Darke Reviews | The Girl in the Spiders Web (2018)

The past few weeks have been hell on my movie going timelines with vacation and a brief plague; in addition to a number of double or triple releases of films I want to see. This was a last minute viewing for me with no real plan or I would have invited my regular movie going partner with me, who I do owe a movie and a dinner for missing our last showing. Now, I am a fan of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the original Swedish release (2009), not so much the American remake (2011) a few years later. Noomi Rapace defined the role of Lisbeth Salander, and the late Michael Nyqvist introduced me to investigative journalist Mikael Blomvist. While director Niels Arden Oplev may not be the auteur that David Fincher is, I found his (original) film more engaging. Rooney Mara was good, but she just didn’t hit what Rapace did for me in the role. Unfortunately, I have not gotten around to watching the two sequel films in the Millenium series, The Girl Who Played with Fire and the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets nest; but they are on my list. The movies require a certain frame of mind and preparation for solid investigation, mystery, and intensity that we don’t often get here in the states.

Tonight I was in that frame of mind and took a chance. 

The characters were created by late activist and Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson (1954-2004), with whom even the original Millenium trilogy (Tattoo/Fire/Nest) was published posthumously, then converted to movies shortly after. This movie is based on the book of the same name, written by David Lagercrantz, who has another sequel in print The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. That’s a complex origin, but worth noting for future trivia contests if you so wish. Spiders Web was given the screenplay treatment by Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent) with Steven Knight (Allied, Locke, Seventh Son); with on set touch ups by director Fede Alvarez.  As the director is the third writing credit here, my take is that he was doing rewrites on set with his cast. Alvarez worked on 2016’s Don’t Breathe and the acclaimed 2013 remake of Evil Dead.

The story here is a simple one as told in the trailer, Lisbeth Salander, righter of wrongs, is an avenging angel in Stockholm. She is a computer genius and particularly vindictive to those who victimize women – regardless of their social standing. Lisbeth is contacted to steal a scary software MacGuffin, is nearly killed, and must recover the MacGuffin before it’s too late with the help of some friends. She has an on again off again friendship with famous reporter Mikael Blomkvist, who returns in this movie as well. All of the events though tie to a past we have not seen fully explored for Ms Salander and it may come back to bite her in the end. Honestly, the story is Steal the Scary thing. Scary thing stolen from you. Steal it back that we’ve seen in so many spy thrillers and heist movies over the years. What makes this different is the personal touches and ties to the past and sense of self. Trying to identify who you are and remembering your past without letting it consume you.

The acting is fantastic. Claire Foy (The Crown, Unsane) gets the character. She has the rage, the insecurity, the fear, and the cunning of the titular character down. It’s difficult to make a character like Lisbeth sympathetic as she’s relatively anti social and unlikable, but if you have the chops and can pull of the complexity you can show the sensitivity and the need to reach out for human contact in a look, a touch, or even the slight tilt of the head and Foy has that. It isn’t a surprise she won awards for her work on The Crown, I’d personally like to see her nominated again here. Sverrir Gunnason takes over in the role of Mikael and he’s good, but he doesn’t have the edge to him I was feeling with Nyqvists performance. Lakeith Stanfield (Selma, Death Note) plays another party interested in our MacGuffin and brings a physicality to the movie that it might otherwise be missing, but the character doesn’t do him justice beyond that unfortunately. Sylvia Hoeks is our woman in red, and gives an as nuanced performance as she did as Luv in Blade Runner 2049 last year; which is difficult with the make up and prosthetics she has going on. Even with the minor roles and mediocre characters there’s a lot of subtext in the movie the various cast members have to deliver on and they do that effectively.

The on location (Stockholm) really adds the required atmosphere for the movie. The ice and snow (happy Elsa sigh) are as much characters in the movie at times and add a necessary element to the film. The camera work is both stable and kinetic in that you can see everything going on in every sequence, but there’s a motion to the camera for many of them that draws you into the chases and chess moves being laid out before you on screen.


I was excited watching this movie. It’s good. It’s entertaining from beginning to end. Ultimately it is also satisfying. More than once I found myself sitting up in the lounge seat and leaning forward or quietly cheering for whatever actually happened. In addition to this the movie provides multiple types of LGBT representation which is worth calling out.

I really enjoyed The Girl in the Spiders Web and I think you will too.

