Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Review after three episodes (six more to go) – *(*)

Part fantasy horror film, part mystery thriller. The first three episodes are confusing. Which is the whole point. The main character has amnesia, but is the key witness in the disappearance of Thomas De Geest. She’s been interred into a psychiatric hospital and gets questioned by both her shrink and a detective. She’s an odd woman. She claims to have amnesia, but the viewer gets to see all kinds of memories in flashback. Why? She’s clearly lying to the shrink and the detective as she remembers snippets of what happened to her in the past and then claims to not know anything. But why?

There are nine episodes. It was a big success on television. It has a lot of renowned actors in the cast. And it is somehow intriguing. Maybe it’s worth watching it until the end. But my god, is it boring. And slow. And the set design is terrible. Several scenes don’t make sense. Give me realism over fantasy anytime. There is no suspense, just weird scary scenes stolen from the vast catalogue of horror movies. Even if you’re not a fantasy film lover, it all feels like it’s been done before a zillion times. A haunted house, a devilish child, electricity blackouts, cape wearing figures, scary dolls, a mysterious man in the forest. Add a cheating husband, a sexually comfortable sixty year old, a foreign looking caretaker/gigolo, weird patients in the psychiatric ward, etc… It’s a mess.

Review after nine episodes – *(*)

So yes, it’s worth watching the series until the end. The final episode does have some surprises in store. But you can’t really talk about a plot twist. The actual plottwist happens at the end of episode 5. It’s not a big surprise for the viewer, but it kind of changes the series from a fantasy thriller to a regular detective drama. The flashbacks are no longer memories of the main character, but rather added for the viewer’s benefit. Which feels like an inconsistency. The acting is ok. But it’s so boring at times. And all these hyped kudos to the director for showing a) depth to the characters and b) beauty in the visuals. Bull. The characters are pretty one-dimensional and the scenes look messy. Also, the way psychiatry is depicted here, is terrible. It’s stereotypical and unoriginal.

Sometimes, a hype is only a hype if you want it to be.


Big Little Lies – ***

Posted: February 28, 2018 in 2017, Drama, Thriller, TV series, XXX

It’s quite a feat to make a tv series about rich, married mothers of first graders that can appeal to single, middle class men without kids. The synopsis helps: someone gets killed at a fundraiser event, but nobody knows who and by whom until the very last quarter of the series. The stellar reviews and the many awards help to trigger interest. The amazing cast is also a very strong selling point. And hey, it was definitely worth the watch. This is a great show. The acting is phenomenal and the character development is even better. This a very well written series. There is tension. There is some humor. There’s lust. There’s a lot of DRAMA. But it’s the female characters that make it all work great.

The men on the other hand are stereotypes and of lesser importance. Some side stories are irrelevant (the secret project of Abigail was a bit too much) and the misleading editing doesn’t make sense. Especially those tidbit showing statements from characters that hardly have any importance to the main story. The soundtrack is good, but it’s very unlikely that children and adults actually listen to tracks chosen for this series. One soundtrack choice was really good though: Papa Was Rolling Stone. The end disappoints a bit. But the seven episodes pass by before you know it.

Great television!

And it’s very clear why Nicole Kidman wins all the awards. It’s sad to see Reese Witherspoon miss out on so many awards, but there is no doubt about it. Kidman is the absolute best. Although Shailene Woodley is excellent too. Not sure why she gets nominated as a supporting actress. She’s a main character ! 


Another weird movie from the guy that brought us The Lobster. It’s so weird, it’s cool. It unsettling. It’s funny. It’s thrilling at times. It’s a visual treat. The story is again not that strong. (A heart specialist gets jinxed by the kid of a former, deceased patient of his. Now his family has to suffer as well.) But that doesn’t matter. It has a very remarkable opening shot. Go see it. It’s creepy. It sets the tone right. This is Francois Ozon meets Michael Haneke meets Ulrich Seidl. Colin Farell is great at these kind of roles. He’s really the only actor you can imagine playing this part. Nicole Kidman is also doing well. Even though she does all kinds of things you don’t want her to do really. (Get naked, play dead, smoke, hit children,…) There’s that scene where she jerks off a guy to get information. She does it so well. It makes you wonder whatever she did with Harvey Weinstein to get where she is now. Nevertheless. Great acting. Raffey Cassidy is one to watch out for as well. And that Barry Keogh kid kills it! Just go see it and then feel like WTF.

