SXSW Online 2021 Review: “Here Before”

Year: 2021 Runtime: 83 minutes Writer: Stacey Gregg Director: Stacey Gregg Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Eileen O’Higgins, Jonjo O’Neill, Martin McCann By Valerie Kalfrin Andrea Riseborough (TV’s “Waco” and “ZeroZeroZero”) turns in a solid performance that holds together the mystery thriller “Here Before”(2021), even as the plot’s familiarity and left-field twists nearly tear it apart. Laura (Riseborough) loses her young daughter in a car wreck not … Continue reading SXSW Online 2021 Review: “Here Before”

Review: The Grudge

I was not looking forward to 2020’s “The Grudge”. In the interest of transparency, I will admit that I have seen Takashi Shimizu’s original 2002 film, and I utterly hated it. It was a sluggish, overlong piece of work that, I feel, was incapable of overcoming its low-budget roots. There was very little that co-writer (Jeff Buhgler) and director Nicolas Pesce brought to my excitement. The only hope to be had had come from the fact that I recall loving Pesce’s previous film, the ultra-dark, black and white exercise in bleak cinematic macabre, “The Eyes of my Mother”.

And for the first 20 or so minutes of this, I was worried. In the year 2004 (the year that the American remake of “The Grudge” was released, also directed by Shimizu–I wish he could say be pulled a Micahel Haneke; but nothing in both the remake or the original deserve that compliment), Fiona, a live-in nurse is seen visibly disturbed by events she had witnessed in a house she has just left. Continue reading Review: The Grudge