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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

May 2022 Review: The Best Movies I Saw Last Month

I am finally getting back into the swing of things. My job made it a little difficult to adhere to the viewing schedule I had set for me, but I manage to watch most of the films I set out to see. Here’s what I watched from last month!

41 Number of First Time Watches. 3 Number of Re-watches.

Re-Watch Highlight: None

I didn’t watch anything this past month that would warrant a highlight based on a rating change. Hopefully next month there will be something good to report!

BEST #6) Siege (1983); Director: Paul Donovan, Maura O’Connell; Canada

During the Halifax police strike, a group of thugs decide to take advantage of the lack of law enforcement by intimidating the patrons of a local gay bar. During their scare tactics, they accidentally kill one of the bartenders. Spooked by their bad decision, they call their boss who shows up to murder the witnesses. One manages to break free before his impending execution. He finds shelter in the home of an understanding group of apartment dwellers who refuse to give him back to the gang. Their decision will have consequences, as the gang isn’t ready for their last witness to walk away. Just in time for Pride Month, Siege is an electric action horror thriller that pits a group of regular people against fascists taking advantage of a bad situation. Despite being made in the 1980s, Siege is progressive towards LGBTQ people and writes them with kindness and authenticity. Best billed as an adult horror version of Home Alone, Siege relies on the strength and cunning of its main characters to propel the plot forward. Themes of self-reliance, intellection, and the desire to care for others ring through deeply on screen. Beyond that, it’s a taut film that has plenty of great moments of suspense and tension. If you need to see gay people winning after surviving adversity, Siege is a fantastic film to realize those goals.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

BEST #5) Brain Damage (1988); Director: Frank Henenlotter; United States

After a night in bed from a mysterious illness, a man finds a creature attached to his skull. Initially revolted, his disgust turns to delight when he discovers the creature can dose him with a substance that creates a short-lasting sense of euphoria. In his doped-up states, he is beholden by the creature to attack strangers and kill them to harvest their brains for the creature’s nourishment. All the while, his girlfriend is dismayed at his lack of interest in her and worried about his mental state. She recruits his brother to find out what is wrong. A hilariously fun horror comedy, Brain Damage hits all the right notes for a charming indie film. Its cast of zany characters and its reliance on off-the-wall comedy, help move the plot along nicely. The creature effects are well-done and practical, much like the gore, which should satiate those thirsty for plenty of blood splatter. Full of memorable moments that are sure to make you giggle and/or squirm Brain Damage is a film that is enjoyable despite its flaws. It also works as an allegory for addiction and mental health issues, so it has a deeper side to explore if that is your jam. Dumb fun and a crushing hunger for brains make this horror comedy one to die for.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

BEST #4) The Stylist (2021); Director: Jill Gevargizian; United States

Loner hair stylist Claire longs for a life she feels she can never have. She dreams of a loyal group of friends who love and care for her in combination with the freedom from the social anxiety that paralyzes her so. When she isn’t dreaming of this fantasy, she spends extra time at the salon attending to patrons who stay late and then killing them once their hair is perfect. Everything is going well for Claire until she gets a message from one of her regulars, Olivia. Olivia asks if Claire can do her a last-minute favor and style her hair for her wedding. This sets off a chain reaction of events that send Claire down a spiraling path of obsession and insanity. The Stylist is a gripping and uncomfortable watch. Visually appealing and fantastically acted by the ferociously talented Najarra Townsend, The Stylist ensnares its viewers with a fascinating story about the terrors of loneliness and unchecked childhood trauma. It all leads up to a jaw dropping finale that knocks the wind out of viewers after learning to love and root for Claire. You always want what you can’t have, but thankfully you can easily stream this gem on a variety of streaming platforms.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

BEST #3) The Abandon (Unreleased); Director: Jason Satterlund; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

BEST #2) The Innocents (2021); Director: Eskil Vogt; Norway

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

BEST #1) The Outwaters (Unreleased); Director: Robbie Banfitch; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 9/10

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