Thriller

Film Review: Coming Home in the Dark is a menacing feature brimmed with horrific potential

September 9, 2021

It doesn’t take much for director James Ashcroft to create the most horrific of situations from the simplest of ingredients laid bare in the early stages of the eerie Coming Home in the Dark.  A loving family, an idyllic New Zealand locale, and a duo of passing strangers provide all that is needed for Ashcroft’s […]

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Fantasia Film Festival Review: Baby Money sits comfortably within the subgenre of the “home invasion” thriller

August 11, 2021

A simple thriller that adheres to the mindset that not all genre efforts have to hone complicated narratives, Baby Money adjusts the home invasion subgenre enough for its familiarities to not feel habitual. The “baby money” of the title is the currency Minny (Danay Garcia) and her boyfriend, Gil (Michael Drayer), are in need of […]

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Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark creates a horrific situation out of the simplest ingredients

August 6, 2021

It doesn’t take much for director James Ashcroft to create the most horrific of situations from the simplest of ingredients laid bare in the early stages of the eerie Coming Home in the Dark.  A loving family, an idyllic New Zealand locale, and a duo of passing strangers provide all that is needed for Ashcroft’s […]

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Film Review: Old is an embarrassing retreat in quality for M. Night Shyamalan

July 22, 2021

There’s really no other way to say it – M. Night Shyamalan‘s Old is bad.  It’s very bad.  In fact, in some instances it’s downright awful!  Mirroring the same career slump he experienced after the 1-3 punch of The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000) and Signs (2002) with such misfires as The Lady in the Water […]

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The Therapist

Book Review: Helene Flood is a new voice in Nordic noir with translated work The Therapist

July 21, 2021

Translated from the Norwegian by Alison McCullough, Helene Flood’s debut adult novel follows Sara, a Norwegian therapist, in the aftermath of her husband’s disappearance. Initially, Sigurd lies about his whereabouts in a voicemail left for Sara. Soon she uncovers a web of deceit that ultimately puts her in harm’s way. Originally published in 2019, English-speaking […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Catch The Fair One is a vigilante tale of stark realism

June 15, 2021

Invoking notes of revenge thrillers like Death Wish and Taken, but adhering to a female edge that lends the film a more calculating temperament, Catch The Fair One is a gritty thriller that survives more on its emotional mindset rather than gratuitous violence. Headlined and anchored by real-life boxer Kali Reis (who also serves as […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: See For Me treads familiar ground with a welcome creativity

June 11, 2021

The elevator pitch narrative of “blind subject is targeted by home invaders” is one that’s been explored before in the cinematic realm.  The 2016 double offering of Don’t Breathe and Netflix’s Hush both utilised this logline to impressive effect, and though See For Me is treading familiar ground, it too is at least doing so […]

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Film Review: Spiral: From the Book of Saw is politically minded and incredibly grisly

May 13, 2021

Defying the critical odds in 2004 and spanning an unlikely 8-film-strong series in the process, the original Saw became much more of a phenomenon than expected, and, arguably, than originally intended.  Often synonymous with the horror sub-genre of “torture porn”, James Wan‘s grimy, low budget affair delighted in its gory aesthetics, but tried its best […]

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Interview: Sam Claflin on the emotional turmoil of playing the villain in Every Breath You Take

April 22, 2021

After making a name for himself in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Sam Claflin soon earned global recognition as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games series.  Romantic leading roles and character driven projects followed, with his exercises in the dark psyches of his roles continuing with the release of Every Breath You Take. […]

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Film Review: Every Breath You Take delights in its trashy 1990’s thriller mentality

April 22, 2021

The spirit of the 1990’s thriller is alive and well within Every Breath You Take.  The upper-middle class family having their perfectly manicured lives upended by the arrival of a mysterious figure – this one British and in the form of the disarmingly handsome Sam Claflin – is a road travelled many times before; hell, […]

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Film Review: Ascendant harnesses its strength through its ability to surprise with both its story and psychology

