Old is a 2021 American horror thriller film written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. It is based on the French-language Swiss graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. As with most M. Night Shyamalan films, there is a significant plot twist in the story denouement, which ultimately will affect the viewers’ enjoyment of the film, depending on whether one is able to accept the logic behind said plot twist.(more…)
Reminiscence is a 2021 American neo-noir scifi thriller drama film written and directed by Lisa Joy, in her feature directorial debut. Joy – together with spouse Jonathan Nolan – were the showrunners for the HBO scifi TV series, Westworld. And of course, Christopher Nolan is Joy’s brother-in-law and one cannot but feel that Reminiscence shares – or attempts to, in any case – similar high concept scifi tropes as Nolan’s Inception and Tenet.(more…)
Fear Street Part Three 1666 is a 2021 American slasher film directed by Leigh Janiak, with a script co-written by Phil Graziadei and Janiak, from an original story by Kyle Killen, Graziadei, and Janiak. Based on the book series of the same name by R. L. Stine, the film was released by Netflix on July 9, 2021 as the third and final instalment in the Fear Street trilogy.(more…)
Logan’s Run is a 1976 dystopian scifi action thriller drama film directed by Michael Anderson, and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter and Richard Jordan. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman is based on the 1967 novel Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.(more…)
Predator is a 1987 scifi action thriller drama film directed by John McTiernan and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film spawned a direct sequel – Predator 2 (1990) – a couple of spin-offs with Alien vs Predator (2004), Alien vs Predator (2007) and Predators (2010) – as well as a reboot with The Predator (2018).(more…)
The Thing is a 1982 scifi horror drama thriller film directed by John Carpenter. Based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s Who Goes There? The Thing was ostensibly also a remake of Howard Hawk’s The Thing From Another World (1951) which was also an adaptation of Campbell’s 1938 novella.(more…)
Infinite is a scifi action thriller drama directed by Antonio Fuqua. The movie is based on D. Eric Maikranz’s 2009 novel The Reincarnationist Papers and stars Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The premise of Infinite revolves around the concept of reincarnated beings who retain the memories of past lives.(more…)
Army of the Dead is a 2021 American horror action drama film directed by Zack Snyder, with a screenplay he co-wrote with Shay Hatten and Joby Harold, based on a story by Snyder. The film had been in development hell at Warner Bros since 2007 before being picked up by Netflix in 2019. Army of the Dead marks Zack Snyder’s first new film since Justice League and the release was accompanied has been accompanied with the attendant hype from the buzz over The Snyder Cut and so on.(more…)
Nobody is a 2021 American action-thriller drama film directed by Ilya Naishuller and written by Derek Kolstad. The film’s premise involves a bystander who intervenes to help a woman being harassed by a group of men who then becomes the target of a vengeful drug lord. Cue an ultra-violent revenge flick that is reminiscent of the John Wick franchise.(more…)
John Wick is a 2014 American neo-noir action-thriller drama film directed by Chad Stahelski, in his directorial debut, and written by Derek Kolstad. The movie was a commercial success, spawning two sequels and perhaps inspiring a new ultraviolet action sub-genre. Certainly, John Wick revitalised the career of Keanu Reeves to such an extent that Matrix 4 was surely made on the back of his renewed popularity.
S P O I L E R S F O L L O W(more…)
Tell Me Your Secrets Season 1 is the first season of the psychological thriller crime drama streaming TV series created by Harriet Warner. The series revolves two women who are tragically connected to each other through a serial killer. Karen Miller (Lily Rabe) was the girlfriend of convicted mass murderer Kit Parker (Xavier Samuel) and Mary Barlow (Amy Brenneman) is the mother of a missing young woman who is suspected to be one of Parker’s victims.(more…)
“It’s the little things, Jimmy. It’s the little things that rip you apart. It’s the little things that get you caught.”(more…)
30 Coins is a Spanish supernatural horror fantasy TV drama that draws heavily from the Catholic religion and mythology. The series is created and directed by noted Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia. The 8-part 30 Coins Season 1 of is an ambitious mystery thriller utilising several conspiracy theories relating to the Catholic church, much in the vein of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series.
