The Rescue is an edge-of-your-seat experience. Vasarhelyi and Chin shoot this thing like a thriller, combining both actual footage shot during the rescue with recreations featuring the actual divers, blending all this footage together seamlessly to create a wholly cinematic experience.
Chastain gets some huge, showstopping moments – her final scene is genuinely terrific, and another scene that recreates Tammy Faye's on-air conversation with gay minister and AIDS activist Steve Pieters is effective and tender – but it would've been nicer if the movie itself was more worthy of her considerable talents.
A foreboding tone blankets "The Power of the Dog," putting us on edge nearly from the jump. Even when mundane, harmless things are happening, the tension mounts. The harmless seems harmful. Silence speaks volumes. This is a subtle movie that manages to knock us flat.
The lack of true scares may be a deal-breaker for some. And indeed, the overall outlandishness at work on the screen is going to flat-out annoy certain viewers. But then there will be those who revel in the audacity of Malignant, and boy oh boy are those folks in for a treat. This isn't even close to being James Wan's best horror movie, but cripes, it sure is a lot of fun.
There are moments of dread and tension, and as the narrative wears on it goes to some commendably weird places. But by then it's too little too late, and the movie ends with us wishing that the characters really had done something — anything, really.
The element that keeps The Card Counter truly alive is Isaac, who turns in one of the best performances of his career here, using his eyes to convey things dialogue never could. To watch him work here is something special, even if the movie as a whole can't ever quite match his intensity.
A dark, ominous undercurrent runs through "Candyman," signaling Nia DaCosta as a filmmaker with a firm, unique grasp on the genre. The original "Candyman" already had a few sequels, but none of them are as clever, as interesting, as effective as this. Go ahead. Dare to say his name five times in the mirror. "Candyman" will live on.
Reminiscence is so very, very close to succeeding. Joy has a great visual style – there’s a fight scene in a flooded room with a piano that’s genuinely stunning to watch – and the noir/sci-fi mash-up is often enjoyable. But Reminiscence never manages to feel like a memory worth revisiting.
Perhaps Don’t Breathe 2 would work better for people who haven’t seen the first movie at all – they wouldn’t be lost, and they wouldn’t be witnessing the total character shift from unstoppable killer to flawed savior.
Fear Street Part 3 is an absolute blast. But there’s tragic darkness prevailing here, as there has been through the previous entries. Yes, we’re having a good time with all this horror, but we’re also affected by the senseless death and dismemberment. There is no reveling in the spilling of blood here. There’s just a unique feeling of loss; the sense of cosmic injustice at young lives being cruelly snuffed out by thoughtless, uncaring hands. It’s oddly beautiful in a devastating way.
Pig is not the movie you think it is. It’s something far more beautiful, and far more painful. It is an existential meditation on the search for something. Anything. A kind of cosmic loneliness envelopes this film. It’s extraordinary.
Fear Street Part 2 also thrives once it really gets going. There’s a certain rough patch at the start that the film thankfully shrugs off, eventually sucking us into its night-dark story of doomed youth. A potential – and potentially questionable – romance that blooms between Ziggy and Nick Goode (Ted Sutherland), the boy destined to grow up and be sheriff, is charming in its clumsiness. A side character like punk rocker counselor Alice (Ryan Simpkins) seems annoying at first, only to blossom into someone we’re actively rooting for. After two films, the real strength of Fear Street is in its characters, not its scares. No one is expendable meat here – but that doesn’t mean they won’t get ground up in the end.
Fear Street is like a big soup pot full of everything – there are shades of Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Stephen King’s It, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and more. Watching Fear Street brings back memories of wandering around musty video stores and browsing the HORROR section for the most lurid VHS box art you can find. There was something sacred about that experience, like going to church.