Thursday, April 14, 2016

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway star as a newlywed couple who go to spend some time at the lake after their wedding. But after a short time, she starts to act strange and remote, having to remind herself of who she is and suddenly afraid to have sex with her husband. It's a very tense movie, and though it is ultimately a supernatural movie, most of the horror in this film comes from the confusion that you feel when you spend a lot of time alone with a person and they turn out to not be the person you thought they were. The way the film plays off of that tension really messes with your head, using subtleties of sound and space as much as the confident performances of the actors to dramatize the way a wedge can be driven between people. I don't know if it totally comes together, but the journey to the ending is quite strong, and the lack of answers doesn't bother me because the real drama is about the couple and how uncertainty itself tears them apart. ***1/2

HAUNTER (2013)
Abigail Breslin plays a ghost who has become aware that she and her family are dead and trapped in a routine, living the last day of their lives over and over again. It's sort of a reverse-haunting story, as the trappings of a haunting happen to her, but it turns out she's actually being "haunted" by someone who's alive, and it turns out her death and the experiences of this living girl have a lot in common. From there, it becomes mainly a mystery film, as she tries to solve her own deaths and the deaths of other girls over the years, and it isn't quite as inventive as it wants to be. It's not bad, but after a clever first act, it settles for being something like a Lois Duncan novel. I don't want to make it sound like a letdown, because it's not a bad movie at all, but it doesn't really elevate itself above the level of being an unconventional-but-straightforward ghost story. If you like that kind of thing, it is much, much more enjoyable than your average Lifetime movie. ***

Cheeser, a young mouse, is inspired by Buck Rogers comics to build a rocket and fly to the moon with the other mice to see if it's really made of cheese. Good animation (this is from MGM's Harman-Ising Happy Harmonies series), but it's not really cohesive, and the ending just peters out. **1/2

A Pink Panther cartoon, with the Panther heading to a psychedelic bookstore where the physics get all heady. Fantastic backgrounds. ***

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