Hey guys I’m really lazy with the format for this one. Recently been on a thriller bender and instead of stretching them out to 3 separate reviews I thought I would just do a few mini write ups. Hopefully you can maybe hear about a film you haven’t seen yet, so let’s get into it.
First up is Possessor which is the 2nd feature length directed film by Brandon Cronenberg. It is certainly a film that will make daddy proud, as it has phenomenal special effects works. I particularly enjoyed the use of latex masks and wax figures to make some shocking and terrifying imagery. The film is at its best when it is being a surrealist horror; messing with your mind with cryptic imagery will using the practical effects to make it all seem so palpable.
Sadly, outside of some genius craftsmanship there’s not much to fall in love with here. I do like when the movie gets into some dystopian concepts. One of my favorite scenes is seeing that the guy works at a data mining company. However, in this dystopian extreme, the company hacks into cameras within your household devices. The funny part being that this highly intrusive invasion of privacy is all to figure out what curtains people use. I thought this was pretty clever commentary, so it was upsetting that moments like this were far and few between.
Instead, most of how Possessor chooses to fill the runtime feels meandering. A lot of less favorable reviews mention that this is a short film concept stretched out into a feature length and I do have to agree. Not saying that the premise couldn’t make for a compelling two hours but this film’s case for being that long is rather poor. Possessor is about a hitman agency that uses experimental technology to place their agent into another person so they can frame an unsuspecting person of carrying out the murder/suicide.
However, with little said about how exactly the logistics of this operation works, it really leaves you wondering why it doesn’t seem well thought out. Like if the job is to kill two targets who are related to one another and it never specifies how they implant people into a person of interest. If they can just enter someone whenever they desire, why wouldn’t they just do it when all the targets are together. Why would they make the person go undercover for multiple days, it all seems unnecessary? There are other elements of drama with the main characters personal life but it never unfolds into anything that feels greatly coherent.
Shame that ideas don’t come together the best but still some fun ideas and visuals.
You’ve seen this movie before, even if you haven’t heard of this iteration of it. I popped this in expecting a popcorn flick thriller and I can’t say it didn’t deliver that. This is a fine flick if you want to try to see Madelaine Petsch explore her acting range ever so slightly outside of the typical Riverdale affair. I think her performance is fine on her end, though I think maybe she could have been directed better. I feel like her movements feel really unnatural for a blind person. Just because you’re touching the wall doesn’t mean you’d be walking so fast across the room.
My favorite part of the film is how they use blindness. In the film they use the fact that the character is blind to warp reality towards their perspective. Objects in a room or what they themselves are aware of and things change when additional information is presented. It’s a really cool trick that does serve for some great story beats, but I feel like a better script would have taken more advantage of such a concept.
I think the issue is that is a run of the mill thriller that tries to pull of a shocking twist or unexpected conclusion that it loses sight of personal narrative and conflicts. In order to seem like a wild and unexpected turn of events it really just becomes convoluted. Not to spoil too much but if you think of how much time, effort, and money would go into pulling of this scheme. It’s improbable and it’s lunacy to even accept it other than a means to an end of this story.
The Little Things (2021)
A rather fitting title as it is correct, it is about the little things or rather lack thereof. A lot of the negativity around this film is somewhat unjust, as this film is less about reaching a conclusion but more a psychological character piece. While the film is surrounded by a straightforward crime drama mystery, it’s more there to be the catalyst for a tale on destructive behavior, mainly obsession. Each character has something that they take too far and suffer the consequences for it.
The issue is that The Little Things doesn’t offer the little things that turn a good film to a great film. It’s about what you’d expect from the director and writer of The Blind Side. It’s not bad but it looks almost too clean and by the books. Admittedly I found some of the lighting designs and scene transitions spectacular, but those shots are too few and far in between. Same goes with the script that plays out like a film that’s just a 2 decades out of place. There’s a lot of clever lines and pinches of humor but the aloofness for this type of film doesn’t exactly work here.
I think my main issue and one that summarizes the major complaints across critics and audiences it would be this. Most people are more open to surreal and extraordinary cases, but they want realistic detective work. This movie has been compared to Se7en a surprising number of times especially when it more appropriately fits a poor man’s Zodiac. Se7en is a completely unrealistic case that would never happen and if it did it would be national news. It’s far too elaborate and theatrical but it’s an interesting and exciting premise. A maniac killing based on the 7 deadly sins, while it’s unbelievable it’s the kind of case you want to solve.
From Silence to the Lambs to Heavy Rain people enjoy a case that feels cinematic, grand, larger than life. So, if this is what everyone loves then how is this flick considered unrealistic. It’s because the detective work is not. Rami Malek and Denzel Washington just do absurd things that we the audience conclude that we would never do let alone a professional PI. I understand it’s purpose is to show how reckless they are becoming but sorry I agree with people that turning your back, with your gun in a clearly visible to a suspected killer is infuriatingly stupid. Sure there are cases like arguably Memento were the person solving the mystery can be extremely unconventional but this film never reaches that level of surrealism.
Honestly, I disagree with the consensus on this one I thought it was mildly entertaining and worth giving a watch. It’s nothing special and it will quickly be forgotten in favor of the aforementioned films. Rather you go watch Prisoners, Gone Girl or Nocturnal Animals but if you want a new thriller this one is certainly watchable but probably soon forgotten.