Annie, she ‘aint…
It’s a cinematic rule of thumb that having children play major roles in a horror movie makes the film about 50 per cent more scary than it would otherwise have been; would such works as The Bad Seed, The Exorcist or even The Omen have become such classics without their pint-sized protagonists? Young Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra certainly understands this and uses it well and truly to his advantage in Orphan, a horror film that’s successful enough to forgive Collet-Serra’s his 2005 travesty House of Wax.
Love conquers all?
It seems that most romantic comedies tread a fine line between schmaltzy melodrama and acerbic sarcasm; very few manage to successfully walk the tightrope between the two. And although writer/director Max Mayer’s first film since 1998’s forgotten Better Living doesn’t fall heavily on either side, it certainly dips a toe or two in the stream of sentimentality.
Raising the stakes…
Dark, intelligent and deeply affecting, Swedish thriller Let the Right One In is not just one of the greatest vampire movies ever made; it’s one of the greatest films ever made, period. It may have a pair of 12-year-old kids at its heart, but it expresses sweeping, universal themes of identity, isolation and intolerance with both style and substance.