We’re back to school and kicking off with one of the most disturbing thrillers of the year, Hereditary. Toni Collette stars as Annie, who along with her husband (Gabriel Byrne), son (Alex Wolff) and daughter (Milly Shapiro) are dealing with the recent death of Annie’s domineering and mentally ill mother. Strange happenings begin to occur around their home with each family member experiencing disturbing, otherworldly visions linked to sinister family secrets and emotional trauma passed down through generations.
Hereditary is a thoroughly engaging and atmospheric thriller that constantly plays with your mind and keeps you guessing as to what exactly is going on. Writer/director Ari Aster makes his feature film debut with one heck of a movie that is riddled with an overbearing sense of dread that doesn’t dissipate until well after the insane finale and end credits. For fans of the strange and compelling, Hereditary is definitely not your typical cup of tea.
Next up is a new horror anthology called Ghost Stories. Professor Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman) has made a career out of debunking celebrity psychics and fraudulent paranormal claims. But when he receives a message from a famous psychologist he admires claiming that the paranormal may be real, and to investigate three cases he could never disprove, Goodman sets out to see if he can solve what his idol couldn’t, but he may be in for more than he anticipated when he must confront his darkest fears.
Ghost Stories is definitely a throwback to the old Hammer movies and other anthology movies from the 60s and 70s. The three cases/stories are varied in theme from a security guard experiencing a terrifying night in a former asylum, a teenager finds himself broken down and stranded on a dark country road with a mysterious creature circling him, and a man claims a poltergeist attacked him in his home while his wife was at a hospital having their baby. All three stories are deliberately paced and interesting with some very creepy visuals and inventive threads tying them all together. The cast are all excellent with Martin Freeman stealing the show and some truly crazy revelations at the end of the film. This one is a winner and perfect for those craving something classic and fresh at the same time.
Lastly this week is a new documentary, Won’t You be My Neighbor? The film follows the life and career of iconic children’s television show host Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It chronicles the legacy of the show and how it gently but brilliantly tackled important subjects like equality and racism. It also shows Rogers himself for the complicated and flawed man he was despite the effect he had on an entire generation.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a thoroughly engrossing and fascinating look at a man who was guiding a whole generation of children without any fanfare or sense of self-importance. Rogers has become an icon of generosity and kindness and through this film will bring even more attention to his philosophies and teachings. This is an enlightening and inspiring doc everyone should see and take note of.
Also of note this week is the Blu-ray debut of the criminally underseen and underrated Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar, the new thriller Beast starring Geraldine James, and the 25th (!) Anniversary edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 4, 2018
Any Bullet Will Do
Bad Boys 4K
Bad Boys II 4K
Blame It on the Bellboy*
Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji*
Bull: Season Two
Godard Mon Amour
Hawaii Five-O: The Eighth Season
Hocus Pocus – 25th Anniversary Edition*
Lake Placid: Legacy
Once Upon a Crime*
Scenes from a Marriage – Criterion Collection*
Sid Caesar: The Works
Silicon Valley: The Complete Fifth Season
Supernatural: The Complete Thirteenth Season
The Mis-Education of Joy
The Nightmare Before Christmas – 25th Anniversary
When Calls the Heart: Weather the Storm
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Young Sheldon: The Complete First Season
*Catalog Blu-ray debut