Jeremy Saulnier, who made waves in independent film with 2013’s Blue Ruin, is back again with Green Room, a perfectly paced horror-thriller. The monsters and scenarios in Green Room are so chilling because they’re familiar and realistic. Saulnier achieved this by ramping up some of the fear-inspiring experiences he had as a young punk scene kid.
In writer-direct Jeff Nichols‘ Midnight Special, 8-year-old Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher, St. Vincent) is a boy who’s never seen the sunrise. When he finally encounters it, he gets some answers about his mystefying life, but the audience never really does.
Lisa isn’t really an anomaly at all – she’s a blip on Anomalisa protagonist Michael Stone’s endless cycle of alienation.
Krampus seems to give a nod to almost every Christmas movie ever, even name-dropping A Charlie Brown Christmas (a few other delightful references are to Calvin and Hobbes’ “noodle-incident” and Rick and Morty.) Directed by Trick r Treat’s Michael Dougherty, the film’s depiction of a dysfunctional family is spot-on, and reminiscent of Gremlins, American Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone. The casting in this film was amazing because by the time things have gone horribly wrong, the audience has really started to care about a group of people who started out rather unlikable.
Goodnight, Mommy is a visual thriller, if nothing else. The cinematography combined with the psychological gouging of child/mother relationships will leave you squirming.