Monday, 9 March 2015

Blackhat - Dir. Michael Mann

The Internet is a wonderful thing: it allows anyone access to a near infinite source of information and range of services from almost everywhere in the world; but as with all good things, it also provides criminals with a new avenue of illicit opportunities. Michael Mann has often focussed on the various players of the criminal game in his films, from the bank robbers of Heat and Public Enemies to the hitman of Collateral, so it’s perhaps not unexpected to see him tackle the world of cyber crime. With Blackhat he’s recognised that the Internet has changed the way the world operates but also how the fundamentals will never change.

Monday, 2 March 2015

It Follows - Dir. David Robert Mitchell

Horror has never been a consistently popular genre with the general public. In recent years however, multiplex audiences have been fed on a diet of cheap knockoffs that believe the best way to scare an audience is to unexpectedly make a lot of noise at random intervals across 85 minutes. Every now and again, a film is appointed as the saviour of the horror genre; a film that realises that true scares come from a connection to something relatable or human. It Follows arrives just a few months after the similarly hyped The Babadook; both films differ greatly, but both manage to take familiar tropes and ideas of the horror genre and twist and blend them into some fresh and distinctive.
Teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) is enjoying her life at school, with her friends and with her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary). After having sex with Hugh, Jay finds herself tied to a wheelchair with a panicked Hugh keeping lookout. Hugh has transferred a curse to Jay, a curse which manifests itself as a person slowly walking towards her. If it catches up with Jay, it will kill her and move back to the previous victim. Wherever Jay goes, it will follow and to make matters worse, it could take the form of any person at any time. The only way to get rid of it is to have sex with someone else; to pass it on as Hugh did to Jay.