Ti West completely nails it yet again with Pearl, Pearl serves as a prequel to X which released back in March of this year. Much like what he did with X when he made the film look like something straight out of the 70s and 80s horror film era, Pearl is made to look like a technicolor (even though they didn’t actually use technicolor they still did a fantastic job or replicating it) film from the 1930s (think Wizard Of Oz), the film is absolutely gorgeous and like X captures the time period it takes place in. Mia Goth completely hits it out of the park once again as Pearl, she gives one of the best performances so far this year and completely dives deep into her character. There’s some truly horrifyingly effective moments that she pushes with her role, there’s a 6 minute monologue that is tragic, horrifying and absolutely beautiful all at the same time that really captivates the viewer. The writing is truly masterful the amount of attention to detail the film goes in with the characters especially Pearl is truly inspiring and fascinating, the atmosphere is thrilling there’s something very eerie about the town the film takes place in. Where anything can happen at any given moment, it matches the type of town you would have in a nightmare it’s truly haunting and the style of the film only makes it that more effective. Ti West’s direction is once again absolutely fantastic, once again West truly understands the horror genre so he expresses that here. Which is a different type of horror that X was so it’s quite fascinating to see him completely master not one but types of horror in the exact same year, finally Pearl as a film stands on it’s own it’s far different than X that while yes is a prequel could be considered it’s own film (although there’s a few callbacks to X but not very huge ones). Overall Pearl is one of the best films of the year (my favorite so far this year) it’s a beautifully crafted film that truly hit it out of the park, it’s a nightmare of a film that I truly recommend!
The trend of America remaking disturbing foreign films has always been a bad idea (outside of Funny Games but that’s a shot for shot remake) 99% of the time the end result is a very watered down and completely butchered version. Prime examples are the remakes of Old Boy, Martyrs and Inside, Goodnight Mommy is the newest one and luckily it’s nowhere near as bad but once again it’s a very watered down version of the original. Goodnight Mommy came out in 2014 (2015 for America) and was a pretty disturbing film that had tons of atmosphere. The movie is definitely not for everyone but I like it quite a lot, fast forward to the remake and it just sort of exists. Naomi Watts is of course really solid she’s hands down the best part of the movie and at times captures what made the original disturbing. The filming combined with the setting are also pretty solid and once again do capture the spirit of the original, the problem comes in with the movie being heavily watered down such as taking away torture scenes that are very important to the story especially during the final act. It’s a key part of what made the twist of the original so great without it the movie doesn’t have the atmosphere or disturbing nature that the original did, the rest of the remake fails to justify it’s existence outside of a few moments where it seems like the movie is going to attempt to try and capture what made the original great but ends up falling short. The movie ultimately ends up being a very watered down version of the original that might not be terrible as there is some level of attempt to get the spirit of the original in here. It’s also definitely better than the other watered down foreign disturbing movie remakes I mentioned earlier, but that is really not saying much unfortunately. If you are going to watch one version of Goodnight Mommy watched the original.
Goodnight Mommy is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Reading the plot of Fall is exactly what you are going to get. It’s a very basic 127 hours style survival movie, at the very least it’s a decent one, the atmosphere is definitely there with lots of thrilling moments that will absolutely push your fear of heights if you have that. The performances from Virginia Gardner and Grace Caroline Currey are both quite strong and definitely push the movie to the finish line. Lastly there’s the filming that’s quite effective with the whole theme of being stuck on a tower, which is largely where the suspense and atmosphere kicks in. You never know if something is going to go wrong and the worst could end up happening, the characters are what hurts this movie unfortunately. They are not the most well written characters in the world and there’s a twist at the end that completely felt tacked on for no reason other then for the sake of putting one in. Fall is a serviceable survival movie but it’s not something that’s going to standout among the genre.
Queen Latifah and Ludacris deserved a far better movie because what was this? End Of The Road is another terrible Netflix original thriller movie, granted Queen Latifah, Ludacris and the rest of the cast at least make this one watchable but that doesn’t mean much when the rest of the movie has absolutely nothing in it. End Of The Road is a prime example of the over saturation there is in the thriller genre, it does nothing that hasn’t been done before, the atmosphere is completely missing due to how ridiculous the character decisions really are to the point where it becomes more of a comedy than a thriller. There’s also some very strange stylistic choices such as neon lights for whatever reason and it even tries to use similar styles that Mad Max Fury Road used, but it just doesn’t work here as it’s a completely different context.
