Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with cinema’s screening an expectations-shattering horror and a sequel to everyone’s favourite kaiju actioner. Meanwhile, on the home entertainment front, you can expect to nab some of the biggest thrillers of 2017 alongside a fair helping of schlocky horror.
Thursday March 22nd
American director duo JUSTIN BENSON and AARON MOORHEAD have quietly been making a name for themselves by melding low-key indie dramas with Lovecraftian monstrosities, resulting in horror-hybrids that are truly unlike anything else. Here the duo casts themselves as the stars, and if early buzz and the filmmakers previous output of work are anything to go by, this should offer stacks of genre and mind-bending thrills. Following their Lovecraftian modern cult classic SPRING, acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending thriller that follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cults beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.
PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING
The sequel to GUILLERMO DEL TORO’s beloved Kaiju actioner finally arrives. Here’s hoping new director STEVEN S. DEKNIGHT can retain Del Toro’s signature style and include enough robot on monster action to satisfy expectations! Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father’s legacy.
Wednesday March 21st
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Combining a broody intensity with a strong vein of black humour, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of the most aesthetically impressive films I’ve seen in recent years (and was my number 2 pick for best film of 2017!) This one is well worth taking home to appreciate over and over again. Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor’s life in gradually unsettling ways. Soon, the full scope of Martin’s intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter his domestic bliss forever. DVD features interviews with Yorgos Lanthimos, Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell & Barry Keoghan.
DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE
This Bulgarian-American remake of GEORGE ROMERO’s classic DAY OF THE DEAD takes the famous director’s central premise and ratchets up the zombie speed and gore quotient. While I wouldn’t expect the film to hold a candle to Romero’s canon, there might be enough here to satisfy unrepentant Zombie junkies looking for another fix. A small group of military personnel and some survivalists dwell in an underground bunker as they seek to find a cure in a world overrun by zombies.
Also known as BEYOND THE TREK, this high concept sci-fi/horror/thriller hybrid offers plenty of visual flair from such a low-budget release. A rescue crew is sent to investigate what happened to the crew aboard a deep-space mining vessel that has been adrift for two years.
Friday March 23rd:
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
One of the most anticipated releases of 2017, KENNETH BRANAGH’s lush interpretation of AGATHA CHRISTIE’s seminal detective mystery comes to living rooms everywhere from the 23rd. Dead-set fans of the actor/author might find something to enjoy – for regular viewers, this unnecessary re-interpretation is likely to be a disappointment. A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world’s greatest detective – Hercule Poirot – arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again. Blu-ray & 4K Ultra-HD features an Audio Commentary (Kenneth Branagh and Michael Green), 6 production featurettes, deleted scenes, photo gallery and a trailer.