Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “Spiral,” the Chris Rock reboot of the “Saw” franchise, the Amy Adams thriller “The Woman in the Window,” the non rom com “Together Together” with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison and the trippy folk horror of “In the Earth.”
“In the Earth,” the latest film from Ben Wheatley, now on VOD, once again returns to the psychological horror that fueled his other movies like “Kill List” and “A Field in England” with a hint of the social commentary of his J. G. Ballard adaptation “High-Rise.” Add to that a dash of folk-horror and you have a truly timely and mind-bending film that is best avoided by the squeamish.
Most people see a walk in the woods as a quiet respite from the world. But when researcher Martin (Joel Fry) and ranger Alma (Ellora Torchia) head out to meet scientist Dr. Olivia Wendle (Hayley Squires) and perform some tests in the forest during a pandemic, they are sent off with some ominous advice. “People get a bit funny in the woods sometimes,” says Martin’s doctor Frank (Mark Monero). “It’s a hostile environment.”
Sure enough, things go wrong early on. They come across eerie, abandoned campsites, equipment breaks down, Martin becomes ill and they are even attacked in their tent on a tense, sleepless night. The next day help comes in the form of Zach (Reece Shearsmith), an eccentric loner who lives deep in the woods. He offers some painful but much-needed help—this is roughly where the squeamish may want to go make a sandwich and read a book—but soon begins acting erratically with a mix of metaphysical ramblings and homicidal tendencies.
By the time they contact Dr. Wendle, it is unclear who they can trust as their journey into the heart of darkness takes on an increasingly mysterious, psychedelic tone.
“In the Earth” is a trippy movie that nonetheless feels earthbound. No matter how weird the going gets, and it does get strange, masks, isolation, HAZMAT-suits and talk of quarantine and being outside for the first time in forever, ground the story in all too familiar terms. The postapocalyptic vibe is all too real, but the Pagan alchemist rituals, evil spirits and a dollop of paranoia provide the journey into the heart of darkness and the absurdist comedy integral to Wheatley’s style.
Some will call “In the Earth” a horror film, but it isn’t really. The repeated home surgery scenes are woozy-making, and the strobe effects are unsettling, but your pulse will never quicken. Then there’s the under developed characters. You may feel sorry for them when weird things happen, but it’s hard to be invested in them.
What that leaves you with is a movie that offers up a handful of ambitious notions about science vs. religion and some extra-ghastly visuals but, at best, it’s about intellectual dread; all ideas and no emotion.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the bruising “First Round Down” and the grim and grimy “I, Daniel Blake.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the big weekend movies, the giddy “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the delicious documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” the bruising “First Round Down” and the grim and grimy “I, Daniel Blake.”
For more than five decades Ken Loach has made powerful, realistic films about topics Hollywood steadfastly ignores. From “Cathy Come Home’s” bleak look at the inflexibility of the British welfare system to his twenty-fourth feature, “I, Daniel Blake,” the director has never wavered in his uncompromising approach to presenting social commentary on screen.
English comedian Dave Johns plays the title character, a Newcastle woodworker who suffers a heart attack on the job. He’s determined to get back to work as soon as possible but a paperwork snafu keeps him at home while his own computer illiteracy—“If you give me a plot of land I’ll build you a house but I’ve never been near a computer,” he says—stalls his plan to appeal his capability assessment. His once steady income reduced to dribs and drabs he protests, spray-painting, “I, Daniel Blake, demand my appeal date before I starve,” on a building. He is arrested and released but still waiting for his appeal date and the dignity of being treated like a human being, not a number on a file.
“I, Daniel Blake” is bleak. From Daniel’s grim spirit-breaking situation to Katie (Hayley Squires), a desperate single mom who prostitutes herself to make money to feed her kids, the movie is a portrait of nightmarish bureaucracy, privatized public services and despair. Brimming with the filmmaker’s passion and anger, it’s a movie that doesn’t offer much in the way of hope but plenty in the way of outrage. Loach’s approach is unsentimental, naturalistic. The first half contains some dark humour as Daniel tries to navigate Kafka-esque rules and regulations to collect his “jobseeker’s allowance” but by the time Katie is staving of starvation with stolen beans things take a bleak turn.