Directed by Ti West
Autonomy 102 minutes
On the heels of the generous pastiche X from earlier this year, the prequel/follow up to Ti West navigates the scattered treatment of porn chic for a more grounded and psychologically terrifying character study with pearl. A villainous origin story for the sexually frustrated octogenarian and serial killer who terrorized the production team of an independent adult film on its previous release, West crafts a succinct and disturbing story of shattered Hollywood dreams and of festering madness with disturbing restraint and a visually impressive budget. achievement. Mia Goth’s turn as a young slasher is, quite simply, a tour de force performance (and possibly a career best) as she turns out to be fully game for pearlPlayful fluctuations between psychosexual horror and exaggerated campitude. As someone who originally didn’t care about the tribute Xwhich lacked an entirely unique identity beyond what it cleverly drew inspiration from, pearl not only does it stand on its own beyond its sophomore position in West and A24’s horror triptych, it also builds considerable hype for the trilogy’s upcoming completion with MaXXXine.
Directed by Johannes Roberts, Vanessa & Joseph Winter, Maggie Levin, Tyler MacIntyre, Flying Lotus
Autonomy 99 minutes
Like all horror anthologies, the latest entry in the V/H/S The series is decidedly a mix of horror delights. No doubt realizing that they had revitalized and sparked new interest in the then-stagnant, found-footage horror anthology series with its entry in the 90s of last year, the team of production companies behind the spooky streamer quiverflagship acquisition returned to the same radical well of nostalgia for its next entry V/H/S/99.
Unlike the previous 94 hall, 99 attempts to put a finer point on these found shorts being period pieces with more cultural touchstones interposed in their outrageous balancing acts of horror and comedy, with mixed results. Breathtaking drills in surreal disgust — as with Flying Lotus’ “Double Dare” riff, “Ozzy’s Dungeon,” or unbearable claustrophobic tension with Johannes Roberts’ sorority nightmare, “Suicide Bid” — are exchanged with Maggie Levin’s Entertainment, If Underdeveloped, Donkey/ Riot Grrl zombie cartoon, “Shredding” and Tyler MacIntyre meandering, American pie-esque, voyeur comedy, “The Gawkers”.
Nearly all of the entries take full advantage of the found footage/archaic media trick built into the premise, and some, like Winters’ trek through the underworld in “To Hell and Back,” are surprisingly ambitious, given the budget. and modest runtime. allocated to production. Those who have been aboard this growing franchise since its inception will no doubt be pleased, but there’s no denying that V/H/S/99 lacks that invigorating energy that his previous entry had.
women who talk
Directed by Sarah Polley
Autonomy 104 minutes
Based on the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews, Sarah Polley’s women who talk, his first feature film in a decade, is an emotionally devastating exploration of faith and bodily action told with heart-filling tenderness. About a council of women within a Mennonite community, who are forced to deliberate over their future when their safety is threatened, Polley’s script crackles with just and necessary anger and outrage and poignantly ponders the place of women in a cloistered and patriarchal society. Featuring a cast stacked with too many performances from show-stealers like Claire Foy, Rooney Mara and more and shot with gorgeous, lived-in texture, Polley’s film is grounded in sharp outrage, but it’s kindness. manifested within this community of women that prevents it from being reductively another call to arms. Granted, this is a decidedly tough watch, given its subject matter and the raw, unwavering way in which it explores said material, but Polley’s intentions are still clear; and women who talk always finds the answer he’s looking for, be it fury, shock, warmth, or the litany of other emotions he puts you through.
The Eternal Daughter
Directed by Joanna Hogg
Autonomy 96 minutes
Continuing the current phase of his career, comprised of semi-autobiographical explorations of film and memory, with The memory part I & 2– Joanna Hogg’s latest collaboration with A24 sees the director hauntingly investigate the notion of motherhood using generic gothic horror film language. On the surface, it’s about a filmmaker, Julie, and her elderly mother, Rosalind (both played by frequent Hogg collaborator Tilda Swinton), retreating to a luxury hotel deep in the misty woods of the Country. of Wales – coincidentally, the same opulent mansion that served as Rosalind’s childhood. home – so Julie can hopefully extract information from her estranged mother to form the basis of a film about her life.
This premise gives way to a seductive, pseudo-haunting narrative thrust that Hogg presents with his elegiac, dreamlike aesthetic of long takes exploring the interiors and rolling grounds of the Welsh mansion. The Eternal Daughter can be mesmerizing at times, especially when it comes to its crisp cinematography or Swinton’s double performance, but even given its brief runtime, it can sometimes feel like it’s absentmindedly spinning its wheels in place and repeats itself when it comes to its gentle horror vibes.