Tagged: Alex First

Summary:  The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  11th August 2022 (Australia), 18th August 2022 (Thailand), 12th August 2022 (UK), 22nd July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Jordan Peele

Screenwriter: Jordan Peele

Cast: Hetty Chang (Hetty Chang), Sophia Coto (Mary Jo Elliott), Keith David (Otis Haywood Sr.), Courtney Elizabeth (Mrs. Dolan), Barbie Ferreira (Nessie), Ryan W. Garcia (Sheriff Reyes), Devon Graye (Ryder Muybridge), Roman Gross (Max Park), Alex Hyde-White (Grizz), Eddie Jemison (Buster), Daniel Kaluuya (OJ Haywood), Pierce Kang (Phoenix Park), Jacob Kim (Young Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park), Jennifer Lafleur (Phyllis Mayberry/Margaret Houston), Lincoln Lambert (Kolton Park), Donna Mills (Bonnie Clayton), Ahmad Muhammed (Pastor John), Terry Notary (Gordy), Keke Palmer (Emerald Haywood), Brandon Perea (Angel Torres), Oz Perkins (Fynn Bachman), Andrew Patrick Ralston (Tom Bogan/Brett Houston), Wrenn Schmidt (Amber Park), Michael Wincott (Antlers Holst), Steven Yuen (Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park)

Running Time: 130 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)


David Griffiths’ Nope Review:

It is always a weird feeling as a film journalist when you seem to be out of step with the popular belief. Believe me when it comes to filmmaker Jordan Peele I am well and truly out of step with the belief that the guy is some kind of genius who has completely re-invented the horror genre.

I’ve gone back over his films a few times trying to find something in them that sets them apart from the rest of the field, but alas I still see Get Out as an okay horror that trips itself with poorly-executed political statement and Us is a real mess of a film from start to finish. Even with repeat viewing I don’t see the genre re-invention and I certainly don’t see Peele as the genius many herald him to be.

Now comes Nope, a film which I will admit for the first three-quarters drew me right in and for awhile I started to think that finally Mr Peele had created a film that I was going to thoroughly enjoy but then the last quarter was a total let-down complete with a ‘creature’ that looked like it was made out of the leftover materials from a child’s Art & Craft box. A shame because Nope had the basis to be a creative and interesting supernatural flick.

The film itself centres around the brother and sister duo of OJ (Daniel Kaluuya – Black Panther) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer – Hustlers) who are left to run their father’s Hollywood Horse Ranch after his sad demise in a supposed ‘one-off’ tragic event.

The report says that he was killed by items falling from a plane but OJ is not convinced, and while he is in the middle of considering selling the ranch to former child actor and now Western Theme Park owner, Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yuen – The Walking Dead), he is also watching the skies for any other paranormal events.

Soon those other events begin to happen and this time Emerald experiences them as well. Together they realise they can save the ranch if they can just capture the phenomenon on camera and capture what they call an ‘Oprah shot.’ This then brings the UFO-obsessed, tech store worker Angel (Brandon Perea – The OA) who just won’t take no for an answer into the scheme.

The first three quarters of Nope work exceptionally well. For once I found myself drawn into a universe that Peele had created. I cared about the characters at hand and I found myself curious to find out what was behind the events that were plaguing them. In my head I even found myself congratulating Peele for making the wise decision of making Angel an interesting character rather than going for the traditional Hollywood trope of presenting him to the audience as an unrealistic buffoon just there for cheap laughs.

Likewise the secondary storyline of Jupe being a child actor who had survived a wild animal attack on set was creative while hammering home Peele’s subtext that you can’t ever tame a wild beast and a brief look at Hollywood greed.

But while the first three-quarters of the film hold your interest I found that the last quarter seems to completely unravel. I found that Peele’s subtext and secondary storyline just went completely out the window, what should have been a huge action set-piece that cemented this film in my brain forever was kind of lame while the ‘creature’ reveal was probably one of the biggest disappointments that you will experience in cinema this year. When you consider how amazing the first part of this film was it becomes a real shame that the film just seemed to peter out towards the end.

My big saving grace from this film though is the performance of Keke Palmer. Palmer stills the show with her performance and I’ll admit that there were times during the film where the focus was on OJ and I was wishing we were following what Emerald was doing. That is through no fault of Kaluuya because it is easy to see that Peele’s screenplay called for him to play OJ as a deadpan character, he just happens to be playing alongside an actress that puts in an amazing performance and makes the film her own.

