What is it about March that the distributors decided to make it a celebration of thriller/horror genre? This month has seen us watching The Witch, a long-awaited indie release, The Boy, a horror film about a porcelain doll, and 10 Cloverfield Lane, which set up the field for Cloverfield anthology. Which of March suspense/horror films should you catch while they are in the cinemas?
10 Cloverfield Lane
If you plan to watch only one of March suspense films, make it 10 Cloverfield Lane. An excellent story, with plot twists surpassing all the expectations, builds the story based on tension between the three occupants of a bunker located below the ground. It’s not answering all your questions, but cleverly leads the story ahead, and as the time passes, you start getting all the hints you need. The film builds on the chemistry between the characters – John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr create a “family” of the last on Earth… and the power shifts between them as the mystery grows. And it all unfolds after Michelle, the leading lady, loses conscience in a car accident to wake up in a basement flat that she doesn’t know – and her saviour tells her that the world has been hit by a nuclear bomb.
The Witch was one of the horrors people hyped over. Before its UK release, you could find a handful of posts I found on Twitter about how excellent it is. Don’t you find it funny that somebody can just call something “the horror film of the year” in March? Not giving many more people a chance for the next 9 months, right? Anyway: although it’s cleverly made and grows tension throughout, it is not a typically scary horror film. It tells the story set in the village of conquerors: after being expelled from their village, a family of six stops by the forest to start their life once again. The unfriendly soil and terrifying forest are not the allies of the family father William, who tries to lead his obedient family ahead. One day, the youngest child goes missing while playing peek-a-boo by the forest with his older sister Thomasin – only to turn the family members against each other and seek relief in superstition. With a kick-ass feminist aspect, the exploration of folktales and period costumes and dialogue it is still worth watching – less for gory scares, more for the continuously growing tension. If you like to look out for analogies, you’d give it a fair mark. If you want to be scared and anticipate gory scenes, you’d probably choose a different film. Then, probably, you’ll go to see…
Greta, an American girl decides to change her life: escaping an abusive relationship, she applies for a nanny job in England. When she arrives, to her surprise, the child she will be taking care of turns out to be a life-sized china doll. Before they leave on holiday, the “parents” leave Greta with a list of rules that she needs to be strictly obedient to. As the boy’s life story unfolds, it turns out that he wasn’t the nicest kid, and that the doll is probably possessed. Although the story itself sounds pretty… unreasonable (cause dude, how can you NOT notice that there’s something mentally wrong with the people who are older than 6 and still treat a doll as their child?!), for die-hard fans of horror and suspense it might still be a flick to watch in their spare time. Less clever plot planning than in 10 Cloverfield Lane and more blood than in The Witch, it doesn’t introduce anything new, and if you expect Chucky, think Annabelle.