mind Underwater. By no means is it a 'good film', but it kept me entertained for the most part. There have been far worse films being released recently, so if you like Kristen Stewart, there's enough here to keep you mildly amused.
Don't come here expecting anything remotely new. Underwater is a blatant copy of a little film franchise you may have heard of called Alien. Right down to Kristen Stewart sporting a shaved head and running around in her underwear. It's definitely hard to disassociate yourself from the 1979 masterpiece, and my only advice would be, don't even try.
After an earthquake destroys their underwater station, six researchers must navigate two miles along the dangerous, unknown depths of the ocean floor to make it to safety in a race against time.
Tigers Are Not Afraid is a Mexican horror from 2017, that is kindred to The Devil’s Backbone. This exciting new director creates a dark fairytale spin,to tell the horrific story of the real effects of The Cartel in Mexico.
Tigers Are Not Afraid is well worth your time if you like fantasy horror. Released onto Shudder in 2019, it’s reminiscent of Del Toro’s style, so there’s no wonder he liked it so much. With the fantasy element added, It’s something a little different, but it never gets in the way of the harrowing consequences the drug world causes in Mexico.
The child actors are all excellent, turning in very believable performances. Especially for the fact that none of them had acted before.
Wonderfully shot, creating a beautifully dark and touching tale that feels fantastical and real at the same time.
Written by Josh (FilmNotions)
A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war.
The Lighthouse is definitely a film for 'cinephiles'. A master class in film making, director Robert Eggers turns up the style, the tension, and the downright weirdness, since his last film, The VVitch.
Two feature films made and Eggers is making his own hefty mark in the horror genre. With his own unique style of storytelling, his films won't please everybody. They are uncomfortable, disturbing and slow paced.
There's little wonder The Lighthouse has been nominated for Best Cinematography at this years Oscars. The Black and White, almost square 1.19:1 ratio is shot with such beauty it will mesmerise and haunt you in equal parts. Eggers teaming up again with Director of Photography, Jarin Blaschke, after their collaboration on The Witch, have created one of the best looking films of 2019. Also reteaming with The Witch composer, Mark Korven, the score accentuates the horror, the claustrophobia and the descent into madness the film has to offer.
The performances are outstanding. Willem Dafoe transforms into a grizzly pirate of a man, while Pattinson plays a quiet and subdued young man, who is seemingly running away from something in his past. They are both exceptional. The Lighthouse is predominately just the two of them stuck on a volcanic rock of an island. The lighthouse and the violent oceans that circle them become characters in their own right. One towering over them and the other surrounding them with suffocation.
Folklore and supernatural ancient yarns abound, The Lighthouse is a horrific tale of yesteryear that can also give us insight into human traits we still deal with today. It's not an easy watch, but it's wildly weird and entertaining.
Written by Josh Barry (FilmNotions)
Nick Says (NicksFlicksFix)
Incredible cinematography. Extremely weird. Amazingly unsettling. Spontaneously hilarious. Superb performances. It’s damn good.
Two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.
Are you a fan of the 1970s classic TV show ‘Fantasy Island’? Great! Stick with the show, because even when that series was at its worst, it still wasn’t as bad as 2020’s revamped-for-a-younger-audience-horror adaption, Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island (and yes, the title card at the beginning of the film has “Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island”).
A group of people win a competition to travel to an island run by Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena), who have the opportunity to live out their ultimate fantasy. A girl who wants revenge on her high school bully, a cop who always wanted the chance to be a soldier, a woman who wants one more chance with the person she loves most. These are just some of the ideas that Fantasy Island brings forward for the audience to invest in.
And to be fair, at surface level, this concept should make for an interesting movie. In fact, Fantasy Island at times does feel like there is a passable thriller movie hiding in between every bad joke, every awful twist and every uninspired jump scare. In the hands of someone who cared more about making a good movie, rather than just making something for cheap that the kids will love, Fantasy Island may have been another one of Blumhouse’s semi-reasonable hits.
However, this “horror-thriller” will now go down as one of 2020’s most unintentional comedies. This is the sort of film that warrants you getting your mates together on a Friday night and playing a drinking game with it. In no way is this a good movie, but it’s definitely one that can be enjoyed (albeit not for the reasons it should be enjoyed) under the right (intoxicated) circumstances.
Fantasy Island falls hard into some many horror tropes that it feels stale. The script isn’t intriguing, the direction isn’t commanding attention, the humour is mismatched to the scenes it is placed in and the performances (with the light exception of Maggie Q)… well they actually feel like the belong in this movie.
Reviewed by Nick (NicksFlicksFix)
A group of contest winners arrive at an island hotel to live out their dreams, only to find themselves trapped in nightmare scenarios.
'Right, if you don't mind, it's time to milk the alpacas.' This is Nic Cage's response to a freaky colourful meteor that lands in the backyard. This is what you're up for if you choose to go and see Color Out of Space. And I really think you should!
