Monday, February 27, 2017

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

IMDb plot summary: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan. Starring Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler.

This is the sort of quiet relational indie movie I may admire greatly but can't quite fall in love with. In recent years I've had to admit I have a fondness for the grandiose and the theatrical in my dramas. This is certainly far from theatrical. This is only a negative if you're me; for many moviegoers, that might be a word in its praise. The film does play out very realistic and very naturally, and all involved do a great job in their respective roles. Casey Affleck somehow manages to convey great depth of character beneath his never-changing facade of beaten-down cynicism. It's a good movie, and if this sounds even a little bit like something you might like, I'd highly recommend you check it out.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Manchester by the Sea > Checking Out
Manchester by the Sea > The Abyss
Manchester by the Sea < Breakfast at Tiffany's
Manchester by the Sea < What We Do in the Shadows
Manchester by the Sea < What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Manchester by the Sea < Southside with You
Manchester by the Sea > My Life as a Dog
Manchester by the Sea < Moonrise Kingdom
Manchester by the Sea < Inherit the Wind
Manchester by the Sea > Reservoir Dogs

Final spot: #623 out of 2585.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

IMDb plot summary: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.
Directed by Mel Gibson. Starring Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington, and Luke Bracey.

(Spoilers ahead.)

Two years ago, American Sniper was up for Best Picture, and I was greatly disappointed because it kept positioning itself as if it was trying to ask questions about the morality of war, only to retcon all of that with no justification in the last 10 minutes of the movie. It was a frustrating choice. Hacksaw Ridge, fortunately, does not make the same mistake. Its themes are consistent throughout -- not so much about the morality or immorality of war itself, but about how one man reconciled his pact of nonviolence and his desire to serve his country. As someone drifting more and more toward a worldview of total nonviolence, it was refreshing to see a story like this, with someone stepping into this kind of brutal violence to heal without passing judgment on those around him who have different convictions on how to stand up to evil.

It would be easy to turn this review solely into a discussion of its political meanings, but it's also excellent in cinematic terms. Andrew Garfield as Doss imbues the character with personality (often a challenge for characters based on existing people) and carries the film easily on his shoulders. The climactic scene of him transporting as many wounded as he could down to safety successfully conveys the bravery and "epicness" of that undertaking just as much, if not more, than the dramatic battle scenes surrounding it. It's a gripping watch that does everything I hoped it would do.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Hacksaw Ridge > Born Yesterday
Hacksaw Ridge > Atonement
Hacksaw Ridge < Benny & Joon
Hacksaw Ridge > Bernie
Hacksaw Ridge < Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Hacksaw Ridge > The Impostors
Hacksaw Ridge > Cats and Dogs
Hacksaw Ridge > The Joy Luck Club
Hacksaw Ridge > The Grey
Hacksaw Ridge < Les Miserables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary

Final spot: #408 out of 2584.

The Pajama Game (1957)

IMDb plot summary: An Iowa pajama factory worker falls in love with an affable superintendent who had been hired by the factory's boss to help oppose the workers' demand for a pay rise.
Directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donen. Starring Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney, and Eddie Foy Jr.

I was completely unfamiliar with the movie/show's plot going into this, but I knew a few of the songs already. And this movie has a LOT of songs. 15 minutes or so in, we'd already had three songs an were starting on a fourth. There really were only about 2-3 minutes between each number, which ended up being a good thing. The songs are fun, particularly "There Once Was a Man," "Hey There," and a lot of the Fosse-choreographed dances.

When it comes to story... Well, that definitely isn't this movie's strong suit. The characters are thin caricatures set in weak stories. There's a particularly icky subplot in which a man's rampant jealous streak culminates in him chasing his girlfriend around the building, throwing knives at her while she literally screams and begs for her life. That is incredibly disturbing. Fortunately, there's not *that* much plot, and the movie's a lot easier to enjoy as just a string of musical numbers. It ends up in the lower middle of my chart. The tunes by themselves make it a fun watch, but they're propped up by a *really* flimsy book.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Pajama Game < Born Yesterday
The Pajama Game > The Rescuers
The Pajama Game > La Dolce Vita
The Pajama Game > 'Master Harold'...And the Boys
The Pajama Game > Aladdin
The Pajama Game < Scrooge
The Pajama Game < The Fortune Cookie
The Pajama Game < As It Is in Heaven
The Pajama Game > Talladega Nights
The Pajama Game < Yankee Doodle Dandy
The Pajama Game > Sisters

Final spot: #1368 out of 2583.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lion (2016)

IMDb plot summary: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Directed by Garth Davis. Starring Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman.