Unless you haven’t seen a single Twilight Zone episode or haven’t watched a low budget Sci-Fi movie before this might not be a bad watch. Otherwise prepare for a lot of Sci-Fi tropes that really don’t add anything new to the genre, there’s some decent shots here considering the budget and the acting isn’t as bad as you would expect. But this ends up being more of a chore to finish than anything else.
Barbarian is truly something else and I mean that in the best way possible, first and foremost It should be noted that going into this film knowing as little as possible or knowing nothing at all is the best way to experience the movie. The movie is filled to the brim of twists and turns, horrifying moments and actually quite disturbing ones as well. The cast is quite fantastic Georgina Campbell and Justin Long are quite great here and give some strong performances that add to the film’s atmosphere. Speaking of which the atmosphere is truly masterful which is mainly due to the mystery feel of this film, where anything could happen at any given moment. Each of the three acts really compliment the film very well and eventually lead the movie to go completely off the rails much like last year’s Malignant. The first act gives off this urban legend type feel that is truly horrifying and once again compliments the atmosphere quite well, Georgina Campbell really stands out particularly during the first act where she gives a genuinely raw performance. The filming is truly fantastic as well, with tons of up close and tight shots that give the location a lot of personality and detail. The second act does a lot of what the first act did but with Justin Long who is just as fantastic plus the movie gets more and more bizarre as it keeps going. Finally the third act is where it goes completely off the rails with truly a thrilling and horrifying ride that feels like a roller coaster, there’s so much to the film that absolutely needs to be seen to be believed. The writing is truly fantastic especially combined with the acting and the many ideas of the film that work so well. Overall Barbarian is one of the best films of the year, it’s a bizarre film that ups the ante with each passing scene. Go in knowing as little as possible!
Steven C. Miller is back once again only this time it’s another horror movie rather than an action thriller. But unfortunately this is a pretty dull one with not a whole lot to it. There’s some decent kills here that lead to gore, the location itself is pretty nice and Madison Pettis is by far the standout from the cast. Outside of that however it plays out exactly how you think it’s going to, the idea of a an AI system in a smart house attacking people is a great idea that’s not executed all that well here, the dialogue is on the weaker side, the budget definitely holds the movie back from doing anything noteworthy. A lot of the movie is common teen horror movie tropes (despite being rated R) Margaux isn’t something I would call horrible, it does have it’s positives and it is entertaining towards the end. There’s just a lot of missed potential here.
The audacity to make The Harbinger nearly 2 hours long is through the roof, there’s absolutely nothing to this movie that is even remotely interesting. There’s tons of dull dialogue that doesn’t move the story forward at all, which leads to a huge amount of pointless scenes. It also attempts to try this over the top comedic horror effect which falls completely flat on it’s face mainly due to the horror elements being very limited and are restricted to a couple of jumpscares. I really have no idea what on earth they were trying to go for here but whatever it was they completely missed.
The Harbinger is available on all VOD platforms.
Tiny Cinema is another very uneven horror anthology that really misses it’s mark, I was hoping that this could provide some entertainment since it’s directed by Tyler Cornack who previously directed Butt-Boy. But a lot of the segments are either forgettable or are just bad, there’s some shots here that aren’t too bad and I guess the acting isn’t the worst. But a lot of it really doesn’t use it’s ideas to their full potential.
Who Invited Them is definitely one of the better home invasion movies to come out recently, there’s some decent acting here along with the thrilling atmosphere intact. It’s not exactly hard to figure out what’s going to end up happening unfortunately which does take away some of the suspense, but what makes it standout is it’s actually pretty entertaining. The ending could have definitely used some work, I get what the movie was going for but in this case I don’t think it quite sticks the landing. Despite that the movie is entertaining and is a decent quick watch, just don’t go in expecting anything new.
August flew by and the summer movie season is over. 2022 still continues be an incredibly strong year for film and it’s only going to get better with upcoming releases for the last 4 months. September is usually a month that isn’t quite packed and is also sometimes a dumping ground, however this year it looks quite great (minus this week outside of Honk For Jesus Save Your Soul there is almost nothing releasing).
As always here’s some films that I’ve already seen at festivals that are coming out in September that I highly recommend checking out.
