Sequin in a Blue Room | A Dark Erotic Thriller
Sequin in a Blue Room marks the feature debut of Australian filmmaker Samuel Van Grinsven. Working from an original script penned by Grinsven and Jory Anast, the plot is about a sixteen year old twinky teen known only to the audience as Sequin (played by newcommer Conor Leach). Sequin is his choice of display name on a Grindr-esque hookup app called Anon. He also sports a sequin crop top in all his sexy pictures online, as well as when he goes to meet older men for sex.
When Sequin has an encounter with an alluring stranger (Samuel Barrie) at an anonymous sex party he becomes obsessed with finding this mysterious man. But his deep dive into the sordid corners of these hook-up apps to find this guy puts him in grave danger.
For a first feature Samuel Van Grinsven shows a lot of promise. Sequin in a Blue Room is an intoxicating mix of coming-of-age drama and erotic thriller – two genres that are not easy to marry but for the most Grinsven does a commendable job of blending them together in a gripping fashion.
Sequin boasts a rather unique atmosphere which is quite seductive but there’s also an unshakable feeling of stakes. The plot only occurs over the space of a few days. Sequin hops from bed-to-bed, using a man once for sexual gratification before he blocks them on the app and then moves onto his next sexual conquest. Gay subculture has had a long history with disposable sexual encounters but introducing ghosting into the mix gives Sequin a very modern feel.
But as we see not all of Sequin’s sexual partners appreciate being used and subsequently ignored. Each of Sequin’s sexual encounters is initiated by a title card that reads “Apartment 10, 9, 8” etc. There is a countdown of sorts leading the audience to believe Sequin is heading to a confrontational showdown. It’s a clever subconscious way of building suspense.
Sequin is a very striking looking film. Cinematographers Jay Grant and Carina Burke have a great grasp of composition and lighting. It’s a very grimy looking which feels right at home in a story all about anonymous sex. The scene where Sequin navigates the labyrinth sheeted corridors of the sex party is a standout sequence. The sets are caked in blue neon and coupled with Brent Williams blasting pulsating score makes one feel like you’ve taken a psychedelic trip into a seedy underworld. Samuel Van Grinsven also uses silhouettes and shots from the back Sequin’s head to subtextually show he’s being stalked like the prey. A lot of thought went into how this film looked – every frame carries deeper meaning.
While there is a sense of ever-present danger, the subplot involving Sequin and a fellow gay school mate called Tommy (Simon Croker) counteracts some of the films darker moments with some awkward teenaged humour. This pairing provides levity to a rather sultry story but also helps to anchor the film in reality. Having rather charming adolescent flirty scenes interspersed between a lot of taboo sexual hookups could’ve left the film feeling uneven but Samuel Van Grinsven shows remarkable grasp of his tone.
The only place where subplot feels like a slight detriment is with the finale. The final scene is certainly feel-good cute but it negates a lot the moody tension that made the story so invigorating to watch.
The performances all around are impressive, particularly from it’s young lead Conor Leach who delivers a very measured performance as pretty young thing and emotionally unavailable Sequin. There’s also great work from supporting players like Jeremy Lindsey Taylor as his dad, Ed Wightman as B and Anthony Brandon Wong as the compassionate drag queen Virginia.
Where the film struggles is a lack of nuance in the dialogue – often it’s quite heavy-handed. The scenes in the boys English class practically spoon-feed the subtext to the viewer. Whether it be love, infatuation, obsession or transgression the themes of are essentially spelled out to us. It’s about as subtle as a wrecking ball.
Sequin in a Blue Room will appeal to anyone who enjoys a dark erotic thriller. Fans of Stranger by the Lake, Closet Monster or King Cobra are sure to find Samuel Van Grinsven’s debut equal parts steamy and engaging.
Sequin in a Blue Room is available to rent on Amazon Prime or BFI Player.
Jharrel Jerome and Jennifer Lopez to Headline ‘Unstoppable’ for Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s Production Company
Hot off the great reviews for the upcoming Air Jordan flick, Air, it seems that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are already set for their next project, one that will star someone near and dear to the heart of the latter. News comes in from Deadline, that Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers, Out of Sight) will star in the upcoming wrestling drama Unstoppable which comes from the new Artists Equity banner from Affleck and Damon, as well as Amazon. Additionally, in a separate report, we know that Emmy-winning actor Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us, Moonlight) will star as the lead of the film, playing the son of JLo’s character.
Unstoppable will star Jerome as three-time All-American wrestler Anthony Robles, an athlete born with one leg who persevered through his inspiring story to win a National Championship at Arizona State University. Lopez is set to play his supportive mother, Judy Robles. Robles, himself, is expected to be heavily involved in the production process of the film, which again, is set to stream on Amazon and produced by Amazon Studios. The latter news makes a lot of sense, following the early success of Air and the partnership forged between Amazon and Artists Equity on that particular project. Production on Unstoppable is expected to start sometime this Summer.
