Horror

ANNABELLE: CREATION

Director / David F. Sandberg (LIGHTS OUT)
Stars/ Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson

A prequel to both THE CONJURING films and 2014’s ANNABELLE, ANNABELLE: CREATION marks the fourth addition to THE CONJURING film universe. 

Aussie duo Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto play Samuel and Esther Mullins, who invite Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and several orphaned girls to live with them at their residence. Despite the generous offer, the Mullins’ are quite reserved people, after a personal tragedy shattered their existence several years earlier. Samuel, a doll maker, isn’t particularly hospitable towards the girls while Esther mysteriously never emerges from her bedroom. As the girls slowly settle into their new place, Janice (Telitha Bateman) comes across Annabelle while curiously exploring her new surrounds and unwittingly brings the creepy doll, who has sinister plans, to life.


A passable horror flick, ANNABELLE: CREATION does yield to symptoms of horror movie syndrome, yet in doing so it offers audiences momentary frights and plenty of fun, which are frequently distributed all throughout.

Of course, your prospects of being drawn into these many mildly suspenseful passages will largely depend on your ability to foresee the imminent jump coming. As a horror aficionado myself, almost all of these sequences do happen as expected. Although its likely predictability does limit the film’s chances to genuinely scare, ANNABELLE: CREATION continues to entertain, courtesy of some aptly timed tongue-in-cheek humour and a serviceable plot that holds some mystery. Patience is certainly tested as the not-so-surprising revelations hiding beneath its mystery are delayed for too long. Further proceedings even become repetitive as the plot attempts to involve each of the orphaned girls making a frightening discovery to realise that their new abode isn’t so humble. Thankfully, those self-opening doors and creaky floors are soon nailed shut as ANNABELLE: CREATION lifts its game in a decidedly more horrifying finale. 

This prequel should satisfy fans of mainstream horror until further instalments in THE CONJURING film series, THE NUN (2018) and THE CROOKED MAN (TBA) haunt our screens.

3 stars

Viewer Discretion/ MA15+ Restricted (Strong horror themes and violence) 

Trailer / ANNABELLE: CREATION

Read up also on Moviedoc’s review of THE CONJURING 2

Moviedoc thanks Roadshow Films for the invite to the screening of this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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GET OUT

Writer & Director / Jordan Peele (Feature film debut)
Stars/ Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford and Caleb Landry Jones

Movies as genius as this are few and far between. Masterfully and studiously crafted, intelligently written and flawlessly executed, GET OUT is a broadly appealing and accessible horror film at heart that functions as a menacing mystery invite to all.

Not a single moment of screen time is wasted in Jordan Peele’s remarkable debut as feature-film director. Peele is pitching a familiar premise that most of us have had to do at some time in our lives – that rather awkward and nerve-wrecking obligatory task of meeting the parents of your partner for the very first time. In GET OUT, that time has arrived for Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American photographer who has been dating his Caucasian girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for four months. Upon their immediate arrival, Chris observes several disconcerting and bizarre sights in the surrounds of the mysterious family estate of Rose’s parents. 


It is both exceedingly fun and playfully haunting to watch. It deliberately provokes questions and is strikingly thought-provoking all at once, all throughout. It is without a doubt one of the very best films of 2017.

Just as intended, the GET OUT screenplay allows plenty of room for the imagination. It cleverly compels its audience to assess each situation and analyse every word spoken in hope that the prediction to its conclusion and its secrets are somewhat accurate. As it keeps turning out, writer/director Jordan Peele is purely toying with that imagination of ours. Like a master player in the game of chess, Peele continually reminds us that he is the king (or queen if you prefer) of this board and we are merely a pawn, guessing moves that he already knows are coming.