Our analysis of 30 Coins Season 1 contains spoilers.(more…)
Outside the Wire is a 2021 scifi war thriller streaming on Netflix. The film is set in 2036 and stars Anthony Mackie (who also serves as a producer on the film) as an android officer who works with a drone pilot (Damson Idris) to stop a global catastrophe. Our short take on Outside the Wire is that it is possessed of both an interesting premise and a strong underlying message but certain narrative choices turn the third act into a unsatisfying cliché.
Please note that there are spoilers in our analysis of Outside the Wire that follows.
Shadow in the Cloud is an action thriller directed by Roseanne Liang from a screenplay co-written by Max (Chronicle) Landis and Liang. Shadow in the Cloud had its world premiere on September 12, 2020 at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness. The movie is now available digitally worldwide.(more…)
Promising Young Woman is a 2020 black comedy thriller film directed, written, and produced by Emerald Fennell, in her feature directorial debut. Fennell is perhaps best known as the writer of the second season of the critically acclaimed Killing Eve TV series. Promising Young Woman stars Carey Milligan in the lead role.(more…)
Black Bear is a drama thriller written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine. Black Bear stars Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbot and Sarah Gadon. The movie adopts a unique meta-storytelling device that offers an interesting take of the film making process. The film actually consists of two storylines revolving around the principal actors.(more…)
Tenet is a scifi action thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh. The story of Tenet involves a secret agent (Washington) who has to save the world from a nefarious plan involving time manipulation executed by the villain of the piece viz. Branagh.(more…)
Possessor is an indie scifi horror movie written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg. Horror buffs will of course recognise the name Cronenberg. Brandon is the son of iconic film-maker David Cronenberg, director of movies like The Fly, Dead Ringers, Scanners, Rabid et al.(more…)
Is The Exorcist the best horror movie ever made? Based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel and directed by William Friedkin, the 1973 movie was a smash hit when it was first released and its significance and influence on the genre has not diminished in the years since.(more…)
If you are looking for no-frills, lo-fi, indie horror thrills, look no further than the excellent Rent-A-Pal. Written and directed by Jon Stevenson, Rent-A-Pal stars Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek fame) and Brian Landis Folkins, as the protagonist.(more…)
Sputnik is a Russian scifi horror-thriller released this year. Set in 1983, the story revolves around a young psychiatrist’s efforts to help a cosmonaut who had bonded with an alien creature while in space. Sputnik channels a seventies scifi movie vibe and is loosely influenced by classic alien horror like Alien. Please note that this Sputnik movie review contains spoilers.
The main character in Sputnik is Dr. Tatyana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina), a young psychiatrist recruited by Colonel Semiradov (Fyodor Bondarchuk), the officer in charge of a military base holding cosmonaut Kostantin (Pyotr Fyodorov). Klimova is tasked to find a way to separate Konstantin from the alien creature.
Nice and easy
While the plot is uncomplicated, its details are slowly revealed to the audience in a clever way so that the protagonist has to alter her decisions and behaviour to adapt to the new information.
Klimova goes from co-operating with Colonel Semiradov to conspiring against him due to his unethical methods. She also takes greater risks as the movie reaches its final act, in order, to save Konstantin, whom she has fallen in love with.
As mentioned earlier, Sputnik has a very strong seventies scifi movie vibe. A very deliberate pace and realistic tone keeps the audience guessing throughout. We are able to identify with Klimova as her emotions and motivations adjust to the evolving circumstances. Especially in the final act, when drastic action needs to be taken by Klimova and Konstantin.
The setting (Cold War era Soviet Union) is reflected in many of the character’s motivations. Konstantin sees himself as a national hero and appears to have a narcissistic tendency. Colonel Semiradov views the alien creature as a potential weapon to serve the communist cause. Klimova is above these concerns, her main goal is to help Konstantin and hopefully separate him from the alien creature.
No happy endings
The dark ending is again aligned with an early 70s movie vibe. A poignant though-provoking denouement that eschews the American penchant for positivity. Also, considered the genre trappings, the movie is clearly a standalone work, with no hints of any sequels to continue the story. Highly recommended.
… still there’s movie …
The Story Analysis series is intended to offer a different take on film and TV appreciation above a typical review. The idea is to break down the stories into their components in order to understand them better. It is also an intellectual exercise on our part to help us to develop our logic capabilities. First off, Killing Eve Season 1!