Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review WIND RIVER, a new film directed and written by Taylor Sheridan (SICARIO, HELL OR HIGH WATER) starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.
Veteran tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) on the hunt for a trio of lions causing trouble in the Wind River reservation discovers the body of a Native American girl on the Wind River reservation. When the FBI sends in a green young agent, Jane Banner (Olsen) to investigate, the two team up to uncover the mystery.
Sheridan's brilliant writing shows in this realistically bleak and desolate picture of life on the reservation. The pacing is slow which only furthers the sense of despair. Renner and Olsen deliver equally adept performances aided by a supporting cast of familiar veteran Native American actors most recognizably Graham Green (DANCES WITH WOLVES) as tribal police chief Ben. It definitely feels like a film that's directed by a writer -- not that that's a bad thing. But the film could be tightened up a bit. That note aside, it's a powerful statement on Native American culture with a well crafted story that makes you care about the characters deeply long after you leave the theater. 8.5/10
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review, THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, for The HMC's Now Streaming Reviews, 7.3/10.
Father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) coroners investigate a the death of a beautiful girl "Jane Doe," whose mysteriously unscathed body was found in the basement of a house where a quadruple murder occurred. As the pair uncover bizarre clues to the girls death and origin strange things start to happen leading to a terrifying truth.
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE was the darling of the 2016 film festival circuit, particularly for horror fans and now we know why. Directed by André Øvredal (TROLLHUNTER) the film cleverly makes use of its solo location with a well crafted script written by Ian B. Goldberg (Once Upon a Time) and Richard Naing (DEAD OF SUMMER), that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the bitter end. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch give convincing performances as father and son detectives. The film successfully finds a way to navigate genres which is most impressive. Diehard horror fans will appreciate the practical effects and creatures. There's just enough gore yet not so over the top to alienate fans whose preference leans more toward thriller vs hardcore horror. The filmmakers thankfully don't try to overcomplicate the story rather they rely on their acting duos performances in concert with a slow build up of suspense to a series of unexpected jump scares. The promise of the ending was more exciting than the actual ending, which is our only disappointment. That said, it brings something new and quite creative to the genre which is no small feat. This indie horror will surprise, scare and entertain you. Justice 7.3/10
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe Review the film, Get Out, on Now Playing Reviews on The HMC.
Jordan Peele of Key and Peele makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a thriller about an interracial couple headed to meet the parents for the first time. Chris (Daniel Kuulaya) reluctantly accompanies his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to her parents house in the suburbs and soon finds that his worst fears were nothing compared to the terrifying reality awaiting him.
Get Out is a great first feature debut by Peele. His script is effective and fast moving with sufficient suspense and jump scares that will definitely grab you when you least expect it. Seasoned horror/thriller fans will not be particularly shocked or surprised at the reveal nevertheless its quite fun and scary. The only somewhat sour note is that Williams portrayal of enlightened rich white girl Rose felt like Marnie plays a part in a horror movie. Overall there are some great performances including lead Daniel Kaluuya and veteran supporting cast members Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener.
We are giving this film Justice. It's worth a trip to the theater to see it. 7.5/10
Release date: February 24, 2017 (USA)
Director: Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Producers: Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Production companies: Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
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This week on The Harold & Maudecast we review M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, Split. 7.5/10 on our Justice & Doom movie meter. Split stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy. For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, including producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.
In addition to Split, we review Shyamalan's, The Visit, which was the top grossing horror film of 2015. We also examine Shyamalan's vast body of work from The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, The Happening and more. Take a listen!
Writer/director/producer Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.
While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
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|Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 3, 2017 at 6:11:05 pm|| movie reviews, split, m night shyamalan, horror, thriller, action, drama, movies, james mcavoy, multiple personalities|
Now Streaming on your favorite VOD service, IM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, the 2016 horror/crime thriller starring Max Records, Laura Fraser and Christopher Lloyd. In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.
Based on the novel by Dan Wells the film is Directed by Billy O'Brien, Screenplay by Billy O'Brien and Christopher Hyde.
This film is more X Files than straight up horror. Christopher Lloyd fans will geek out over his wonderful performance and lookout for Max Records in the lead role as the would be serial killer turned crime sleuth/demon hunter. He's exceptional. There's a magnificent payoff at the end of the film -- we won't spoil it for you. But we do hash out the details of this well crafted indie film. Now streaming on Netflix. 7.8/10
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This week on The Harold & Maudecast's countdown to Halloween Movie Reviews, OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. In 1967 Los Angeles a widowed fortune teller (Elizabeth Reaser) tries to make ends meet for herself and daughters Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson) by boosting their séance scam with a new prop, a Ouija board. Bad news for the family when daughter Doris unwittingly unleashes unwanted evil entities. Even Father Tom (Henry Thomas) can't fight these grim creatures.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is the surprise sleeper hit of the October movie season. With clever jump scares, a well crafted story by Co-Writers Jeff Howard and Mike Flannagan this film is a must see for movie fans. Flannagan, best known for OCULUS and HUSH also directed this film. He is proving himself to be one of the best horror/thriller directors working today and one to watch for the future.
Lulu Wilson (DELIVER US FROM EVIL) gives a breakout performance as Doris. Always great to see Henry Thomas aka Eliot (E.T.) and Elizabeth Reaser steps out of the shadow of the TWILIGHT series and delivers a fantastic performance as well.
Bonus! Listen for the haunting score by The Newton Brothers.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL is this year's THE CONJURING. It delivers the scares, and the story. 8.5/10
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This week on The Harold & Maudcast co-hosts catch up with Actress, Alex Essoe (STARRY EYES) on her new film, THE NEIGHBOR. Alex gives us a lesson in how to kick ass like a boss, first squibs, and what comedian Bill Engvall was like as a villain.
THE NEIGHBOR - Crime/Thriller, Directed by Marcus Dunstan, written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, starring Josh Stewart, Alex Essoe and Bill Engvall was released August 19, 2016 and is available on these VOD services - YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google Play.
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For over 10 years The HMC has been producing popular podcasts, digital content and events. The Harold & Maudecast is the flagship podcast for The HMC Network. Hosted by writer/producer, Sarah Mason and writer/comedian, Jake Essoe, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, series, comics, conventions, video games and more. They combine critical analysis with passionate fandom. Go beyond the basics and get down and dirty with our in-depth, funny analysis and commentary.
Also on this feed are episodes of our other podcast series, Age of Distraction hosted by screenwriters Warren Lewis and Stephen Godchaux, True Field Test for production professionals, Conversations with Cooler People Than Me interview series, Justice and Doom Movie and Series Reviews.
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