Sunday, 17 June 2018
Much like the ethics surrounding cloning, producers of the Jurassic Park/World franchise don't seem to have ever stopped to question whether their ability to produce film after film of dino misadventures means that they should. But much like the villains in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, sequel to the surprising box office behemoth of 2015, and the fifth Jurassic film overall, Colin Trevorrow, (swapping directing for writing duties) and new helmsman JA Bayona (The Impossible) seem to have decided on the rationale of why do good when you can make money. After being tricked into rescuing dinosaurs from the now twice defunct adventure park, Claire (Dallas Bryce Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) have to stop corporate bad guys Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) and Gunnar Eversol (Toby Jones) from using the dinos for nefarious purposes. Of course, as always happens, all hell breaks loose but very little in the way of genuine fun, thrills or wonder.
Perhaps not as scary as the Sundance hype would have us believe, Ari Aster's self-assured feature debut, Hereditary, is still a rather unsettling film experience that means to get under your skin - and does. And that's even before things go bat shit crazy for Annie (Toni Collette) and her family, including husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) and adolescent son Peter (Alex Wolff); still mourning the loss of Annie's mother when an even greater tragedy strikes, an even greater grief takes hold, and things go from bad to worse for the Graham family. It says a lot for Aster's skill for establishing mood and character that Hereditary succeeds at discomforting the audience long before things take a turn for the supernatural; the action may get bloodier in the third act but Aster's spell is also broken somewhat. Collette's performance, however, never wavers. She starts in high gear and accelerates from there.