Netflix’s “The Devil All The Time” is the perfect spooky movie to watch at home

If you’re looking for a spooky thriller to watch, Netflix’s “The Devil All The Time” is the perfect movie for you. It’s based on the book written by Donald Ray Pollock, which is about a young man trying to overcome adversities set in his small town. There are serial killers on the run while a preacher takes advantage of his role in church.

In the movie, you’ll recognize well known actors such as Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgård, and many more. It takes place right when World War II ends and begins with how the main character’s parents meet. I don’t want to expose any spoilers so you’ll get a chance to watch it, but just be prepared for some creepy and confusing scenes.

As I was watching the movie, I really enjoyed seeing Tom Holland take on a different role rather than being a superhero. Throughout each scene, they were mostly dark, gloomy, and suspenseful scenes that captured the sense of “watching your back” knowing how mysterious the town was. There are twists and turns that keep you on your feet. Although it is 2 hours long, it’s the type of movie you want to see until the end.

The film does contain scenes that could be disturbing to some people, but overall it’s a great film to watch. The movie touches on topics of faith, abuse of religion, family, and corruption. Personally I love watching movies that I get to come up with my own conclusions or stick the pieces together, and “The Devil All The Time” executes that. However, I’m still confused on some aspects of the film, but maybe that’s why there’s a book to read about it.

So if you’re looking for the next spooky movie to binge watch on Netflix, I recommend “The Devil All The Time.”

Written by: Ariadna Rodriguez Perez

Photos by: Netflix’s Youtube Trailer of “The Devil All The Time”

The Invisible Man: Movie Review, Why It Works

Does The Invisible Man live up to the hype? Well seeing is believing (and although you can’t see the antagonist of this film), The Invisible Man breathes life into this once thought dead style of horror with compelling characters and suspense that will leave you on the edge of your seat and begging to see more! 

WARNING: IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THIS FILM WITH ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA OF WHAT IS HAPPENING READ CAREFULLY. THERE WILL BE A SPOILER WARNING WHEN MAJOR PLOT POINTS ARE DISCUSSED BUT IF YOU WANT NOTHING ABOUT THIS FILM TALKED ABOUT, COME BACK AFTER YOU WATCH THE MOVIE.

If you are still here, I commend you for your bravery. Let’s get into The Invisible Man.

Overview

The Invisible Man was released on February 28, 2020. It stars Elizabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, a troubled woman who escapes an abusive relationship from Adrian Griffin, this manipulative scientific inventor played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Once she escapes, Cecilia is so terrified of being found by Adrian that she can’t even walk outside. This all changes when she finds out that Adrian has passed away and can’t hurt her anymore. She is able to start living her life without the constant fear of being watched… or so she thinks.

What this film does so well is that it plays with the audience’s perception of what’s happening to Cecilia. The first forty minutes of the film are a slow burn of odd happenings that take place in the house. From the stove turning on with no one near, to a knife falling off the table without a sound. As you watch this film you think at any moment this invisible entity could kill Cecilia. But the film makes it clear that it is not their goal to kill her. It’s to torment her.

Someone is torturing Cecilia throughout the story and the film uses that to make you feel just as paranoid. No one is willing to believe what is happening with Cecilia which infuriates you because you know she’s not crazy. You are rooting for her to prove that there is someone there, but the film makes you question maybe Cecilia is imagining this all. Then the film takes a hard left and makes it very clear to the audience and Cecilia that her suspicions were right.

What Makes It Work

The elements that make this horror/thriller movie work more than the atrocious The Mummy (2017) and Dracula Untold (2014), is that it does not try to be more than it is. Tom Cruise’s The Mummy wanted so badly to be the next big cinematic universe that would rival Marvel. But that was the film’s goal. Not to scare us, or to tell a unique story. It was to make money and be the next big thing. The Invisible Man is doing what I’m sure most modern horror films wanted to be, truly scary.

This film knows it’s a thriller that has a classic monster attached to it, so it tells a modernized version of what would make that idea so terrifying. A controlling and abusive partner that no one can see. If that isn’t symbolism, I don’t know what is.

If you are looking for a truly entertaining film that makes you question everything that you are watching on screen, go see this unseeable monster movie!

Image result for Invisible man

~If you watched the film and would like to see what I felt worked well and what didn’t, or you simply don’t care about spoilers, feel free to read below~

*SPOILER WARNING*

With a film called The Invisible Man, you know there is going to be some way the film explains how a person can be invisible. Magic? Invisible Spray? John Cena? Nope. This universe’s answer to how to make a man invisible is shown in the first scene in the background. A suit comprised of cameras that can cloak itself into its surroundings and be invisible to the unseen eye. Sure this is still a stretch. But it is the most believable reason to have a man be invisible in this modern revamp.

