Summer of Thrill (Christina Venter)

The new thriller Beast starring Idris Elba was released in the U.S. on August 19, 2022 with high anticipation. The trailer provided viewers a sneak peek into the suspense and thrill the film would bring, specifically the scene of Elba’s character being chased by the ferocious lion to his car which left audiences at the edge of their seats and with high expectations for what the rest of the plot had in store. 

If you decide to watch the entire film, you will find yourself engrossed in the suspense and eagerly awaiting the presence of the villain, eyes never leaving the screen. If you’re looking for a film with thrilling action and suspense, Beast is a great option, however, the narrative presents itself as a little disappointing because the main characters and their relationships with each other that are displayed add little contribution to the film’s overall quality. We get the cliché “rebellious daughter clashes with single parent” scenes that distract from the main attraction: the violence and suspense of being stranded with a lethal lion.  

On the other hand, The Black Phone, released June 24, 2022, gained popularity over the summer as audiences were eager to see actor Ethan Hawke’s performance as the horror film’s villain “The Grabber”. Portraying a role different from what we typically see from Hawke did not seem to be an issue at all as he delivered an outstanding performance.

 Despite the horror genre usually receiving unfavorable critique from audiences, The Black Phone is a film worth seeing. Not only does the film have genuinely menacing cinematography, but the amazing character arches of siblings Finney and Gwen make it an enjoyable experience. The film is beyond just a bunch of jump-scares and gory images, it has compelling characters that make for a great story.  

Like Beast, the film Nope by world-renowned director Jordan Peele was also highly anticipated, this time by not only fans of Peele but the film’s stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as well. 

Jordan Peele is known for making films with abstract imagery and themed plots that carry a deep meaning due to the success of his previous films like Get Out (2017) and Us (2019). Thus, it was expected to leave the theater blown away by a mastermind concept and an “Aha!” moment after finally figuring out the grand message behind the plot. Sadly, it wasn’t exactly the case. 

Yes, Nope is a traditional abstract and uniquely themed Jordan Peele film, but perhaps it was overkill this time. The abundance of strange imagery alongside the lack of explicit explanations as to what exactly is occurring in the story undermined the film’s potential of being epic. Although Peele did not execute the story well, it does not take away the remarkable cinematography you get in the film such as the desert and extra-terrestrial landscapes.

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