Boyz In The Wood -Nothing makes me happier than a horror-comedy out of the United Kingdom with chavs as the lead stars. For those who don’t know, chav is a derogatory term for teens who dress in Adidas or Nike gear, have a filthy mouth and terrible attitude and are always bumming smokes of people, so you can equate that to a lot in North America. This film is great, capitalizing on those great character traits with a killer soundtrack including Run The Jewels and Danny Brown, around a story that puts these characters on a team-building exercise as they have to journey through the Scottish highlands from one side to the other but, unbeknownst to them, a couple of psycho residents are hunting them the whole time under the guise of “The Duke Of Edinburgh” and “the Queen”. This movie is fun, absolutely hilarious but ultimately pretty predictable.
NO TRAILER FOR THIS ONE.
Dolemite Is My Name – Eddie Murphy makes a triumphant return to feature films with this fantastic biopic, directed by Hustle And Flow’s Craig Brewer. Murphy plays Rudy Ray Moore, an ageing performer who made the big move from Arkansas to Los Angeles but hasn’t found any success whatsoever. His big break comes when he decides to gather the tall tales of a bunch of nearby hobos and packages them in a new larger than life pimp character named Dolemite, which leads to huge success in his self pressed album and a growing ambition that eventually has him wanting to make movies. Murphy is incredible in this movie but it’s the performance of Wesley Snipes as D’Urville Martin that floored me, a total game rejuvenation. Definitely see this one.
The Lodge – It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz to follow up their incredible debut horror thriller Goodnight Mommy and did they ever come through with their first English language film, a movie that can now be included in the “holiday horror” pantheon, as it does take place just before Christmas. The story follows two kids and their soon to be stepmother who find themselves snowed in at a remote holiday lodge. As the days pass, she finds herself more and more paranoid as strange things start to transpire and the evenings get more and more sleepless, drudging up things in her mind of her tumultuous and brutal past as part of a cult run by her father. Riley Keough’s performance in this film is absolutely riveting, perching you on the edge of your seat throughout. This isn’t your most conventional horror story but it will definitely leave a mark.
Waves – Director and writer Trey Edward Shults has made an incredible film about the bonds of family across terrible decisions and seemingly monstrous actions and how far the notion of “unconditional love” extends. The film follows the story of a suburban African-American family, led by a well-intentioned but domineering father played by This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, as they are thrown through the loop by the domino effect their son goes through when his college wrestling career is brought to an abrupt end. This is a movie that will stun you with its incredible realism and the performances throughout are dominated by these fantastic actors. This is a movie that has little clout right now but could be on Oscar ballots come next year. Take note of this one.
The Death Of Dick Long – I feel like any description I can give for this movie leads me down murky paths of either doing a complete injustice to the insanity of this movie that writer and director Daniel Schienart has created as well as being any semblance of spoilered because, in all honesty, the best way to go into this film is completely out of the loop. Taking on the immense task of following up his first feature Swiss Army Man, under the dual name of Daniels with fellow filmmaker Daniel Kwan, his solo venture is like a redneck satire on partying dumbasses who find themselves embroiled in a Coens-esque predicament and every moment gets crazier than the last. This movie is filled to the brim with cringe tension that ramps up to a reveal that is too crazy and jawdropping to even come to grips with. Seriously, I will be thinking about this one for a long time yet but I do know that I totally loved every minute of it.