Looking for something to watch tonight? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our monthly pick of movies old and new, without the long review. Instead, these quick recommendations offer a summary of our thoughts alongside details of the movies length, certificate and genre. So settle back for this months selection, including, Tesla, Make Up, I See You, Odd Thomas, Utøya: July 22 and Afterschool
Tesla is available on all major streaming platforms from the 21st September
Director: Michael Almereyda
Runtime: 102 minutes
Scientists have had a pretty rough ride in recent biopics, from the bland Radioactive through to the dire The Current War. Of course, in the latter, the scientific pioneer and genius Nicola Tesla (1856-1943) was played by Nicholas Hoult. But with the new film Tesla, it’s Ethan Hawke in the driving seat. With a performance that is both delicate and mesmerising; Tesla’s mind far ahead of his time and place. While director Michael Almereyda cleverly dovetails this fact with a postmodern documentary-like feel to proceedings. And while it may be slow, Tesla rises far above its predecessor The Current War. Resulting in a unique, engaging and fascinating portrait of a man who helped create our modern world.
Make Up (2019)
Make Up is available now on Curzon Home Cinema
Director: Claire Oakley
Runtime: 86 minutes
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Debut feature films don’t come much stronger than Claire Oakley’s haunting and windswept movie. The Cornish ‘out of season’ caravan park where the story unfolds wrapped in a genre-defying mix of drama, thriller and horror. The taught coming of age journey of young Ruth submerged in an ocean of intrigue, sexuality, desire and isolation. Within a sparse and ghostly environment where the fox’s screech in the night and the wind howls around empty mobile homes. Meanwhile, Oakley’s dynamic use of vivid colour and haunting sound is matched by the accomplished performances of an outstanding cast. So settle back, dim the lights, and let the waves of Make Up engulf you in a unique and intriguing cinematic experience.
I See You (2019)
I See You is available now on all major streaming platforms
Director: Adam Randall
Runtime: 98 minutes
Slipping under the radar in 2019, I See You is an accomplished, riveting and eerie thriller. Every scene dripping with suspense and intrigue as director Adam Randall and debut screenwriter Devon Graye keep the audience on tenterhooks from the first scene to the last. In a three-act film that shines with originality, as we embark on a thrilling rollercoaster ride where nothing is as it first seems.
Meanwhile, Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney and Judah Lewis excel as a family surrounded by a darkness that loiters in the corners of every room of their luxurious home. At the same time as their local community descends into the horror of child abduction. The possibility that a killer from the past has returned to the town haunting every moment of the present. But, as events spiral out of control and the truth behind the communities pain and the family’s torment converge, dark and long-held secrets are brought into the light.
Odd Thomas (2013)
Odd Thomas is available now on all major streaming platforms
Director: Stephen Sommers
Runtime: 100 minutes
Genre: Fantasy / Thriller
Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas not only suffered from a string of mediocre reviews on its initial release. But also found itself subject to a legal battle that prevented its cinema release here in the UK. However, this is a small but glimmering gem of fantasy horror, delightfully mixing the style of The Frighteners (1996) with the supernatural steer of Stir of Echoes (1999). And while it may not quite reach the heights of either of the movies it takes inspiration from; it does offer 100 minutes of engaging fantasy horror, that is only strengthened by Anton Yelchin’s enthralling and dynamic performance as Odd.
Utøya: July 22 (2018)
Utøya: July 22 is available on all major streaming platforms now
Director: Erik Poppe
Runtime: 93 minutes
The horror of the events that took place on Utøya Island on July 22nd 2011 will long haunt society. As young people enjoying a summer camp organised by the Norwegian Labour Party found themselves the subject of pure hatred and violence. With a lone gunman killing 69 people on the Island and a further 8 in Oslo; with hundreds injured. Unlike the Netflix film released the same year, Utøya: July 22 has no interest in the thoughts or background of the right-wing terrorist at the heart of the devastation. Instead, opting to focus squarely on the abject terror and fight for survival of those young people caught in his horrific net of hate.
Shot in a heart wrenching and challenging single take, Poppe’s film echoes many of the hyper-real attributes of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (2003). The resulting movie one of such immense power and emotion that it divided critics and audiences alike on release. However, this is a film that wants the audience to play witness to the events, while never seeking to exploit them for cinematic effect. With many of the survivors of Utøya directly involved in the writing of the screenplay and eventual filming. As a result, the audience is asked to reflect on the real horror of hatred and violence. And while this may prove challenging, it is also essential in us understanding the abhorrence of terrorism and those who perpetrate and plan such events.
Afterschool is available on selected streaming platforms now
Director: Antonio Campos
Runtime: 107 minutes