Mini-Review: Cherry Tree Lane

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

Cherry Tree Lane

It’s not that the attempt being made by this film isn’t understood or appreciated, it’s just that somewhere along the way it loses the plot. The film deals within a home invasion wherein thugs are really after their teenage son. While it occasionally elicits the desired emotional response, ennui eventually wins out. It tests the limits of voyeurism and fails. It brings existential questions to mind like “Why am I watching this?”

An example of how it loses the plot is by having a fairly standard horror-film jolt-ending which feels tawdry, unearned, and mostly disingenuous. If we’re meant to just bask in the terror of how quickly and nearly irrevocably things change for this family the end should be more low-key and broken. This film by no means wants to be The Strangers, but it reaches wildly for it end when perhaps its prior sin was being unambitious. Perhaps the most enjoyable passage of the film is the set-up where there’s mundane small-talk that establishes character – that’s not good enough because there’s a second and third act where it can’t be compelling enough one way and tries another at the end.

1/10

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Mini-Review: The Monitor

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

The Monitor

I will freely admit that Noomi Rapace along with the fact that this film is a subdued Swedish horror film were both selling points. I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series in rapid succession and became quite an admirer of hers rather quickly. Sadly, elevating her global star status was just one of the many failings of Prometheus.

What is perhaps most surprising about The Monitor is not that it reveals twists, and character in wonderfully indirect, yet clear, ways; but that what would be the biggest twist in most films is one you become fairly certain of early on, and I was actively thinking and hoping that “There’s gotta be another one,” and sure enough there are plenty both big and small.

The Monitor is a very interestingly handled narrative that is a great character study not only of the protagonist but of her newfound friend Helge, played wonderfully by Kristoffer Joner.

I watched this on Amazon Prime, but any way you can watch this film would be good.

9/10