8 items from 2016
Rebecca Clough Jan 13, 2017
Ask someone for their favourite political thrillers and you’re likely to get a list of Oscar-winning classics, from JFK to The Day Of The Jackal, Blow Out to Argo. But what about those electrifying tales that have slipped under the radar, been largely forgotten or just didn’t get the love they deserved? Here are 25 political thrillers which are underappreciated but brilliant.
Generally, the first hostage to get shot in a heist movie is considered insignificant; luckily this time the young woman killed by terrorists has a devoted boyfriend who vows to avenge her death. Charles Heller (John Savage) already works for the CIA, so he’s able to use secret information to blackmail his bosses into »
It’s Halloween eve, and while DVD distributors have oddly refrained from flooding the shelves this week with apposite horror fare, Netflix has held up their end of the bargain with some class. Landing on the streaming service after last month’s Toronto festival premiere, Osgood Perkins’s I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is one of the year’s most elegant chillers. Not a film of gut-knotting shocks, it hits the back of your neck like an icy draft blown through a lace curtain. The spirit of classic mystery novelist Shirley Jackson courses through Perkins’s film in more ways than one, with Paula Prentiss (in her first major film role in 35 years) playing a senile, Jackson-inspired horror writer tormented by the spectre of one of her own literary creations. »
- Guy Lodge
Ahead of its premiere this Friday, Netflix has released a trailer for director Oz Perkins’ horror film I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, which stars Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban and Lucy Boynton; watch it below…
A young nurse, Lily (Ruth Wilson), moves in to a secluded old house to care for an elderly, reclusive horror novelist. But it seems the pair is not entirely alone.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House premieres on Netflix on November 28th. »
- Amie Cranswick
Writer/director Osgood Perkins has premiered two horror movies at the Toronto International Film Festival in as many years, with “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” debuting at the fest last month. Anyone intrigued by that alluring title — or the fact that Perkins is the son of Anthony “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes” Perkins — won’t have to wait long, as the film is headed to Netflix this week. Watch its trailer below.
Ruth Wilson stars in the haunted-house thriller, informing us via voiceover narration that “I am 28 years old — I will never be 29.” She plays an in-home nurse for an elderly author of Shirley Jackson–like novels whose most famous, unsettling work may or may not be connected to the house she lives in.
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- Michael Nordine
"The pretty thing you are looking at is me. But it is me that still cannot see any of what is coming." Netflix has debuted the trailer for an indie horror thriller titled I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, which is actually opening this week in time for Halloween weekend. Best to get it out and available now while people are in the mood for some creepy horror. Ruth Wilson stars as a young nurse who moves into a secluded old house to care for an elderly, reclusive horror novelist who barely even acknowledges her. As expected, not all is right and some kind of malevolent force seems present with them. Things take a turn for the worse after she reads the woman's novel. Also starring Paula Prentiss, Lucy Boynton and Bob Balaban. I like the cinematography in this, the bold framing makes things seem even creepier. »
- Alex Billington
Osgood Perkins strays far from mainstream normalities with his more “intellectual” approach to horror (you’ll understand once The Blackcoat’s Daughter releases this Fall). Technically, I wouldn’t even call I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House a horror movie – more a chilling page-turner, like some visual representation of written word. Jump-scares and tropes are thrown away for artistic reverence, basing tension on our comprehension of the path laid by a cryptic narration.
Scenes don’t just play out, they’re explained through wordy prose by a character who insists she’ll be dead by the time Perkins draws his final scene. That’s not a spoiler, it’s the confirmed trajectory from the protagonist’s first spoken lines. This is one of those brainier, more ambitious takes on dreamy thrills, which will remain divisive amongst genre audiences – with your reaction resting solely on your appreciation for dry, »
- Matt Donato
“I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” would make more sense as a first feature from actor turned director Osgood Perkins — it’s an impressively if also somewhat self-defeatingly rigorous, near-abstract take on traditional ghost story terrain, claustrophobic in both physical and presumed budgetary scale. Yet his prior “February” (retitled “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” after a successful festival run) was a more accessible horror entry that expertly applied greater psychological nuance to slasher-cinema tropes. In both title and content, this followup is an exercise in willful idiosyncrasy that has some limited appeal of its own. But does not feel like a step forward.
Apart from bookending exterior shots, virtually everything here takes place within the rather stark interiors of a modest 200-year-old Massachusetts home currently inhabited by Iris Blum (played by a mostly mute Paula Prentiss, who’s barely recognizable until we hear that distinctive voice). Miss Blum was a popular, »
- Dennis Harvey
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The BFI London Film Festival has announced its full program, running October 5 – 16. The festival will screen a total of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, including 18 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 39 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works. A number of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, Screen Talks, Q&As and Industry Talks: Lff Connects during the fest.
The festival has previously announced both its opener — Amma Asante’s “A United Kingdom” — and its closer — Ben Wheatley’s “Free Fire” — and those titles are joined by a bevy of new additions. Highlights include “The Birth of a Nation,” “Nocturnal Animals,” “Manchester By the Sea,” “La La Land” and many more. You can check »
- Kate Erbland
8 items from 2016
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