Tagged Thriller

TIFF Review: Joker (Phillips, 2019)

I was not originally planning to see Joker during the festival, but when it won the Golden Lion in Venice, I was curious. No doubt many other critics were, too. And so it was that we all dragged ourselves to one of the two concurrent press screenings of the film on a Tuesday morning, wondering…

TIFF Review: The Whistlers (Porumboiu, 2019)

I would not call The Whistlers one of the best entries in the emerging Romanian New Wave canon, though that doesn’t take away from what Corneliu Porumboiu does well. His darkly acerbic humour migrates from his previous works, this film being particularly reminiscent of Police, Adjective in the way he revisits the crime genre and continues to…

TIFF Review: The Lighthouse (Eggers, 2019)

Robert Eggers delivered a memorable frightfest when he debuted The Witch in 2015, introducing Black Phillip into our collective consciousness. His follow-up is another period horror film, sans demonic goats this time around, but one still brewing with other mysterious entities: blind seagulls, screaming mermaids, tentacled krakens, and a lighthouse beacon that dazzles (and unravels)…

TIFF Capsule Review: White Lie (Lewis & Thomas, 2019)

There are far more questions than answers when you walk away from White Lie, the latest from writer-directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. That’s because the titular white lie told by Katie Arneson (a fabulous Kacey Rohl) is not white at all—in fact, she’s faking cancer and running sham fundraisers for profit, and will go…

TIFF Review: Jallikattu (Pellissery, 2019)

Malayalam director Lijo Jose Pellissery takes us on a frenzied spiral into the heart of darkness in his latest blood-pumping thrill ride Jallikattu. As the opening title cards explain, the Indian tradition of the Jallikattu is a spectacle in which brave participants cling to a bull’s back and try to ride it as long as…

Weekly Spotlight #13: On Dangerous Ground (Ray & Lupino, 1951)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. On tap for this week is another lesser-known noir from the 1950s, lushly directed by the great Nicholas Ray and with uncredited assistance from star Ida Lupino.

Knife+Heart (Gonzalez, 2018)

Yann Gonzalez wants the giallo to make a modern comeback, and honestly? I’m here for it. Knife+Heart revels in all the genre’s sleazy elements, including the impressionistic uses of vivid colour, ambient soundscapes (courtesy of synthpop band M83), and that irresistible slasher/stalker element that puts all the characters in vulnerable spots as a bloodthirsty killer lurks in…

Greta (Jordan, 2018)

Grande Dame Guignol lives on! Maybe not with the same panache as the films from the ‘60s, or the same level of insanity, but a film like Greta is worth it for the camp spectacle alone. Here it is provided to us by an extremely game Isabelle Huppert, playing a spidery widow who leaves expensive-looking purses lying…

Weekly Spotlight #5: Hotel (Hausner, 2004)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, as the Cannes Film Festival gets underway, we highlight a past feature from one of the filmmakers competing for this year’s Palme d’Or: Jessica Hausner.

Weekly Spotlight #3: Séance on a Wet Afternoon (Forbes, 1964)

In this new weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week we unearth a startling mix of crime and horror from the Swinging Sixties, fronted by a memorable Oscar-nominated performance.

Hotel Mumbai (Maras, 2018)

I don’t want to write too much about Hotel Mumbai because I got my fill of it in the theatre and thinking about it after the fact is like a PTSD trigger. On one hand, one can commend Anthony Maras for trying to render the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks as authentically as he could, doing extensive research…

Border (Abbasi, 2018)

This is quite the mish-mash. A heaping of Scandinavian folklore here, a sprinkle of gritty police procedural there. It ping-pongs between the two genres with intriguing results. Its feet are firmly planted in reality, but the folklore elements give it a sense of atemporality. It seems to exist in one time and in no time,…

Velvet Buzzsaw (Gilroy, 2019)

If Velvet Buzzsaw was going for incisive critique of the art world’s myriad frivolities, it doesn’t work well. The best it can do is to emulate the kind of dead air that’s generated by those who equate premium connoisseurship with maximum pretension. And even then it can only go so far without looking incompetently cartoonish—and oftentimes it…

A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018)

I’ve been sitting on this film for almost a day now, trying to figure out what to write about it. My mental list just has the words KENDRICK, LIVELY, COSTUMES and DIABOLIQUE scribbled in earnest, and I must say, I loved so much of it. So much of it, in fact, that I fear this…