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Thriller

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We Summon the Darkness

The year is 1988.  Floods of teenagers flock to a Midwestern heavy metal concert despite controversies sparked by unidentified Satanists on a murder spree and the region’s fearmongering Bible Belt.  A trio of rowdy friends (Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth) have a run-in with a group of aspiring metal musicians (Keean Johnson, Logan Miller, Austin Swift).  Both parties have a rocky start with each other, but the head-banging camaraderie in the air is enough…

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Cave Rescue

Following in the same footsteps as Clint Eastwood’s maligned biopic The 15:17 to Paris, Tom Waller’s Cave Rescue is a dramatic thriller about the 2018 real-life mission to save a team of young Thai soccer players.  Like Eastwood’s movie, it stars some of the actual people who were key players in the recovery.  There isn’t much build up to the incident in Cave Rescue, which separates it from The 15:17 to Paris.  Waller’s movie is…

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Vivarium

Vivarium works as jet-black satire about the pressures of fulfilling roles that have been imposed by a seemingly unanimous understanding of tradition.  It’s existentially dour, but these dissatisfied emotions from director Lorcan Finnegan and screenwriter Garret Shanley are supposed to identify how normalized expectations are not so much a failsafe plan for people, but actually a suffocating framework.

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True Fiction

What role does the precarity of labour play in young people choosing to take on dangerous jobs?  In the #MeToo era, how does one go about separating an artist’s actions from their work?  Is anonymity possible in the 21st century?  What is the difference between violence and a simulation of violence?  If unethical acts lead to brilliant art, is it ethical to consume the art?  What do these questions have in common?  Well, for one, they…

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The Lodge

The Lodge thinks its rooted in gothic horror when its misery might actually be post-emo.  Suicide is predominant in this macabre thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and while it seems to be a topic used to explore the mourning identities of the film’s characters, it’s mostly in existence to add moody atmospheric chills.  Surface-level stuff, but very effective.

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21 Bridges

Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman plays Andre Davis, a stoic NYPD detective who was psychologically affected at a young age by the murder of his father, a policeman in the line of fire.  From that tragedy, Davis developed a certain alertness to his job but the experience has made him mentally withdrawn from situations and company.  Peers are either impressed with his work or intimidated by his reputation. Davis invests all of his passion in his most…

Reviews

Countdown

Make no bones about it: writer/director Justin Dec’s contemporary cyber horror Countdown has been influenced by the Final Destination series, a franchise that toyed with ideas of existentialism and then devolved into outrageous collections of gruesome spectacles.