Daily Archives: June 7, 2017

‘Personal shopper’: Of grief and ghosts

The movie is a shocker in so many ways. This is a horror movie trying to get at deeper things. Kristen Stewart, with smeared eyeliner et al, engages us in a performance that is impossible to ignore. The cinematography by Yorick Le Saux, especially as Maureen drives through drenched streets of Paris on her scooter, is beautiful. There are very few scenes that are self-indulgent. Somehow, in the end it all ties up neatly together. And, to boot, there is a perverse sex scene thrown in.

Maureen, played by Kristen, is not just a personal shopper for a rich model. She is also a spiritualist. After her twin brother dies, she is desperate to get a sign from him. The movie avoids all the cliches of the usual horror fare and goes for something much more philosophical. But this doesn’t mean that the movie doesn’t have its chilling moments. The breaking of a glass cup in broad daylight is perhaps, one of the most spooky moments, in the film.

The pic was screened in the competition section of the 2016 Cannes Festival. Olivier Assayas was chosen as one of the two best directors. I would love for you to see the movie.

‘Life’: Space horror with a touch of gore

 

Life is a riveting space-horror film that gives the Alien franchise a run for its money. Superbly conceived, the movie is about a life form from Mars that wreaks havoc on the International Space Station. The life form, the first sign of extraterrestrial intelligence, is nicknamed Calvin by American schoolchildren and turns out to be a clever murderer. As the movie aptly points out, Calvin really is killing only for food and doesn’t exactly hate humans.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation) are at the centre of the film, which is superbly cast all around. The special effects are good and believable, especially of the creature, which just grows bigger and bigger. The gore is stark and on your face; There is no escaping it.

The film ends with an unexpected twist and a dire warning. Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa directs the movie with the steady hand of a veteran. Perhaps, he is destined for greater things. You will do well to see it.