Oh, this is truly a lovely movie. There are a lot of awkward or cliched traps it could have fallen into but it managed to avoid all of them and bring depth and meaning to a story that deserves to have that. The first half of the movie, focusing on Saroo as a young child, brings us perfectly into his mindset, making the world seem big and scary. When we transition to the second half, that sense of enormity is still there, even though it's reined in a little. Nicole Kidman very nearly steals the show even with only a few scenes, and Dev Patel brings wonderful personality to a character whose internal thoughts mostly stay internal. I'm glad this is up for Best Picture. I doubt it'll take the win over La La Land or Moonlight, but I'm glad to see recognition for a simple story told very beautifully.

4.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Lion > Born Yesterday
Lion > Australia
Lion > Garden State
Lion < Bullets Over Broadway
Lion > Horrible Bosses
Lion < Big Fish
Lion < Frozen
Lion < High School Musical 2
Lion < Hot Fuzz
Lion > Dead Again
Lion < The Matrix

Final spot: #238 out of 2582.

The Blue Room (2014)

IMDb plot summary: A man and a woman, secretly in love, alone in a room. They desire each other, want each other, and even bite each other. In the afterglow, they share a few sweet nothings. At least the man seemed to believe they were nothing. Now under investigation by the police and the courts, what is he accused of?
Directed by Mathieu Amalric. Starring Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau, and Laurent Poitrenaux.

For such a short movie, this dragged on FOREVER. It is slow and blah and doesn't have any kind of interesting narrative and isn't told interestingly and there's really nothing to recommend it. When it takes you days to watch a 75-minute movie because it's so dull you keep falling asleep in the middle of it, that's not a good sign. I really don't have anything else to say about it. I'm going to move on to talking about better movies.

0.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Blue Room < Born Yesterday
The Blue Room < Special
The Blue Room < Reefer Madness (1936)
The Blue Room < The World Is Not Enough
The Blue Room < American Gangster
The Blue Room > The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
The Blue Room < Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
The Blue Room > The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
The Blue Room > Don't Touch If You Ain't Prayed
The Blue Room < Bee Season
Final spot: #2526 out of 2581.

The Awful Truth (1937)

IMDb plot summary: Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.
Directed by Leo McCarey. Starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, and Alexander D'Arcy.

I've always enjoyed Cary Grant and Irene Dunne and screwball rom coms, so I'm a little disappointed that I didn't LOVE this. Don't get me wrong, I had a good time with it, and it's going to rank high on my chart, but I had higher hopes for this than I got. I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is that went a little flat for me, but I know it has to do with the emotional beats rather than the comedic ones, because there was nothing wrong on that level. It was funny and I laughed a lot, but the romantic tension that I was hoping for never quite got there, even in the final moments of the movie. I do think it's one that might benefit from multiple viewings, though, so after I've let it sit for a little while I intend to go back and check it out again to see how that works out.

This is an unusually negative review for a movie I liked, so let me clarify that I really *did* like this movie a lot. My expectations were just too high so that's what's sticking with me.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Awful Truth > The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
The Awful Truth > Australia
The Awful Truth < Smashed
The Awful Truth < Garden State
The Awful Truth < Bernie
The Awful Truth > Face/Off
The Awful Truth < Pom Poko
The Awful Truth > Corrina, Corrina
The Awful Truth < Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Awful Truth > Megamind
The Awful Truth > Cold Comfort Farm
The Awful Truth < Big Man Japan

Final spot: #536 out of 2580, or 79%.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

IMDb plot summary: A town's sheriff and regular patron of a historical whorehouse fights to keep it running when a TV reporter targets it as the Devil's playhouse.
Directed by Colin Higgins. Starring Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Dom DeLuise, and Charles Durning.