Many films can maintain their mystery for most its duration. A few less are able to conjure up a conclusion that justifies and satisfies. A rare combination that catapults GET OUT to an elite level of filmmaking is its seamless integration of realistic themes weaved into a completely fictitious story, done so in a manner that is reminiscent of the brilliant 2014 thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, NIGHTCRAWLER. Another is its innovative amalgamation of genre. Not only is GET OUT a horror film that sustains its mystique right through to the very end, it is also irresistibly funny when it wishes to be and has a surprising amount of depth in its characterisation and storytelling. To place the cherry on top for horror movie lovers, sudden bursts of more stereotypical horror elements are incorporated very tongue-in-cheek style into this superb film. And finally, the conclusion is better than satisfying, it is rewarding. There is virtually no ambiguity to any answers given to many questions raised. These revelations not only make perfect sense of themselves, they will leave you talking about this film for days after and quite likely eager to pay a second visit.

You need to get in to GET OUT, which is simply unmissable!

4 ½ stars

Viewer Discretion/ MA15+ (strong themes and violence)

Trailer / GET OUT

Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures for the distributor pass to see and review this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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SPLIT

Writer & Director / M. Night Shyamalan (THE VISIT, UNBREAKABLE, THE SIXTH SENSE)
Stars / James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula and Betty Buckley

The 2015 release of writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s last film, THE VISIT, wasn’t just a thoroughly enjoyable meshing of comedy and suspense horror that put the filmmaker back on the public radar, it led to indications that THE VISIT could become a more permanent transition in the filmmakers genre movie making. SPLIT baptises that notion, and is Shyamalan’s most psychologically driven and deranged yet.

Yes, it is time to accept that the work we associate the Shyamalan name to, has well and truly evolved. Love or loathe this new path he has taken, you cannot deny his efforts and endeavour to create something original and reinvent himself.

This unclassifiable, genre-mashing (multiple) mood piece is about a man who has 23 distinct personalities, played marvellously by McAvoy, in a demanding role. When one of those identities kidnaps three beautiful young women, Casey (A terrific Anya Taylor-Joy, recently seen in THE WITCH and MORGAN), Claire (THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN star, Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (Sula), the girls must work together to find one of those identities willing to help them escape, before the 24th is unleashed.

This ambitiously written, yet unevenly directed psychological thriller/horror sure as heck entertains, has its thrills, occasionally chills and is often prone to triggering laughter from most uncomfortable places in which laughter is not usually derived. 

Shyamalan’s lengthiest and personally most challenging film to date even adds extra dimensions of psychology to its themes by way of its discourse and development into the limitless potential the human mind is capable of. Admittedly, it may very well be this factor alone that splits the difference in opinion of SPLIT. 

Greatness is certainly within reach in SPLIT, however it is often stalled when integrating flashback scenarios of a certain characters past and when crossing over to Kevin’s (McAvoy) therapy sessions with Dr. Fletcher (Buckley). These sequences do belong, no doubt about that, but there is too many of them and they offset the tension brewing within the key plot. 

Regardless of whether it is a hit or a miss for you, one guarantee can be made – SPLIT won’t be slipping your mind any time soon! 

3 stars 

Viewer Discretion/ (mature themes, violence and coarse language. There is also disturbing thematic content and behaviour)

Trailer / SPLIT

Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures and Village Cinemas Jam Factory for the screening invite to this film.

Review by Moviedoc / “LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc 

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2016 – The Best Films, The Worst and More ! !

 Hello everyone

Firstly, a huge thank you for every review you have read, liked, shared, commented on and even chatted to me about in person. Thanks to you and your incredible support, I had the most productive and enjoyable year of film watching and reviewing yet! 

In total, I got to see & review 126 films released in 2016 alone! Of these, more than 30 received a 4 out of 5 rating from me, the most in any year since I first started reviewing! As such, I have compiled a ‘Top 30’ list this year and ‘Bottom 5’ only.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy reading my thoughts and verdict below. I also hope you take away a handful of films to see that you’ve never previously heard of or watched!
As always, please get in touch to share your views and best & worst movies. I look forward to your continued support and interaction in what will be an even bigger and busier year of film watching & reviewing in 2017!

