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HORROR

Pyewacket (2017)

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I call upon you, brought by leaves and seeds.
Hear with my ears and speak with my tongue.
I invite you to come.
Pyewacket.

If you’ve already read one of my reviews, you’d know I enjoy a low-budget, independent film occasionally. A film where you already know in advance that the special effects won’t be mindblowing. And also, mostly unknown actors are summoned. That doesn’t mean these films are unwatchable because of the amateurish camerawork. Nor is it that the acting is extremely bad. On the contrary. I’ve already enjoyed such creative, non-mainstream experiments. I also enjoyed “Pyewacket“. A simple horror story (even though you can discuss whether or not it’s a horror) in which black magic and satanism are the cause of a lot of misery.

Yes. Again a cabin in the woods.

You might have second thoughts about the impulsive behavior of Leah (Nicole Muñoz) who, after yet another dispute with her mother, goes into the forest and armed with a book about occultism and a few attributes performs an ancient ritual. A ritual to summon the evil spirit Pyewacket who might ensure Leah getting rid of her annoying mother (Laurie Holden). The fact that her mother might go through a difficult emotional phase, isn’t something Leah realizes. Leah being sorry afterward and suddenly noticing that her mother isn’t so bad after all. Well, I can relate to that. Who hasn’t been mad at his parents once, after the umpteenth discussion about random insignificant things? Soon Leah realizes that something dark and threatening is wandering around their cabin in the woods.

Not scary and misleading.

The film itself isn’t really frightening. There are some apparitions, a scared friend who wants to go home after sleeping over one night and a feeling of threat at certain moments. But you have to be really patient for that. Originality is also a term that doesn’t fit with this film. Once again the teenagers in this movie prefer alternative music with the accompanying black clothes and hairstyle. Archetypes that are often used in such films. The fact that some kind of expert shows up to explain it all and gives occult advice, is also nothing new. The strength of the film is its misleading character. I do like films where you have doubts about the true nature of the event. Is the malignant spirit effectively present? Or is it just a fantasy of Leah? Or is she emotionally unstable so she sees things?

Stay away from things you’re not an expert in.

In retrospect, I found that “Pyewacket” was really worth a watch. Not only because of the subject being used. But also because of the sometimes excellent acting of Nicole Muñoz. And to a lesser extent that of Laurie Holden. Muñoz her anger and regret felt sincere. More than that of Holden. And despite the fact that the creepy content is of a low level, I thought the dynamic in this movie was extremely successful. No, it’s not an extraordinary movie. The only thing one should remember is never to engage in things one doesn’t know anything about.

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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HORROR

M. Night Shyamalan | Old – Official Trailer

A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

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Genre:

Thriller

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:

Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen, Abbey Lee, Alex Wolff, Gael García Bernal

Plot Summary:

A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

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HORROR

A Quiet Place Part II | Review

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This review is spoiler-free.

It’s not often that a film comes along and demands to be seen on the big screen, creating a cinematic experience unlike any other and that’s something the Quiet Place films definitely do. I may have learnt this the hard way, by watching the first film on a plane and not really enjoying it, only to re-watch it again at home and really like it. But now, seeing A Quiet Place Part II in an IMAX cinema, having not been in a cinema for months, it is truly a spectacular cinematic event.

After a brief flashback sequence to when the creatures first arrived, A Quiet Place Part II picks up exactly where the first film left off. If you’ve seen the first, you’ll know that it ended in a very exciting position and now we witness the Abbott family struggling to navigate and struggling to survive in the post-apocalyptic world, ravaged by monsters that hunt by sound.

AQP2 is a really tense and engaging thriller film however it never quite reaches the heights that its predecessor did. The first film managed to create a level of immense tension and sustain that pretty much the entire way through the film’s runtime. Here, it feels like there were certain scenes that were very tense and have you squirming in your seat but the bits between these scenes lack the same sense of dread and fear that the first did and in that sense the sequel is not quite as tight as the first.

At just 97 minutes long, it’s only 7 minutes longer than the first but it does feel quite a bit longer. The first film goes by in a flash and it’s over before you know it and whilst AQP2 doesn’t feel overly long, the pacing of it makes you notice the runtime that bit more than the first film.

There are a few very suspenseful and scary moments in it, particularly the opening flashback scene to the Abbott family’s first encounter with the creatures. In fact, even that pesky nail from the first film makes a small cameo here but what stands out so much and what makes it a real ‘cinema film’ is the fantastic sound design. Every single time one of the creatures is even remotely near one of the main characters or any time that the creatures just might be nearby, the sound design completely draws you into it and makes you feel like you’re there and that’s what makes these frightening moments all the more impactful.

A lot of the criticisms and faults with A Quiet Place Part II do largely come from the fact that it’s not as good as the first and it’s weaker by comparison, but it’s still a very smart and entertaining film that provides some genuine chills. The concept of creatures that hunt on sound is such a great idea and it plays out on screen so well. Every single time one of the main characters make even the slightest noise your heart stops and your hold your breath, waiting to see if the creatures are going to show up and if our heroes will meet their untimely demise.

One issue I had with the film was that you could always tell where the next scare was going to come from. The film is by no means predictable, it just sticks to some generic tropes and it’s clear where it’s going. Everyone knows in a scary situation in a horror movie you don’t split up. But that doesn’t stop our protagonists from doing so and it’s small details like that that when they happen you can immediately tell the consequences of certain actions will crop up again a few scenes later. But even when that payoff comes it’s still shocking and the film still delivers in the thrills and scares that you want from a film like this.

A Quiet Place Part II is a riveting and frightening film and whilst it doesn’t quite match the level of tension achieved in the first, it is nonetheless a hugely entertaining film and one that you absolutely must see on the biggest screen you can.

★★★★☆

A Quiet Place Part II is released in UK cinemas on June 3

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A Quiet Place Part 2 – Movie Review

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Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realise the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path. Luke Hearfield gives his thoughts on the long-awaited sequel once again directed by John Krasinski and starring his real life wife Emily Blunt. It’s time to head back to the cinema and enjoy the experience of sitting in a room full of strangers and sharing the collective feeling of deliciously uncomfortable silence.

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