Should I see it then?

Yes. This one absolutely edges Widows out if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s just the more satisfying film.

Would you see it again?

No question in my mind. also at full price.

Buying it?

Yes. Also likely to get the other films, sight unseen.

Anything else to add?

I am going to try to see Suspiria this weekend at a local theatre if I can.

Darke Reviews | Lucy (2014)

Two films, two reviews, one night. Sleep is for the weak. Both reviews will have diametrically opposed commentary on one topic. Yet there are similarities in them as well. Let me get to a bit of color commentary on Lucy, I want to be able to get both reviews out before it gets too terribly late, even if most of you won’t read this for another 5 hours now.

Trailers. I promise one day I will get so mad at the trailers for movies I will do a Rant in the Darke. Today is not that day, but it’s oh so tempting. I would say easily 80% of the most intense scenes of Lucy are shown in the trailer. POssibly as low as 60 but thats pushing it. This annoys me. The movie offers no surprises in that regard. Hollywood fail folks. Trailers are designed to entice. Get you going “Oh I think I want to see what this is all about”, perhaps “That looks interesting, what happens in it.” It shouldn’t be after seeing the film going “I saw this why? The trailer showed so much.”

The trailer, however, did not show everything. For that I am partially thankful. I wish they had been more careful, but the question is what didn’t they show?

Luc Besson, you beautiful, sick fiend. Will you ever be satisfied? You directorial style is eternally refreshing and paced well for audiences across the globe. You waste no time in the movies 1:28 running time. The movie is absolutely as lean as it can be. Even with your oddly bizarre inserts during scenes which were jarring at first, but acceptable with the story you’re telling. When you introduced the world in 1990 to La Femme Nikita, then in 94 to Leon The Professional, and in 97 to the 5th Element you continued to push boundaries of action, women, and science fiction. Those are but some of the highlights of your directing career. They also inform your audience that not everything you see is what you get.

You also of course are a writer, with a tendency to be the sole writer upon a film. Thank you. You gave us Nikita, Leelu, and Leon. You brought Jet Li to Paris for Kiss of the Dragon and gave us Jason Statham’s driver in The Transporter. You gave us an introduction to David Belle in District B13. You gave us a man who has a special set of skills. Skills he’s honed over a long career and he does things when people are Taken. So many icons of modern action are at your hands.

The way you treat women is a fascinating study as well. They tend to be victim and powerful. They tend to, in your own habits of writing, start from the bottom and become something more. Something better. You do that with a belief in humanity that it can be more. That it can be good, even with the cynicism and pessimism of the worlds you create. For that, I thank you. You aren’t perfect and your initial treatment is…a bit uncomfortable at times, but your empowerment is to be commended.

Did you nail it again with Lucy?

Well. Yes, yes you did. The movie runs sickeningly lean. Too lean I think. There are scenes that could have used more meat to them. More depth, but I don’t think it what was what you were intending. The pacing is amazingly quick and yet easy to follow at the same time. Your casting is certainly not white washed and again I blame your brilliant european sensibilities for that. It wasn’t as xenophobic as I thought. It just was.

I think thats the secret to Lucy. It is. If you will pardon a bit of sacrilege, I am that I am. Not far off the mark. Everyone is who they are without apology or explanation. Bad guys are bad. Good guys are good. Scientists are scientists (that actually seem to want to do science). Lucy is Lucy.

What about that cast though is there anything to it? Well Scarlett Johansson actually carries the film. Her reaction to the events and how she passes through the world helps a lot. Is it a bit emotionless? Yes. Thats to her credit. If you watch her other films, even Widow has emotion as she does her thing. There’s something minimalist here that needs to be appreciated. Especially within the context of the story. The rest of the cast is good in what they do, but really the weight falls on Johansson and she doesn’t let it hold her down.

She did what I hoped and became a strong female character that carried a film on her own.

The movie does one other successful thing. If you remember my Transcendence review, it annoyed me to the point of rage on how it treated the advancement of the mind. This one? Not only embraces the possibility of that kind of enhancement. It takes that possibility on a date, gets drunk with it, and lets itself be taken advantage of by the possibilities it offers. I think they are in a deeply committed relationship now; or just committed. Hard to say.