I will say that I enjoyed Nope a lot more than I did Get Out and Us. This time there basis was really there for a film that seemed to be a cross between The X-Files and Signs and I really do feel that if the last act had been as good as the rest of the film I would probably be telling you right now that it is one of the films of the year. Instead though what I will say is that Nope is an okay film but don’t expect to reach the great heights that many of you will expect.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First & Peter Krausz’s Nope Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Nope Reviews:



Summary:  After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  21st July 2022 (Australia), 14th July 2022 (Thailand), 24th June 2022 (UK), 24th June 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Scott Derrickson

Screenwriter: C Robert Cargill, Scott Derrickson

Cast: Kristina Arjona (Mrs. Fulgrim), Rebecca Clarke (Donna), Jeremy Davies (Terrence), Spencer Fitzgerald (Buzz), Ethan Hawke (The Grabber), Brady Hepner (Vance), Madeline McGraw (Gwen), E. Roger Mitchell (Detective Wright), Miguel Cazarez Mora (Robin), Jacob Moran (Billy), Sheila O’Rear (Principal Keller), Tristan Pravong (Bruce), James Ransone (Max), Banks Repeta (Griffin), Troy Rudeseal (Detective Miller), Brady M. Ryan (Matt), Parrish Stikeleather (Mister Hopkins), Mason Thames (Finney), Jordan Isaiah White (Matty), J Gaven Wilde (Moose)

Running Time: 103 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)


David Griffiths’ The Black Phone Review:

Every now and then a film comes along in the horror genre that changes the genre forever. Way back in 1999 The Blar Witch Project introduced us to the found-footage sub-genre which is still going strong today. Then of course filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell in 2004 released a little film called Saw that not only introduced us to two of the greatest horror filmmakers of all time but also created what many now refer to as the torture-porn sub-genre.

Now Blumhouse Productions alongside director Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) are about to change the horror genre once again by showing just how nasty a serial killer movie can be with The Black Phone. This takes the suspense and claustrophobic feel of a film like Saw but gives it a villain that has normally been reserved for suspense films like Se7en or The Silence Of The Lambs.

Set in a Denver in 1978 The Black Phone shows the terror that goes through a neighbourhood when a serial killer that has been nicknamed The Grabber (Ethan Hawke – Training Day) starts a murderous spree that is claiming the lives of their children.

For siblings Finney (Mason Thames – For All Makind) and Gwen (Madeline McGraw – American Sniper) the horror comes close to home when their friend Robin (Miguel Cazarez Mora – newcomer) disappears and it is believed that he is the next victim of The Grabber.

That sparks Gwen starting to have visions of The Grabber which angers her father, Terence (Jeremy Davies – Saving Private Ryan), because it proves that she shares her deceased mother’s psychic abilities and places their family in the spotlight with Detective Wright (E. Roger Mitchell – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Detective Miller (Troy Rudeseal – Halloween Kills). But soon Gwen’s connection becomes valuable when Finney is taken by The Grabber and finds himself locked in the killer’s basement.

There is no point trying to sugar-coat anything about The Black Phone – this is extremely difficult film to watch, but in a good way. Such is the style of Derrickson’s filmmaking here you find yourself feeling dirty as you watch the film because the realism of the film makes you feel that you are locked in that basement with Finney.

Wherever you turn in this film there is brutality. From the scene in which Robin viciously protects himself from a bully through to the abuse that Gwen suffers at the hands of her father – there is no escaping it and no reprieve for the audience. That feeling is intensified even more when the audience is first introduced to The Grabber.

What makes this film work so well is the fact that it constantly keeps its audience asking questions. From the very first moment the audience meets The Grabber they find themselves asking just what is this guy’s motives and what exactly are his plans for Finney. If they are not intense enough questions to be asking soon the audience also finds themselves asking questions about the supernatural element of the black phone that Finney finds himself locked in with. Are they really the spirits of The Grabber’s past victims that he is talking to and if so how the hell does that work?

Horror fans have know for awhile now that Scott Derrickson has been a director to watch. His early films, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and Deliver Us From Evil, hinted at a director that was capable of great things but now The Black Phone solidifies that. From the period setting of the 1970s through to the extreme realism that Derrickson manages to capture in such a macabre and confronting film proves that he now needs to be considered alongside the greats of horror filmmaking.

Of course a film like this only works if the actor playing the villain puts in a career best performance and that is certainly the case here with Ethan Hawke. Hawke for a long time has been one of Hollywood’s most under-rated actors and here playing the menacing The Grabber he comes to the fore with a performance that needs to be talked about during the awards period. Even in scenes where he doesn’t have to speak Hawke’s portrayal of The Grabber is intimidating and threatening throughout… this is one of the best performances we have seen on screen for a long time.

With Hawke stealing the spotlight throughout this film it is easy to overlook the performances of Mason Thames and Madeline McGraw who despite their inexperience manage to shine in a film that they are not even old enough to watch in a cinema. Both are destined for great things with acting abilities well beyond their years.

The Black Phone is easily one of the best films of 2022. This is the film where Derrickson comes of age as a director and shows that he is now one of the horror genres leading directors. This film may not always be an easy or comfortable watch for its audience but they are handsomely rewarded for their effort with a film that is guaranteed to become a classic.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First & Peter Krausz’s The Black Phone Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture The Black Phone Reviews:

You can read our review of The Black Phone that appeared in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/the-black-phone-dials-up-a-new-genre-of-horror-84920.php