Moviedoc 🙂

Moviedoc’s Top 30 Movies of 2016

30

VICTORIA
(4 out of 5)

The star attraction of this German suspense/drama is its cinematography – VICTORIA is shot as one single continuous take. It’s a stunning feature of this arthouse film that continually impresses, especially when you consider the key events executed throughout. The titular character, a young Spanish woman in Berlin, meets a German man and his friends at a club. As the night out progresses and Victoria leaves the club with the men, she learns of some dangerous secrets. Watch VICTORIA and experience real-time suspense unlike any others. Unpredictable and hugely tense!

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

29

ME BEFORE YOU 
(4 out of 5)

It may not be Moviedoc’s number one romantic drama of the year, but ME BEFORE YOU is easily the best “crying movie” of 2016. Some of its themes caused an unnecessary revolt during its cinematic run here in Melbourne. But this surprisingly quality romantic drama will be remembered for being heartbreaking on so many levels. Stars GOT’s Emilia Clarke too guys, just sayin’ 😉

Full Review – ME BEFORE YOU

28

HELL OR HIGH WATER
(4 out of 5)

In many film critics top 5, HELL OR HIGH WATER is a gritty and absorbing crime drama about two brothers who turn to crime in order to pay off a debt and the Texas ranger hunting them down, who is due for his retirement. Has depth, genuine tension and the best performance we’ve seen from Jeff Bridges since 2010’s TRUE GRIT. 

Full Review – HELL OR HIGH WATER


27

JULIETA 
(4 out of 5)

As mainstream as a Pedro Almódovar film gets. This Spanish drama, like any Almódovar film, features a layered story with full-bodied, richly-drawn characters. It is about how a chance encounter triggers a broken-hearted woman’s search for answers. An important lesson is unearthed during its excellent finale.

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

26

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
(4 out of 5)

You wouldn’t pick it by the poster, but KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS is an American production. The best animated film of 2016 has a very accessible plot for kids – a young boy named Kubo who must find a magical suit of armour to fight an evil spirit from the past – and exceptionally creative, dazzling animation that is guaranteed to immerse adults into the story. 

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

25

THE REVENANT
(4 out of 5)

A forgotten film of 2016, it seems. But how could anyone forget the movie that finally saw gold statuette in hand of Leonardo DiCaprio? What the poor guy has to go through in order to win his first Oscar brings out the most uncompromisingly tough performance we’ve seen from the star. The film is pretty darn good too! Brutal and slow-moving, yet an utterly engrossing and remarkable story of vengeance. The Academy Award winning cinematography is outstanding too.

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦


24

HAIL, CAESAR! 
(4 out of 5)

This Coen-brothers film is an intelligent and original comedy that will especially appeal to fans of Wes Anderson. Set during the 1950’s at a Hollywood film production, a “fixer” addresses several complications and conundrums both on-set and in his personal life. Great cast and great fun! 

Full Review – HAIL, CAESAR


23

Microbe & Gasoline 
(4 out of 5)

One of the rare gems of 2016, and I bet you’ve never heard of it! This French feel-good comedy has an irresistible sense of adventure and is about two teenage guys who build a makeshift motorhome and take-off, fleeing their mundane and depressing suburban lives. An affectionate, heart-warming and crowd-pleasing journey not to be missed! 

Film Review – MICROBE & GASOLINE

22

ZERO DAYS 
(4 out of 5)

This documentary will easily be the most misjudged film of the year. What ostensibly begins as a film merely documenting a malicious computer superbug emphatically ends as one powerful cautionary tale. A film you would think has nothing to do with you, then by the end, has everything to do with you. ZERO DAYS is an awakening from master director Alex Gibney (GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF). 

Full Review – ZERO DAYS

21

BROOKLYN 
(4 out of 5)

This is an Oscar-nominated tale about an Irish immigrant that finds love in New York, then is left with a tough decision to make when her past catches up with her. A romantic drama told with real warmth and beauty led by a confident performance from its A-grade star, Saoirse Ronan. 

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

20

LA LA LAND
(4 out of 5)

Unlike so many others, LA LA LAND is not my best film of 2016. That does not mean it is a let down by any means either. This music-driven film released on Boxing Day throughout Australia is packed full of effortless and endless creativity & striking originality that is utterly delightful to be in the presence of. Go and enjoy Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling play lovers for a third time in a feature film! (Hook up in real-life already!)