A few short years ago, we were given the gift of Nicholas Cage going beyond full Nic Cage, in the acid trip, fantasy horror, that was Mandy, and I myself loved it. Color Out of Space, produced by the same company, is definitely looking to feed off those feels. Richard Stanley is back directing his first feature in over 20 years, and I have to say he does a great job.
Now when you've got 2 guys involved in a film, that at one point in their lives they both went in a search for the Holy Grail, you know you should be in for something completely bonkers. And bonkers you have in spade fulls. Meteors, aliens, alpacas, a pussy cat called G-Spot, and that's only the half of it. When this thing gets into full swing, strap yourself in, because things get violent, weird and downright crazy!
There's so many quotable lines in this film, with 99% of them coming from Cage. His character, whilst in the midst of losing his mind, is beautiful to watch. I was getting those flamboyant Castor Troy vibes. The cinematography, and bright, vibrant colours are also done really well, with similarities to the look of Annihilation. That coupled with the score, another high point for me, gives it exactly the right brooding atmosphere.
My advice is watch the trailer and see what you think. If you love weird and wonderful, and you liked Mandy, then I'm pretty sure you'll dig this.
Reviewed by Josh
A story of cosmic terror about The Gardners, a family who moves to a remote farmstead in rural New England to escape the hustle of the 21st century. They are busy adapting to their new life when a meteorite crashes into their front yard. The mysterious aerolite seems to melt into the earth, infecting both the land and the properties of space-time with a strange, otherworldly color. To their horror, the Gardner family discover that this alien force is gradually mutating every life form that it touches...including them.
The Lodge is a new psychological thriller that, in the best way, borrows from films like Hereditary, It Comes At Night and The Shining, but at the same time carves out a personality all of its own. The Lodge is unsettling, disturbing, and wickedly moody.
A family heads to their winter cabin for Christmas, as part of a 'get to know you' for the kids and the new girlfriend, Grace. Grace (Riley Keough) has a dark past, and the kids really don't trust her. When they arrive at the lodge, something isn't right, and when the Dad (Richard Armitage) has to leave for work, everyone starts feeling it's effects. But, It's not what you first expect.
One of the reasons The Lodge works so well, and there are many, is how it takes it's time to set the mood and tone for the film, while being intriguing and entertaining. There's a brilliant use of sound, which will inevitably make you jump out of your seat a few times, and the film is beautifully and meticulously shot. I really loved how this looked, and this is where the comparisons to It Comes At Night come from.
Austrian writer/director duo, Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz previously brought us Goodnight Mommy. While I enjoyed Goodnight Mommy, it was partially ruined for me by 'Scariest Movie Ever' tropes it was receiving at the time. I didn't find it scary at all, and definitely found it more of a mood piece. This is what Fiala and Franz do and they do it well. With The Lodge they have created a film that is again a slow burn, yet it never drags. Not once did my mind go elsewhere.
Riley Keough is excellent in this. There's more than a couple of layers to her character and she plays them with ease. The two children actors, Jaeden Martell as Aidan, and Lia McHugh as Mia are also great. We've seen Martell before in Midnight Special, It 1 & 2, and more recently in Knives Out, but it was Lia McHugh (see her in the upcoming, Eternals) that really stood out. She is exceptional in this. She has some confronting scenes and she nails them all!
I really liked this film. It's overall tone and mood get under your skin in the best possible way, and I really didn't see where it was ending up.
Reviewed by Josh
Nick Says - It's part Hereditary, part The Shining, part It Comes At Night. But it's entirely disturbing, creepy and haunting. Stunning imagery, claustrophobic cinematography and an amazing performance from Riley Keough. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Note to cinemas. They need to start installing seat belts in cinemas, because this gives new meaning to being on the edge of your seat. Be careful! Don't fall off.
I was super keen for this as soon as I watched the first trailer. I LOVED Upgrade, and Elisabeth Moss is always great at bringing something different to the table. So going in my expectations were fairly high, and this exceeded them…. by a lot. The tension that is created in this horror/thriller is brilliant and undeniable. It's methodical build and purposefully slow camera work really gets under your skin, and puts you on high alert. It's truly brilliant. Also the sound design and score are exceptional. See this somewhere with great surround sound!
Performance wise, Moss is always superb in my books, and this is no different. She's so believable, so rooted in her character. The film most certainly works in big part, due to her harrowing portrayal of a women escaping a violent relationship.
Leigh Whannell, coming off the back of the electrical effort that was Upgrade, has put another foot firmly forward with this remake of The Invisible Man. Making this film for $7M is an astonishing effort. I almost don't believe it. The production is stunning. Whannell seemed to have a almost impossible task ahead of him and he has 100% delivered.
This is suspense at it's best! This is horror at its smartest. Just go see this film!! I really don't think you will be disappointed. Unless you have a heart condition or something. Then, this comes with a warning.
Movie Review by Josh https://www.instagram.com/film_notions/
When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.