Well, this movie is pretty much what I hoped it would be: a sweet, charming movie about an unconventional subject. What I like most about it, though, is watching the two lead characters. Mona and Ed Earl have an easy chemistry both as lovers and as friends, and any scene where they're interacting is really delightful to watch. I knew some of the music here, and it's pretty good, aside from the ridiculous choice to add in "I Will Always Love You," a great song in its own right that is completely wasted in how it's been shoehorned into the movie. I'm not sure this is a movie I'll remember for a long time -- it's casual low-key tone does make it pretty forgettable in the end -- but it's one that I'm sure I'd have just as good a time with if I revisited it later.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas > Chasing Amy
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas > The Reader
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < Smashed
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < Bernie
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas > GoodFellas
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < Pom Poko
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas > Rock of Ages
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < Megamind
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas > Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas < 22 Jump Street

Final spot: #540 out of 2579.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fist Fight (2017)

IMDb plot summary: When one school teacher gets the other fired, he is challenged to an after-school fight.
Directed by Richie Keen. Starring Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, and Jillian Bell.

I had pretty low expectations going into this, and those turned out to be pretty much right. I don't have a particular immediate fondness for the Charlie Day persona, and having him as the central character of this little comedy did very little for me. The concept is pretty ridiculous to begin with, and then it does that sort of awkward escalation of jokes where, before you know it, the main characters are covered in paint or climbing in each other's windows because the plot demands it. The editing is also off, with each joke shot held just a little too long. There are one or two funny jokes, but those are in the middle of a pretty messy flick.

1 star.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Fist Fight < The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
Fist Fight < Special
Fist Fight > Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Fist Fight > John Q.
Fist Fight < Flightplan
Fist Fight < Saw
Fist Fight > I Accuse My Parents
Fist Fight < The Robe
Fist Fight > A Prairie Home Companion
Fist Fight < Show Boat (1951)

Final spot: #2069 out of 2578.

The French Connection (1971)

IMDb plot summary: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.
Directed by William Friedkin. Starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, and Tony Lo Bianco.

I've avoided this movie for quite awhile, figuring it'd be a tedious crime movie I couldn't get into. Well, turns out I was right. I feel like I'm not even qualified to judge crime movies because I have so little investment in them from the get-go and they have to do so much extra work to win me over. This one doesn't. It all feels incredibly low-stakes, despite the fact that they tell me over and over again that it's not, but that urgency never comes through. Even in the scene where Hackman is (supposedly desperately) searching for the drugs hidden in a car he brought in, it feels sluggish, and any actual results to the car chases or searches are anticlimactic. This lazy atmosphere had to be a deliberate choice, but it's one that makes me care even less in a genre that was already starting a few steps behind for me.

0.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The French Connection < Chasing Amy
The French Connection < Special
The French Connection < The Butter Battle Book
The French Connection > The World Is Not Enough
The French Connection > Holy Motors
The French Connection < Brigadoon
The French Connection < My Friend Irma
The French Connection < Kate and Leopold
The French Connection > Solaris (1972)
The French Connection > Five Children and It
The French Connection > Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Final spot: #2326 out of 2577.

Monday, February 13, 2017

12 Days of Terror (2004)

IMDb plot summary: For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola's account of those days.
Directed by Jack Sholder. Starring Colin Egglesfield, Mark Dexter, Jenna Harrison, and John Rhys-Davies.

In the first few minutes of this movie, I had the realization that I hardly ever see period films set in the 1910s that aren't specifically about World War I. For a movie that's essentially Jaws to be set in 1916 was an unexpectedly fresh treat. That being said, it's definitely not as good as Jaws. Its protagonist is technically right in his pursuit of justice, but he's just so smug and unlikable. The dialogue is pretty cheesy, and the shark effects are not very compelling. It definitely has the quality of a made-for-TV movie. It's not terribly good, but it's about as enjoyable as any silly disaster B-movie, with maybe a slight bonus for being more interesting with its historical time frame.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
12 Days of Terror < The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
12 Days of Terror > Special
12 Days of Terror > Independence Day
12 Days of Terror < The Three Musketeers (1993)
12 Days of Terror > X-Men: The Last Stand
12 Days of Terror > Quitting
12 Days of Terror < The Double Life of Veronique
12 Days of Terror < Plan 9 from Outer Space
12 Days of Terror > Touch of Evil
12 Days of Terror < 21 Up

Final spot: #1484 out of 2576.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Now, Voyager (1942)

IMDb plot summary: A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.
Directed by Irving Rapper. Starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, and Gladys Cooper.

(Spoilers ahead.)

