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Chills and Thrills featuring Raw, Titane and Oxygen

Welcome to The ScreenSlut’s Chills and Thrills, a monthly column of mini-reviews where I talk about movies and TV shows that I have found interesting, compelling, forgettable or just horrifically bad.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Ginger Snaps

I have always heard about this film and as a werewolf fan, it was about time I checked it out. Ginger Snaps has a cult following since its release, but personally I did not get any of the hype about it. 

Ginger Snaps follows two sisters, Brigitte and Ginger who are obsessed with death and are the cultural outcasts at their school. However things start to change for the two sisters, when Ginger on the first day of her period is attacked by a monster that is responsible for the death of several local dogs. As Ginger experiences more changes than she bargained for, her sister disturbed by her behaviour and new appetites, searches for a cure.

Maybe it is because I never watched it during my teenage years, but I just could not connect with the story in this. The whole transformation into werewolf and puberty link was a bit too on the nose for my liking. 

Behind Her Eyes (2021)

Behind Her Eyes

This is probably one of the best thriller series I’ve watched in a long while. Not only does it have the drama of an extramarital affair, its twist just blew my mind.

Behind Her Eyes follows Louise, a divorced mother who goes out to a bar one night and falls for a handsome Scottish man. However, at work she discovers this mysterious stranger is not only her new boss but also married. In a twist of fate, Louise ends up bumping into his wife and they start up a friendship. But Louise cannot escape that there is something more going on than an unhappy couple and digs deeper into their past.

Behind Her Eyes deals with a common subject of affairs, but there is always an undercurrent of dread and duplicity that underscores each scene. Even before we get to the mystery that underpins this whole deceitful web of relationships, you will be hooked by the characters who are real, flawed and enigmatic.

The Advent Calendar (2021)

The Advent Calendar

The Advent Calendar was a promising movie, but unfortunately it never really goes anywhere of note. You keep waiting for a twist or something climatic to happen, but it ends on a soft thud.

The Advent Calendar follows an ex dancer, Eva, who has lost the use of her legs. One evening a friend of hers comes over to celebrate before Christmas and gives her an unusual advent calendar as a present. There are threatening messages contained in the box, claiming that if you start eating any of the chocolate you must finish it all or suffer the consequences. Soon she realises each chocolate has real life consequences not only for herself but those she loves in her life whether they are good or bad. Eva must make a choice that could have deathly repercussions.

The choices that Eva has to make may have felt more potent if the ending had not undermined all that, so although it has its compelling moments, it ends up being a rather boring tale in the end. We do see a brief glimpse of the monster which is undoubtedly terrifying but it comes a little too late to make up for the slow pace of the film.

Raw (2016)

Raw

I have heard a lot about Raw but could never bring myself to watch a film that involved cannibalism. But this film is not just about depravity as you might suspect, but also the bonds between sisters.

Raw follows Justine who is a freshman studying to be a vet. As a strict vegetarian, she is conflicted by the hoops she must jump through to fit in and is forced to break her beliefs by consuming meat. Soon after, she finds herself craving meat insatiably that makes her do things she would never believe possible.

However I realise that I am not really a fan of coming of age movies, and the horror elements do not stack up enough to overcome this fact. There are some gruesome moments as you might expect from cannibalism, but it ends up feeling a bit too mundane to really shock you.

Titane (2021)

Titane

Titane is the second feature film from director/writer, Julia Ducournau, with the aforementioned Raw being her first. This film definitely expands upon her skillset, with a more polished and even more eccentric storyline. After watching this film, I was entranced by it for several days afterwards, so I definitely recommend it for those who like films on the weirder side of things.

Titane follows Alexia who suffered a car crash at a young age and was fitted with a titanium plate in her head. Ever since that accident, she has an intense affinity for cars. There is a spate of murders that are terrorising the city, and in the meantime a aging firefighter reunites with his long lost son who has been missing for a decade. Tragedy has damaged these people, will they be able to accept their emotions and each other?

This is one of those films that you will never be able to predict where it is going next. Even though I felt uncomfortable throughout while watching it, I could not take my eyes away.

Oxygen (2021)

Oxygen

Oxygen is a great atmospheric sci-fi film that also shows off the brilliant actress Mélanie Laurent, who carries this whole film by herself.

Oxygen starts with a woman waking up in a cryogenic chamber, who has lost her memory and has no idea how she ended up there or even who she is. With her only companion, the state of the art A.I called M.I.L.O, she must try to piece together her past and escape this pod before her oxygen runs out.

As you can see it has a lot of similarities to the film, Buried, but there is more than meets the eye with Oxygen. I definitely felt a lot more connected to the female character in this and felt her emotions more deeply than I expected which goes to show Laurent’s brilliant range. Though I would say that the ending was not my favourite, even so the whole film is worth the watch especially when you see the parallels that this film has with the global pandemic adding a depth that might not have otherwise been there. 

That’s all for this Chills and Thrills.

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