Posted in Other Media

Cinema Saturday, 3/19/22

I’m going through what’s currently popular in horror (according to Just Watch) on my chosen streaming services. These three films are all currently available on Hulu.

Just so you know: there’s some nekkid-ness in this trailer.

Titane

Year: 2021
Runtime: 1h 48m
Rated: R

Director: Julia Ducournau

Writers: Julia Ducournau, Jacques Akchoti, Simonetta Greggio

Stars: Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier

Double Feature Fodder:
Crash (1996) (a movie I haven’t seen, actually)

Initial: Going in to Titane, I only knew what the blurbs were telling me: girl with a titanium plate in her head, unexplained crimes, and a father reunited with his son.

Production Notes: Won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Julia Ducournau is only the second woman director to win it.

What Did I Think:
(avoiding spoilers)
I’m annoyed by this film. Visually, it’s great. I’m not familiar with DOP Ruben Impens, but I’d watch Julia Ducournau’s Raw (2016) for his involvement alone. Agathe Rousselle? What a wonderful debut. There is body horror in this movie that actually made me squirm (I’m still listing the good things here). And I really liked half the plot.

And the other half of the plot, I just don’t understand. If there’s some allegory, I’m missing it. If it’s just to be shocking, I don’t think the other half of this movie needed it or deserved to be upstaged by it, although I guess it’s gotten everyone talking about the movie. All the things that made me squirm? They weren’t part of this plot.


Fresh

Year: 2022
Runtime: 1h 54m
Rated: R

Director: Mimi Cave

Writers: Lauryn Kahn

Stars: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jojo T. Gibbs

Double Feature Fodder:
Dumplings (2005)

Initial: I knew a smidge more about Fresh than I knew about Titane. And, well, when a film mentions “appetites,” you know where it might be heading.

Production Notes: Mimi Cave’s feature length debut. Cave comes from the world of music videos, which historically includes my favorite directors.

What Did I Think:
(spoilers ahead)
In relation to Titane, Fresh is *so* conventional. It is very stylish, though. Sebastian Stan’s performance and the soundtrack reminds me a lot of Mary Harron’s American Psycho (2000), but again, Fresh is more conventional than that film too. Honestly, for a film about cannibalism, I feel like it was just a little too tame. It’s really more about the horrors of modern dating than about eating other people. I’m glad I’m married.


No Exit

Year: 2022
Runtime: 1h 35m
Rated: R

Director: Damien Power

Writers: Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Taylor Adams

Stars: Havana Rose Liu, Danny Ramirez, David Rysdahl

Double Feature Fodder:
Identity (2003)

Initial: I wasn’t super interested in this film, but it was on the aforementioned “popular” list.

Production Notes: Set on the way to Salt Lake City, Utah, but filmed in Auckland, New Zealand.

What Did I Think:
This movie was only an hour and a half long?! It felt so much longer . . .

As a writer, I’ve learned that sometimes, you can start a story in the wrong place. You think that maybe a chapter establishing a character’s background, or a situational background, will give scope to the story you’re about to tell. You’re usually wrong. This information does little to engage the audience in the story and the details are better used later in the narrative. This movie starts in the wrong place. It should have started nine minutes in with Darby driving in the snow (which is where the novel it’s based on starts) or even 15 minutes in when she walks into the visitor’s center (which is where a Quentin Tarantino movie would probably start). Knowing about Darby before anything else happens adds nothing. Would that change alone fix No Exit? Probably not. By the time there is any other twist in the plot, everything feels very tedious.