If you were interested in Lucy at all? SEE it. Please.
If you weren’t but now are curious – sound off below AFTER you see it with your thoughts for a chance to win tickets to another film.
If you like the game Mage the Ascension – SEE IT. You’ll be saying “‘fraking ‘genitors” the entire time.

If you don’t dig good sci fi or sci fi in general. Give it a pass.
If you don’t like or can’t accept quasi science in your sci fi – pass.
If your kids want to see it…I am …uncertain. Maybe 13+.

Lucy, much like Snowpiercer is the kind of movie we need. Yes, it needs more meat to its story, but it took risks. Good ones. They paid off for me.

I really enjoyed this and the thoughts the movie left me with. It had a message and a good one at that. Whats the message?

See it and find out. You tell me! I know what I got from it.

Darke Reviews | Snowpiercer (2014)

What you haven’t heard of this one? S’okay most folks haven’t. It has been travelling the indie circuit for awhile without a true mainstream release. This is due, in large part to the conflict between the writer director and one of the production companies. When I start going through the cast though, you will probably be scratching your head wondering why this didn’t get a main release. Part of the argument was that the director did not want to shave time from the movie.

Was he right?

Let’s talk about him. South Korean director Joon-ho Bong is the man behind the camera. He has done nothing that most folks stateside have seen, with the exception of The Host (no not that one, the other one). You’ve probably seen it on Netflix if your queue looks like mine. I cannot talk about his body of work or influences as regrettably I haven’t explored south korean cinema as much as I perhaps should. What I do have to say is that he was a brave man to go toe to toe with  low budget schlock powerhouses The Weinstein’s at what was once Miramax. He would not compromise and for that alone he deserves praise. His direction as well in the film were above par.

Did the script support him?

I certainly hope so as he is one of the writers. This is one of those films that breaks the normal rules of writers. You have three writing credits for source material, one for screen story and two for screen play. That’s right, this one is based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige first published back in 1982. so fair credit to Jacques Lob,  Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette for providing inspiration. Joon-ho Bong gets both the screen story credit and a screenplay credit. The screen play is shared with Kelly Masterson, a playwright who apparently (per IMDB) was in seminary before going into theatre. In short no one in the writing is someone you’ve heard of.

In long (er); I hope we do hear more. The plot revolves around a classist society living on a train after the end of life as we know it. In a, not so subtle, jab at global warming our solution was “Ice-9” more or less. The world froze. People hid on this miracle train and the entirety of humanity is stuck on this mobile platform. Some folks just aren’t happy with their lot in life and want more than they have. He who controls the spice…er engine controls the world.

The cast is what pulls this together though. Chris (Captain America) Evans plays Curtis, our charismatic leader and main character. Much of the film, rightly, is focused on him with appearances by Tilda (Only Lovers Left Alive, Narnia) Swinton, John (188 acting credits) Hurt, Jamie (Turn, Jumper) Bell, Octavia (The Help) Spencer, and others. Evans, to be blunt, is incredible. There’s no Captain America here. There’s no Johnny Storm. There is a very troubled man who has a drive that only gets stronger the longer the movie goes on. Every expression, decision, and action he takes is made compelling by his performance. Everyone else is good, but he is incredible.

Two additional actors, Kang-ho Song and Ah-sung Ko, both formerly of The Host (2006 version) also should be mentioned. Neither are known state side except by a certain group of cinephiles. I’ve actually seen Kang-Ho Song in a vampire movie called Thirst. He’s good and I want to see more of him.

From a technical standpoint the movie doesn’t have to do too much heavy lifting. A few model shots of the train enhanced by CGI cover the bulk of the digital work. Make up and costuming are solid as well.

There will be those that compare this to other films in the dystopian future genre. That is inescapable. What this has different than them? Balls. Pure Balls. It is a brave film that had it truly been made stateside would not have gone in directions this went. So, back to the original question, was he right?


Yes, yes he was. The movie has very little fat on it and there is not much of its two hour running time that could be sacrificed. It would have lessened the film to do so.

Should you rush out to see this one? well…yes and no.

Someone I hope to call a  friend one day, Doug Walker, recently gave his own video review of the movie from last week that should not be named. He talks about how safe it is. How  gullible we are for giving it $100m. ( NSFW – thatguywiththeglasses.com/vide… ). He’s right. Movies like that get attention, ticket sales, and hollywood attention.

