When this film first came out I really wanted to go and see it, unfortunately the opportunity just passed me by. However, when the chance came up to watch it at home, I jumped straight to it. Although almost everyone out there who does film reviews has already reviewed this film, I will just let you in on what I thought.
Is this a “horror” movie?
I don’t really watch horror movies. The only two I had seen before this were: IT and Alien: Covenant. I only choose to watch films from the genre if I feel I’ll get something out of it other than the scares, in which case I don’t really know why I saw Alien: Covenant (not that it was very scary.) Anyway as this film had been so critically acclaimed, and adored by fans, I felt I just had to see it despite it’s horror tag. While watching the film, despite my limited knowledge of the horror genre, I knew this film was doing something different. Obviously, there were elements of this film that were horrific, weird and unsettling; but instead of them relying on some supernatural entity to build tension or make you fearful they just had people acting very strangely to make you uneasy. I do believe it falls under the wide bracket of a horror, however, I think it does so much more than what you would expected from a typical horror film, in terms of: plot development and progression into the third act. The final chapter of a film is often it’s downfall, especially in modern horror films. But this film really flipped that thought on it’s head. Although I may not be the person to make this judgement, due to my clear lack of horror knowledge, I can only judge on what I have seen.
Could it win Best Picture?
I have now seen eight of the nine Best Picture nominees, with only Phantom Thread missing my viewing, so I can now make a more informed choice on who I think will win the Oscar.
My order of preference for the best picture nominees is as follows:
- Call Me by Your Name- A truly exceptional piece of work that is just absolutely beautiful. It is effortlessly crafted and has no faults as far as I’m concerned.
- Get Out- An incredible horror film. Tense and engaging throughout, which makes it very hard to find a fault. And to think this is the directorial debut for Jordan Peele.
- The Shape of Water- Elegant and stylish. This film is masterminded by Guillermo del Toro and is just beautiful to watch. Slows down at points but generally sleek.
- Dunkirk- Very interesting film from Christopher Nolan. Great interweaving of stories but at points the changing time periods just left me confused.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri- Great mix of dark humour and genuine grit. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell are the real standouts. But I didn’t like the ending.
- Lady Bird- Directorial debut for Greta Gerwig presents an enjoyable, but underwhelming film. Emotive in places and strong performances Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf hold it together.
- The Post- A documentary style drama that informed and intrigued the audience. I thought it was solid but could have just gone straight to TV.
- Darkest Hour- I didn’t really enjoy this film but the performances from a fantastic ensemble, lead by Gary Oldman, made it bearable.
My order of who I think will win (from the 8 I have seen):
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Lady Bird
- Get Out
- The Shape of Water
- Call Me By Your Name
- Darkest Hour
- The Post
I think Get Out has a genuine shot at winning Best Picture. I think it would be a shock if it beat Three Billboards and Lady Bird, but for me it is up there. I will talk more about the all the nominees in my Oscar predictions post this Saturday.
What did I think?
Positives- I loved so many things about this film including:
- Great Acting- Daniel Kaluuya is exceptional but his performance is greatly accentuated thanks to the entire supporting ensemble. They both deceive and make us feel uneasy throughout the course of this movie and I really liked that.
- Great Narrative- The plot is structured and delivered in such away that tension never stops building throughout this film. Even the initial opening sequence is exciting and instantly throws us into the full swing of the film, setting a interesting tone immediately.
- Maintained intrigue into the third act- A lot of films, horror or not, good or bad, can lose there way quite dramatically when progressing into the final chapter. This film is a clear exception to that rule. The twists and turns at the end don’t just maintain intrigue, they really improve the film which was pretty incredible considering how great it was already. Throughout the film the characters had very wide character arcs that grew explosively in this final section…
- Genuine Unpredictability- I will say nothing on this to maintain the surprise, for if you haven’t already seen it.
- Great direction- Jordan Peele does a great job with this film and his direction makes such an alien subject feel personal.
From watching this film I feel converted to the horror genre. From now on, I will try to go to the cinema more often, to see some of the horror films that I previously would have let just pass me by.
Negatives- I thought generally this film was negative free. However, I would have liked to know a little bit more about the characters before we ended up at Rose’s parents house and also some may say that this film is not scary enough and I agree to an extent but it worked for me. Finally, at the very end of the film, I thought of another strain of plot that would really take this film to the next level involving Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his friend. This is not necessarily a criticism but just something that I would have liked.
Conclusion- What a great film. When watching the film I only thought about the characters struggles and was completely engaged with their plights. Clearly, I have listed a few negatives but these were mere after-thoughts and didn’t change my feeling towards the film overall.
My Rating- 9/10
My amended top 3 of the year:
- Call Me By Your Name
- Get Out
- The Shape of Water
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