Full Review – LA LA LAND

19

ELLE
(4 out of 5)


My personal runner-up for best foreign language film of 2016 is an utterly engrossing film consisting of several separate sub-plots, all of which are connected to the lead character of ELLE, Michèle (a brave performance in a demanding role from Isabelle Huppert) who hunts for a man who has physically assaulted her. Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven’s French language erotic drama/thriller is an unmissable film for viewers who appreciate a psychologically complex work of profound characterisation and layered storytelling.

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

18

THE HATEFUL EIGHT 
(4 out of 5)

Like THE REVENANT, THE HATEFUL EIGHT feels forgotten about. Bound to test the patience of even the most ardent Tarantino fans, this ultra-violent Western flick earns its place well inside my Top 30, courtesy of a near-faultless screenplay as we experience the masterful work of our famed director unwrapping the layers of tension and mystery, one layer at a time, in a magnificently methodical and meticulous manner.

Full Review – THE HATEFUL EIGHT

17

I, DANIEL BLAKE
(4 out of 5)

The famous proverb “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes” is honestly and realistically exemplified in a film about a 59 year-old carpenter who is forced to turn to welfare support, as a result of a workplace incident. This is one of those films that is so true to life, it’s as close to watching a documentary a feature film can get. A truly involving and utterly valuable Irish drama.

Full Review – I, DANIEL BLAKE

16

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
(4 out of 5)

Ricky Baker is a name you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Nor is Julian Dennison, the young actor playing Ricky, in a breakthrough performance. This clever and triumphant smash-hit Kiwi comedy proved a winner with critics and audiences alike earlier in the year. If you somehow missed it, get onto this “majestical” film pronto, bro. 

Full Review – HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

15

ARRIVAL 
(4 out of 5)

The mostly tired and often repetitive alien-invasion genre experiences an invasion of originality and innovation in ARRIVAL. This suspenseful drama is about an expert linguist who attempts to communicate with extra-terrestrial forces that have landed several spacecraft throughout the world. Watch this superior film over the upcoming PASSENGERS and ten times before you attempt INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE. 

Full Review – ARRIVAL

14

EYE IN THE SKY 
(4 out of 5)

The opposite of escapism. That is what EYE IN THE SKY is, a gripping and strongly immersive motion picture about an operation to catch a group of terrorists in Kenya, before their next attack. But the team are about to be thrown their toughest conundrum yet when an unforeseen move takes place. EYE IN THE SKY gives the viewer a two-sided story that forces you to question what you would do in this scenario. A seriously compelling and thought-provoking dramatic thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Full Review – EYE IN THE SKY

13

SPOTLIGHT 
(4 out of 5)

This year’s Best Picture Oscar winner handles its controversial and sensitive subject matter (child molestation within the Catholic Church) with utmost professionalism and sincerity. As a production, SPOTLIGHT is unshowy, honest and never sensationalised. A very deserving winner at the 2016 Academy Awards.

Full review – SPOTLIGHT

12

TRUMBO 
(4 out of 5)

Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, a Hollywood screenplay writer during the 1940’s who is believed to be a communist by a US agency. Based on a true story, this highly engaging and exceedingly informative film is bolstered by its surprising humour and Cranston’s astonishing work in the lead role. 

Full Review – TRUMBO

11

MUSTANG
(4 out of 5)

A French, German & Turkish co-production which was nominated for best foreign language film at 2016’s Oscars is a most profound experience chronicling the lives of 5 orphaned, close-knit sisters. Growing up in ultra-conservative surroundings, their lives are changed forever after an innocent encounter. Based on the director’s real-life experiences, this foreign tale contains a message of utmost significance to anywhere in the world. This is the best foreign film of 2016.

