‘The Ritual’: Weird Horror is Just Getting Weirder

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

The Ritual came out on Netflix earlier on in 2018, but I wanted to see what it had to offer. And oh boy, did it offer.

It tells the story of four friends going on a hike in Sweden after one of their other friends dies in a horrible tragedy. Luke (Rafe Spall), Hutch (Rob James-Collier), Phil (Archer Ali), and Dom (Sam Troughton) are the four friends who get lost in the woods during a hike on a very rainy night.

They find an abandoned wooden hut – as every horror movie does – and then they go in and explore. You can pretty much assume that this was a stupid decision.

The plot builds onto this throughout the rest of the movie as well as encountering a God-like beast who throws people into trees.

Overall, it had a very The Blair Witch Project, Hereditary, and The Endless vibes. It’s not that it set a bad example, but it just wasn’t anything new.

The acting was as fine as the character development, which wasn’t much.

I will give it props though for showing me the weirdest cinematic creature I’ve ever seen. There wasn’t much to the scenery, but that may have been the point. I got as exhausted as them looking at tree after tree.

In the end, The Ritual was not a knockout but more of the ordinary weirdness that we are constantly seeing today in the horror genre.


My Rating: 78%

Acting: 3.2/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 3.2/4

Enjoyability: 3.1/4

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‘The Tale’: The Most Controversial Film of the Year

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

Over the weekend, I watched an interesting film. A film that made me… uncomfortable. That movie was HBO’s The Tale starring Laura Dern. It was released last month and has been named, “HBO’s Most Controversial Movie”.

The Tale tackles a true story about a woman, Jennifer Fox (Dern), recalling her past, first boyfriend, and first sexual experiences from when she was thirteen. The boyfriend, Bill (Jason Ritter), was 40. This subject in film, childhood abuse, isn’t new to anyone. We’ve seen it in Lolita in the 60’s and 90’s. But what made this so controversial were the scenes they decided to show.

With 13 year old Jenny played by the very young Isabelle Nélisse, her and Ritter’s characters have disturbing sex scenes that of course used a body double. It is very obvious that they were using a body double but it doesn’t stop the person watching it from wanting to vomit. From the creepy, pedophilic dialogue from Ritter’s character to the actual simulation of the sex, it became something that was sad to completely sickening. I say all of this as if it were a bad movie.

It wasn’t.

It was an insane thing to watch but the story is touching and relevant to many people who’ve experienced it. Dern portrays a confused woman who doesn’t know what to make of an experience that altered her life. She doesn’t know if she’s a victim of abuse or a lover in the most twisted relationship.

The Tale is heartbreaking to watch but childhood abuse happens to this day and no one could know the seriousness of it unless it’s shown to them in its disgusting yet, real form.


My Rating: 90%

Acting: 4/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

‘Shrek’ Me Up: A Look Back on the Childrens’ Classic

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

For this Time Warp, I decided I would touch on one of my absolute favorite animated movie franchises. That, of course, is the Academy Award winning film, ‘Shrek’. It’s still funny to me to be able to say “Academy Award winning” to the classic swamp-dwelling ogre that is my man Shrek.

Many who haven’t seen this iconic film may ask why it won Best Animated Feature in 2002. Well, those who have seen it can tell you exactly why.

The mean green fighting machine Shrek (Mike Myers) is an angry ogre who just likes to be left alone, as most people nowadays. But once love comes along, that changes, as with anyone who suddenly finds love. Shrek’s love didn’t come suddenly, of course. It came after a long journey with his new friend – whether or not he likes to admit it – a donkey, whose name is, well, Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

The love interest/self-hating princess in the movie is Fiona (played by Cameron Diaz), who loves throwing tantrums at every moment she can. You may think that it’s obnoxious, but it becomes very easy to love her by the end.

That is the overall plot of the entire first movie, but they do so well developing all the relationships within it. Being able to meet dozens of fairy tale creatures who annoy Shrek to the brink of absolute fury is, even if it’s not to Shrek, completely hilarious to watch.

