Plot: Lily (Cailee Spaeny) and her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) have always been a team. Now that Helen has met Adam (David Duchovny) and fallen in love, they are moving to a new town together so Helen can be with him. For Lily, it may be a chance to start over socially. Instead she has a rather mortifying start at school and is immediately teased by Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine). But her classmates Lourdes (Zoey Luna), Frankie (Gideon Adlon) and Tabby (Lovie Simone) show her some kindness. What Lily doesn’t know yet: the three girls are witches looking for a fourth to complete their coven. And they may just have found that in Lily.
The Craft: Legacy is more an update of the original Craft film than a sequel, and I have to say that it is an update that I appreciated a lot since it rectifies some of the (narrative) mistakes that the first movie made. I really enjoyed it.
Plot: After their friend Rob (Paul Reid) is killed during a robbery, Hutch (Robert James-Collier), Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Arsher Ali) and Dom (Sam Troughton) go to Sweden together to go on the hiking trip that Rob suggested just before he died. Despite not being very experienced hikers, everything goes well until Dom falls and twists his ankle. They decide to deviate from the original plan and go through the forest instead of around it. But there is something in the forest. Something that is hunting them.
The Ritual starts off well enough when establishing its characters and their situation. But once it would have been time to really dig in to that, it turns to scariness instead and loses its grip on the story and the audience watching.
Plot: Ever since the death of her parents, her mother dying only recently, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) has been feeling at a loss as she has no other family. Or so she thought. On a whim, she sends in a DNA kit to a website connecting relatives and lo and behold, there is a cousin of hers in the UK – Oliver (Hugh Skinner). And Oliver is not only overjoyed to meet Evie, he is also rich enough to invite her back to the UK to attend a wedding in the extended family and meet everybody. That includes not only her family, but also Walt (Thomas Doherty), her most charming host. But even as Evie settles into the luxurious life of old money, she can’t shake the sense that there is something more going on here.
The Invitation is not great, but it is good enough to be entertaining and Nathalie Emmanuel is radiant. Plus, it has the most menacing manicure I have ever seen in my life.
Plot: After basically the entire world was overrun by zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is making her way through the desert, always looking for survivors that may need help, and simply surviving herself. Also making their way through the desert is Claire (Ali Larter) and her convoy that includes Carlos (Oded Fehr), looking for food and fuel wherever they can find it. Meanwhile, Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) is experimenting at the Umbrella corporation, hoping for a way to capitalize on Alice and on the zombies. All of their paths are bound to cross.
Resident Evil: Extinction is, I think, my favorite of the Resident Evil movies so far (this is not an endorsement). That’s not because it is particularly good, but it is a decent, albeit uninspired genre exercise that plays nicely with what came in the series before it.
Plot: Since his father (Keith David) died in a freak accident, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) has been trying to keep their horse farm – with horses trained for movie making – afloat more or less on his own. His sister Emerald (Keke Palmer) taking over the more people-oriented tasks when she can. But OJ has had to sell some horses to their neighbor, Jupe Park (Steven Yeun), former child actor, who now runs a Western village for tourists. When Emerald comes to the farm for a few days, they realize that there is something floating above them, something obviously alien. They are determined to catch it on camera.
With Nope, Peele continues his line of unusual and very political horror movies. Nope is his least scary film, I’d say, and maybe his most messy, but that messiness, and the film in general are always interesting and meaningful.
Content Note: (critical treatmen of) racism against muslims
Plot: Elias (Carl Anton Koch) and his mother Nadja (Peri Baumeister) are flying to the USA. Nadja is sick, and a doctor there has promised to be able to heal her. Everything seems to be going well until their plan is hijacked. As things turn more and more tense and outright bloody on board and Muslim passengers like Farid (Kais Setti) get singled out by the hijackers for some reason, Elias tries to hide. As the hijackers turn their attention to him and Nadja, it becomes apparent that there is more to Nadja’s illness than appeared at first.
My expectations for Blood Red Sky weren’t particularly high, but they were disappointed anyway as it is a vampire movie that is just no fun, despite the nice idea.
Plot: Raccoon City seems to be just getting back to its feet after what happened at the Hive, when the next catastrophe strikes and the city is overrun by zombies. Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes in the hospital amidst the chaos as one of only a handful of people still in the city and not yet zombified. To contain the zombies, a bomb is supposed to be dropped in the city, and if Alice doesn’t find a way out by then, she will surely die. Teaming up with other survivors, they look for an escape. But zombies aren’t the only thing that the Umbrella Corporation experimented with – and there are more surprises to come.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is actually a little better than Resident Evil, not that that’s saying much. But there are some good action moments, the male gaze is dialled down a bit and the plot is a little more coherent.
Plot: Harper (Jessie Buckley) has had a bad time with her husband James (Paapa Essiedu), and that’s putting it mildly. As they are no longer together, Harper decides that a break is in order. She rents a landhouse, a small estate in a tiny village, from jovial Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear) and hopes to just have a calm two weeks away from everything. But it doesn’t work out that way.
Men is quite a film. I found it utterly engaging and deeply weird in the most interesting of ways. It is definitely the kind of film you will want to spend some time discussing with many people.
Plot: The Umbrella Corporation runs a sophisticated laboratory where they do secret experiments. But something goes wrong. Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself just outside of the laboratory without her memories, but with a man, Spence (James Purefoy). Both are quickly picked up by a military unit who are trying to get into the research facility to stop whatever is happening there that seems to have to do with a supercomputer going rogue. Whether Alice and Spence want to or not, they are along for the ride.
I have never seen anything in the Resident Evil franchise, and I decided to give it a go. If I am correctly informed, the films get better after the first. It is hard to imagine that they can get worse in any case.
Plot: Finney (Mason Thames) and his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) live in a small town with their alcoholic father (Jeremy Davies). Boys have been going missing from the town for a while, and there are persistent rumors of The Grabber who nabs them. Finney finds that The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) is very real indeed when he himself is taken and locked into a sound-proof cellar. Desperate, Finney sees no way to escape. But then the disconnected phone on the wall starts ringing, and The Grabber’s previous victims start to give Finney advice. Meanwhile, Gwen tries everything to find Finney, and since she sometimes sees things in her dreams, she might actually be able to help.
The Black Phone is an atmospheric and very scary film that you shouldn’t look at too closely when it comes to plot.