Movie Review: Shelley (2016)

Ladies, gentlemen, and space aliens, it’s finally here. The first review in my yearly blogging thing called THE MONTH OF SPOOKS! *Dramatic music, thunder & lightning, very very frightening*. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Shelley”.

A young Romanian woman named Elena (Cosmina Stratan) has come to Denmark to help a Danish couple (Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Peter Christoffersen) out as a maid. Not too long into her service she agrees to become a surrogate mother for them. And it doesn’t take long for her to discover that there might be something strange going on with this pregnancy. So now we have our little horror-drama. And it’s certainly an interesting story. Now, it’s not perfect, there are flaws. It has a little bit of an ambiguous nature, never giving an explanation for what happened. Being ambiguous isn’t necessarily a problem, but I feel like they could’ve fed us a few more bread crumbs so that we could interpret more from it, because this is maybe a little too vague with some stuff. With that said, the stuff we do get though is interesting and is made more engaging thanks to a really cool, off-brand atmosphere. The plot has a lot of flaws, but it’s still pretty interesting.

The characters in this are flawed and decently interesting. Cosmina Stratan plays Elena, the young woman who agrees to carry the baby. She’s charming and energetic, a nice young woman who wants to help people. And seeing her go through the development she goes through here is quite fascinating, making her a decently layered character. And Stratan is really good in the role. Ellen Dorrit Petersen plays Louise, the woman whose child Elena helps to carry. She generally seems like a good person, very friendly, and does everything to make sure Elena (and the baby) is comfortable. And she is decently interesting, with Petersen giving a solid performance. And in the supporting cast we see people like Peter Christoffersen and Björn Andrésen, both doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Martin Dirkov, who I think did a good job with it. It’s not a very melodic score, going more for eerie droning sounds, because that apparently makes stuff spookier. I know that sounds like a criticism, but it isn’t. Like I said, it’s overall a good score, and it works pretty well whenever it’s used within the movie.

“Shelley” was written by Ali Abbasi and Maren Louise Käehne, with Abbasi handling direction. And this is overall a very well crafted movie. Abbasi’s direction really helps conjure a creepy, off-kilter atmosphere which almost gives the movie a sort of dreamlike quality, which at times makes it a little more unsettling. Also makes for some nice shots on occasion.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,2/10.

While “Shelley” isn’t perfect, it’s still a decently creepy little horror-drama. It has an okay plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and really good writing/direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Shelley” is a 7,11/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Shelley” is now completed.

Do you think that title is a cute nod to Mary Shelley? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

Movie Review: Prevenge (2017)

Pregnancy. Amazing, fascinating, terrifying, weird. Many words can describe this natural part of human life. But I never thought one of them would be “murderous”.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Prevenge”.

Ruth (Alice Lowe) is a widow. She’s also seven months pregnant and about to go on a killing spree. And that’s the premise for this movie. So how’s the plot here? I actually thought it was good. Weird, but good. When I say weird I don’t mean that it does anything overly ambitious and strange with the narrative, as it does follow a pretty regular structure. But what I mean by weird is that some strange shit happens throughout, and I found all of that quite interesting. The plot also has a darkly comedic tone that gives it a unique and off-kilter vibe that for the most part works. There are times where the tone somewhat clashes with moments in the narrative, but it was never enough to ruin the plot for me, it just brings it down a notch. So overall this plot is pretty good.

I’m only gonna talk about one character here since we only really follow one, and she’s the only one we really get to know. Here we have Alice Lowe as Ruth, the pregnant widow going on a killing spree. She’s a damaged and quite unstable individual that is quite interesting to follow, as she’s quite a unique and intriguing. And Rowe does a great job in the role. And all the supporting players in this are all godo in their respective roles.

The score was composed by Toydrum, and it was good. It’s an eerie electronic score with plenty of droning notes to give an ethereal and uneasy vibe that I really liked. Took scenes that would’ve been kind of bland and turned them into something unique and intriguing. It’s amazing how much music can affect something.

“Prevenge” was written and directed by its star, Alice Lowe. So she’s wrote, directed, and starred in a movie while also being pregnant? That is pretty fucking impressive. And I have to say that she did a damn good job with her directing duties here. She gives the movie a very weird, almost dreamlike feel with her directing, complementing the off-kilter story quite well. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie that feels like this one does, so that’s pretty cool.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Prevenge” is a weird and off-kilter character study that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it. It has a good plot, a really good character, really good performances, really good music, and great directing. Though as I previously mentioned, there are moments throughout where the tone clashes with narrative. Not a deal breaker, just brings it down a notch. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Prevenge” is an 8,88/10. So while not perfect, I still think it’s worth buying.

My review of “Prevenge” is now completed.

Well, that was… weird.