April 8, 2021

Ascendant is one of those films that’s equally as difficult to write about it as it is deceptively simple.  A film that banks entirely on the fact that it unravels and reveals its narrative in an unexpected manner, Antaine Furlong‘s ambitious sci-fi-leaning action/thriller is a testament to the first time Australian filmmaker’s bold vision and […]

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Film Review: The Courier is an emotionally fraught thriller balancing its emotional and educational mentality

April 3, 2021

British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) doesn’t have the most suave persona.  And it’s because of this very reason that MI5 and the CIA have collaborated in their bid to maximise the potential of an insider during the time of America and Russian intensifying their nuclear arms race. “You drink too much and you’re not […]

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Film Review: The Mauritanian is a factual-based thriller grounded by Tahar Rahim’s central performance

March 23, 2021

As much as The Mauritanian can boast Jodie Foster (in her Golden Globe-winning role), Benedict Cumberbatch and Shailene Woodley as its headliners, it’s the central performance from the lesser-known Tahar Rahim that ultimately impresses and grounds the film around him. A factual-based dramatic thriller detailing some of the supposed inner workings of the 9/11 terrorism […]

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SXSW Film Review: Here Before utilises its supernatural premise and twists it when we least expect

March 18, 2021

Creepy children are always good fodder for horror-leaning films, and Here Before, whilst more psychological thriller than all-out horror, is no exception with writer/director Stacey Gregg utilising the premise and twisting it just so. Andrea Riseborough leads the charge as Laura in this small, gradual thriller that focuses on young Megan, a seemingly friendly school […]

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SXSW Film Review: Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film

March 17, 2021

Literally adopting the phrase “Go back to where you came from” and structuring a thriller-leaning narrative around it, Lazaro Ramos‘s Executive Order is an often infuriating and incredibly timely film given the racial prejudice that has framed the last 12 months. Set in a near-dystopian future in Rio de Janeiro, the film starts on the […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark is a menacing feature that doesn’t take full advantage of its eerie potential

January 31, 2021

It doesn’t take much for director James Ashcroft to create the most horrific of situations from the simplest of ingredients laid bare in the early stages of the eerie Coming Home in the Dark.  A loving family, an idyllic New Zealand locale, and a duo of passing strangers provide all that is needed for Ashcroft’s […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: John and the Hole is an ambiguous thriller that refuses to spoon-feed its audience

January 30, 2021

There’s a series of odd interludes dispersed throughout Pascual Sisto‘s unnerving thriller John and the Hole that suggest the story at hand has been passed down over time as something of a fable, one that impressionable young children may construe as a challenge on how they view their own relationship with their supposed elders.  It’s […]

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Film Review: Brothers By Blood is an all-too ordinary mob story that seems unfortunately content with coaxing by on familiarity

January 24, 2021

Despite a talented cast that consists of such reliable names as Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Kinnaman, Ryan Phillippe, and Maika Monroe, Brothers By Blood (originally known as The Sounds of Philadelphia) is an all-too ordinary mob story that seems unfortunately content with coaxing by on familiarity. Masculinity, faith, loyalty, redemption, brotherhood, a criminal underworld…it’s stock standard […]

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TV Review: The Sister elevates a standard premise with a supernatural element

January 24, 2021

A nonlinear storyline, a dash of supernatural suggestion, and committed performances across the board, The Sister switches enough of the standard murder-mystery thriller concept for it to earn viewer interest over the course of its four sharp episodes. Within minutes of Neil Cross‘s screenplay unfolding on the screen – the writer adapting from his own […]

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Film Review: The Dry is a tension-laced thriller that stays true to its source material

December 28, 2020

Suitably gripping from the opening images of the bloody aftermath of a supposed murder-suicide – made all the more unsettling to the sounds of an infant crying – Robert Connolly‘s The Dry, an adaption of Jane Harper’s best-selling novel, is a tension-laced thriller that stays true to its source material. The murder-suicide that initially garners […]

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Film Review: I’m Your Woman is a slow burning thriller anchored by a phenomenal Rachel Brosnahan

