Richard appears on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week he has a look at the new Idris Elba thriller “Beast,” the campy horror of “Orphan: First Kill” and Jamie Foxx, vampire slayer, in “Day Shift.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to buy a train ticket! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the man vs. nature thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Sharp Stick.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Idris Elba vs. angry lion thriller “Beast,” “Sharp Stick,” the latest from Lena Dunham, the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the man vs. nature thriller “Beast,” the creepy kid movie “Orphan: First Kill” and the coming-of-age story “Carmen.”
Thirteen years after creepy kid Esther was revealed to be a grown woman in the original thriller “Orphan,” she’s back in a prequel that sets up the events of the first film. Isabelle Fuhrman returns to play the crazed-killer orphan of the title, a thirty-something woman afflicted with a hormone disorder that stunted her physical growth. “She never grew older,” says her doctor, “at least on the outside.”
The action in “Orphan: First Kill,” begins at the Saarne Institute, an Estonian psychiatric hospital, home to a dangerous killer named Leena (Fuhrman). “Leena may look like a child but she is a grown woman.”
One murderous rampage later, she escapes, and, after some quick on-line research, finds a missing kid she resembles. Using the name Esther, she makes her way to Connecticut, and poses as the long-lost daughter of Allen (Rossif Sutherland) and Tricia Albright’s (Julia Stiles). She rocks a Wednesday Addams kind look, wearing old-fashioned ribbons in her hair to disguise the scars from the electric shock treatment at the hospital, and says she picked up her heavy accent after being kidnapped and taken to Russia.
Greeted warmly by Allen and Tricia, son Gunnar (Matthew Finlan) isn’t as overjoyed. “She has an accent now and dresses like Lizzie Borden,” he says when asked what Esther is like since her return.
So far, the movie echoes the original film, but then comes a twist that gives new meaning to the old saying about cleaning up after the kids.
“Orphan: First Kill” maintains the mix of camp and gore that made the first movie memorable. The thirty-year-old killer in the body of a child is an absurd premise, but it’s handled with the right amount of dark humor, style and bloody kills, and is campy good fun. Much of this has to do with the twist—which I can’t tell you about—but it also helps that Fuhrman, who last played this character when she was a preteen, is able to sell the idea of Esther as a child-woman.
Director William Brent Bell uses a number of tricks, like forced perspective and child actor doubles, to create the illusion that Esther is a teenager that creates a sense of continuity with the first film. Thirteen years is a long layover between movies, but the two films fit together snugly.
“Orphan: First Kill” may be the prequel nobody was waiting for, but after a slow start in the movie’s first half, it picks up and freshens up the story with a ghoulishly fun twist and some good creepy kid action.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including new Ethan Hawke thriller “Zeros and Ones,” the psychological drama “Marionette,” the return of ray Donovan in “Ray Donovan: The Movie” and the Shudder Canada’s “The Last Thing Mary Saw.”
“The Last Thing Mary Saw,” a new film about sexual repression, and now streaming on Shudder Canada, is more about mood and atmosphere and the toll that fear takes on people than it is about horror.
When we first meet Mary (Stefanie Scott), she is blindfolded, blood tickling down her cheeks, under interrogation regarding her grandmother’s (Judith Roberts) “sudden departure.”
Suspected of being a witch, one of her captors assesses the situation. “It is not our responsibility to give the devil a chance to repent. He must perish with her.”
Sombre and creepy, it is just the beginning of Mary’s unsettling journey.
Jump cut back in time to 1843 in rural Southold, New York. Much to the horror of her devout parents, Mary is having a love affair with Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman), the family’s maid. “Our daughter’s ears are deaf to the Lord’s preachings,” her father tells the soon-to-be-gone the family matriarch. “She continues to engage in acts with the help.”
Instead of sending the maid on her way, it’s decided the young lovers will be subjected to “corrections,” a torturous religious punishment wherein they are forced to kneel on grains of rice and recite Bible passages. “Mary and the maid played dangerous games and were punished accordingly.” Unsurprisingly, the rudimentary conversion therapy doesn’t work, and Mary and Eleanor continue to clandestinely see one another.
When they are discovered, lives are shattered as a mysterious character named The Intruder (Rory Culkin) enters the story.
“The Last Thing Mary Saw” isn’t particularly scary in its violence or visuals, save for a deeply unpleasant dinner scene, but it is chilling filmmaking. First time director Edoardo Vitaletti calibrates each scene, including a long, virtually silent middle section, for maximum discomfort.
Repression covers the entire film like a shroud, as Mary and Eleanor attempt to live their lives away from the fear and religious fervor spawned by Mary’s pious parents. Human nature is the boogeyman here, not Mary’s alleged witchcraft.
The forced clandestine nature of their relationship is enhanced by Vitaletti’s shadowy, candle lit photography. It is restrained and sophisticated throughout, etching some unforgettable images in the viewer’s imaginations.
On the downside, the restraint, while moody, feels as though the movie is holding back, stopping just short of fully embracing its horror elements. This straightforward, serious treatment undersells the creepy elements that could have made the story as memorable as the images.