Here are some re-posted reviews of some new releases this weekend: The bonkers experimental sci-fi film FRIED BARRY, a Kung Fu story with a lot of heart in THE PAPER TIGERS, and an interestingly bizarre anthology from Chino Moya called UNDERGODS.
As the world advances in its technology, ridesharing services like Uber rise in popularity. While Uber feels safer as you can see the profile of who’s picking you up, you may never truly know your driver. Or, for that matter, you may never truly know your passenger. That is the starting point of the new psychological horror film from Michael Nader, The Toll, where Cami (Jordan Hayes, who also produces) is coming home from a trip and, instead of asking her father to come get her, decides to get in an Uber-adjacent for her hour-long trip home. That’s where the socially awkward Spencer (Max Topplin, who also produces) comes into play.
Non Western is a documentary that follows Montana couple Thaddeus Red Bird and Nanci Red Bird as they prepare for their upcoming wedding and they have to adjust to each other's cultures as Nanci learns to become Northern Cheyenne. A film about gender roles and cultural differences, sometimes there's more context needed but as a character study, it shines.
For a different kind-of article, I was able to take part in an animation workshop for the film WOLFWALKERS. I've included some coverage of the event in the form of quotes and interesting tidbits, as well as my experience trying to follow along in the tutorial and how my own drawings turned out (like the one seen in the featured image).
Ryan Murphy, showrunner of American Horror Story, revisits some of his Glee roots by directing The Prom, a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. The story features a troupe of self-obsessed theater stars wanting to find a cause to make themselves feel better. They settle on a small conservative town in Indiana in support of a high school girl, Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman), who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.
In the latest social media satire, the Shudder Original, Shook, it features fitting use of the title. After a social media influencer, Genelle (played by real-life influencer Genelle Seldon) is murdered in the opening scene by a serial killer, our main character Mia (Daisye Tutor), in reaction to the news says, deadpan to her livestream, “I’m shook.”
She then monologues that this is a time for selfless acts, so she’s going to babysit Chico, a dog owned by her sister Nicole (Emily Goss), instead of going to a livestream with her friends. These bits of satire are solid, and some are funny – especially the opening scene when Mia and Genelle are being photographed on the red carpet for their followers, only for it to be revealed they’re on a makeshift red carpet against a plain building in an empty parking lot.
Directed by: Emma Seligman. Starring: Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, Polly Draper. Runtime: 1h 17 min. This film played at this past weekend’s Reel Love Film Festival as the festival’s closing night film on Feb. 14, 2021. Minor spoilers follow. Shiva Baby follows Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a college student who is put into a unique position [...]