In no particular order…
Brandon Cronenberg’s creeptastic tale of assassin Tasya Voss (Andrea Riseborough) — who co-opts other people’s bodies to go after her marks — hits all the surreal body horror notes I wanted. While the visuals alone make the movie worth watching, the slow erosion of Tasya’s identity and its effects on the people around her haunted me even more.
Grief tends to be overshadowed, or even obliterated, in most horror films as each terrible loss barely registers before the next awful scene. Not so in this Australian film, where grief is the central force pulling a family relentlessly toward entropy. It’s a poignant, sympathetic look at dementia, as well as a harrowing exploration of the literal and metaphorical spaces between us.
OK, Small Axe is technically five films, but who’s counting? Steve McQueen’s opus, about West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s-’80s, is at turns heartbreaking, enraging and luminously transportive. McQueen is a master of his craft, and every detail — from the characters to the fantastic soundtrack — is just right.
I’m still thinking about this deeply unsettling and truly frightening movie, released approximately 1 million years ago in February. The story follows a young, eager-to-please stepmother with a dark past, who becomes stuck in a wintry hellscape with her new stepchildren. What could go wrong?
This is the movie I needed so desperately during lockdown, as my own days ran together into one long forever. I don’t want to spoil the plot at all, so I’ll just say it’s a hilarious, genuinely romantic science-fiction comedy that follows a couple (played charmingly by Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti) trying really hard to break old patterns.