This is a fascinating movie. It seldom went the way I expected it to. I've never been sold on Bette Davis as an actress -- she's always seemed to fall too easily into the campy self-parody she became in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? -- but here she's excellent as a woman working to reclaim her sense of identity after a lifetime of parental abuse. Charlotte is a wonderful character, and seeing her take her first steps into the adult world and blossom is very satisfying. I love that the central concern of the story *is* her reclaiming her independence, and not just through finding a man to love her. The romance is a side effect of the real emotional work being done here, and that's why even when it ends with our lead characters not getting together, it's still a positive ending in my book. Charlotte may still be undoing bits of her mother's damage throughout her life, but she is confidently reclaiming herself, making her own decisions and taking care of others in a way she never got to do when she was just her mother's slave. While the film has a few moments that veer very closely toward melodramatic overacting, overall it drew me into its story so completely that I'd happily sit here discussing the characters and their reactions for another hour without even really touching on the technical aspects of the film.

4.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Now, Voyager > Chasing Amy
Now, Voyager > Men in Black III
Now, Voyager > A Man for All Seasons
Now, Voyager < Equus
Now, Voyager < Pirate Radio
Now, Voyager < Better Off Dead
Now, Voyager < Guardians of the Galaxy
Now, Voyager < Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Now, Voyager > Breakfast at Tiffany's
Now, Voyager < High School Musical

Final spot: #316 out of 2575.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Space Between Us (2017)

IMDb plot summary: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.
Directed by Peter Chelsom. Starring Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, and Britt Robertson.

Oh, wow. Oh, this is so incompetent. It's kind of a cool concept, that of a kid born on Mars making the journey to Earth for the first time in his life, and there are moments throughout where we get glimpses of what this movie could have been. But it is all *so* badly mishandled. From terrible acting to an eye-rollingly melodramatic score to a script that I can only assume was written by an actual alien from Mars to some of the stupidest plot points I've seen in a long time ... it's just all a big ugly mess. I'm clearly not alone in thinking this, either. In the theater where I saw it, there were frequent moments that I suspect were meant to be intensely dramatic, but where the audience around me broke into laughter. You probably don't want your coming-of-age tragedy to make the audience giggle at the characters' misfortunes. It's so disappointing, because I'd have loved a story like this done well. Everything the creators could mess up, they did.

0.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Space Between Us < The Color Purple
The Space Between Us < Special
The Space Between Us < The Butter Battle Book
The Space Between Us < The World Is Not Enough
The Space Between Us > American Gangster
The Space Between Us < Man with a Movie Camera
The Space Between Us > Ladies in Lavendar
The Space Between Us < There's No Business Like Show Business
The Space Between Us > Deathstalker III: Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell
The Space Between Us > The ButterCream Gang II: The Secret of Treasure Mountain
The Space Between Us < Employee of the Month

Final spot: #2467 out of 2574.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Romancing the Stone (1985)

IMDb plot summary: A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, and Zack Norman.

This is exactly what I was hoping it would be. It's so light and fluffy and silly but has just the right proportions of romance and adventure. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner have the necessary superficial chemistry without making us think too hard about their characters, and even though my first instinct was that it needed some justification of the unexpected happy ending, I ultimately decided, nope, it did not, because what is it if not the kind of wildly, implausibly romantic story Turner's character writes as a profession? This is the kind of movie you watch when you're sick or tired and just want to enjoy something fluffy, and it excels at that.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Romancing the Stone > Closer to the Moon
Romancing the Stone > Yojimbo
Romancing the Stone < A Man for All Seasons
Romancing the Stone < Seven Samurai
Romancing the Stone < Mars Attacks!
Romancing the Stone > To Kill a Mockingbird
Romancing the Stone > Amelie
Romancing the Stone > Four Lions
Romancing the Stone < Roxanne
Romancing the Stone > Billy Elliot the Musical Live
Romancing the Stone > The Secret Garden (1987)

Final spot: #568 out of 2573, or 78%.

Kajaki (2014)

IMDb plot summary: Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg - or your life.
Directed by Paul Katis. Starring David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle, and Benjamin O'Mahony.

