Tag Archives: survival

Review: The Hunt

Betty Gilpin, lethal badass, in The Hunt. [Image from the movie’s Facebook page]

If Steven Soderbergh’s thesis example chapter 1-5 http://mcorchestra.org/9534-heading-essay-writing/ go mba essay consultant india cuanto cuesta el cialis en chile us history thesis paper topics free essays happiness real estate resume skills psychological contract essay how to write personal essay for college http://bookclubofwashington.org/books/custom-essay-help/14/ enter custom admission essay ghostwriter service for mba https://climbingguidesinstitute.org/8975-average-time-high-school-students-spend-homework/ popular blog post editing services for university thesis statement domestic violence thesis audiovisual translation proofreading practice sheets social justice paper sildenafil rx drugstore online get link http://mce.csail.mit.edu/institute/virginia-commonwealth-university-mfa-creative-writing/21/ downside using viagra how to write a cover letter for a car sales job enter follow url write my paper cialis silver grove http://jeromechamber.com/event/grade-10-economics-past-papers/23/ here thesis presentation guidelines boston college application essay requirements Contagion is the movie people in 2020 need to see to capture the social horror of what a pandemic can do when a virus gets unleashed unto society, Craig Zobel’s The Hunt is the American counterpart of Brazil’s explosively entertaining Bacurau. Coming out right at the start of Covid-19’s US invasion, Zobel and writers Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse don’t waste any time getting you into the thick of things, and boy, do they get messy, fast.

Imagine you wake up without any knowledge of where you are and you’re at the mercy, it seems, of some elitist pricks who guzzle expensive champagne while they escort you to some undisclosed destination. You’re bound and basically unable to defend yourself, but somehow make it to first-class asking what the fuck is going on. The response to that? A shot to the eye, and a descent into death while another passenger, also clearly kidnapped, lies unconscious on the ground.

That passenger winds up to be Emma Roberts who emerges with 12 other people in a forest and before you can say “What” you’re under fire from all directions, racing to some kind of cover holding nothing but a weapon and the hope you may survive. The bloodshed is cartoonish, and arrives like a stampede of bulls in Pamplona, decimating pretty much all of the captives. In another part of the forest, another woman, Crystal (Betty Gilpin) makes her way to a gas station. An elderly couple (Amy Madigan and Reed Birney) hold shop… and prove Crystal’s fears — she’s a part of someone’s deadly game of cat and mouse. However… Crystal isn’t going down without a fight, and she is here to kick some serious [censored] ass.

The Hunt is inappropriate for all the right reasons. It calls out practically everyone while gleefully wreaking havoc on everything around its perimeter that has a pulse. It might be perhaps a bit broad in positing its contempt for both the alt-right and the liberal left, but it manages to sneak in some sly commentary on how a chat thread, once viral, might get blown up much farther than its intent and may decimate a person’s career. [In a way it is a warning to anyone dependent on social media and chat groups; you never can tell where that joke or meme you sent might land, so a word of caution, and chat away, safely.]

References to The Purge, Bacurau, and Kill Bill are all over the place but don’t detract from the overall enjoyment of this popcorn movie. I especially enjoyed an extended sequence involving Gilpin and none other than Hilary Swank (clearly on board and on the joke) as they perform balletic fight scenes in what has to be the most gorgeous kitchen ever. Seriously, I wanted them to take it outside, and please not ruin the cutlery or the fireplace. Their exhausted conversation is probably the best part of the film, delivered with deadpan humor in all the right places.

In short, The Hunt might not be a serious movie with a powerful message, but with all the madness around you, it’s almost daring you to get offended and then go on social media to rant and rave. See it for what it is — a star-making vehicle for Betty Gilpin –, and forget about it later.

The Invisible Killer: the merciless virus of Contagion, and its foretelling of Covid-19

Marion Cotillard in Contagion, a movie that has become all-too relevant in 2020.

No one could anticipate how prescient Steven Soderbergh’s un-pretentious, low-key yet harrowing thriller Contagion would ten years later affect the global population. Yes, we had had several outbreaks before, and shortly after his movie came out. However, nothing came even close to the scope of the sudden birth of the novel virus Covid-19 that has already cut a sieve through the global populace and is still set for a very unwanted resurgence rather soon.

True, the events depicted in Contagion don’t mirror what has actually transpired — there has, thankfully, been no societal breakdown typical of pandemics in which people decide to go “fuck it” and loot the hell out of stores, rob homes, and revert to near primitive behavior. However, we have seen panic sweep throughout the country as toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, alcohol, bleach, and peroxide have all but disappeared from the markets and pharmacies, returning only sporadically. We have seen a food crisis, but nothing as close as to what happens in the movie. Rioting over the refusal to wear masks doesn’t get shown in the movie but the anarchy that ensues, does, which is just as chilling, Even so, Contagion serves as a mirror for us to view ourselves in as we stay indoors and quarantine, practice social distancing, and lay low while the storm rages.

