140 words: Dead Silence


Jamie’s life is suddenly destroyed when a mysterious ventriloquist doll arrives on his doorstep. As he unravels the mystery he finds himself unravelling the horror that haunts an old American town.

This movie completed the James Wan set for me. Dead Silence, regardless of the annoying characters and paint-by-numbers horror tropes peppering the narrative, I really enjoyed this film. There is something about the way Wan uses the camera which I feel is adventurous, original and believe could class him as an auteur. And it’s pretty damn creepy!

The final scene does go some way to plug a few of the gaping plot holes, yet it still goes in tandem with one’s expectations for a generic horror movie. Overall, you can tell it’s a Wan movie, it’s exciting, but you may find yourself shouting at the screen during Dead Silence!


140 words: Somm


Four American sommeliers attempt to pass one of the hardest entry exams in the world; the Master Sommelier.

Before I watched Somm I thought sommeliers were guys/girls that knew more than most about wine and who got pissed at work. Oh, how I was wrong.

This documentary paints a picture of dedication at the cost of everything in the lives of the examinee. These guys spend HOURS a day revising, and until the early hours of the morning. The information they have to know about wine, grapes and regions verges on the absolutely bizarre. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the fact they were drinking alcohol; obviously there are dangers with that, which I felt was a big thing to miss out.

Somm was definitely worth the rental, and I’m about to pop a New Zealand sauvignon blanc in honour!

140 words: Exam


8 ambitious job candidates are tasked with completing an entry exam. The only rules are the rules of the invigilator. Will a candidate be selected for the job?

Exam is a British, smart, culturally-relevant thriller about the medicine industry. It’s not scared to stay ambiguous and doesn’t patronise the audience, and there is little if any exposition; the movie just exists and you are supposed to accept their world.

The dialogue was a bit forced occasionally, however there was a good ramping of tension, which worked in tandem with the character motivation being bled slowly to us.

The cinematographer managed to make a movie about an exam in one room exciting, and it dealt with questions and what people do in a desperate pursuit for answers. The reveal at the end worked really well and I recommend Exam to everyone!

140 words; Nightmare on Elm Street (2012)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

“If you die in your dreams, you die for real”. Please, get these kids some Valium.

Another year, another remake. This time it’s the 80s classic, Nightmare on Elm Street; the original, a film about rich, suburban families living in a class bubble. However, any allegory here is lost.

Instead we get the Saw-esque, green-tinted, post-industrial griminess. A slasher movie trope is leering at the female form, however this just takes it to new, lurid levels. It’s horrible and valueless.

The movie is just lazy jump scare after lazy jump scare. We are thrown in the deep end without any character development, and nothing happens throughout. Kids get killed, and by the end I wanted everyone to die, even the ‘final girl’.

Nightmare on Elm Street has extremely high production values, yet it has absolutely zero cinematic value. Avoid.