Movies like Snowpiercer? They deserve it. They take risks. They give us something we haven’t quite seen before. We need more of this and less of that.

So should you go see it? Yes, yes if you want to support films that deserve your money and deserve recognition.

Should you see it? No. The film is technically an action film and a violent one at that; but it has enough of a cerebral element and tonal quality to it that it is not right for all audiences.

I do recommend this movie. I liked it, but it’s not for everyone.

Darke Reviews | Jinn (2014)

Something is in the water. Two movies this year dealing with ancient pre-flood mythologies. One with the Christian lore and the other dips into Islamic lore. Much as I had spoken about Noah and the concepts and elements of the story it elected to bring; my familiarity with the Jinn (or Djinn) is passing in nature. Creatures of smokeless fire. These creatures are not what you see in Aladdin, nor even Wishmaster. They are far more than that if you examine the lore even with a cursory pass. They are literal forces of nature and creation. So how does one make a movie about them and give them their due?

I am not sure this was the way, but considering it’s limited release I was lucky to see it. Shown in only 201 theatres nation wide, El Con Mall here in Tucson happens to be one of them. I suppose making $149,000 in three days isn’t bad with that kind of showing right? It averages to roughly 15 to 20 people per show per theatre. Ok, so not that good.

Written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, this may be his first and last movie with a budget. As an unpublished writer, I know how hard it is to edit oneself. You get ideas and you want to get them all out. I know how you can get caught up in the mythology and concepts you have and want to give them all to your audience. Ahmad does not suffer from CNS (see the Noah review for what that means). I think he is just eager, I think he is passionate, and I think he needs a friend pulling him back from time to time.

The story touches on an Islamic legend of creation where three beings were made. Man of Clay, Angels of Light, and a third of Fire. Two had free will. One rose to dominance and the other resented it. In the modern age a man, Shawn Walker (Dominic Rains of General Hospital and a few movie walk ons) is a car designer who is living a relatively happy life with his wife, Jasmine (Serinda Swan of Breakout Kings and a few other small roles in TV and movies). As it must be in these movies that life is turned upside down by the arrival of a Jinn. The Jinn in their way want to kill this man who has a destiny to help defeat them once and for all, want him dead. Along the way he is given guidance and assistance from three strangers, Gabriel (Ray Park, yes, that Ray Park), Father Westhoff (William Atherton – Ghostbusters, Real Genius, Die Hard), and Ali (Faran Tahir – Iron Man, Star Trek). The three men try to prepare the woefully unprepared Shawn to save his wife, his life, his soul, and perhaps the future.

I want to get to the technicals quickly here as they are perhaps the weakest point. I appreciate having to work on a budget as a new director without a major studio backing you. The special effects land somewhere above your average SyFy movie of the week, which makes it better than Hercules, and roughly around where you would expect to find the next Dimension Films direct to DVD horror movie. It’s roughly what I found in Prophecy 3,4,5, and 6; or the sequels to Dracula 2000. Honestly, that isn’t bad. It is however where it gets a bit weak as the smoke effects really seem to take away from the scenes as do the random floodlights in the darkness. Ahmad wanted to use mythology to deal with these things born of smokeless fire yet they sure have a lot of smoke and it isn’t good. The movie makes up for it in one major area. Make up.

For that we thank the illustrious presence of Robert Kurtzman (Dusk till Dawn). Kurtzman is the “K” in KNB Effects. If you want it practical and you want it from some of the best alive in the industry go to KNB. Watch The Walking Dead if you don’t believe me. Thats their work. His design for the Djinn was inspired to say the least. Neither male, nor female, nor wholly human; the design was hard to take my eyes from. Some may call it simplistic. Perhaps so; but there was a beautiful elegance to it, that should be respected. Even the “non-fire” design was interesting to look at, if not a bit common in this day of emaciated creature horror.

The last technical I want to talk about is camera work. At least 10 minutes of the movie feel like they are a commercial for the 2014 Pontiac Firebird. At least Need for Speed was honest about it. The movie is a mix of annoying me with some of the camera work and making some inspired decisions. I have to give credit overall though as I know that budget only allows so much and you have to make do with all you can.