Speak No Evil – September 9th (Theaters) and September 15th (Shudder) if you like disturbing films make sure to check this one out. It’s a batshit insane movie that goes off the rails quickly, also be sure to go into it knowing as little as possible.
Riotsville USA – September 16th (Theaters and VOD Platforms) A very interesting film that’s entirely archival footage of how protests began to rise in the 60s, it’s a very haunting and powerful film that’s actually quite important. Definitely one of the most interesting films so far this year. If you are into protest history I recommend this one.
Sissy – September 29th (Shudder) Another really solid slasher film that’s going to release this year, fun characters, great kills, fun gore and so on. It’s everything you would want in a slasher film!!
Now on to the list itself!
23. Jeepers Creepers: Reborn – September 19th (Theaters) As far as I know Victor Salva has no involvement with this one, it also helps that it looks like a far better movie than the last Jeepers Creepers. ￼
22. Smile – September 30th (Theaters) it looks absolutely ridiculous but at the same time sort of looks fun as well!
21. Saloum – September 8th (Shudder)
20. Goodnight Mommy – September 16th (Amazon Prime Video) I definitely think there’s potential for this to be good, it has Naomi Watts and the filming looks really nice. However the original 2014 movie is such a great film that captured disturbing atmosphere, after seeing America’s attempt to remake disturbing movies before such as Martyrs, Inside and Oldboy (all the remakes were garbage) It’s likely this could be another dud. Despite that I am interested to see what they can do.
19. Who Invited Them? – September 1st (Shudder)
18. Jane – September 16th (Creator+)
17. My Best Friend’s Exorcism – September 30th (Amazon Prime Video) Was very surprised to see that the movie actually looks like a whole lot of fun. Elsie Fisher is in one of the leading roles!
16. The Greatest Beer Run Ever – September 30th (Apple TV+)
15. The Girl At The Window – September 27th (VOD)
14. Mona Lisa and The Blood Moon – September 30th (VOD)
13. Raven’s Hollow – September 22nd (Shudder)
12. Burial – September 2nd (VOD)
11. Vesper – September 30th (VOD)
10. The Woman King – September 16th (Theaters) One of the films I’ve been waiting for all year, Viola Davis looks incredible here and could end up giving one of the best performances of the year!
9. Do Revenge – September 16th (Netflix) Looks like an incredible amount of fun plus Maya Hawke is here to completely own it!
8. God’s Country – September 16th (Theaters)
7. God’s Creatures – September 30th (Theaters and VOD Platforms) Heard incredibly great things about this one and the trailer was quite great immediately introducing the mysterious atmosphere that I’m assuming will be in the film.
6. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On – September 6th (VOD) Finally this is coming to VOD platforms, heard nothing but good things about this one!
5. Moonage Daydream – September 16th (Theaters) – A Documentary on David Bowie that’s going to have unreleased footage from Bowie’s personal archives including live concert footage. I’m a big fan of lost media or unreleased media so this one immediately got my attention especially since I’m a fan of Bowie’s music!
4. Barbarian – September 9th (Theaters) The films has been described as “this year’s Malignant” and “a truly bizarre experience” and so on. First reactions for Barbarian were fantastic and sounds like one of this year’s unexpected fantastic films, really looking forward to this one.
3. Blonde – September 16th (Theaters) and September 28th (Netflix) Netflix has a very strong lineup for the rest of the year and Blonde is definitely one of them. Ana de Armas could score a Best Actress Nomination just from the trailers she captures a lot about Marilyn Monroe, the film is also going to be rated NC-17 a decision that’s not often done nowadays. It’s a film I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time ever since it was announced, it’s also great to see Andrew Dominick back with another film.
2. Don’t Worry Darling – September 23rd (Theaters) – Olivia Wilde directors something completely different, after Booksmart (fantastic film) she moves into the thriller/horror/drama area which is always fantastic. This is another film I’ve been excited for since it was announced, Florence Pugh is one of the leads and it seems to be like Darren Aronofsky’s film Mother! First reactions are September 5th at the Venice Film Festival so we will know how it is very soon!
1. Pearl – September 16th (Theaters) Ti West has already given horror fans X a fantastic slasher film that completely captured the 70s and 80s slasher era. Pearl serves as a prequel with Mia Goth returning as the lead who will not doubt hit it out of the park yet again. X is still one of my absolute favorite films of the year and I have no doubt Ti West will hit another homerun!
And that’s it for the list! Lots of great stuff here that I’m truly excited for!!