Posts Tagged ‘thriller’
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Screenwriters: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John J. McLaughlin
Length: 1h 48m
Synopsis: Nina Sayers (Portman) is a young and promising ballerina trying her best to earn her big break. The company she works for has decided to open its new season of performances with a new rendition of Swan Lake, which will be a version unlike most others because director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) wants the same dancer to play both the white and black swan. After dealing with much stress Nina is cast in this once-in-a-life-time role, but that stress only builds on itself more and more the closer she gets to opening night. Fellow ballerina Lily (Kunis) befriends Nina during this time, but Nina suspects she has ulterior motives. And if that weren’t enough, Nina’s mother gradually overwhelms her with even more pressure to succeed. Drowning in anxiety Nina’s real challenge isn’t performing in the ballet but surviving long enough to do so.
While rereading Robin Wood’s essay An Introduction to the American Horror Film I noticed that it failed to talk about an important element in the discussion of what exactly describes an American horror film. The absence of this topic in his subsection titled “Basic Formula” surprises me now, as it is arguably just as simple a provision to the genre as the overarching blueprint stipulating that “normality is threatened by the Monster.” While Wood’s essay has long since been considered a seminal one for both him and academic thought about the horror genre, and this is very true, an amendment should nevertheless be made. That amendment is specific but not intricate, dealing with the main protagonist’s direct relationship with the antagonist.
Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento, The Prestige)
Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento, The Prestige)
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island), Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima), Marion Cotillard (Nine), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer), Ellen Page (Whip It), Cillian Murphy (Sunshine), Tom Berenger (Sinners and Saints), Tom Hardy (RocknRolla), Michael Caine (Harry Brown), Dileep Rao (Drag Me to Hell)
Length: 2h 28m
Synopsis: Neuroscientists Cobb (DiCaprio) and Arthur (Gordon-Levitt) have a unique job, which is to enter the dreams of others and navigate them in order to find out important information – mainly secrets (this is called Extraction). The invention that they use to perform such a task allows for several people to share another person’s dream, which they can more or less construct to their liking. While working within dreams may sound (pardon me) like a dream, the procedure can in fact be very dangerous. Many things can go wrong that can leave the individuals inside a dream with severe psychological problems, not the least of which is the inability to ever be sure if you’re dreaming or not. Cobb and Arthur’s newest assignment asks them to not just steal information from someone’s brain, but plant an idea in it as well (this is called Inception). The mission demands that they recruit a team and delve deeper into someone’s mind than they’ve ever gone before, and the deeper they go the less chance they have of ever waking back up. Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Vincenzo Natali (Cube)
Screenwriter: Vincenzo Natali (Cube), Antionette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor (They Wait)
Cast: Adrien Brody (King King), Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead), Delphine Chaneac
Length: 1h 44m
Synopsis: Elsa (Polley) and Clive (Brody) are a couple who are top-notch geneticists trying to splice the correct combination of DNA strands that will create an organism that produces certain kinds of proteins that can be used to help fight any number of diseases. After enjoying much success with their latest experiments (unique male and female organisms that have the capacity to mate) they are brought down to earth with the news that their company will go bankrupt unless there is a more significant breakthrough sometime soon. Elsa convinces Clive to break the law and try experimenting with human/animal splicing in order to have the resulting organism’s proteins be more readily usable, but from the get-go things don’t go quite as planned. The new organism begins growing like a child, but the older it gets the more dangerous it becomes until eventually the two scientists are forced to fight for their lives.
Warning: This review contains information that might be considered spoiling Read the rest of this entry »