The acting isn’t half bad either. Well above SyFy and most Dimension films schlock. No one is going to come away with an award for this one, but at the same time they tried. At least they felt like they were trying. It is always pleasant to see Mr. Atherton on screen and for once as a heroic figure than a jerk. Ray Park without make up and getting to be himself a bit is also a good change of pace. Serinda Swan isn’t given much to do other than look pretty. I consider that a mark against the film as she could have had interesting story potential. Dominic Rains also does what he can here, trying to bring some emotion into the performance and mostly succeeds. Tahir, much like Atherton, commands a certain presence in the film and I truly wish I could have seen both of them more than I did. He is an underrated actor in hollywood and if we are truly lucky someone will come to their senses and use him well in movies to come.

The script and pacing of the story want it to be bigger than it can be. A flaw to be certain. It creates certain jumps of logic, ability, and character development that were jarring to me and hardly felt natural. I don’t know quite right now how I would fix those issues, but they COULD be fixed.


As I mentioned before the use of the ancient lore as a basis for the film was a breath of fresh air in a world of comic book movies, remakes and re imagining. This film should be celebrated for that. But should you see it?

Well, no.

Unless you are a fan of the indy film that wants to be a studio film. Unless you want to support a specific actor, concept, or the director himself. Unless you are curious and have it showing in a theatre near you, I can’t say see it. As much as it should be celebrated and the director given a chance the overall movie is kinda just ok. It holds some potential, it has some good actors in it who need to be used more, but it just barely rises above your average Dimension or Dark Castle film. It’s best asset is that they tried!

Most of you haven’t and won’t come across it. You aren’t missing a diamond in the rough if you do miss it. Maybe though, maybe someone will give Ahmad a shot with something else. Something larger. That, I can hope for and so should you.

Darke Reviews | Let The Right One In (2008)/Let Me In (2010)

As one of the more interesting vampire movies in the recent years I wanted to talk about the Swedish film Let the Right One in, and it’s Americanized remake Let Me In. I watched both movies simultaneously tonight, writing this review as I watched.

This falls into a recent trend of films to be made in another country and then be remade within the States. The Japanese have taken the brunt of this foreign film exploitation; and lets be honest folks that’s what it is, the Norwegians are now experiencing it as well (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Troll Hunter). We, as in Hollywood, are letting other countries create new ideas, new takes on old ideas and rather than try to distribute THAT film here, the producers hire a team of monkeys, er writers and directors to remake and re-imagine the film within a few years of its release. A vast majority of the ghost stories we’ve had, starting with the Ring, were originally Japanese. Why not actually let us watch that one in a theatre? Sadly the answer my friends is us. The audience doesn’t want subtitles, they want faces they recognize even if the foreign actors are remarkable, I am sure there are other reasons that are just as BS.

So how do these two films compare? American vs Swedish? Interestingly. I warn you now to avoid spoilers (contrary to my norm) skip to the TL;DR.

The story focuses on a young boy (Oskar/Owen) living in a run down apartment complex, who sees a girl (Eli/Abby) his age moving in . He is bullied at school, being raised by his mother alone. He spends his time not in school alone outside in the snow in the complex courtyard playing with a rubix cube or stabbing trees imagining the tree is a bully. The boy and girl quickly become friends and he uncovers her secret, that she is a vampire. As their relationship grows, the girls relationship with her caretaker begins to wane. Things at school escalate with the bullies and the boy, while things further deteriorate around the girl and the body count rises.

The story is the same, though the names change. The US version is nearly a shot for shot remake of the Swedish. There are, however, some interesting choices between the two.

As expected, or should be, the Swedish version plays out more dramatically beat for beat. The american one starts out far more dramatically with an ambulance racing through the highlands of New Mexico dealing with an acid burn victim, while the Swedish version begin focused on Oskar alone and establishing his awkwardness. I suppose Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), director and writer – see what I mean from yesterday? – felt that a more romantic/dramatic start would disengage his audience and he needed to create an artificial bit of excitement to start. The US version also does not stay 100% practical and that is a massive failing of the film, where the CGI attack by Abby is no where near as intense or visceral as Eli’s practical one. It’s proof once again that CG is not better than a good make up or skill in shooting.

Lets talk about the actors and characters a bit, but I want to this in reverse order starting with the bit parts.

The Bullies. I hate Bullies, I laugh when they are mutilated, eviscerated and otherwise punished brutally in film. It brings me no end of joy. So while the nature of the bullies in the US version are more deserving of their fate, they are also two dimensional entities that you can have absolutely no sympathy for. The Swedish version, while they are still inhuman in their own right and have earned their Karma and pay it, have some depth. They pause, they have moments where the three of them are not all “complete” villains.