At the heart of the story, we have Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon), Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), and Dr. Ally Wextall (Jennifer Ehle). Each has their own narratives, although Wextall’s transpires in a net of safety as she becomes the first scientist to discover an antidote to the pandemic. In the meantime, Mitch sees his life shatter into a thousand pieces as the disease takes the life of his wife Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) and son (Griffin Kane) in rapid succession. Mitch himself gets a slight form of it, but after a period of quarantine, is considered safe. Dr. Erin Mears, a DHS Epidemic Intelligence Officer, gets tasked to find who Beth was in touch with during the days leading to her getting infected and attempts to raise funds to create resources for a public health response. Wextall, a CDC scientist, races against time to find an antivirus to combat the virus. Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) traces Beth’s movements caught on video which led to her infection. Meanwhile, global concerns that the virus may have been a bioweapon surface, chaos starts to shatter communities, and conspiracy theorist Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) starts to rack up views when he posits that forsythia may be an herbal treatment against the virus.

Perhaps in 2011, this would have been treated as a thriller plain and simple but for those of us who have lived through the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for anyone working in hospitals, this movie may be their reality, every day. Soderbergh has crafted a powerful piece of fiction that resonates today and will leave you shaken to the core. His opening and closing scenes tell you everything you need to know about how a pandemic starts and how fast it can move when set loose on an unsuspecting society. I don’t think there will be a scarier picture to watch this year as Contagion, now widely available on DVD and streaming,

IT COMES AT NIGHT

IT COMES AT NIGHT
USA
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Runtime: 91 minutes
Language: English

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Some Great Thinker once quoted, “Hell is other people.” Trey Edward Shults’ second feature after last year’s domestic drama Krisha doesn’t stray too far from its domestic roots, but plunges its central family into a horror that can only be called Hell on Earth. We don’t know what happened, or didn’t happen, or how things came to be as they are when the movie starts, but the world of It Comes At Night seems to have nosedived into complete societal chaos. Something is out there killing everyone it comes in contact with, and you have a chance to do two things: live by your own selfish wits or die. It is as simple, as brutal as that.

As a matter of fact, it’s so brutal that the film’s opening sequence is probably should set the tone for what we’re about to see: a family, wearing protective gas masks and gloves, gently but with an undertone of steely determination, lifting an old man with festering boils on his skin off from a bed and onto some sheets. The family — Sarah (Carmen Ejogo),  Paul (Joel Edgerton), and Travis (Kelvin Harrison), then drag the moaning older man out into the woods, away from their house’s vicinity, throw him into an open grave, to where Paul proceeds to shoot the man point blank in the head using a pillow to mask the sound. We soon learn this was Sarah’s father, who contracted the feared virus. They return back to the house. Welcome to the New Normal.

Silence and isolation can’t, of course, continue for long, Someone breaks into their house believing it to be empty. Paul is more than ready to kill the intruder, who turns out to be Will (Christopher Abbott), a man with a wife and young son who’s been walking for 50 miles or so to find shelter and food, and after holding him hostage and at the mercy to the elements and whatever is making people sick, and at Sarah’s urging, he decides to accompany Will to search for his family and bring them back to the house, a task that doesn’t come without dangers — since now the law of the land is pure lawlessness.

Once both families come together, the tension eases only for a few scenes, but when one of Will’s stories doesn’t quite check out, Paul immediately reminds Sarah and Travis that they can, no matter how much they’d like to, trust anyone. This turns out to be a problem for Travis, who’s only 17 and strangely drawn to the new family (especially Will’s wife played by Riley Keough) while having stress nightmares of his own which seem to be eroding at his own sanity. And the sheer claustrophobic nature of this house doesn’t help matters. While outside shots indicate the house can fit well above six people, all we get are narrow as fuck hallways lit only by battery operated lamps and deeply shadowed rooms offering no warmth and a lot of enhanced paranoia.

As a matter of fact, the entire movie is a claustrophobic nightmare — the woods seem to creep towards you, roads are winding and sinister, and even daylight can’t seem to bring any sort of comfort. You can almost feel eyes all over the place, watching you from a distance, ready to pounce.

So, what is it that comes at night? We never truly know, and again, this is my kind of horror — the type that firstly, never tries to explain itself too much (although we do get a brief glimpse at a painting by Brueghel which drives the collapse of humanity home. Secondly, it is nihilistic to a fault. Every character is living solely out for there bare survival. Innocence has checked out, hope is merely a word, and even smiles on a face look furtive and nervous, and there is that awful door at the end of the hallway that Shults keeps panning towards and through. I’ve never seen anything like this, and it alone gave me chills.

I like my horror as esoteric as it can be — no Annabelle for me (It was shown as one of the coming attractions and I’ll gladly skip it’s sudden flourish of shrieking sound and the doll’s jerky movements, thank you). Nothing is as horrific as what man can do to another man through the terrors that live within his mind, and to be honest, This remarkable film comes at the perfect time in Trump’s governance, where society risks on becoming a savage rendition of every man for himself and kill anything that may seem to be a threat. If you don’t walk out of the theater with a knot to your stomach, then you must be a psychopath.

It Comes At Night opens in wife release June 9.