Earlier this year gritty thriller “Destroyer” (2019) stormed onto the big screen, with all of its rage, vengeance and gusto. Surprisingly it failed to blow up, instead crashing and burning at the box office making only $5.5 million in comparison to its $9 million budget. We can only really guess at what exactly caused the film to flop, but poor distribution and weak marketing certainly played their roles. Despite gunning for those golden gongs, especially with Nicole Kidman’s central phenomenal transformative performance, it received barely any attention on the awards circuit, although it has to be said organisations like The Academy have never been known for their good taste in cinema.
When making that perfect meal, there are two key rules - follow the recipe, and get the very best ingredients. Everything else is just adds to the general appearance, but if you get those basics right? You won't go far wrong. Making a film is pretty similar - get the right story, and deliver it with the best creative team, and you'll almost certainly get an enjoyable film. "Jennifer's Body" is the exception that proves this rule. Let me take you back to 2009. Megan Fox was one of the hottest properties in cinema, with her face and body being plastered all over the unfathomably internationally successful first couple of entries into the Transformers franchise. Amanda Seyfried was a key part of popular movies like "Mean Girls" and "Mamma Mia!", along with a major role in hip TV show "Veronica Mars".
Anthology films have always been a great outlet for new filmmakers to not only share their own visions but also collaborate with other filmmakers. The horror genre has been mainly home to this kind of storytelling and has seen plenty of filmmakers make their mark through strong and scary short films. However, when I think back through the anthology films that I’ve seen, there aren’t many times where I can think of female directors getting their chance to tell their stories. For the most part, horror has been a male-dominated genre, but, thankfully, there actually is an anthology film out there solely full of female talent that’s worth diving right into.
By Cody Corrall In the glow of her dorm room’s mini-fridge, a young med student named Justine (Garance Marillier) takes out a raw chicken breast. She stares at it for a moment and smells it before giving in to the insatiable urge to eat it whole and without grace. It is disgusting, animalistic and deeply... Continue Reading →
An underrated mastery of the psyche “The Invitation” (2015) directed by Karyn Kusama is one of my favorite horror/thrillers in recent years. We’ve seen a lot of psychological distress on screen, but this is truly at its finest here. That churning tension of uncertainty that is introduced early, ruminates throughout, giving us a party that’s not quite what it seems. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) are invited to his ex-girlfriend Eden’s home (Tammy Blanchard) for a dinner party, he's not really sure what to expect. When they arrive, they’re surrounded by several old friends, Eden’s new boyfriend David (Michiel Huisman) and some wildcard new acquaintances of the hosting couple, including Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch) who brings an extra element of creepiness.
Karyn Kusama was always most known from her direction of "Jennifer's Body". She later mostly directed television episodes such as "Casual", "Chicago Fire", etc. At the end of 2018, however, her newest picture had its premiere - the film titled "Destroyer" with Nicole Kidman in a leading role.
The following films surprised me, because of how they confidently upended clichés and presented new, fresh narratives with such ease that you wonder why we don’t normally get more like them. This is what happens when new voices —in this case, women who in their own league, have been given the creative control over a film as directors.
Upon its release in September 2009, Karyn Kusama’s horror film, "Jennifer’s Body" received poor reviews from critics and returned an average amount at the box office, leaving it to fall into obscurity as another needlessly sexual and camp horror film. However, like films such as "The Craft" (1996), "Jennifer’s Body" gained cult status.