Full review – MUSTANG


10

SING STREET
(4 out of 5)

Another rare gem of 2016. This small Irish comedy/drama with a big heart is viewed from the eyes of a teenage male who doesn’t know how to impress the girl he wants, so he starts his own rock band! Aside from its wonderfully endearing nature, this terrific movie features a stunning soundtrack as well as original music written and performed for the film. I guarantee you’ll have a great time watching SING STREET.

Full review – SING STREET

9

CHASING ASYLUM
(4.5 out of 5)

It is difficult to think of a more pertinent film to see right now than this. CHASING ASYLUM is a documentary that uses real footage secretly filmed to expose the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. A film which acknowledges that the Australian Government has succeeded in stopping the boats and claiming lives have been saved by doing so, but at what cost? A must watch, especially for people who value truth and humanity.

Sorry, Moviedoc did not review this film ;(

8

THE NEON DEMON 
(4.5 out of 5)

When I first watched THE NEON DEMON, I absolutely loved the first two-thirds, then hated the last third. Since then, this sick, twisted and absolutely brilliant film has grown and grown on me. So much so, it is the number one film of 2016 that I cannot stop thinking or talking about. This is Nicolas Winding Refn’s (DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES) deliciously exaggerated and darkly comical take on a group of supermodels who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams. You will either love or loathe what is the strangest film of 2016. But do be warned – Beauty doesn’t get uglier than this! Unforgettable and Unmissable for horror and arthouse cinema fans.

Full review – THE NEON DEMON

7

THE DANISH GIRL 
(4.5 out of 5)

THE DANISH GIRL is a deeply empathetic and stunningly rendered production about an artist couple living in 1920’s Copenhagen whose relationship together begins to evolve and be challenged when Einar (played beautifully by Eddie Redmayne) decides to become a woman. An open-minded audience will be rewarded with breathtaking acting, studious direction from Tom Hooper (THE KINGS SPEECH) and a beautifully told story of love, sexual identity and self-discovery. Has been one of this year’s best films all year. 

Full review – THE DANISH GIRL

6

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT 
(4.5 out of 5)

The most authentic movie of the year is also the first film in over 30 years to be filmed on location in the Amazonian jungle and Amazon River. Filmed in beautiful black and white, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT is the story of two Scientists searching for a rare flower known for its healing powers. For those of you who value a complete immersion into a foreign world, way of life and have a genuine appreciation towards culture in all its forms, one of the most memorable and grandest films of the year awaits.

Full review – EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT

5

ROOM 
(4.5 out of 5)

Based on the popular novel of the same name, this deceptively layered, subtly powerful and poignant drama is about a Mother (Oscar winner Brie Larson) and her young son (an astonishing Jacob Tremblay) who survive inside the tiny confines of what they refer to as “ROOM”. With their only visible access to the outside world coming via a skylight, curiosity and determination sees them hatch a dangerous plan to escape. The end result is a brilliantly bold, psychologically complex and a deeply rational film. 

Full review – ROOM

4

CAROL 
(4.5 out of 5)

CAROL, a wholly absorbing and completely transfixing film set in the 1950’s which focuses on an intimate relationship being formed between the titular character and a young aspiring photographer. The greatest romantic drama of 2016 is an outstanding production in every aspect (costume, set design, you name it) and is led by two truly immaculate acting performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. 

Full review – CAROL

3

HACKSAW RIDGE
(4.5 out of 5)

There haven’t been many Australian-made films this year that have pushed a three-star rating, sadly. Well then, aren’t we lucky that good old trusty Mel Gibson brought this American story to our shores for production! Desmond T. Doss, a medic who served in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, never used a weapon while on the front lines, saving many lives in the process. Quite simply, this is one of the greatest (anti) war films of the 21st Century. While you experience some of the most impacting scenes ever filmed on the battle grounds, Gibson’s superior handling of HACKSAW RIDGE and Andrew Garfield’s career-best performance ensure sight is never lost of why we’re even here. A stunning film.