What Worked

I thought the premise of having Adrian be so determined to make Cecilia think he willing to fake his own death sickening. It made him more terrifying than any paranormal beings that have been put to screen over the last five years. Cecilia is also not an idiot and thinks her plans through which makes the movie so much better. She is so clever that at certain points in the film you have no idea what she is going to do!

What Did Not Work

At a certain point in the film, the invisible suit gets damaged and is shown that it is broken and can not become fully invisible anymore. But in the very next scene the suit is in perfect condition again. The invisible suit is covered in so much plot armor it is unstoppable, unless the film wants the suit to brake. It just made the final conflict a little inconsistent with what was established in other shots.

Hopefully, these mild spoilers were not enough to ruin the film for those of you who were daring enough to read this section before watching the film. Thank you for reading and I hope you come back for my next review, take care!

Written by: Danan Pacheco

The Good Liar: Senior Scammers

The Good Liar is a satisfying, slow-burning thriller that will make you reevaluate your perception of innocent senior citizens.

The Good Liar stars Sir Ian McKellen in the role of Roy, an experienced scam artist. I will admit that I was pretty excited to watch this movie because I have been a fan of McKellen since watching him in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and most recently in the play King Lear. The pacing of The Good Liar‘s trailer first led me to believe that the movie would be faster pace and would contain more action, which admittedly made me a bit skeptical since the film’s leads, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren are advanced in age. I was glad to find instead that the movie showcased both Mirren and McKellen’s skill in a slower and more confined setting.

Taken from Warner Bros. Pictures’s Youtube

The Good Liar begins with Roy initiating contact with Betty, Mirren’s character, on an online dating site. He lies about a lot of the information on his profile and aims to take advantage of Betty given she is a recent widow.

Taken from Warner Bros. Pictures’s Youtube

The Elderly as Easy Targets

Taking advantage of the elderly is not a new phenomenon and the advent of internet seems to have made the process even easier. The mythical level that the African Prince email scam has reached in pop culture attests the the overall gullibility of people and especially of those less technologically savvy. Given that the elderly often lived their entire adult lives without the internet, they are usually the target of internet scams.

The scamming occurs increasingly often on dating sites given their wide proliferation. These sites rely on the trust of users; users have to believe that who they are talking to is the person pictured in said profile. This lack of physicality makes it easy for people to lie and initiate a scam that preys on the vulnerability of those seeking love.

Inverting Expectations

While the scam Roy initiates with Betty is the main focus that drives the plot of the film, there is an additional scheme that he masterminds. Without revealing any spoilers, this swindle involves many people and interestingly, they are all significantly younger than Roy.

Taken from Warner Bros. Pictures’s Youtube

This importantly inverts the viewers expectation that old people are the victims of fraud and demonstrates that the elderly are capable of being agents of hustles. A New York Times article states that:

the Department of Justice described criminal cases involving nearly $700 million lost in the previous year by about two million people. The ones hit hardest by this kind of fraud are over 70, and they experience an average loss of $41,800, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports.

This inversion of expectations should not be taken lightly. The portrayal of the elderly in roles different from those typically attributed to them allows for more creativity in cinema. Just look at the ending to Hot Fuzz and try tell me it is not hilarious and that you saw it coming, you simply can’t. Who says that old people can only be grandparents or cheap tools to advance plot and evoke sympathy with their approaching death?

I’d like to believe that having the elderly play such atypical roles such as scammers or weapon toting gunslingers can only open the door to the creation of new intellectual property, which is something utterly key in a time when safe bets and sequels appear prominently in any given week’s list of premiers.

Written by: Nils Ljungquist

Possum (2018) – Film Review

A Temporary Glimpse into the World of Possum (2018): An Absolutely Gripping Fever Dream of a Film.

All Bones, No Meat

I like my films how I like my sexual encounters; confusing, without context, and unsure of what’s going on for the majority of the time. A wise man (me) once said media is best experienced when you have the least amount of context going into them. No trailers, no spoilers, just a cool-sounding title and a summary of a few sentences to spice up your interest. So when it comes to the 2018 film Possum, directed by Matthew Holness, here it is:

A small talking man, aged by torment, has returned to his childhood home after serving in the military. After his service, he takes up puppeteering, but it doesn’t go too well. Maybe because his puppet is a giant disgusting, wound-ridden spider with a human head, glass eyes, and a hundred-yard stare. The house he returns to isn’t empty though; when he arrives he finds his filthy uncle Maurice has been living there for some time now. The plot revolves around dream-like montages of our dear puppeteer Philip returning to different places significant to his childhood as he attempts to figure out the secrets of his past and the house he now lives in.

There’s your summary. That’s ALL you get. Go watch it, it’s fantastic, I gave it 4/5 stars (that’s a high score from me). If you feel intrigued but don’t care about spoilers, or if you’ve already watched it, stay for a bit while I go into detail about this film, and probably end up digging deeper than necessary.

