Photo: Camila Kukulski

Rye does TIFF 2017: Film Reviews

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Mom and Dad – 4/5

By Jacob Dubé

After a chaotic screening of the short film Great Choice, a seven-minute descent into hell by way of a neverending Red Lobster commercial, Mom and Dad managed to maintain an exciting pace of suspense, horror and comedy.

Directed by Brian Taylor, starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair, the movie centres around a typical nuclear family—mom, dad, angsty teenage daughter and young son—in a world where parents suddenly begin hunting down and killing their kids.

Cage is fully aware of what people love about his acting (his meme-making history is well-known) and just plays it up to a whole new level in Mom and Dad. He’s both funny and scary, especially with his great rendition of the Hokey Pokey while destroying a pool table with a sledgehammer.

And with the help of his co-star Blair, they manage to ground this movie, filled with violence and a mes- sage that hits close to home: It’s all about the stress of settling down and what happens when you grow up and your dreams haven’t come true.

Cage’s character loses his fearlessness from when he was younger, and Blair’s loses her ambition. The people they used to be died when they had children, so they figure, why not return the favour?

Revenge – 5/5

Never have I seen a movie that both subverts the typical stereotypes of the male gaze while being so gory that people got so sick they called an ambulance until I saw Revenge.

Directed by Coralie Fargeat and starring Matilda Lutz, the French film is about a woman taking a vacation with her very-married-with-children boyfriend in the deserts of Morocco. But when his friends show up early for their annual hunting trip and take a very uncomfortable liking to her, things start going very wrong, and those wrongs desperately need to be righted.

The filming and presentation of this movie is refreshing. It’s true that Matilda Lutz’ character is attractive, but when Fargeat shows gratuitous shots of her body, you feel uncomfortable. You know the men around her are watching too, making you extremely aware of the trope of the male gaze, where films show what they think men will want to see. The director threw in a bunch of male nudity for good measure as well.

No movie in recent history has made me wonder just how much blood a human could lose like in Revenge. Coupled in with a very close-up scene of a man pulling a shard of glass out of his foot, it’s enough to make even the toughest movie-goer cringe.

But at its core, it’s still a movie on revenge. And boy, everybody that has it coming gets what they deserve. It’s satisfying through and through.

The Cured – 3/5

By Alanna Rizza

I’m not really into the whole zombie thing, and I don’t usually get scared watching horror films, but The Cured gave me goosebumps and had me transfixed for its entire 95 minute- run—even when the fire alarm went off during the climax of the film.

The horror/thriller is Irish director David Freyne’s feature debut, and it gives a refreshing perspective on a zombie apocalypse, specifically regarding what life is like after infected flesh-eating people are cured and reintegrated back into society.

Starring Ellen Page as Abbie, a single mother who takes in brother-in-law Senan after his release from quarantine. Page’s acting is genuine and heart-wrenching as she struggles with accepting that the infected had no control over their monstrous actions.

The zombies themselves gave me major whitewalker vibes from Game of Thrones. The makeup was incredible and whenever they attacked I jumped in my seat.

The Cured is a stimulating film that offers a look at how people can be naive in their sympathy as well as in their fear and selfishness. Zombies can’t be that bad after all.

Unicorn Store – 4/5

By Izabella Balcerzak

“We’re all just looking for happiness and maybe we can buy it in the store.” Brie Larson’s feature directorial debut, Unicorn Store, is a comedic, heart- felt, magical journey filled with glitter, rainbows and mystical creatures. Larson’s witty and colourful character Kit struggles with adapting into the adult world of office work and paperclips when her unicorn-obsession-turned art career goes under appreciated; that is, until a pop-up Unicorn Store, managed by eccentric unicorn salesman Samuel L. Jackson appears and sends Kit on a quest. If she completes the tasks, she gets her unicorn (and can finally name it Steve).

The humour feels like it’s glitter bombed throughout the script. It’s replete with awkward pauses, unwanted office sexual advances, sarcastic remarks and an applause-worthy vacuum presentation.

Kit’s nerdy do-gooder parents— played by the hilarious duo Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford—offer moments of comic relief with their intrusive yet quirky parenting style.

Floating along the whimsical and dazzling soundtrack, Unicorn Store explores the meaning of growing up and accepting who you are, star- studded PJs and all.

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