The Royal Hotel

Hanna and Liv on the road

Writer/director Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel slots into the “people having a terrible time in the Outback” groove but her follow-up to The Assistant is also its own distinctive beast. It’s more Wake in Fright than Wolf Creek, with its subjects/victims being tested to their psychological limits rather than out-and-out monstered. It’s a “thriller” says the IMDb, and quite a few reviews say it is too. But it’s a funny sort of thriller, coming across more as a human drama with a lurking sense of threat unsettling enough almost for it to be counted as a horror movie. But on to the plot. Two young women backpacking their way around the world wind … Read more

The Matrix Resurrections

Neo and Trinity amid smoking rubble

Dull rather than dim,The Matrix Resurrections reanimates the corpse of the original and best of the previous three Matrix movies and sets off in the right direction before bogging down in the sort of world-building, lore-laden plotting that hobbled numbers two and three. Some years have passed and Thomas Anderson (aka Neo aka The One but really Keanu Reeves) is now the world-famous designer of The Matrix, a trio of games that once took the world by storm. The games are still out there, though these days more in a legacy rock band kind of way. Resting on his laurels, Mr Anderson lives the gilded life of the successful and feted game designer. … Read more

Love and Monsters

Dylan O'Brien and cute dog

I’ve sat through more post-apocalyptic teen adventure flicks – Hunger Games, The Giver, three flavours of Divergent, Maze Runner etc – and not really enjoyed any of them. “They’re not for you,” a mate at work once remarked. And as I whinged some more about one or other of them, she nodded pityingly towards my greying hair. They’re not, it’s true, but even so I loved Love and Monsters, a post-apocalyptic teen adventure flick that gets by without any hat tips to Ayn Rand – rugged individual against the overweening state etc etc – and sets out its stall immediately with a voiceover by Joel (Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien) explaining that the … Read more