‘The Little Stranger’ Eerily Displays Not All Hauntings are Supernatural

While watching Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger – quite possibly one of the strangest projects a director has undertaken after their previous film was nominated for Best Picture – I couldn’t help but think back on Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, my introduction to gothic horror. I remembered feeling chilled to the bone upon the ghost…

‘Papillon’ Hasn’t Quite the Wings to Transcend its Prison Drama Confines

“Papillon,” or “butterfly” in English, is an autobiographical novel by former French convict Henri Charrière, detailing his time spent as a prisoner on the penal colony of French Guiana in South America and his numerous daring escape attempts. Already made as a 1973 film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman and written by Dalton Trumbo…

‘The Guernsey Literary’ Is Yet Another Netflix Misfire

From a strictly American, or perhaps even North American perspective, it’s always exciting when a film produced and exhibited outside of the States, without even a limited festival run to generate a modicum of press with its collection of big stars and cherished veterans, arrives on our doorsteps practically unannounced. They aren’t so much the…

‘Christopher Robin’ Is a Warm, Silly Old Tale of Friendship, Imagination & Socialism

Change in national economic focus inevitably shifts national identity one way or another, perhaps even entirely displaces past identities, the same way age and growth inevitably overtake the unironic innocence and wonder associated with childhood. Though Christopher Robin’s being a Disney children’s film means it will, by its very nature, merely present surface level depictions…

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is an Undemanding, Yet Thoughtful Rom-Com Whose Significance Speaks for Itself

It’s a reflexively tickling and gloriously ironic thought that an adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s celebrated novel “Crazy Rich Asians,” in which a Chinese-American economics professor visits her boyfriend’s obscenely wealthy family in Singapore during a wedding vacation progressively fraught with one-percent melodrama, only bears a production cost of $30 million. Aside from the gloriously extravagant…

‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ Is a Prison Drama That’s As Beaten As It Is Brutish

How appropriate it is that Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s next directorial project – according to IMDb, at least – bears the title Addicted to Violence. When something becomes your purpose, it’s likely to become your drug; a drug whose effects show their true colors when that purpose is stripped from you. For former Liverpudlian boxer William Moore,…