I've never served in the military so I have no actual experience on which to base this observation, but this seemed like a very realistic depiction of this kind of disaster scenario. It's a smart script, really bringing a sense of naturalism to these characters and this situation so nothing feels jarring or out of place. Impressively, for a movie that spends so much of its time waiting for something to happen, we only ever feel impatient with the characters, never at them. It manages to keep up the tension from beginning to end, even when our protagonists are literally unable to move from where they're standing. My only real complaint is that when the final conclusion arrives, it seems a little anticlimactic, but overall it's a very solid thriller and worth checking out.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Kajaki > Closer to the Moon
Kajaki > Yojimbo
Kajaki < Kramer vs. Kramer
Kajaki < Seven Samurai
Kajaki < Mars Attacks!
Kajaki < To Kill a Mockingbird
Kajaki < Cloud Atlas
Kajaki > The Impossible
Kajaki > Gone in 60 Seconds
Kajaki < Zootopia

Final spot: #627 out of 2572.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Airborne (1993)

IMDb plot summary: Mitchell Goosen is sixteen/seventeen year old kid from California who loves to surf and roller blade. He gets sent to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousin in Cincinnati, Ohio. When he arrives, he gets on the bad side of the high school hockey players.
Directed by Rob Bowman. Starring Shane McDermott, Seth Green, Brittney Powell, and Chris Conrad.

This movie is way dumb, but kind of endearingly dumb, like Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. It means so well and is so adorably 90s that it's hard to feel anger or contempt for it like I might for other terrible movies. The best I can muster up is amused condescension. The movie tries a couple times to pretend it's going to be about violence and pacifism (themes I always appreciate) but then it doesn't really connect to those after all because, come on, we've got a rollerblade race to watch. The race scene is actually pretty entertaining, even though it makes zero sense. In fact, none of it makes any sense. We don't really have any kind of story arc. The main character shows up, barely has a crisis, doesn't learn anything, no one around him learns anything, and they all just rollerblade together pretending there's something to fight for. It's a goofy mess and certainly not one I'd recommend to anyone.

1 star.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Airborne < Closer to the Moon
Airborne < Simone
Airborne < The Butter Battle Book
Airborne > The World Is Not Enough
Airborne > Ice Princess
Airborne > The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Airborne > Timeline
Airborne < House on Haunted Hill
Airborne > Band of Outsiders
Airborne > Out of the Past
Airborne > The Good Son

Final spot: #2261 out of 2571.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

World War Z (2013)

IMDb plot summary: Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.
Directed by Marc Forster. Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, and James Badge Dale.

Once this film got going, I was pleasantly surprised, though chunks of it would work, I imagine, far better as a book than they do as a movie. The first hour is a sort of bureaucratic look at the politics of zombie invasion, but tackled in a very uninteresting way, and I found myself zoning out more than once. The film's second half is much more narrowly focused, and it pays off with an incredibly tense 20-minute heist-like sequence which had me much more intrigued. The scenes in which we see the zombies in action are indeed terrifying, and if it hadn't been bogged down with, well, I suppose, the "world war" part of the title in the first half of the movie, it could have been a really *great* zombie movie instead of just a good one.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
World War Z > The Giver
World War Z > A Christmas Carol (1951)
World War Z < Kramer vs. Kramer
World War Z < In a Lonely Place
World War Z < We're No Angels (1955)
World War Z > To Kill a Mockingbird
World War Z < Mad Max: Fury Road
World War Z > Borat
World War Z < Marty
World War Z > Sling Blade
World War Z > Bandits

Final spot: #587 out of 2570.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Wailing (2016)

IMDb plot summary: A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.
Directed by Hong-jin Na. Starring Do-won wak, Woo-he Chun, Jung-min Hwang, and Jun Kunimura.

A group of my movie-watching buddies have raved about this movie, some proclaiming it the best of 2016, and, frankly, I was a little underwhelmed. I think there's definitely a lot to like -- it has a very tangible atmosphere, a fascinating combination of modern-day tech and ancient supernatural beliefs, where people use cell phones to call their shaman. There are a few good, creepy moments, particularly in the first two thirds of the film where the tension is building. The ending, however, doesn't really work for me. I had to go online to look up what I was supposed to take away from it, but as it played out, the sequence of events kept me from finding any kind of emotional resolution, either positive or negative. It just kind of... ended. If it had been deliberately intended to be puzzling, I maybe could have gotten on board, but I felt like I'd just missed something obvious that would have helped the emotional center of the film click into place for me.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Wailing > Sex Tape
The Wailing < A Christmas Carol (1951)
The Wailing < The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Wailing < Anna and the King
The Wailing > Serendipity
The Wailing > Chaos Theory
The Wailing > Internet Famous
The Wailing > Batman Forever
The Wailing > The Dresser
The Wailing > High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The Wailing > The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Final spot: #1125 out of 2569.