*TRIGGER WARNING: This film includes themes of abuse and sexual assault. If you are uncomfortable with these concepts or themes please don’t watch/read about this film. If you or someone you know is dealing with abuse trouble and need help, call this number:
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline – 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the review.*

 

!!! SPOILER WARNING !!!

All Meat, Boneless

Alright sweet, now that we’ve thinned the herd a little bit, let’s talk about this movie.

Possum (2018) follows what I would call “dream logic.” Numerous scenes of the film happen out of order or with fractures in between, with the camera taking a break from what’s really happening to Phillip and instead catching a shot of some yellow and orange balloons beginning to smoke up, black rain pouring from the sky, and seeing that dreadful Possum puppet everywhere he goes. Possum is filmed in such a way that it gradually reveals more and more of the horrifying Possum puppet to the audience, representing Philip’s reawakening demons as well as both the audience and Philip slowly beginning to realize that Uncle Maurice has more to do with his trauma than Philip thinks.

Some shots seem to be glimpses into Philip’s memory, showing places he’s been in before, just empty with no one else in them. The film doesn’t have many human characters in it, making it seem just as lonely as Phillip is. However, that isn’t to say that the film lacks character; Sean Harris (who plays Philip) delivers a haunting performance that keeps a tight grip of your attention through the entirety of Possum’s 85-minute run time. Speaking of acting, Harris’ movements throughout the film are very reminiscent of child-like mannerisms and insecurities. Looking over his shoulder while he runs away nervously, sweaty hands held together in front of him like a toddler would when anxious from potential danger, curling up into the fetal position and crying when feeling threatened and whining like an unwanting baby when confronted. These all contribute to the ever-present truth of poor Phillip’s corrupted innocence, which is fed to the audience generously throughout.

What Does It Mean?

On the topic of symbolism, this film is full, simply bursting with it. If you like shots of random things representing other aspects or themes found in the movie, you’re in luck because this film has TONS of that. Here’s a quick list of all the symbols that I could find on the first viewing:

  • The yellow and orange balloons floating inside a children’s room represent Phillip’s original childhood ignorance, while the black smoke enveloping them represents the death of his parents (from the fire that Uncle Maurice started in Phillip’s house) as well as the corruption or ‘blackening’ of childhood innocence.
  • The nursery rhyme, “Mother, Father, what’s afoot? Only Possum, black as soot” bridges the gap between the purity of his younger years and the hell he now endures every day, walking around trying to live while being haunted by his past, feeling the eyes of his abuser on him at all times.
  • The black rain pouring from the sky, tainting everything it touches with its necro-colored pollution, is a symbol of Phillip feeling that his whole world is being overcome by insanity.
  • The immortal fox which can be beaten until dead and rotten, but somehow always stands back up and walks away, is a symbol of the anguish he feels and his inability to get rid of it.
  • The surrounding area is full of forests with many dead trees and warped branches, symbolizing the spindly, disgusting spider legs of the Possum.
  • While on the topic of spider legs, those in themselves are a symbol for fingers. If you haven’t seen the last 10 minutes of the film, there’s a LOT of fingers involved.
  • And last but not least, the Possum. Phillip’s dead-eyed spider puppet symbolizes multiple things; his fractured or suffering mental state, his abusive uncle Maurice (who we later discover is the man who’s been abducting and molesting many children in the area, who also raped him when he was young), and Philip’s desire to release this trauma from his life. Wherever he goes, no matter how hard he tries to get rid of it, the Possum is always there. Creeping up close behind him, watching him from afar, waking up with it in his bed, menacing him with his long, hairy appendages. There is no escape, you can’t break it or burn it, you can’t leave it all behind, because pain and memories aren’t physical things. The only way to get rid of abuse is to do away with the abuser.

Speculation Abomination

When Uncle Maurice says, “Waking up is it? Wants to get out” he’s referring to Phillip’s growing suspicion that Maurice is actually the one that raped him.

The green candies Maurice offers to Phillip could potentially be drugs that knock him out and allow for Maurice to get up to his dirty deeds. They could also be just regular candies that Maurice used to coerce Phillip into doing gross things or letting Maurice abuse him more.

The nature of the name ‘Possum’ for the puppet could be significant in that it mirrors how Phillip acts. Possums (the animal) are known to be cowardly and play dead when frightened, which is something Phillip does when he’s put into an uncomfortable situation. When he throws the Possum off the bridge, he too acts like a possum, slams into the mud, and curls up in a ball while he experiences horrible flashbacks.

Final Thoughts

This movie is really good and it is worth your time. It makes you feel more uncomfortable and slimy than scared, but the single most terrifying scene of the whole movie is well deserved. I literally threw my laptop when Uncle Maurice jumped out of the shadows. Please support this film, I genuinely recommend it.

Written by: Fabrizio Ramirez