Ready or Not and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Has it been a bad year for horror films? There have certainly been quite a few misses like the Child’s Play remake, Ma, and whatever the heck Brightburn was supposed to be, but we also had fun stuff like The Intruder and even a genuinely great horror film like Us, so the year isn’t a TOTAL miss as far for these kinds of films. Still, we could always use a few more quality flicks here and there since it’s becoming one of the few reliably bankable genres now that Disney Remake has become its own ginormous slice of the pie and pretty much everything else is heading towards the streaming model to stay afloat. Wait a minute… this is a Fox Searchlight movie which means it’s STILL DISNEY! HORROR SHOCK!! Anyway! Does this grotesque spin on the children’s game of Hide and Seek end up being a new classic for the genre, or will we regret ever looking for it in the first place? Let’s find out!!
Grace (Samara Weaving), who I can only assume plays a professional Margot Robbie impersonator in this movie, is getting married to Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) who is an heir to the VAST Le Domas fortune which was made through board games and other such ventures. The family seems pleasant enough despite being a collection of old money weirdos, but things take an… interesting turn when on their wedding night at the gigantic Le Domas estate, the family requests that Grace take part in a tradition of their where the newest member of the family has to play a game at the stroke of midnight. The head of the family Tony (Henry Czerny) explains that this MYSTERIOUS box given to his great grandfather by their original benefactor will spit out a card with a game printed on it, and they will play that game which will officially bring her into the family. Will it be chess? Parcheesi? Do the Urkel? No, the game turns out to be Hide and Seek which seems a bit childish, but Grace is up for it if it means getting along with her new family who mysteriously went quiet just now. Anyway, she runs and hides, gets bored and starts wandering the halls, and then Alex brings her into a room to explain that the rest of those mo-fos are going to kill her if they find her because of reasons that… well he doesn’t quite explain there and I’m not about to spoil it here. The point is that she’s got to find a way to avoid detection and even fight back if the need arises while Alex tries to find a way for them to escape, and as the night goes on the family starts to get more and more desperate as there seems to be quite a bit at stake here. Can Grace manage to escape this house with her internal organs, as well as her marriage, intact? What is the family hiding that could possibly explain why a game of hide and seek has turned into the home version of The Most Dangerous Game? Is it just me, or do these rich jerks seem WOEFULLY unprepared for this?
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Directed by Martin McDonagh
To tell you the truth, I never really liked In Bruges. It was fine I guess, but I never found it all that compelling and the ending is just a contrived mess that’s about as bad as sixty percent of the twists Shyamalan has come up with. And yet, there are a lot of people out there that like that movie as well as McDonagh’s other work, so naturally the buzz around this film was huge right off the bat which only grew once the trailers started coming out and we got to see some of Frances McDormand’s acting. At the very least, it manages to grab your attention with its unorthodox title (A COMMA!?) and even more unorthodox premise that will hopefully take advantage of the ideas that seem baked right into this material. Does this manage to live up to the hype that its beloved director and solid marketing campaign has built up for it, or will this end up a huge stumble for everyone involved? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) driving down the same road she’s driven down for years and years; heading home after a long day at work and trying hard to deal with the grief over her daughter’s death. Not just any death too! She was raped, murdered, and burnt to a crisp, so forgetting about that is proving to be a bit difficult, especially since the cops never found the guy who did it. That’s when Mildred comes up with an idea. On this road she’s traveled many times before are three billboards that no one has used in decades, so she decides to purchase the ad space and put up signs reminding the denizens of this small town that the police still haven’t caught the murderer. Now obviously this ruffles some feathers down at the station, particularly Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell) who’s about as dumb and racist of a cop that you’d expect from a story like this and to a much lesser extent Sherriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) who’s leading the stalled investigation and is the primary target of Mildred’s ire. Things begin to get much more heated around town as several people begin to question (and stupidly try to attack) Mildred and her decision to put this spotlight on something that everyone would rather not think about and leave up to the cops. Mildred is having NONE of this and starts kicking ass and taking names at everyone who looks at her sideways which only escalates tensions further in this ticking time bomb of a standoff with her on one side and the rest of the world on the other. Will Mildred finally get justice for the death of her daughter whose killer roams free while the police do nothing? Just how far will Mildred go in order to get what she wants, and will she lose touch between what can and cannot be justified in her righteous quest? Just how much saltier will Frances McDormand get in this role before she wins that Oscar gold!?
“I’d like to tell the Academy that they can kindly fuck off and die, even if I win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. No wait, ESPECIALLY if I win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.”
Monster Trucks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Chris Wedge
Like alien crop circles and the Loch Ness Monster, this movie about trucks and the monsters that inhabit them remained a legend as the story behind it was ludicrous (some executive’s kid came up with the idea) and the release date kept being pushed back. The day has finally come however for theaters to finally keep this around for maybe a week or two before it disappears forever and everyone forgets that they spent over a hundred million dollars on it. Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. A troubled development doesn’t NECESSARILY mean the final product is going to be a mess, and maybe it will work better for the target audience than people give it credit for! Will this be a film that lives up to the legend around it, or is this the last chapter in a long tale of infamy? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with some oil baron with a REALLY bad accent, Reece Tenneson (Rob Lowe) digging for that sweet bubbling crude right in the heart of Dakota, but they manage to hit something else instead. Three monsters come out of the hole they drilled, and while they aren’t quite the heraldersof Cthulhu that you would expect from monsters that rise up from the Earth’s core, they still are gumming up the works for Reece’s operation. Therefore, he orders all his hired goons which includes the head goon Burke (Holt McCallany) and The ScientistTM Dr. Dowd (Thomas Lennon) to round these creatures up and… do something with them. One manages to escape however and finds its way to a junk yard MANY miles away where supposed high school student Tripp (Lucas Till) works at all the time; even on school nights. He finds the creature and eventually finds that he JUST SO HAPPENS to like hanging out inside of his truck, so he modifies the it for his new monster buddy who he calls Creech to surreptitiously drive it with his Monster Magic. Of course, things can’t quite go the way he wants them to as Burke is out there looking for the monster, his step dad Sheriff Rick (Barry Pepper) is already pissed at him for… reasons, and will probably do… something, and Reece is HELL BENT on killing all these monsters so he can get to the oil beneath… even though discovering monsters would probably net him just as much cash. Can Tripp and Creech, along with the extraneous love interest Meredith (Jane Levy), save these monsters from the evil Rob Lowe? What kind of hi-jinks and mischief, as well as felonies, can this lovable crew get involved with in the process? Did Paramount REALLY have to sink a hundred million into this!?
See, they had to spend EXTRA money to make a good truck look crappy!