The Caretaker. Still a better love story than twilight. No seriously, it’s a love story between him and his vampire. In all the years and vampire films I’ve watched I have never seen one handle this so interestingly and creatively. While the man is clearly in his late forties in both films, if not mid fifties, there he is the caretaker to a twelve year old. To an outsider he would be the parent, but to a careful observer and viewer you see that they are more than that. He hunts for her nightly, killing people and bringing their blood for her to feed on. He is getting old however and making mistakes. In some of his final moments you get a true grasp of his relationship with the girl. Tenders touches from her, eyes closed and a sense of peace from him. His final acts, after a final failure is sacrifice. His love for her is that complete that he would not only pour acid on his face, but
then to let her feed from him because she had been unable to. It almost makes my black heart melt.

Lets talk about the boy. Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Hedebrants Oskar comes across more damaged. There’s a pleasure in his eyes when he finally stands up to the bullies. An eagerness as he stabs the trees mimicking the taunts of the bullies. There’s also a certain eagerness to which he embraces Eli, even as he tries to deny their relationship. The broken nature even shows as he torments her briefly to find out what happens if she isn’t invited in, though that scene is tempered by his care for her. Smit-McPhee comes across more of a victim throughout, eternally vulnerable and even as he stands up to the bullies there’s no real strength there and no hidden sadism. Though for cinematic reasons he puts Abby through the same lack of invite, there is no sense that it was even for a moment malicious. In fact he looks as if he’s about to jack rabbit the entire time until the very last minute. Even during a moment where the theoretical worm turns, Hedebrant plays the stronger boy willing to draw a blade to defend and simply turn his back on a murder. Smit-McPhee plays the same scene weaker, pleading and even trembling. Both boys play the vulnerable, weak love interest to their girl rather well and the inexorable slide into her grasp is entertaining to watch; which makes their final decision complete and logical from the way the story has been executed.

On to the girl, Eli (Lina Leandersson) and Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz – yes my favourite young actress). For the purposes of the story and relationship (that gets it’s own section this time), Chloë acts as well as ever but the nature of her looks weaken one of the plot points in the relationship. Lina’s performance is actually a bit darker due to her androgynous features. She looks twelve and neither pure girl nor pure boy and is a bit more haunting as she carries out several of the kills. Both girls deliver a remarkable performance as a vampire, but Lina is given the option to use her body language and a minimal amount of effects to achieve monsterousness, while Chloë is not afforded the same. Though she, much like in Carrie, has the body language down and performs fully has some of her performance masked by too much blood and too much CG overlay on her make up.

The romance needs to be talked about here as much as anything. It was controversial for several reasons when the original Swedish version came out. I was worried when I saw the US release if they would do the same. There’s an entire series of dialogue half way through the film, where she joins the boy in his bed in the middle of the night. She had already asked him if he would like her if she was not a girl; now he asks her to go steady to an interesting reply.

“I’m not a girl.”
“You’re not?”
“Does that bother you?”

Now as she is prepubescent there’s debate as to what she means. Is it that she isn’t actually a girl, is it that she is but doesn’t consider herself one as she never even reached her teens, or the fact that she is a vampire makes her gender-less in her own mind? The conversation alone and it’s implications, much less his response, make it an interesting film. The options are also questions that are never answered which is a nice change of pace. It’s also fascinating to wonder as you look at the movie and understand the Caretaker that while the boy cares for her; you must ask yourself if she cares for him. Is she manipulating him to get her needs or are her emotions in such flux because of being eternally twelve? Again questions never answered and best left to interpretation. Even through the end of the film where the Caretaker cycle begins anew you just don’t know. Ultimately the viewer must decide, is it love or is it a monster – perhaps both.


While your tastes may vary and I do like both films, the Swedish version is superior in many elements. It shows a better finesse and love for the story than the US version. The US version is sufficient and still good, but they missed the memo on show don’t tell – especially in the final pool sequence. The children all act well, with Chloë 12 at the time of filming.

I can comfortably recommend both and think vampire fans will enjoy (if you haven’t already seen).

No hints for tomorrow, since its a film I haven’t seen – it will be the Conjuring.