Category Archives: VODzilla.co

L’amant double (François Ozon, 2017)

Loosely adapted from a Joyce Carol Oates novel, L’Amant Double sees director François Ozon return to his enfant terrible mode after a couple of relatively more prestigious films, such as Frantz. This involves a reunion with his Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful) star Marine Vacth and making one of his new film’s very first shots take place within her character’s genitalia. Why, yes, this is a very restrained motion picture…

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Jeune femme (Léonor Serraille, 2017)

A ball of fire with a mane of fiery red hair, Paula (Laetitia Dosch) begins Jeune Femme by knocking herself out against the door of the Parisian apartment of her now ex-boyfriend. But a blow to the head and a stop at a hospital won’t see an end to this night’s outbursts, as she’s soon back on the street outside her former home to begin another fruitless screaming match through a building buzzer and up at a window above. All she reaps from this is the kidnapping of her ex’s cat and the brief acceptance of defeat – it’s basically the only defeat she accepts in the film…

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The Cured (David Freyne, 2017)

The Cured, the debut feature from writer-director David Freyne, is a horror film that doesn’t end as well as it starts. But it does start very well, in part, because it’s blessed by a killer premise…

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Lost in Space (Stephen Hopkins, 1998)

In April 1998, Lost in Space was the movie to finally end Titanic’s 15-week-long hold on the first-place position at the US box office. 20 years on from its theatrical release, the most enduring cultural impact of this wannabe blockbuster take on the TV series is as a footnote in the story of another film. Is this lack of a substantial legacy fair? With a new Netflix series reviving the Lost in Space brand, does the 1998 version deserve a second look? Is it due a reappraisal and cult following?

In short: no…

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The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola, 2017)

Thomas P. Cullinan’s 1966 Southern Gothic novel A Painted Devil was previously brought to the screen, under the title of The Beguiled, by director Don Siegel in 1971. An American Civil War-set tale of an injured union soldier taking refuge in a Virginian girls’ school, Siegel’s version was led by regular collaborator Clint Eastwood. For Sofia Coppola’s stab at the material, although Colin Farrell is top-billed as the stranger sowing seeds of mistrust, things are determinedly more female-focused…

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Walking Out (Alex Smith/Andrew J. Smith, 2017)

Walking Out is a two-hander between a father and son pair, but the real star is the Montana landscape. Co-writers and directors (and real-life brothers) Alex and Andrew Smith capture the breathtaking beauty of the mountains in winter in a fashion that would surely satisfy the Montana tourism board, were it not for the fact this is also a harrowing tale of survival, after a run-in with a bear leads to a string of disasters for its protagonists. This is less The Revenant, though, and more The Reverence, as a deep respect for both nature and nurture proves vital to making it out alive…

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The Open House (Matt Angel/Suzanne Coote, 2018)

Horror movies are popular for first time filmmakers for many reasons. One is that the genre is well suited to low budgets; in many of the best horrors, a little goes a long way. Another reason may be that horror, particularly via sub-genres like the slasher or home invasion thriller, is more prone to template-based filmmaking than most other genres. If you’re just looking to show that you can write and direct something, anything, it’s ostensibly easier to produce a horror movie that hits expected genre beats than it is to, say, write a comedy that actually makes people laugh.

Bringing to the screen a horror movie that simply resembles a horror movie seems to have been the sole mission statement behind The Open House, the feature debut of directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote. It’s a Netflix Original without an ounce of originality…

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