December 10, 2020

You’d be forgiven for assuming I’m Your Woman is going to be a ferocious, revenge-driven thriller going off the simple, yet striking poster art that accompanies.  Rachel Brosnahan, decked in a long trench coat, a baby on one arm, clutching a gun with the opposing hand.  It’s a hell of an image – provocative, even […]

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AFI Fest Review: The Boy Behind the Door is a ruthless, taut thriller that benefits from its uncomplicated narrative and daringness to place children at its centre

October 18, 2020

Without so much as letting us settle into our seats, The Boy Behind the Door announces itself as a relentless piece of cinema within seconds of its starting time.  This is harrowing, unbearably suspenseful storytelling, with first time directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell plunging headfirst into thrilling territory, seemingly unafraid to tackle upsetting material […]

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Film Review: Darkness Falls is a hollow thriller that doesn’t rise above its B-grade sensibility

June 15, 2020

At just over 80 minutes, Darkness Falls (which is also known as Anderson Falls in other regions) understands the importance of not overstaying its welcome.  It’s a lean, tight running time for a serial killer thriller, one that opens with a particularly harsh sequence where the predators murder their prey by forcing them to digest […]

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First Impressions: Netflix’s second season of Dead To Me continues to complement its comedic personality with a wealth of emotion

May 7, 2020

*This review will contain spoilers pertaining to Dead To Me’s first season* It goes without saying that if you haven’t finished season one of Netflix’s deliciously comedic Dead To Me (or watched it all, shame on you if so), this second season is not for you to play catch up.  And after the unexpected note […]

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Come To Daddy

Film Review: Come To Daddy is a pitch black comedic thriller bathed in gory oddity

March 30, 2020

If we have learnt anything throughout cinema’s depictions of estranged families, it’s that the more alienated you are from one another, the more unpredictable your journey will be. This proves especially true in Come To Daddy, a pitch black comedic thriller that director Ant Timpson bathes in gory oddity. There’s an unease immediately present from […]

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Film Review: Swallow is a slow-burning thriller that transcends its potentially nauseating premise

March 22, 2020

On paper, the premise for Swallow sounds almost too-grotesque to be relayed without resorting to some type of gimmick.  In reality, Carlo Mirabella-Davis‘s slow-burning thriller transcends its potentially nauseating core to deliver a deep, at times dark tale that wholly understands and respects its unique subject matter. The film surrounds the delicate Hunter (Haley Bennett), […]

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Film Review: The Invisible Man is a slick, psychological thriller that demands to be seen

February 26, 2020

Had the Tom Cruise-led revamp of The Mummy not crashed and burned at the box office upon its release in 2017 then we’d be seeing, or more correctly not seeing, a very different Invisible Man.  In an optimistic strategy from Universal Pictures – in their bid to compete with fellow juggernauts Marvel and DC – […]

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Film Review: Mirren and McKellen keep The Good Liar afloat in spite of its plot failures

December 5, 2019

As legends of both the stage and screen, the idea of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen combining their respective talents for a project is an enticing one, to say the least.  And whilst The Good Liar hands them roles that they each indulge in with an against-type glee, the film itself isn’t the first class […]

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Film Review: Nicole Kidman is unrecognisable as a broken cop in Destroyer (USA, 2018)

March 18, 2019

Cops are tops. But if you’re Erin Bell in Destroyer you’re less tops and more likely to be drinking hops. Nicole Kidman plays a bedraggled and unrecognisable detective in this noir. While there are some moments where it is thrilling, most of it is far too slow-burning and perfunctory to really cut through. This film […]

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Blu-Ray Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (USA, 2018) succeeds as both a sequel and a stand-alone narrative

December 30, 2018

Denis Villeneuve shone a light on issues that now seem more rife than ever in 2015’s hard-hitter Sicario. For its follow-up, sub-headed Day of the Soldado, the concerns at hand are more unnerving than before, and whilst the argument of whether or not the original film needed a sequel is still a valid talking point, […]

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