Full review – HACKSAW RIDGE

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC
(4.5 out of 5)

Not a superhero film, but it is a super film. Taken from the personal experiences of writer/director Matt Ross, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is about a Father who is raising his six children in the forest of the Pacific Northwest. This family live a very unorthodox and secluded life, so when the need to travel beyond arises, will they be ready for the confronting journey that lies ahead? Best described as an amalgamation of ROOM and the 2006 road movie LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, yet very much its own film. What truly stands-out about this comedy/drama is the humour which is extracted from the most unconventional of places and an extremely thought-provoking screenplay. A true highlight of 2016, don’t underestimate just how brilliant this movie is. It made second place for good reason 😉

Full review – CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

1

45 YEARS 
(4.5 out of 5)

Even I am surprised by my choice of number one ranking this year! Truth be told, no film came closer to receiving the perfect score in 2016 from me. And no film, as a whole, hit me harder than the story of an elderly couple, almost 45 years married to one another, who receive shattering news that threatens to change the rest of their lives. And maybe even everything before this day. There is a valuable life lesson to be learned for ears willing to listen. A subtle, yet powerful message from the older to the younger. The carefully considered writing, sophisticated handling of all proceedings and impeccable acting work from leads Charlotte Rampling (who was Oscar nominated earlier in the year) and Tom Courtenay catapult this extraordinary film to the top of my list

Full review – 45 YEARS

That was quite a read! Now, something short and sweet. Here are the worst movies of 2016!

Moviedoc’s Bottom 5 Movies of 2016

5

HIGH-RISE
(1.5 out of 5)

Life for residents in a tower block begins to run out of control. This dystopian dark comedy starring Tom Hiddleston certainly has appealing elements. But this highly obscure film remains a mystery to me above all else. It becomes too irritating and off-putting to continue caring about. See, I don’t like all weird movies!

Sorry, Moviedoc did not write a review of this film 😦

4

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 
(1.5 out of 5)

A magic film, without any magic. This sequel is a careless whisper of the intrigue and alluring mystery summoned from the previous outing. Do not bother.

Full review – NOW YOU SEE ME 2

3

BACKTRACK
(1.5 out of 5)

You have probably never heard of this misfiring Australian mystery drama/horror starring Sam Neill and Oscar-winner Adrian Brody, who plays a psychologist experiencing a few issues of his own. Good, let’s backtrack then and keep it that way!

Full review – BACKTRACK

2

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
(1 out of 5)

20 years. That is how long it has been since the original INDEPENDENCE DAY premiered on our big screens. 20 years on, and this sequel doesn’t just fail to bring something new to the alien invasion genre, it just fails. Miserably. It only has the film below to thank for not being named the worst movie of 2016.

Full Review – INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

1

BLAIR WITCH
(0.5 out of 5)

The most frightening aspect of BLAIR WITCH, is just how bad it actually is! Should only be shown to severely misbehaving children for disciplinary reasons by responsible adults. If you get through this once, as I somehow did, you’ll never want to see another minute of it again. 

Full review – BLAIR WITCH

While there have been countless acting performances of the highest quality, here are my top female and male performers of 2016

Actress of the Year
Alicia Vikander
(THE DANISH GIRL & THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS)

Actor of the Year
Bryan Cranston
(TRUMBO & THE INFILTRATOR)

And finally, to some additional bits and pieces. These films did not make my Top 30 or Bottom 5. 

Top 5 Most Underrated and/or Under the Radar Films

AMERICAN HONEY (4 out of 5)
ROSALIE BLUM (3.5 out of 5)
ANOMALISA (3.5 out of 5)
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY (3.5 out of 5)
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (3.5 out of 5)

Top 5 Most Overrated and/or Overly Hyped Films

SULLY (2.5 out of 5)
RED DOG: TRUE BLUE (2 out of 5)
THE LADY IN THE VAN (2 out of 5)
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 (2 out of 5)
THE BIG SHORT (2 out of 5)


Add These 5 Films To Your Watch List

A UNITED KINGDOM (3.5 out of 5)
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT 
(3.5 out of 5)
SWISS ARMY MAN 
(3.5 out of 5)
THE FENCER 
(3 out of 5)
NERVE 
(3 out of 5)

These are some films that deserve a mention and ought to be watched, depending on your taste

