Watch Richard Crouse review three movies in less time than it takes to to button up your shirt! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the well dressed thriller “The Outfit,” the tense college thriller “Master” and the “adult” horror of “X.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the bespoke thriller “The Outfit,” the erotic thriller “Deep Water,” the wholesome family flick “Cheaper by the Dozen,” and a pair of horror film, “Master” and “X.”
Richard joins host Jim Richards of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about the the stylish crime drama “The Outfit,” the college horror “Master” and the “adult” scares of “X.” Then, we learn about the most stylish man who ever lived and the drink named after him.
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the well dressed thriller “The Outfit,” the tense college thriller “Master,” the “adult” horror of “X,” the non-erotic, non-thrilling “Deep Water” and the wholesome “Cheaper by the Dozen.”
Richard joins 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 bespoke gangster film “The Outfit,” the tense college thriller “Master” and the “adult” horror of “X.”
Horror and social commentary are longtime bedmates. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” for example, is an allegory for 1950s fear of communism. “Frankenstein” warns of technology gone amok. More recently “Get Out” was a powerful condemnation of racism. “Master,” a new Regina Hall film now on Prime Video, confronts white supremacy in a story about legacy and the sins of the past.
“Master,” set at an upscale Massachusetts school built on land that was once the site of a Salem-era gallows, is the story of three African-American women. Liv Beckman (Amber Gray) is a literature professor battling against expectations and prejudices as she nears tenure. Gail Bishop (Regina Hall), is a tenured professor and the recently appointed student “Master.” “I am more than a professor,” she tells her students, “I am a confidante, an ally, a friend.”
Zoe Renee plays first-year student Jasmine Moore. When she arrives, she immediately becomes the talk of the campus as the new resident of room 302 in a co-ed dormitory called Belleville House. The other students whisper about supernatural activity and death in, what they ominously call, “the room.”
Each woman is forced to deal with a reckoning, whether it is the very real threat of insidious racism or the nightmarish reverberations of the Salem Witch Trials or both.
There are moments of stylish, elevated horror in “Master’s” handling of the historical haunting aspects of the story but it is in writer-director Mariama Diallo’s presentation of the allegorical dread of racism, microaggressions and exclusion experienced by the three lead characters that is truly terrifying.
The addition of real-life horror to the supernatural aspects of the tale deepens the movie’s effect, upping the atmosphere of unease and dread. The school’s current day institutional racism juxtaposed against the historical story of a bullied student who killed herself in Jasmine’s room decades ago because she thought a witch was stalking her, illuminates the privilege and bigotry in both timeframes.
“Master” is clunky at times, particularly near the end, but strong performances and deftly interwoven social commentary elevates the horror, exposing the ways that real life, injustice and privilege are often more disturbing than the ghostly realm.
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.
Watch Richard Crouse review three movies in less time than it takes to try on a new shade of lipstick! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about the animated “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” the home invasion flick “See for Me” and the post-apocalyptic “Mother/Android.”