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The Invisible Man / Malignant / Smile

Reed Rothchild


Which ones have you seen?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Which ones have you seen?

    • The Invisible Man (2020)
    • Malignant (2021)
    • Smile (2022)
    • None of the above

The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man (2020) - IMDb

When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax.

Originally part of Universal's failed attempt to update all of their classic horror franchises and make it some sort of connected cinematic universe.  Thank God that didn't work out, because it meant this thing landed in Leigh Whannell's lap, and he took things in a decidedly different direction.  A much, much better direction.

If you've seen the trailer for this movie you can probably guess a significant amount of the plot.  Luckily, the execution is so tight here that it doesn't matter what you think you know.

And Elisabeth Moss is spectacular as the lead.  Massive snub by the Academy to overlook her because it's a genre flick.

Malignant (2021)

Malignant (2021) - IMDb

Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

Speaking of Leigh Whannell, his partner in crime, James Wan, returned from the world of blockbusters to helm this horror comeback, something of a modern giallo.  And in doing so made his best movie.  Holy shit is this thing a good time.

One of the things I love most about this flick is that it intentionally fucks with your preconception that this is going to be another Insidious or Conjuring.  Watch the trailer and tell me that isn't what you think that is.  Everything is crafted to set you up.  And then...

Well, let's just say shit gets crazy in the third act.  Don't look into it, or read anything.  Just watch it.

Smile (2022)

Smile (2022) - IMDb

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, a psychiatrist becomes increasingly convinced she is being threatened by an uncanny entity.

A movie completely indebted to It Follows (and The Ring).  Which isn't a bad thing; the best horror films of the last decade should be inspiring the next generation of films.  I'm all for it.

And besides, what it lacks  in originally, it makes up in execution.  This is another film where you can are never allowed a moment to breath, because there is no easing of tension.  Not for the entire runtime.  It's a bold choice, but I think it pays off brilliantly. 

It's not one of the very best horror films of the last decade, but it's certainly a lot of fun.

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The Invisible Man is the best Rosemary's Baby-like that's not Rosemary's Baby. It really blew me away!

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Oh, I hated The Invisible Man remake. For whatever reason, and I acknowledge that it is probably undeserved, I don't like Elisabeth Moss as an actress. So, anything she is in is already a hard sell for me. But my wife wanted to watch this and I thought it might be fun. As it turns out, I didn't mind Moss in this film. I wasn't particularly wowed by her performance but I actually think the film would have been far worse if it hadn't been for her talents to save it. I suppose it was just the overall script, the pretty blatant telegraphing (I don't know if I'm alone in this but I knew IMMEDIATELY what was happening, who the villain was and how things were going to end) and the frankly quite stupid approach to try to make "invisibility" plausible within the film's setting. Yeah...this film felt frustrating to watch and one of the least enjoyable "person becomes invisible" stories I've seen.

I originally passed on Malignant thinking that it was going to be "just another possession/Conjuring spook-um" but from everything I've heard (which, at this point, is pretty much the entire film) it actually sounds like a level of shlock that I'll find rather fun. So, I plan on checking that out at some point.

Update: Watched it as part of a double-feature night with the wife. I'm torn on the film as a whole. The schlock was pretty much everything I had imagined based on what I'd heard and that helped keep it entertaining. My favorite element was probably the effects used during the "transition" scenes, as the scenery melts away and transforms into another location. Every time it happened, I was furiously scanning the image, trying to soak in all the details of those morph effects. There were also the "centerpiece" scenes which featured some really great camera work and fight choreography. It was occasionally difficult to track exactly what was happening in those moments because I think it would sometimes jump-cut too aggressively but they were probably the highlight of the movie. The rest of it (the majority of connecting scenes, the script, score, acting, etc.) was...passable-to-bad. I also think the film would have been much, MUCH stronger if the opening, pre-credit scene had been left out. Maybe it was added out of worry that the opening would otherwise be too slow for the average audience member but it actually kind of ruins any suspense by essentially explaining what's happening before the movie even really begins. I seriously got some Darkplace vibes from that opening scene...and I don't think that was intentional. It contributed to the constant giggling I did throughout the film. So, did I enjoy it? Overall, yeah...I think so. It was the kind of ridiculous absurdity that kept me entertained just enough to suffer through the less interesting bits. Would I watch it again? Probably not. Outside of revisiting those cool-looking "transition" moments, I just don't think there's enough there.

I don't know that I've even heard of Smile but I'll have to look into it.

Edited by Webhead123
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14 hours ago, Webhead123 said:

I don't know if I'm alone in this but I knew IMMEDIATELY what was happening, who the villain was

I don't think the movie was trying to obscure that. The only thing that's really undetermined for the first few beats of the movie is whether the protagonist is an unreliable narrator.

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7 hours ago, Sumez said:

I don't think the movie was trying to obscure that. The only thing that's really undetermined for the first few beats of the movie is whether the protagonist is an unreliable narrator.

I think you're right. Again, I think Moss' performance may be the only saving grace of the film for me. You do kinda buy her sense of paranoia and desperation. But yeah, the entire rest of the film just did not hold together for me and I was positively begging for it to end. I blame the script.

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