Half the enjoyability of this movie revolves around the supreme soundtrack that plays throughout. I mean, we have songs like “All Star” by Smash Mouth and “Bad Reputation” performed by Joan Jett. That sells it right there, doesn’t it?

It’s an undeniably enjoyable movie and impossible not to love. It sparked a sequel that is debatably better than the first if not just as good. It’s one of those movie franchises that anybody will want to watch on a lazy afternoon in the summer, with their kids for a family movie night, in the middle of a snowstorm in the winter, or pretty much at anytime. That is how I define a classic.

‘Hereditary’: A Real Horrorshow

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Over the weekend, I had the frightening pleasure to see the greatest horror movie in the past two decades, Hereditary, which is about a family who comes to find out about the sinister secrets that resides in their family tree.

Of course, that is my own opinion, but it has received an unbelievable amount of praise from critics everywhere as they call it “the new The Exorcist”. It’s always interesting when film critics compare a modern film to an absolute classic, which rarely ever happens for the horror genre.

It’s dismissed by most because of the lack of originality and true terror. Well let me tell you, Hereditary is not only original and terrifying but it also takes it to a level that is usually taken in a distasteful and childish way.

There’s gore that not only makes you sick to your stomach (many decapitated heads) but also brings you to a mental state of actual fear. There’s points where it feels like you’re there with the characters and experiencing their fear. It’s feels like you’re going through a haunted house but, covering your eyes and ears to escape the situation that you’re encased in.

It’s not only a wild ride, it’s an emotional one too.

The performances given by the actors were remarkable and career defining. From seasoned thespians such as Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne to the impressive first timer, Milly Shapiro (who is my new favorite actress). They all shined in their roles but it goes without saying that the performance that 20 year old, Alex Wolff, delivered was surprising and gut-wrenching.

Portraying a teen with severe PTSD, Wolff regresses his normal, rebellious adolescent character Peter to a petrified young boy. When I say ‘regress’, I mean he literally does not act like a teenager anymore. After the incident that creates his PTSD, Peter begins speaking like a child and reacting like a child. He uses the word ‘Mommy’ and when he’s scared he cries – a lot.

He also quickly becomes the 2nd main character alongside Collette’s character and his mother, Annie. They create a rivalry which includes them even having nightmares about the other killing them. Annie and Peter’s relationship shows how their tension causes an explosion of emotion and Collette and Wolff portray this in such a perfectly brutal way that it cuts like a knife.

Hereditary is the horror movie that conjures a new kind of fear in film – real fear. It is a brilliant reintroduction to the psychological, disturbing, and original content that generations before had.


My Rating: 98%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 4/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 4.4

‘Ocean’s 8’: The Queens of Heist

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

We all have come to love the Ocean’s movies. There’s also a lot of them. We’ve had Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), and now we have Ocean’s 8. What’s unique about this one, however, is that it’s all women.

Very powerful women.

The premise is very similar to that of its previous counterparts. This time, it’s about eight women who are absolutely determined to pull off one of the greatest heists in history. Let’s quickly discuss who plays the beautiful characters in this movie.

First off, we have the brilliant Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), who is as good as ever as the leader of the clan. Next we have Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok) as Bullock’s equally gorgeous partner-in-crime. Among them, there is Anne Hathaway (Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada), Rihanna, Awkwafina (Dude, Crazy Rich Asians), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story).

As much as I love each of these ladies’ performance, I definitely have some favorites. Bullock knew just how powerful she could be and acted on that. I may be biased, but Carter did phenomenal in the few scenes she was in. She’s always been my favorite actress and this only furthered that thought. Seeing Hathaway and Rihanna play such personality defying performances brought as much shock value to me as anything in this film. Obviously I love this movie.

The story was fun. It wasn’t the most unique or intricate, but it was definitely very enjoyable to sit back and relax to. Nothing brought much anxiety to the watcher, but it didn’t need it either.

