Category Archives: thriller

Wind River – Taylor Sheridan (2017)

“Fargo” without the humour makes a pretty heavy watch. Not that there is nothing to laugh in “Wind River”, but this film is mostly a gloomy thriller with quite some drama.

Both “Fargo” and “Wind River” are based on true events and play in the icy lands of North America.

A native American girl is found frozen on a hill. The local police calls in the FBI and a somewhat green FBI agent arrives unprepared for the harsh climate and for the local people.

The story unfolds slowly which is well done. The film also features some great music that goes well with the long shots of snowy mountains. The director manages to show the hard life in an extremely cold climate.

A good film indeed.

Sleuth – Kenneth Branagh (2007)

An elderly man living in an extremely modern house has his wife’s lover as a guest. He decides to play a game with him.

What unfolds is a minimalistic film that plays mostly in one house and has only two actors: Michael Caine and Jude Law, whose characters try to outwit the other. This makes an alright film.

What makes the film somewhat better is that it is a remake of a film from 1972 in which Michael Caine played the wife’s lover. Caine certainly has a sense of humor.

Antitrust – Peter Howitt (2001)

An older film with a still contemporary story. In the early scenes we follow a group of computer geeks programming open source. There is one big software company buying all good ideas thus trying to create a monopoly while their ambitions for integration of software and devices become bigger and bigger. The privacy issue is not really addressed yet, but for the rest the film shows much of the dangers of integrated software that we know today.

One of the nerds goes to work for the big company and a nice discussion about open source versus big money unfolds. Along the line the young many of course starts to get an idea of what the big company is up to and creates a plan to unmask them.

“Antitrust” is a not too great thriller with a descent story that still makes sense today. And of course it is funny to see what were the hippest devices back then.

Mother! – Darren Aronofsky (2017)

There was so much attention for this film, that I did not think it would be so strange.

Aronofsky made a couple of great films in a variety of genres. “Mother!” is hard to put a genre on though. It starts as a drama with slightly weird elements, but it slowly becomes a thriller or maybe even horror and the story gets stranger and stranger too. Where some other Aronofskys are very strong emotionally, “Mother!” did not work for my like that. It is entertaining though. The film gets so weird that I need to watch it again some time to figure out what the director actually wanted with it.

The story in short. A young woman lives together with a much older man in a gigantic and remote house that she is refurbishing while he is trying to revive his career as a writer. He is a very social person, continuously inviting people to the house, much to the demise of his wife. This inviting of people runs out of hand and then Aronofsky comes with a strange twist at the end.

Certainly not bad. Perhaps a bit too odd to already say if it is really good or not.

Il Cartaio – Dario Argento (2004)

Argento has been one of the big names in the Italian horror genre “giallo” for a couple of decades. I have seen a few of those. The films are mostly marked by beautiful women, over-acting and bright-red-blood-splattering. With “The Card Player” I saw a more recent film from the genre.

The acting is still awful. The Italian actors try to speak English and Argento still seems to try to shock with brutality and weeping women. I am afraid it all is unconvincing to me…

The police from Rome has to play online poker against a kidnapper who kills his victims when he wins the game. The story unfolds with no surprises and the film only gets interesting in a vague scene about halfway.

Not my type of film I fear.

Closed Circuit – John Crowley (2013)

In the 1990’ies the court thriller was a real genre. “Closed Circuit” is a bit of an updated version of that genre.

In a contemporary story we follow the events after a terrorist attack in London. One suspect is apprehended and brought to court. Two ex-lovers are assigned to defend him, but it soon becomes clear that the man is already convicted.

Crowley made a descent court thriller that becomes a bit more of an action thriller as the film goes on. The film has wel built-up tension.

Perhaps an unsurprising, but certainly descent film.

Solace – Afonso Poyart (2015)

Another serial killer thriller in which an FBI team consults a psychic who is played by Anthony Hopkins. Of course the FBI team has a skeptical member who grows to being a believer.

“Solace” starts as an alright thriller. The story has no surprises, but the atmosphere improves when the film gets a bit vaguer in the second half. Hopkins is again good in his role as creepy old man.

A descent thriller in a milked out genre and with no surprises.

Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford (2016)

This not too convincing film contains two stories. In the ‘real world’ we follow a rich art-lady whose life does not go exactly as she hoped. She receives the manuscript of a book of her ex and that story is the other half of “Nocturnal Animals”.

In the book a family is driven off an abandoned road. The man is dropped out of a car, the wife and daughter are later found dead. With the help of a policeman, the man tries to find the men responsible.

Both stories start to run through each other. This results in a few descent scenes, but overall the film is a not too good drama with thriller elements.

Breach – Billy Ray (2007)

I do not mind a typical Hollywood production every once in a while, but two in a weekend was a bit too much.

“Breach” is a descent, but unsurprising, spy thriller in which a young FBI-agent-to-be is assigned to follow the tracks of a high ranked colleague and spy. Of course the two grow a bond and the young man is tossed between loyalty to his new boss (and subject) and his employer.

Not badly done, but like I said, very unsurprising.

Cure – Kiyoshi Kurosawa (1997)

A not too convincing crime thriller from the far East. “Cure” has a fairly slow pace, but does have the Eastern bloodiness. Storywise the film reminds of a particular X-Files episode.

A city is plagued by a series of gruesome and similar murders, but each time with another killer. The police sets out to find the pattern which indeed they find out giving the film a psychological twist.

Like I said, not too great.