Passengers (2016)

Title: Passengersmv5bmtk4mju3mdizof5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjm2mzy2mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_
Year: 2016
Director: Morten Tyldum
Genre: Action/Drama/Science-Fiction
Date Watched: May 10, 2017
Category: #25 A film about travel

This is a great premise for a movie, and absolutely topical. Space travel, cryogenics, AI and so on. Of course a ship malfunction has one passenger wake up early and even with som much to explore he gets lonely so he wakes up someone to be his friend. A girl.

What follows is a weird combination of love story and mystery as they try to solve the problem of what’s wrong with the ship and come to terms with living the rest of their lives on board the ship. The idea that they might spend their whole lives trapped in this one place with only one other person for company is horrifying. While it sounds like it could be fun to begin with I think it would get boring quickly, even in such an amazing place as a space ship.

This is a great movie though, almost like Castaway for a new generation, with less focus on survival and more on the emotional aspects of isolation.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Let’s Be Evil (2016)

Title: Let’s Be Evilmv5bogjjnmm5mjmtmjzlos00yje2ltllngitmdninwvmmtbjzjuwxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjc5ndgwnte-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_
Year: 2016
Director: Martin Owen
Genre: Thriller
Date Watched: February 9th, 2017
Category: #35 A short film (less than 90 minutes)

If you’re looking for a movie less than 90 minutes long, the safe bet is going to be horror/thriller or children’s. Sadly I’ve seen most of the well known children’s films of that length and many of the thrillers, so here we’ve ended up with a new addition to Netflix in Let’s Be Evil.

I wish I had looked at the description and thought ‘hmm, cool concept’ and moved on without actually watching it because the concept really does have a lot of potential, unfortunately, the film itself did not manage to deliver on much.

The concept of Let’s Be Evil is a group of ordinary people (Jeni, Tiggs and Darby) who are employed to supervise a group of gifted young children going through a program that utilises augmented reality as a teaching mechanism, but of course it’s a thriller so the children are actually creepy little critters out to kill their chaperones. Based on the beginning of the movie this was employed as a technique to combat failing public schools and a generation of children that was growing up less educated than the one before it.

Honestly, I quite enjoyed the first half of the movie which was mostly setting the scene with the group getting to the facility and being shown around by their AI guide Ariel. I can’t say the same for the second half. A few strange things start happening in the facility, only to Jeni to begin with and then of course it suddenly becomes clear that the children are evil and want to kill their chaperones. Cut to some not particularly imaginative efforts to get out of the testing facility and to safety, cue the death of some of the characters and everyone has gotten what they wanted, right?

Unfortunately, this film left me wanting, based on the first half of the film I expected some kind of clever creeping which was partly realised in the first creepy efforts of the children. But ultimately, first half of the film didn’t gel with the second half, and there wasn’t really anything in the way of resolution at the end of the film. For me, there were clever elements within the film but ultimately they were like separate pieces which together can make up a great horror film (creepy children: check, trapped: check, unexplained occurrences: check) or they can make a disjointed mess like they did here.

Do yourselves a favour and give this one a miss. You will not regret it.

Rating: 1.5 stars (only because the concept and the set up was interesting)