ALLIED (3.5 out of 5)
DEADPOOL (3.5 out of 5)
DOCTOR STRANGE (3.5 out of 5)
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (3.5 out of 5)
WAR DOGS (3.5 out of 5)
SON OF SAUL  (3.5 out of 5)
THE SHALLOWS (3 out of 5)
THE FOUNDER (3 out of 5)

Best Horror Film 
DON’T BREATHE 
(3.5 out of 5)

Best Prequel/Sequel
THE CONJURING 2 (3.5 out of 5)

Best Remake
THE JUNGLE BOOK (3.5 out of 5)

Highest Grossing Film – Worldwide
FINDING DORY ($1.027 Billion)

Highest Grossing Film – In Australia
FINDING DORY ($36.1 Million)

Compiled by Moviedoc
“LIKE” on Facebook – Moviedoc

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THE NEON DEMON

118 minutes, Drama/Horror

Welcome to the ugly side of beauty.
To a film you will either intensely dislike or undoubtedly love. 
A film that is director Nicolas Winding Refn’s second in a row to receive both booing and a standing ovation following its premier at the Cannes Film Festival. 
One guarantee can be made – see it, and you will never forget. 

Welcome to THE NEON DEMON, a provocative, unashamedly superficial and sickly twisted tale about a group of young women who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams. Shot in chronological order with an ending improvised on set, THE NEON DEMON begins with 16 year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning), a naive and shy girl who moves to Los Angeles all on her own in an attempt to begin a modelling career. As she slowly gains work and fame in this ultra-competitive world, fellow competing models Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Australia’s Abbey Lee) find themselves becoming equally curious by and envious of Jesse and her natural beauty.

 

The Neon Demon Poster


Right from the opening frame, as Jesse takes her very first steps onto a catwalk filled with derange and danger, a couple of observations are instantly made. One, Jesse’s personality does not belong in this industry, though her appearance and adaptable style certainly do. Two, from a cinematic perspective, you are experiencing a masterpiece. Noted for his stunning use of colour, our colour-blind film director has produced a transfixing, hypnotic and edgy drama/horror that is visually stunning and sensationally scored. This work of high art doesn’t just possess good-looks though, making its inside count too.

The narrative works as a two-fold, with Jesse’s journey and her gradual transition being fascinating, yet ominous, to watch. Then there is the darkly humourous and often ridiculing treatment of the beauty industry which form a winning combo of wicked entertainment. Though THE NEON DEMON’S scripting won’t seduce as many viewers as it will from a sensory standing, the utterly brave and universally outstanding showcase of acting from Elle Fanning is indisputable. This is one of the standout performances of 2016. 

Therefore, it is somewhat of a shame that only two thirds of the film (roughly) has been scripted! Once the scripted section of the film has seemingly concluded, THE NEON DEMON loses a fair amount of its stranglehold so potently cast. The audience are whisked away towards a decidedly arty psychological horror finale that is seriously f***ed up! This extraordinary film tends to feel as though it’s deviating from its earlier originality in some aspects and it does leave you to guess some of its more abstract elements. While watching, you may feel left in limbo for too long. However, if you’ve come this far and loved what you’ve been experiencing the past couple of hours, I assure you of this – you may leave THE NEON DEMON behind as you exit the cinema, but THE NEON DEMON will be staying right with you. 

4.5 out of 5

THE NEON DEMON

Viewer Discretion
R18+ High Impact Sexual Themes
THE NEON DEMON contains disturbing violent content, bloody images, language, graphic nudity and a scene of aberrant sexuality. 

Moviedoc wishes to thank Sophie from Madman, Madman and Cinema NOVA for the invitation to the screening of THE NEON DEMON. 

