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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

February 2023 Review: The Best Movies I Saw Last Month

February always ends up moving faster than expected. I finally got settled into a better routine after being sick for so long and am slowly getting caught up on all the writing and movies that I have been missing out on the last few weeks. In February, I watched 21 new films and re-watched 3 more. Here are the best!

Re-Watch Highlight: 100 Feet (2008); Director: Eric Red; United States

After killing her abusive husband, a woman returns from prison to her Brooklyn home so she can serve out the remainder of her sentence on house arrest. As she settles into her new routine, small things begin to cause distress. Some of them are natural: her groceries must be delivered, the ankle monitor goes off if she gets too close to her front door or halfway through her basement, and her dead husband’s ex-partner on the force routinely checks in on her. The other issues are more unexplainable. Soon, she begins to suspect that her dead husband hasn’t moved on and that he’s really pissed about her retaliation. 100 Feet is equal parts fun and insightful. It has all the appeal of a schlocky B-movie with bad cgi and questionable dialogue while still musing on the effects of abuse, especially by spouses of police officers. Famke Janssen delivers a solid performance while adding a certain charm and command of the screen. She makes it easy to understand Marnie as a conflicted strong woman who is still learning how to come back from a terrible relationship. Although this isn’t on any streaming services right now, if you manage to get your hands on a DVD or Blu-ray, don’t let it leave your sight.

Previous Rating: 5/10

New Rating: 7/10

BEST #6) The Long Walk (2021); Director: Mattie Do; Laos

Worlds collide in a small Laotian village when an old man interacts with the ghost of a road accident. This transports him to 50 years in the past where the events of his life and the life of this woman intersect. He is then forced to contend with the most painful moment of his life: his mother’s passing. The Long Walk is such an interesting supernatural drama. Subdued in its approach to horror, it is a simmering slow burn that leisurely takes its time to build up its characters before its grounded climax. Offering an interesting take on mortality, family, and regret, the questions that The Long Walk asks may be more interesting than the on-screen peril it depicts. Its world building also offers for a unique sci-fi twist that rounds out the strange world that director Mattie Do inhabits. The juxtaposition between the modern and spartan way of living distinctly makes the supernatural more real. Fans of international horror will delight in its charms, but those who are wary of longer films may find themselves checking out too soon.

Overall Score? 6/10

BEST #5) Malefique (2003); Director: Eric Valette; France

Four prisoners spend their days wasting away in their cramped cell in a French prison. Tensions flare every now and then. It escalates even more when they discuss how they plan to escape one day. Then, without warning they discover a mystical diary tucked away in their cell wall that may be their ticket to freedom. The power behind the diary, however, and its powerful words, could be enough to destroy them all. A quiet little unknown French horror, Malefique is predictable barring a few choice surprises that make it feel fresh despite 20 years of distance from the modern day. Its charming low budget constraints make for some creative uses of the space while consistently squeezing enough dread and tension out of the claustrophobic environment. This all leads to a particularly woozy climax that is reminiscent of a tamer version of Event Horizon. Malefique hasn’t aged quite as well in terms of representation, as one trans woman character is the butt of many subtle and a few overt jokes. So, beware of this if you prefer to or must avoid this to your streaming queue.

Overall Score? 7/10

BEST #4) Knock at the Cabin (2023); Director: M. Night Shyamalan; United States/China

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 7/10

BEST #3) Nocebo (2022); Director: Lorcan Finnegan; Ireland/United Kingdom/Philippines/United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 7/10

BEST #2) Significant Other (2022); Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

BEST #1) Infinity Pool (2023); Director: Brandon Cronenberg; Canada/Hungary/France

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 9/10

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