It has been a while since I’ve recommended some stuff that’s available on Big Red, so I figured I'd throw out some suggestions while it’s still quiet around here.
I had been looking forward to seeing the Mexican film We Are What We Are for sometime and was thrilled to see it pop up on Netflix. It had been described to me as Let The Right One In with cannibals, which was not only high praise, but turned out to be fairly apt. The film is primarily a family drama about a mother and her three children trying to survive after the loss of their patriarch. It’s an inventive and fresh take on a tired subgenre, featuring great performances from its young leads, Francisco Barreiro, Alan Chávez & Paulina Gaitán.
I’ve mentioned Adrift on a previous installment of On The Shelf, but it bears repeating here now that a streaming version of it is available. It is unfortunate that its main title (Open Water 2) makes it sound like a cheesy sequel, as it is actually a decent thriller. It doesn’t focus on the threat of shark attacks, as much as the dangers of hysteria in a crisis situation. I think it illustrates brilliantly how one careless action can turn deadly in the blink of an eye. Also worth mentioning, is that the first Open Water is now on Netflix, as well.
Dead Birds is a film I saw at 2004’s Midnight Madness and certain images have stayed with me ever since. Featuring a solid ensemble cast, including Michael Shannon, Henry Thomas & Patrick Fugit, Birds is a solid entry in the underrepresented genre of the horror western. With influences firmly rooted in Asian horror, this movie, with stark visuals and fantastic sound design, brings the scares often.
Right At Your Door is a taut, bare bones thriller that I was happy to catch at The Bloor several years back. We’ve had movies that deal with large-scale terrorist attacks, but director Chris Gorak’s film scales things back and focuses on how it affects one couple. The film’s strength is with its two leads, Mary McCormack & Rory Cochrane, who both provide very sincere and grounded performances. The thing I most recall about the film is even though a lot of the dialogue is carried out over phone lines and through doors; the emotional connection was always immaculately maintained.
Dream Home was a Chinese flick I saw this year and it kicked my ass with its sudden bursts of extreme violence. It reminded me a lot of gruesome French flicks like Inside and High Tension, but with the added sprinkle of comedy that adorns most Asian genre offerings. The fractured narrative is little hard to follow at points, but if you are a fan of over-the-top gore flicks, then this is a must see. For my full review from back in January, click here.
So, there you go. That should keep you busy while you’re waiting for the fall line-up of movies and television to kick in.
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