Review: ‘Relic’ is a terrifying look at inevitability.

A daughter, mother, and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.

The terror begins from the very first scene. Blink and you’ll miss the clues laid out from the getgo. Relic crawls under your skin and chills you to the bone. The script is skillfully crafted. Not only are you inside a haunted house story but you’re also tangled up in family trauma and dementia. As someone whose grandmother passed this spring, as someone who watched her mental and physical deterioration for years from Alzheimer’s, this film felt personal and all the more upsetting. For those who have had a relative with the disease, you’re constantly asking yourself, “Do I see traces of it in my Mother? My Father? Will I feel just as helpless in the future?” Relic is an allegory that builds upon fear, much akin to Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. If you understood the totality of that film, you’ll be spellbound once you experience this one. 

Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, and Robyn Nevin are phenomenal. Three generations of women expose themselves to give us some of the most epic horror performances since Toni Collette in Hereditary, Lupita Nyong’o in Us, and Riley Keough in The Lodge. The specificity to age and stage development is obviously there but it the reaction to trauma both unlying and on the surface that is played with precision.  This story, outside of the horror aspect, will resonate with so many, regardless of generation. The cinematographer coupled with the story leaves so many things unanswered. I actually would love a sequel… or even a prequel. Director-writer Natalie Erika James and co-writer Christian White, they have given the viewing audience an exceptionally frightening masterpiece. Very few films still cause me to cover my eyes. Though I wished I had, I could not pull my attention from the screen. Brilliant performances, dark and lush cinematography, and alarmingly visceral storytelling make Relic completely hypnotic. It will, no doubt, paralyze you with fears beyond your understanding.



Director: Natalie Erika James

Writers: Natalie Erika James and Christian White

Starring: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin

Producers: Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker

Executive Producers: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Mike Larocca, Todd Makurath, Wang Zhongjun, Wang Zhonglei, Hu Junyi

Cinematographer: Charlie Sarroff

Distributor: IFC Midnight

Release Date: July 10, 2020 In Theaters and also available On Demand / Digital Rental

Netflix News: Robert Redford, Jason Segal & Rooney Mara in afterlife love story ‘The Discovery’ on March 31st

The Discovery stars Robert Redford, Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Riley Keough and Jesse Plemons and is a love story set in a world where the afterlife has been scientifically proven, and as a result millions of people start taking their own lives to “get there.” Directed by Charlie McDowell and written by McDowell and Justin Lader (The One I Love), the film was produced by Alex Orlovsky of A-LO Films and James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment, and was co-financed by Endgame Entertainment and Protagonist Pictures. Executive Producers are Julie Goldstein, Lucas Smith, Mike Goodridge, Dimitra Tsingou, Hunter Gray, McDowell and co-producer Erika Hampson.
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Michael’s Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

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Visionary director George Miller returns to the franchise that launched his career 36 years ago, with a fourth installment, Mad Max: Fury Road, a film seen as a renaissance of the franchise and quite possibly one of the best action films of the century. The first film in the franchise not to star Mel Gibson as the titular character, actor Tom Hardy takes over as Max Rockatansky, a survivor in the apocalyptic wasteland searching for his place in the abyss. This action packed adventure is a throat punch to your senses and one hell of a wild ride.

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His name is Max (Tom Hardy) and his world fire and blood. Life in this world is reduced to a single instinct: survive, but survival is not an easy task.  Max is a loner running from the ghosts of his past, memories that haunt his every move. Being a loner makes you more susceptible in this world, predators across every dune, looking for any opportunity to kill you and take what’s yours. The perfect introduction, or re-introduction for some, into the world of the mad.

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We begin with Max being captured by the War Boys, the army of tyrannical cult leader King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Taken to a mountainside fortress called the Citadel, Max is imprisoned and used as a blood donor for a sick War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult). We see into the chaotic nature of the Citadel, where War boys control and harvest the resources for Joe while hordes of desperate survivors beg for even a single drop of water. In need of replenishment of their gasoline supply, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives her heavily-armored War Rig to collect more from Gastown, but instead veers off course and makes a run for it. Joe quickly realizes that his five wives are gone and scrambles his entire War Boy army in pursuit of Furiosa, as well as calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and the Bullet Farm to assist in the pursuit.


Nux joins the army and straps Max to the hood of his car, to continue supplying blood. A battle ensues between the Rig and Joe’s forces which leads to a chance for Max to make his escape. Max encounters Furiosa and the wives and reluctantly agrees to let them accompany him. Furiosa informs Max of her plan to make a run for the “Green Place”, a location she remembers from her youth, as a safe place for the wives. As the group begins their journey into the unknown, Nux continues his pursuit of the traitor Furiosa to bring Joe’s prized wives back to him and receive the rewards. With Joe’s army quickly closing in, Max and Furiosa must face the battle of their lives which will test not only their physical state, but their mental one as well.

CHARLIZE THERON as Furiosa in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Jasin Boland

CHARLIZE THERON as Furiosa in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by Jasin Boland

From start to finish, Mad Max: Fury Road is non stop action. George Miller attention to detail in his vision of this apocalyptic world is captivating. Miller’s film, essentially, plays as one big chase scene, with a few detours here and there, but the real genius in this film is the use of real-time stunt work in place of CGI. The action choreography in Mad Max: Fury Road coupled with the astounding camerawork is mind-blowing. The sheer spectacle that is the stunt work and destruction of these vehicles is worth the price of the ticket alone.

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The world is riddled with interesting characters using futuristic dialogue which add to the insanity of the landscape. Tom Hardy is compelling as Max. His take on the character plays nicely in concert with Gibson’s version with a few added quirks that remind us that Max is still a man underneath despite his damaged psyche. Charlize Theron is astounding as Furiosa and one of the strongest female characters we’ve seen in a long time. Whether driving with a furious determination or contemplating her life thru all her struggles, Theron commands the attention of the audience in every scene and excels in her ability to make us feel for her character at every turn. The remaining cast, including the wonderful Nicholas Hoult, add to the character rich landscape of this film beautifully, each adding their signature to an already exquisitely acted film.

Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is a amazing feat of action film making. George Miller has created yet another masterpiece in his apocalyptic franchise, one that I can safely say, honors the previous films with intense care. Do not miss this film.


4 1/2 out of 5

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