Movie Review: It Comes at Night (2017)

Survival. Something we all experience in our lives on various levels. A lot of us have it very easy, since we have homes and can pay bills to get heat and such in them. Then we have others who live on the streets or out in the woods, struggling to find supplies or shelter to survive. And one day we might all be in that type of situation if we’re unlucky.

Ladies and gentlemen… “It Comes at Night”.

The world has gone to shit. A mysterious threat has made it very hard to live out in the world. To keep himself and his family safe from this threat, a man (Joel Edgerton) has isolated himself and his family in a very secure house in the middle of nowhere. And we follow them as they try to survive. And I know what you’re thinking… sort of. And I want you to take your expectations, and throw them out of the fucking window. This is an unusual little horror plot, relying more on dread, paranoia, and slowly building tension rather than jumps and disturbing imagery. Sure, there is a little bit of disturbing imagery in the movie, but it’s not the focus on this. It’s a slowly burning psychological horror movie, and I thought it was very riveting. from the very first frame I started feeling a great sense of unease. Tense, bleak, dramatic, harrowing. Yeah, this is a great plot. Again, throw those expectations out… this is far from whatever you could imagine.

The characters here are layered, understandable in their motivations, likable, interesting, and I found myself caring about all of them. I’m not gonna go in-depth with all of them, as I feel they’re best experienced, since my explanation of them could ruin the interesting discoveries one might make about them. But I can at least say that every actor here (including people like Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) does a fantastic job, there is no weak link in the cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Brian McOmber and I think he did a great job. His score is dark, tense, eerie, and helped to create some truly uneasy and even kind of scary moments throughout the film. It’s truly one of those scores that helped elevate the movie.

This movie was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults and I think he did a fantastic job. His direction here is tight tense, and never lets the feeling of unease go away. He makes us feel the same kind of paranoia as the characters in this movie, and that makes it feel a whole lot more immersive. And the cinematography by Drew Daniels is stunning, and makes perfect use of light and darkness to make you feel uneasy and even scared at times. Don’t expect your typical kinds of scariness here, this is a wholly unique type of horror.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“It Comes at Night” is highly unusual, and I think it’s much better for it. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “It Comes at Night” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “It Comes at Night” is now completed.

If you’re interested in watching the movie, then don’t watch any trailers. And like I said earlier… throw those expectations out.

Movie Review: Midnight Special (2016)

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Big budgeted action movies are great and all, but sometimes we need to take it down a notch and give some attention to the smaller guys. You know, the movies with small(er) budgets. And that’s what we’re doing today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Midnight Special”.

Roy (Michael Shannon) is on the run together with his friend (Joel Edgerton) and his son (Jaeden Lieberher) from the government and also a cult. Why? Because Roy’s son apparently has superpowers. And from this basic idea we get a surprisingly deep, emotional, and tense plot that has a decent amount of layers to it. It’s not just a suspense thriller/road movie, but also an intriguing mystery surrounding this boy and his powers. And the ending (no spoilers), I thought it was a solid ending for the movie. I mention this because there are people who don’t really like how this movie concludes, and that’s fine… I’m just saying that I thought it worked. I thought the entire plot worked very well, it was great.

The characters in this movie are all really interesting. Michael Shannon is great in the main role as the father who just wants to do anything to find his super-son’s purpose, whatever that may be. Joel Edgerton plays his best friend in the movie, and he gives a really good performance too. Jaeden Lieberher who plays the superpowered kid, Alton, is actually really good in the movie. I am usually someone who is a bit against child actors, but I do have to admit that this kid was genuinely good. We also got Adam Driver as one of the government agents and he was really good in the movie. I’d say that most if not all actors did a really good job.

The score for the movie was composed by David Wingo and it was pretty fuckin’ good. It is a beautifully haunting score that perfectly manages to create a lot of emotion that perfectly fits the movie. Seriously, it’s some awesome stuff.

This movie was directed by Jeff Nichols who also made the movie “Mud”, which I really liked. And here he did a great job with the direction. The movie is magnificently shot, it looks beautiful. What I also enjoyed about it is how well the CGI in the movie blended with everything else. None of it felt out of place or looked bad, it all worked very well in the movie. There’s also a good amount of suspense in the movie, which I really liked.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Midnight Special” is a pretty different movie. It’s more of a slow burn than most modern sci-fi movies, but that’s also kind of why I like it. But also because it has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. I WILL FIND HIM! My final score for “Midnight Special” is a 9,87/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Midnight Special” is now completed.

This apparently bombed at the box office. Shame on you, world.

 

Movie Review: The Gift (2015)

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Good thing I decided to see this movie AFTER christmas and not slightly before or right around it. Because then I would probably be paranoid about the presents I got.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Gift”.

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a happily married couple who just moved to California to sort of start their life anew. Then one day they meet Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who is a man Simon went to school with once upon a time. So when they get aquainted with eachother Gordo starts leaving them gifts and he’s being really creepy and we now have a thriller. But it’s not just your typical stalker-thriller because it also throughout the movie presents an interesting backstory and we get some secrets revealed which makes everything so much more unique and interesting. And through the netire movie I was invested in the story and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, especially during the finale which absolutely blew my mind and knocked me flat on the ground. That is when everything just comes together and just gives you one of the most dramatic gut-punches ever. I absolutely enjoyed every second of the plot and it was all very interesting to watch it unfold.

The characters in this movie were all in some way damaged and it clearly showed in their expressions and it’s one of the things that makes them so interesting to watch. Ot also helps that the acting in the movie was good. Jason Bateman in this movie blew me away. Usually when I see him in a movie I go “Hey, I like you, Jason Bateman” because he’s a likable comedic actor. However I never feel like he has ever disappeared into a role… until now. When I watched this movie, Jason Bateman disappeared and we got this very compelling character who had something he wanted to keep hidden. Rebecca Hall was fantastic in the movie as Bateman’s wife who experiences all of this shit happening. Joel Edgerton… Joel Edgerton gave an absolutely fantastic performance as this pretty creepy and awkward guy. This is a role that could so easily be terrible and would ruin the movie, but thanks to Edgerton being so subdued with his performance, he absolutely nails it. Every actor does in fact do great jobs in the movie.

The score for the movie was a collaborative effort by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. And it was actually good. For the most part it was pretty low-key. Stayed as ambient noise in the background but also showed itself a good amount from time to time to enhance the tension of a scene. And all of the tracks were used to great effect in the scenes they were in.

So this movie was directed by… Joel Edgerton? Yeah, it apparently seems like one of the stars of this movie was the director… and screenwriter as well. And I have to say that he did fantasticly with those duties. There are a lot of slow camera movements in this movie that gets to linger on certain scenes which makes for a gorgeous looking movie and for a little bit of suspense building. There is one shot in the movie that is completely static but it’s really a fantastic shot that features to characters on opposite ends of the screen. And the dialogue in the movie was really good as well, very smart and realistic. And like I said, the final act of this movie is absolutely amazing, one of the best I’ve seen in a while, featuring a twist or two that made me go “holy fucking shit”. Yeah… well done, Edgerton. Oh, I also have to mention that the trailer for this movie was pretty awful, so stay away from that if you wanna watch this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Gift” is one of the biggest surprises in quite some time for me. It features a smart & suspenseful story with an amazing finale, fantastic performances, a great soundtrack, terrific directing and really good dialogue. Time for my final score. Ooo, present! *Rips paper, opens box*. Oh, the final score… cool. My final score for “The Gift” is a 9,88/10. It most certainly gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Gift” is now completed.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOOOX!?