Lopez appeared on screen in two romance films last year with Amazon’s Shotgun Wedding and Marry Me which got a same day release in theaters and on Peacock. She’ll next appear in The Mother on Netflix which is directed by Mulan director Niki Caro.
Jerome is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Korey Wise in the limited Netflix series When They See Us based on the Central Park Five which was directed by Ava DuVernay. He’ll soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s HBO Max series Full Circle before leading Amazon’s I’m a Virgo from Sorry to Bother You filmmaker Boots Riley.
‘1883’ Spinoff Series ‘Bass Reeves’ Adds Dennis Quaid to Cast
Dennis Quaid (Far from Heaven, The Day After Tomorrow) is the latest star to join the cast of Bass Reeves, a new drama series coming from Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Tulsa King) and Paramount+, according to Deadline. Bass Reeves was announced as a spinoff to the Yellowstone prequel, 1883 back in May 2022 with David Oyelowo (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) attached to star as the legendary lawman.
Bass Reeves will follow Oyelowo as someone who is known to many as “the greatest frontier hero” in American history in his own series on Paramount+. The streamer already houses so many Sheridan-fronted programs, most recently, Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner returned for its second season while CIA drama, Lioness added to its cast with Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman. Some believe that Reeves served inspiration to “The Lone Ranger” having worked as a peace officer for Indian territory capturing over 3,000 criminals on that land. Quaid will play Sherrill Lynn, a Deputy U.S. Marshall within the show.
Quaid most recently voiced the character Jaeger Clade in Disney’s animated feature Strange World which is currently available to stream on Disney+. He’ll also star in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming HBO Max series Full Circle alongside Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes and Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome.
Amy Winehouse Biopic ‘Back to Black’ Adds to Cast with Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan and Lesley Manville
Let the casting of music biopics commence! As we’ve been hammered with news of superstar musician biopics each and every week, we have more news of one that is filming currently with Back to Black about the late, great Amy Winehouse. While it was reported back in January that Industry star, Marisa Abela will be leading as Winehouse, we now have details courtesy of Deadline on who will be joining the British pop star’s life story on screen.
The report indicates that Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year) and Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End) will all appear alongside Abela in Back to Black. O’Connell is set to play Blake Fielder-Civil, the love of Winehouse’s life who she was married to from 2007 until 2009, just a few years prior to her death as their love was unfortunately addled by prescription drug abuse and alcohol as well as multiple stints in rehab for both of them. Marsan will play Winehouse’s father while Manville will play Winehouse’s maternal grandmother in the film.
Back to Black will follow the life of one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all-time in Amy Winehouse. Her sophomore album (which the film is named after) won her 5 Grammy Awards all at the young age of 25 just before her untimely death in 2011 at age 27. The film will focus on Amy’s creativity, genius and upbringing at Camden High School in the UK before she propelled into stardom.
The film will be written by Matt Greenhalgh and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson reuniting the two of them after their 2009 film Nowhere Boy, which chronicled John Lennon’s formative years and adolescence. Taylor-Johnson is coming off directing episodes of Hunters and Solos for Amazon but is best known for helming Fifty Shades of Grey.
O’Connell had a big 2022 starring in Netflix’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover and MGM+’s new original series, SAS Rogue Heroes. He’ll next star as professional race car driver Peter Collins in Ferrari. Manville most recently starred as Princess Margaret in the recent season of The Crown for Netflix and in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Marsan is best known for playing Ray Donovan‘s brother, Terry in the hit Showtime series but will next appear in the film, Fair Play with Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor.
Jonathan Majors Arrested in NYC For Assaulting a Woman
According to TMZ Jonathan Majors has been arrested in NYC for reportedly assaulting a woman. A source told TMZ the...
Robert Downey Jr. to Star in Remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ from ‘Peaky Blinders’ Creator
Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man) has been mostly off the radar since he exited his legendary role in...
A24 Sets Ensemble Disaster Comedy ‘Y2K’ starring Rachel Zegler, Jaeden Martell + More
A24 is coming off a major Oscars coup with its Best Picture-winning Everything Everywhere All at Once, but now, they’re headed...
The Flash | Official Trailer
Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world...
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 | New Trailer
Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their...
James Gunn Has Released His DCU Lineup Today
James Gunn’s DCU lineup has been revealed. Gunn says his new direction for the DCU will be an eight to...
‘Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham’ Review | A Mystical Lovecraftian Batman Adventure
The Great DOOM! is coming “Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham” combines the world of Gotham and Batman with...
Jharrel Jerome and Jennifer Lopez to Headline ‘Unstoppable’ for Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s Production Company
Hot off the great reviews for the upcoming Air Jordan flick, Air, it seems that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are...
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always | Official Trailer – Netflix
The Rangers come face-to-face with a familiar threat from the past. In the midst of a global crisis, they are...