Partridge, Disturbia, Audition: Quarantine Streaming – So, it’s another week, more lockdown, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve reached the bashing my head repeatedly against a wall just to see if it’ll knock me out long enough for the day to pass quicker portion of the Quarantine.
This will be followed by the drinking myself senseless part, but before we get to that I’m still sober (and conscious) enough to watch movies.
Once again, then, I have been searching the various online platforms available to me, in the hopes of finding something worth streaming, and I thought, since we’re all in pretty much the same boat here, I’d bring you all some of my top recommendations once again. So, enjoy… or don’t. Whatever.
ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA – BBC iPlayer
This 2013 big screen outing for Steve Coogan’s now iconic awkward, petty local morning DJ could have been so bad. The fact that it’s actually one of the most entertaining entries into the Partridge canon is a testament to the brilliance of the character, as well as Coogan’s performance, and the talent of those behind the scenes. The film seems Partridge thrust into the unlikely role of negotiator when a disgruntled fellow radio presenter (a brilliant Colm Meaney) takes the radio station employees hostage. Despite sounding absurdly “blockbuster” for an Alan Partridge tale, Alpha Papa manages to maintain the hilariously awkward nature of previous instalments while balancing the more cinematic and action-orientated plot.
BONE TOMAHAWK – 4oD
This horror western from S. Craig Zahler came under fire upon release for its rather hostile take on Native Americans, however, despite it’s somewhat “un-PC” approach, Bone Tomahawk is a frightening, tense, and uncomfortably engaging experience. Starring Kurt Russel as a jaded and weary sheriff in the Old West who embarks upon a mission to rescue three townsfolk from a savage tribe. Joining Russel on his quest is Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson, and Matthew Fox. Featuring strong performances and a real sense of atmosphere, Bone Tomahawk is perhaps most infamous for its unflinchingly horrific depictions of brutal violence. Be warned, this is dark, brooding, visceral filmmaking, and is likely to stay with you long after the credits roll.
DISTURBIA – Netflix
D. J. Caruso’s 2007 retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic thriller Rear Window is smart enough to not simply replay the beats of that film in a modern setting, but rather find a new spin on the well-known tale. Shia LaBeouf stars as Kale Brecht, a teenager who, while placed under house arrest begins to suspect that his neighbor might be – that’s right, folks, you guessed it – a serial killer. It’s uneven and falls on cliché come the final act, but this is silly, popcorn fun that’ll keep you entertained and might even offer up a few surprises.
MIDSOMMAR – Amazon Prime
Ari Aster caused quite a stir with his 2018 feature debut Hereditary, but it was his 2019 sophomore effort that really cemented his reputation as one of the most exciting voices in modern horror. Starring an excellent Florence Pugh, Midsommar is a Wicker Man inspired folk horror that’s a emotionally exhausting as it is brilliant. When she suffers a devastating and horrific family tragedy, Dani turns to her boyfriend, Christian, and his friends for support.
However, when the group head to Sweden to observe the fabled midsommar festival, their toxic traits begins to breakdown their relationship, and what began as an idyllic holiday quickly devolves into a surreal, drug addled nightmare. Scary, atmospheric, and above all incredibly absorbing, Midsommar is Aster’s superior film, and a genuinely mesmerizing experience.
RETURN TO OZ – Disney+
I left Disney+ out last week, but this week I discovered that this gem was lurking in its depths. Released in 1985, Return to Oz is a strange and unusual film. Picking up where the 1939 musical left off, Return to Oz is a far darker, sinister affair. Dorothy, now played by Fairuza Balk, is declared mentally ill after sharing her tales of the wonderful land of Oz and is given over to a group of sadistic psychiatrists who plan to give her electric shock therapy. When she is rescued by a mysterious girl, she soon finds herself back over the rainbow, where she must fight a witch and an evil King who are hellbent on destroying the land. Responsible for countless children’s nightmares, this is one of those “must be seen to be believed” films. It taps into that terrifying space only a children’s film can do and belongs alongside the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as one of the most frightening and sinister kid’s movies out there.
AUDITION – Shudder
Takashi Miike’s shocking and gory 1999 horror about a man who inadvertently begins a relationship with a deadly woman when he falls for the young and mysterious Asami is arguably responsible for the entire J-horror boom of the late 90s and early 2000s. A cult classic of epic proportions, Audition is a film unlike any other. Be warned, once you’ve seen Audition you cannot unsee it. A scary and chilling movie that balances genres and really showcases just how great a filmmaker Miike is, this is one to be enjoyed alone at night with the lights off.
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