Ultimately, Ocean’s 8 wasn’t an Oscar worthy movie, but I would definitely see it again just to watch some of my favorite people act in a movie together so well.


My Rating: 86%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.3/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

Film Forecast Friday: June 1st

On Friday June 1st we have…

1. Adrift

2. Upgrade

3. Action Point

4. American Animals

5. A Kid Like Jake

Julia’s Predictions:

This is an interesting week because for the first time in a while there are no big blockbusters being released. Out of the movies that are being released I think Adrift will have the biggest box office numbers. It has notable actors Shailene Woodley (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) and Sam Claflin (Me Before You, Hunger Games) in it and I’ve seen a lot of marketing for it.

I think Action Point and Upgrade will do alright. I haven’t heard too much about either of them, but Action Point has Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) in it which will likely bring out audiences. Also, Upgrade is a Blumhouse Productions film and those tend to do well.

American Animals is absolutely amazing and I strongly recommend you go see it. We have already reviewed it, so if you need any more convincing to go see it check out our review!

Finally, A Kid Like Jake which honestly I didn’t know was a movie until today. It has Jim Parsons in it so maybe it will attract some Big Bang Theory fans?

Anthony’s Predictions:

I am beyond excited for Adrift with Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. This will also be the moneymaker for the week at the box office, even if it will not make quite as much as previous weeks.

I have heard so much about American Animals that I’ve gotten very excited to see it. It has such a unique group of actors in it (including Evan Peters!) so I know that I’ll enjoy it already.

I definitely forgot Action Point and Upgrade were even coming out this week. I don’t really have a high opinion on them but I believe they will do about the same at the box office.

A Kid Like Jake won’t be too crazy spectacular, but should be fun because of Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, as he is in it.

The Rocky Comedic Adventures of ‘Solo’

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Easily one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2018, Solo had a lot to prove. It definitely didn’t help that most people went into the movie assuming it was going to be bad. I can’t blame it for trying to prove everyone wrong.

In this Star Wars Story, a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich, ) is in the initial stages of becoming a smuggler with his best buddy Chewbacca while trying to balance an unfortunate relationship with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones). He meets Beckett (Woody Harrelson, The Hunger Games, Now You See Me) along the way as well as a very intelligent robot named L3-37 and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover, Atlanta).

As expected, all of these characters affect the story in some way or another, whether it be for entirely comedic purposes or actual damage. The comedy in this is, unfortunately, going to have to be one of my negatives.

Star Wars has gotten into this habit of trying to make every single droid as successful and hilarious as K-2SO in Rogue One, when it’s just not going to happen. L3-37 makes some decent jokes (one being about equal rights for droids), but it feels so obvious that the writers are forcing it.

To future Star Wars Stories writers, stop trying to make the droids as funny as K-2SO, it’s not going to happen.

The movie itself wasn’t the most fun to sit through of the Star Wars franchise. In fact, it may be one of the least enjoyable yet. I had never found myself so bored for the majority of a Star Wars movie than I did with this one.

Luckily, it made up for that with its last 20 minutes which were actually pretty entertaining to watch. I say this because it’s in the last 20 minutes that anything wildly important happens, including a plot twist and introduction of a familiar character that I was saying, “uhm… what?” to.

The cinematography was beautiful, as it is in a Star Wars movie. It was beautifully made, even the camera work wasn’t nauseating like some movies have become nowadays. There were plenty of oddly named planets and several mentions of Tatooine, which I thoroughly enjoyed being a hardcore Star Wars fan myself.

Honestly, I have very mixed opinions regarding Solo. I don’t think it was bad, but it’s definitely in the bottom five of Star Wars movies. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it shouldn’t have been made because at the end of the day, it told a story about a character we all loved that we all wanted to know a little more about.


My Rating: 84%

Acting: 3.4/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.4/4

Enjoyability: 3.2/4