Released 75 years ago, Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941), his fourth film to be made in the United States, was a departure from his previous films. Unlike The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), or The Lady Vanishes (1938), Suspicion eschews the globetrotting and spying that made those films so exhilarating. It’s …
Unfriended is the most ingenuous ‘contained thriller’ to come along in some time. Sadly, it doesn’t work nearly as well as a horror film, relying on the same tired jump scares to punctuate its well-constructed suspense. Director Levan Gabriadze keeps everything refreshingly barebones and tech-savvy for maximum realism. The timely nature of its subject matter, cyber-bullying, and its clever premise keep Unfriended entertaining, even if we don’t logoff completely satisfied.
Guilt is a powerful motivator. Its nagging voice can corrupt even the noblest of intentions. In the case of The Two Faces of January, a son’s guilt leads him into a questionable alliance in which he becomes inextricably trapped. There are twists and turns, jealousy and lust, but the real pleasure of a film like this is watching how far people will go to silence those nagging voices. Even if it means losing everything they care about.
There is a moment in the new thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones, that you really feel things shifting into overdrive. The unstable elements in the film collide to raise expectations for the excitement to come. Unfortunately, that moment occurs about 90 minutes into the movie. The previous 90 minutes are consumed by Liam Neeson trying to solve a case we don’t care about while being distracted by a subplot we grow to despise. Predictable at every turn, this is a thrill-free zone that makes Non-Stop look like a masterpiece of suspense.