Review by Moviedoc 
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BLAIR WITCH

89 minutes, Horror 

After its release in 1999, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT proved to be just as revolutionary as it was visionary in the horror movie realm. The found-footage fright-fest catapulted to fame courtesy of clever marketing and critical praise which led to it becoming one of the most successful independent films at the worldwide box office of all time. More importantly though, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was actually scary. Frightening, in fact! One dismal sequel and several years later, BLAIR WITCH (promoted under faux title THE WOODS) arrives on our big screens. A disposable quartet of characters led by James (James Allen McCune from TV’s “Shameless”) trek out to the demonic woods of Black Hills Forest, Maryland in search of James’s sister, Heather – the subject of the 1999 original!


Believe me when I state that the most frightening aspect of the new BLAIR WITCH movie, is just how bad it actually is! Hell-bent on finding the lamest ways of making you jump rather than generating a genuine scare, here is the lowdown as to where and how BLAIR WITCH claims top prize in becoming the worst film of 2016!

  • Ever have troubles remembering a character’s name throughout a movie? Won’t be an issue here. You’ll never forget James, Lisa, Ashley and Peter’s names, so incessantly and irritatingly screamed throughout, it fulfils almost the entire films dialogue
  • If you shut your eyes, it sounds like you are watching a movie depicting several victims trapped inside one heck of a powerful thunderstorm. As they try to escape, falling trees and repeatedly stepping on the branches can seemingly be heard. Yep, that constitutes your sound effects folks and BLAIR WITCH is relying very heavily on them
  • If you open your eyes, almost every move of the four friends is ineffectively and frustratingly captured by way of handheld shaky-cam (not something I have had an issue with in the past!)
  • BLAIR WITCH is a dumb movie, featuring dumb people who are doing dumb things
  • Those people have little to no characterisation, hence we couldn’t care less for them, but as it turns out, this ends up being the least of the films problems

This horror movie’s everlasting and insurmountable problems can be found in its screenplay, which recklessly conceives several implausible happenings. Some of those particular pieces present an opportunity for the BLAIR WITCH story to take a different route, yet all are bypassed in favour of the painfully repetitive and unoriginal path that ultimately lead to nowheresville. 

In need of a true thrill? The far superior and utterly impressive DON’T BREATHE is still in cinemas – check that out instead. 

0.5 out of 5 

Trailer
BLAIR WITCH

Viewer Discretion
MA15+ – Strong Supernatural Themes 
Warning – If you are squeamish when it comes to bodily injuries and/or if you are claustrophobic, please be advised that BLAIR WITCH contains scenes that may be distressing to watch. Also, bear in mind that shaky-cam filming style! 

Moviedoc wishes to thank Jesse from Roadshow, Roadshow Films and Village Cinemas Jam Factory for this invitation to the Media Screening of BLAIR WITCH. 

Review by Moviedoc 
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LIGHTS OUT

81 minutes, Horror

A particular scene shown in the trailer for LIGHTS OUT, involving a woman repeatedly flicking a light switch off and on that reveals a very creepy-looking entity present in the darkened room, may look familiar to you. This same hair-raising scene was used in David F. Sandberg’s 2013 short film version of the same name. Now, adapted for the big screen and extending its running time from under 3 minutes, LIGHTS OUT stars Aussie Teresa Palmer (WARM BODIES, THE CHOICE) as Rebecca, who has moved out of her Mother’s (Maria Bello) residence where her much younger brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) resides. When Martin begins to experience the same supernatural events Rebecca once did, the siblings work together to understand what this entity wants and what the connection is to their Mother.

Lights Out Poster

Until the moment revelations regarding the entity and why it’s here are made, the popular live-action style of horror playing out is fairly stock standard in this day and age, yet undeniably effective. Its ability to reel you in and have you guessing certainly cannot be faltered. But what makes LIGHTS OUT more than just a consistent exercise in ongoing suspense is its clever elusiveness towards predictability. Just when you think you can foresee all developments unfolding clear as day, LIGHTS OUT fittingly flicks a switch and  leaves you in the dark. The conclusion is rather impressive and completely satisfying.

3 out of 5
Viewer Discretion
M – Sustained threat, supernatural themes and some violence 
Moviedoc wishes to thank Alexandra from Roadshow Films and Roadshow Films for the complimentary in-season pass to view LIGHTS OUT.
Review by Moviedoc
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