You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Thriller’ tag.

Let it be said: Ralph Fiennes is an extremely capable, even great, actor, but as Francis Dolarhyde, the twisted, enigmatic serial killer of Red Dragon, he’s nothing special. In broad strokes, his performance is effective and believable, but what results is a rather one-note portrayal of a demented, schizoprenic victim of child abuse. What’s lacking is any sense of pathos, so the film is reduced to surface pleasures: a perfunctory thriller without an emotional center.

Read the rest of this entry »

In his new psychosexual thriller Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky looks to Michael Powell’s 1948 classic The Red Shoes as his primary inspiration. In that film, a beautiful ballerina (Moira Shearer) is torn between her commitment to her art – driven to perfection under the firm and unyielding demands of a famed ballet impresario (Anton Walbrook) – and love. Pulled asunder by the opposing forces on either side of her, ballet ultimately destroys her. But while Powell’s melodramatic touch remains here, it’s layered with sexual tension, horror, and even comedy, giving it a far different (and more striking) tone than that film.

Read the rest of this entry »

Film adaptations of Stephen King novels are a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have masterpieces like Kubrick’s version of The Shining and De Palma’s Carrie. On the other hand, you have the TV miniseries of The Shining (which, ironically, King himself had a hand in due to his disappointment with Kubrick’s artistic license) and It which are forgettable at best (and often worse than that). On that scale, Misery falls somewhere in the middle – it’s certainly not a masterpiece, but it’s far better than some of the dreck with King’s name on it and proves itself a fairly creepy and efficient thriller.

Read the rest of this entry »

Where do you draw the line between self-aware parody and ridiculous melodrama? It’s not always an easy distinction to make and Basic Instinct blurs the line more than most movies, but I favor the idea that Basic Instinct is well aware of just how ridiculous it is and revels in the fact, taking the clichés of detective stories and erotic thrillers and amping them up to 11 for lurid, sleazy fun. And yet, Basic Instinct manages to be more compelling than many of the movies it targets – as ridiculous as it is, the way Paul Verhoeven and company play the film with such reckless abandon makes it strangely easy to get caught up in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Repulsion is a film of almost unbearable tension and discomfort, a look into a fractured, broken woman’s mind that is at once intimate, sympathetic and terrifying. It features some of the most startling, immediate scares of any film I’ve seen, but lingers thereafter in your mind because of its ability to probe into disturbing psychological depths and create a vivid portrait of all-consuming fear and paranoia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories