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My thoughts on Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders (2022), Smile (2022), Don't Worry Darling (2022), Pearl (2022) and Barbarian (2022).

It's been a while I have posted reviews. Due to renovations in and around my place, I haven't been able to write reviews. Let's just say that life has been very messy and chaotic for me. However, I am settled in again and am ready to share what I thought of the films I have seen. To compensate the lack of, I will first share my thoughts (briefly) and if the film warrants it expand on it in a more elaborate review later on.

Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders (2022)

From the get go, this film looks and feels like a glorified direct to video film you would only watch very late at night, when your resistance to anything ridiculous is super low. Actually, I expected this film to suck big time. And while it certainly is filled with flaws, it did manage to surprise me by how entertaining it was. Think of Escape Room meets Saw meets Agatha Christie. Far bloodier and gorier than your average whodunnit and definitely one with an incredulous twist ending. However, one so stupid that it actually becomes brilliant. Do give this a shot!

Smile (2022)

This was a title I had been looking forward to ever since I had seen the trailer. It seemed to be filled with tension, dread and psychological terror. The premise was immensely compelling. This could and should have been one of the best horror films released this year. Unfortunately, Smile doesn't really deliver. Or at least not to the extent I was hoping. Films like Insidious and Dead Silence are prime examples of how to do it well. Smile sometimes gets close, but then dials down the tone and thrills so much you will get bored. The few good moments can't save it. It's been only a few weeks and barely can remember it. That should give you an idea how memorable Smile is!

Don't Worry Darling (2022)

After the controversies surrounding the film, I kinda didn't want to watch this film in the first place. Often, shenanigans in the filmmaking process rarely lead to good results. Especially if some of the actors don't really care about promoting the film. So why should I even bother? But to my surprise, I ended up enjoying it. Will this film blow your mind and shock you? No! Will it enlighten you on topics you have never seen or heard before? No! Thematically, it's a film that has been done quite a few times. Still, the excellent performance by Florence Pugh does make up for a lack of tension and suspense. The twist is serviceable enough. The biggest problem of the film that it lingers too long on the life of Pugh's character and rushes through some essential and pivotal moments. Perhaps that can be blamed on Olivia Wild's inexperience as a director, or maybe the story never was written that deeply. Point is, this film could and should have done far more with its concept. Especially considering the improbability of it all. 

Pearl (2022)

A prequel to X (2022), filmed immediately after X. Honestly, I completely had forgotten that Mia Goth actually also played the older version of the Pearl character in X. But I do remember discussing it with Mrs. P. where I was wondering whether the actress was young or not. Let's just say that the makeup department did one hell of a job, since it's very convincing. It's rare for a filmmaker to expand on an established character in a compelling way. But Ti West has managed to do exactly that. Mind you, Mia Goth's acting is phenomenal. A good demonstration of this is in the final scene. It's immensely creepy and uneasy. But at the same time quite tragic. One can speculate whether Pearl would have turned out different had she been given the opportunity. If you look at her eyes, you can tell she is wondering the same thing. A must-watch for sure!

Barbarian (2022)

Usually I am very sceptical when films get hyped up so much. Very rarely do they live up to the promise and often make you feel like you have wasted your time. While Barbarian certainly offered a different viewing experience than I was expecting, I do think it's worth your time. However, it does require some suspending of disbelief. First, why would you stay in a house with a random stranger in an area where even vagrants warn you to flee from? And I could mention my other objections, but that would spoil too much, so let's just say it's beyond stupid to remain in that house. Just doesn't make sense. So yes, you will be screaming at the main character for her optimistic and innocent perspective on people and life in general, unfortunately even the most innocent people aren't that naive. It's highly unrealistic! Having said that, there are some genuine and real effective scares. But at one point the film turns into a complete different one where the tone changes. A shame but one I could live with since it did offer something I never expected to happen. One could argue, the true horror of our society. Highly enjoyable!

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