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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

March 2022 Review: The Best and Worst Movies I Saw Last Month

I don’t have much to say about this month, other than it was fine. I’m finally starting to get back to normal after being sick, my car is returned from the repair shop, and I’ve caught up on all the work I fell behind on from the last three months. Thankfully, things have kept up reasonably well in my viewing habits. This month I recorded 35 first time watches and re-watched 3 films. Check out what some of my highlights were!

Re-Watch Highlight: Stir of Echoes (1999); Director: David Koepp; United States

Tom and Maggie have had a difficult time adjusting to their new home but are otherwise satisfied with their lives. One night, they decide to attend a house party where Tom is hypnotized by Maggie’s sister. The hypnosis awakens a deep psychic connection that has been lying dormant in Tom for years. What is initially an odd party trick spirals into turmoil when Tom is haunted by confusing visions of a mysterious ghost. As Tom digs deeper into the bizarre hauntings, he learns the shocking truth behind his house’s history and why he is pursued by this spirit. Stir of Echoes is another entry in a decent spat of movies that I just didn’t give a real chance to when I was younger. Thankfully, I came into this viewing experience remembering nothing about the film and could enjoy it this time. Boasting some impressively memorable scare sequences, including the initial hypnosis session, Stir of Echoes is a deliberately executed chiller seeping in late 90s goodness. It isn’t as bombastic or as terrifying as other supernatural horror offerings, but it still gets under the viewer’s skin with more grounded terror. Kevin Bacon commands the screen with an exceptional performance elevating the film even further than its contemporaries. While it didn’t cause a stir in me initially, I’m now more than happy to echo my recommendation for this film after getting re-acquainted.

Previous Rating: 5/10

New Rating: 7.5/10

WORST #3) The Bunker Game (2022); Director: Roberto Zazzara; Italy/France

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 3.5/10

BEST #3) Fresh (2022); Director: Mimi Cave; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

WORST #2) The Living Dead Girl (1982); Director: Jean Rollin; France

Maintenance workers moving hazardous materials inadvertently spill some toxic chemicals in the underground. The runoff seeps into the tomb of a beautiful corpse who was once an heiress and revives her, partially. Her return to life is not met without challenges as she now possesses an incredible urge to quench her never-ending thirst with blood. Aimlessly wandering back home, she runs into her childhood best friend who makes it her mission to keep her alive with whatever it takes. A plodding and often soullessly boring affair, The Living Dead Girl is another attempt to use zombification or vampirism as a metaphor for human feelings or conditions. Guilty, companionship, and love are emphasized in this outing, but it doesn’t click for this reviewer. It’s filmed quite well and doesn’t lack in production values for the time. Unfortunately, the over-the-top acting and slow pacing kills any momentum the film could gain. The central relationship between the two childhood best friends feels forced and insincere. As the bodies pile up, the film gets sillier with its premise before ending in its befuddling climax. It’s quite possible that as a reviewer I didn’t “get” it, but I stand by my observations and that there are plenty of similarly themed films from the same time period that are much more worthy of acclaim.

Overall Score? 3.5/10

BEST #2) X (2022); Director: Ti West; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

WORST #1) The Scary of Sixty-First (2021); Director: Dasha Nekrasova; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 3/10

BEST #1) Irreversible (2002); Director: Gaspar Noé; France

A night out in Paris ends in brutality. Alex, her boyfriend, and their friend head out to a party before splitting up. Alex leaves and is brutally raped in an underpass. These events are presented in reverse-chronological order beginning with the terrifying conclusion and ending with a punch to the gut. Gaspar Noé knows how to create an uncomfortable a provocative film. Irreversible is an experience that grabs the viewer in the beginning and doesn’t relent. Nauseating camerawork and dizzying light and sound design pummels the viewer into a daze as the violence unfurls in the beginning of the film’s runtime. Strong performances and believable characters make the film hit even harder, despite the initial confusion in the beginning about the details of the act of violence. Incredibly divisive, Irreversible remarks on the nature of violence. Irreversible reminds us that violence is cyclical, justice is distant, and meaning doesn’t exist in all cruelty. With each additional clue to the puzzle that is that night, we understand how deeply ingrained male violence is in society and that small details in character’s behavior and dialogue clue us into the more subliminal messages later. It isn’t a watch for the faint of heart, as the violence is truly horrifying. If you do choose to watch, you will find that the impressions will be Irreversible.

Overall Score? 9/10

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