Some series are worthy of binge watching. Others aren’t. Forbrydelsen isn’t. Of course, once you start watching this 20 episode Danish crime series, you do want to know how it will end. But you do want to know it as soon as possible.

However, this is a 20 episode series! 20 episodes of an hour each. 20 hours to find out who killed a 19y old girl. 20 hours to dig into the secrets of the girl’s family. 20 hours to look into the troubled life of the female detective in charge. 20 hours to figure out what the link is between this girl’s death and the mayoral election campaign. 20 hours of interesting and exciting, but often irrelevant plot twists. 20 hours of chasing and clearing the wrong suspects. 20 hours of listening to Danish. 20 hours of watching pretty incompetent police detectives make mistakes over and over again. 20 hours of watching politicians and their staff talk and talk and talk about clearing their names in the campaign. 20 hours of people changing their story all the time. 20 hours of thinking: why the f*** can people not just tell the truth from the start? (really, it would make everything so much easier, especially for the suspects!) 20 hours of trying to be a detective yourself and shouting at the detectives on screen to stop making mistakes! 20 hours of often thinking: this just doesn’t make sense ! (for instance: when – on two occasions – a character asks the identity of the main mayoral rival, who is in the news all the time as the potential new mayor and as a suspect to the murder.  20 hours of hoping for a surprising end. 20 hours not entirely wasted.

Sure, solving a crime isn’t as easy as what shows like C.S.I. want to make you believe. It takes a while. And cops can fail. Situations can be deceiving. Politics and pressure can play a part. It’s nice to add dept to the story and the characters. It’s nice to show realism. It’s nice to show failure. It makes it all the more believable. The acting is great. That Sofie Gråbøl is phenomenal. But a lot of questions remain unanswered. A lot of plot lines fade away and seem forgotten after a few episodes. Several scenes don’t make sense. And the end is disappointing. If only the series would have been 10 hours. But no. 20 hours. Twenty hours!

La Fille De Monaco – *

Posted: July 30, 2017 in 2008, Drama, France, Romance, Thriller, X

A lawyer receives protection from a body guard, sent by the son of his client in a murder case. It takes a while, but after a few days there is a connection between both men who like each other’s company.  And just when you think the story will evolve into a gay romantic adventure in Monte Carlo, a young fresh actress appears on screen who steals the heart of everyone. She has her eye set on the lawyer, but dated the bodyguard in the past…

Intriguing plot synopsis.

Poor execution.

Roschdy Zem (the bodyguard) is quite impressive, as always, but he looks lost in the bizarre dialogues and the crazy story that leads to nothing good at all. This was probably set up as a mix between a romantic comedy and crime thriller, but there’s is no romance, no comedy, no crime and no thrilling element….


Get Out – **(*)

Posted: May 19, 2017 in 2017, Fantasy, Thriller, USA, XX1/2

A black guy goes on a weekend to meet the parents of his white girlfriend for the very first time. But something doesn’t feel quite right. There’s only a few other blacks around the house and they act all weird. Things go really bad when his girlfriend’s mother suggests to hypnotize him to get rid of his smoking addiction…

This is a movie to go watch when you’re in an interracial relationship ! And if you’re not, go see it anyways. It’s good. A bit predictable, but well done. It’s not really a thriller, nor is it a horror story. It’s more of an social critical experiment and it works. It entertains for it’s entire length. There’s a bit of everything and even the funny moments are spot on. The acting is good. The story is unique. It should get a higher score. But in the end, it’s just a good movie.

Don’t Breathe – **

Posted: April 26, 2017 in 2016, Thriller, USA, XX

Three young burglars make the wrong move by breaking into the house of a blind man. The man isn’t helpless, on the contrary. In fact he has his own little dirty secrets as well. Will they ever get out alive?

Don’t Breathe does what it needs to do: excite and thrill until the very last moment. There are few unexpected surprises, which make up for the predictable story telling. It’s a pretty standard movie with few locations, few actors and haunting cinematography. It works. While you’re watching it. But it isn’t memorable.