July starts off with a modest selection starting with the new comedy, Blockers. Lisa (Leslie Mann), Mitchell (John Cena) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) all have daughters who have grown up together and become the best of friends. Now they are preparing for their prom night and the three girls Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon) have made a pact to all lose their virginity on this special night. But when their parents find out about the pact they head into a crazy night trying to locate their girls and stop them from what they think will be the worst decisions of their teenage lives.
I wasn’t really sure what I would think of Blockers but I had one heck of a great time with this movie. I think it helps that Mann, Cena and Barinholtz are amazing together, have great chemistry and comedically work off each other brilliantly, but the three girls have the same going for them. The situations get crazy and hilarious but never stoop into really dumb or vulgar territory, and the pacing is fast. Blockers was a blast.
Next up is a new zombie movie with a twist, The Cured. The world has survived a deadly plague that turned people into bloodthirsty violent maniacs. But a cure has been found and those who were once monsters are back to normal and must be reintegrated into society and in many cases, reunited with their families. But after the ordeal the world has been through, not everyone can forgive the actions of the cured. Senan (Sam Keeley) is one of the cured and is staying with his sister-in-law Abbie (Ellen Page), an American journalist and the widow of Senan’s brother and although Abbie welcomes Senan into her home, he still struggles with nightmares of his time infected and must deal, along with the rest of the cured, to the issues involved returning to society.
The Cured is a brilliantly simple premise executed subtly and elegantly. Writer/Director David Freyne crafts a character-first horror movie that examined the real world consequences of such an event and does it on a personal and intimate level. Page and Keeley are excellent and both play their parts with understated tension and skill. There are still plenty of scary parts and good stuff in there for the horror fans, but The Cured will appeal to a much broader audience as well. And this is Freyne’s debut feature film. So I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what he does next.
Lastly this week is a new full blown Blu-ray special edition of one of the most controversial exploitation films of the 70s, Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left. On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Mari (Sandra Peabody) and her friend Phyllis (Lucy Grantham) head to New York city for a concert but first travel to a seedy neighbourhood looking to buy marijuana. Unfortunately, they cross paths with a sadistic and cruel group of criminals led by Krug (David Hess) who take the girls and torture them all night before putting them in the trunk of their car headed to Canada. But when their car breaks down close to Mari’s house, the abuse continues and takes a horrific turn but no one could expect where the night would ultimate take them.
The Last House on the Left is not a pleasant film in the least. Craven created the ultimate grindhouse film but instead of the inconsequential coldness of that genre, The Last House on the Left really makes you care for Mari and Phyllis making everything they go through almost unbearable to watch. But it is masterfully created and the arc of actions throughout the film and where is all leads is ultimately satisfying in the most primal way and really makes the viewer question the effects of violence overall. This new special edition from Arrow is absolutely loaded including multiple audio commentaries, tons of archival docs on the making of the film, 2 versions of the film, a new 17-minute doc on Wes Craven, and lots more including the bizarre soundtrack on CD and a poster. This may not be a fun one but it is an important one in the history of horror.
Also of note this week is Another WolfCop, the sequel to the 2014 cult hit, and a double shot of Rosamund Pike this week with 7 Days in Entebbe and Beirut.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 3, 2018
7 Days in Entebbe
Call Girl of Cthulhu
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood* - Criterion Collection
Don’t Grow Up
Dragon Inn* - Criterion Collection
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Set 2: Stardust Crusaders (Limited Edition)
Nella the Princess Knight: Royal Quests
Shark Week: Spectacular Adventures
The Blue Planet Collection
The Complete Sartana* – Limited Edition
The Female Brain
The Last House on the Left - Limited Edition
The Planet Earth Collection
Where is Kyra?
WWE: Backlash 2018
*Catalog Blu-ray debut