riter-director Jordan Peele’s “Us”
reminds me of Alex Garland’s “Annihilation”
(2018). Both are followups to a breakthrough piece of chilling sci-fi/horror that I and everybody else loved – “Get Out”
(2017) in Peele’s case and “Ex Machina”
(2015) in Garland’s. And in both cases, in my opinion, these followup efforts fall flat. Why? Well, it’s impossible to get into a filmmaker’s head. I’m tempted to say the filmmaker is aware of the expectation that he craft high art, and he tries too hard. That’s probably a case of me conflating my expectations with Peele’s – who is simply telling the stories he wants to tell — but I can’t deny that I found “Us” to be unengaging, overlong and even boring.
(For Summer’s positive and spoiler-light review of “Us,” click here.)
Continue reading “A second opinion: ‘Us’ is a boring piece of beautiful arthouse horror (Movie review)”
riter-director Jordan Peele’s latest horror offering, “Us”
– which hits digital June 4 and disc June 18 — opens on a seemingly endless wall of caged rabbits, a promise of future symbolism. The slow and agonizing zooming out and the screeching music, driven by a chorus from hell, invokes an anxiety I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt this fear in snippets throughout the movie, although the pinnacle of the horror is the beginning. Despite this — and the surprising mixing of genre signals — I thoroughly enjoyed Peele’s followup to the 2017 classic “Get Out.”
Continue reading “‘Us’ – Jordan Peele’s followup to ‘Get Out’ – is chilling, weird and fresh (Movie review)”
BS All Access’ new version of “The Twilight Zone”
is certainly putting itself out there. Using the name of the revered Rod Serling series
(1959-64) that hasn’t lost its cachet despite all the times it has been resurrected (this is the fourth series by that name), the new series is demanding attention but also setting the bar high. The network has made the pilot episode available for free on YouTube. But like the titular “Comedian” of the episode, its confidence is misplaced and unearned.
Continue reading “First episode impressions: ‘The Twilight Zone’ (TV review)”
“Get Out” (now available on pay-per-view streaming) is the latest example of how a horror movie can be an effective vehicle for making a social statement. When I read the Amazon description that notes the race of the characters – a Caucasian girl brings her African-American boyfriend to meet her parents at their lake house – I hoped that was merely the starting point, because I wanted a few good scares more than a message. Race does end up being central to the story, but in such a sneaky way that I ultimately rate “Get Out” a near-masterpiece of “Twilight Zone”-esque storytelling.
Continue reading “‘Get Out’ is a creepy, thrilling and eye-opening piece of social commentary (Movie review)”