Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
I’m honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed this film. I was expecting little more than a retelling of the Macaulay Culkin/Elijah Wood film The Good Soon, but Orphan brings so much more than that to the table. This is one of those rare horror movies that manages to strike a perfect balance between tongue-in-cheek playing with the audience and serious, tense material. The scary parts are scary, and the parts where the filmmakers are deliberately faking you out are so effective that they actually lull you into a false sense of security. What’s more, the ending took me completely by surprise – a refreshing sensation, as so many horror films fall victim to predictability. The only thing I didn’t like about Orphan is entirely based on my own tastes: I can’t stand stories where one person knows the truth and nobody believes them. I find them pretty frustrating, but in spite of the fact that Orphan is one of those stories, it’s still a really well-made film. I had initially written it off as just a bunch of predictable b-grade pop-horror. I was wrong.
4 out of 5
Jane Eyre (2011)
Cary Fukunaga’s retelling of the classic Bronte story has gorgeous production design, beautiful sets, wonderful locations, excellent costumes and props…but is ultimately empty. I felt no connection to any of the characters, nor did the characters seem to feel any connection to each other. When Michael Fassbender’s Rochester proposes to Jane, it took me completely by surprise because there just seemed to be so little chemistry between him and Mia Wasikowska. The film has no tension to speak of, romantic or otherwise, and as a result it comes off as a bit of a snooze-fest. There’s a scene where Jane discovers Rochester’s room is on fire as he sleeps, which should have at least had some kind of dramatic weight, but the fire is put out so easily that when Rochester says Jane saved his life, I had trouble believing that he meant it. Jane Eyre is a delight on a visual level, but if you try to find anything beneath the surface, you will be disappointed. Also, the marketing campaign for this movie was totally misleading.
3 out of 5
Hobo With A Shotgun
Whereas Planet Terror, Death Proof and Machete were all large-budget movies posing as low-budget schlock, Hobo With A Shotgun (the second film to be made out of a phony trailer from the Grindhouse double-feature) really is a legitimate low-budget b-movie. Rutger Hauer gives an incredible performance as the titular hobo, and by the end of the movie you will be utterly convinced that he is, in fact, a crazy homeless man. The gore is plentiful, the plot never slows down, and every line of dialogue from the hobo is gold. The film lives up to its title and more, and anyone who sneers at it should take note: there’s something to be said for a movie that delivers exactly what it promises. A treat for all fans of cheesy cinema.
4.5 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!