The Beta Test

The Beta Test (2021)

The Beta Test first published by Movies On Weekends Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe’s The Beta Test opens with a tense domestic situation. A Swedish woman surreptitiously calls the police about a fight in her LA apartment, before rejoining her husband at the dinner table. It is immediately clear that he is controlling, aggressive, gaslighting, abusive. Her fear evident, she…

The Night House

The Night House (2020)

The Night House first published by Movies on Weekends The Night House begins with a montage: a boat rocking against a jetty, a beautiful timber lakehouse above, and multiple shots mapping out the the house’s interiors. What unifies all these images is their emptiness. For there is no human presence in or around this house,…

The Last Thing Mary Saw

The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021)

The Last Thing Mary Saw first published by Movies on Weekends The Last Thing Mary Saw begins with young Mary (Stefanie Scott) opening a book to a story entitled The Old Lady of Bethabara, and starting to read. The next scene is separated from this not just by the film’s title, but by time. For…

Ultrasound

Ultrasound (2021)

Ultrasound first published by Movies On Weekends “How does one thing have anything to do with the other?”, asks wheelchair-bound patient Glen (Vincent Kartheiser), hoping to see his immobility cured, but confused by the folder in front of him containing a script more of the movie than of the medical variety, and by the rôle-playing…

Deerskin

Deerskin (Le Daim) (2019)

Deerskin (Le Daim) first published by Movies on Weekends “The real subject of the film is the jacket. Or rather, your jacket. Or rather, the fact that we all hide behind a shell to protect us from the outside world.” Bar waitress and amateur film editor Denise (Adèle Haenel) addresses these words to Georges (Jean…

See For Me

See For Me (2021)

See For Me fist published by Movies On Weekends There is a loose subgenre of home invasion films in which the victims become trapped as much by their disability as by their domestic location – until they find eventual empowerment precisely in their disempowerment. In Walter Grauman’s A Lady In A Cage (1964), Olivia Havilland’s…

Shapeless

Shapeless (2021)

Shapeless first published by Movies On Weekends Shapeless opens in the bathroom of a run-down New Orleans apartment, and will return there repeatedly. This is the most private space of Ivy – the place where her naked body is exposed, at least to her own unforgiving eyes, and also evacuated. Played by Kelly Murtagh (who…

Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Broadcast Signal Intrusion first published by Movies On Weekends Broadcast Signal Intrusion opens with a video recording that resolves into a dream. A woman runs happily through a field, and a man pursues her with a camera. Then she stops, swaying in the mist, her face turned away, and we get his, or at least…

Sound Of Violence

Sound of Violence (2021)

Sound Of Violence first published by Movies On Weekends Slashers and other kinds of psychodrama typically feature a sequence which, in a phrase borrowed from Sigmund Freud, gets called the ‘primal scene‘ – often opening the film, or shown in flashback, and capturing the formative psychosexual moment of childhood trauma that leads a confused young…

OffSeason

OffSeason (2021)

OffSeason first published by Movies On Weekends Aside from an attention-grabbing prologue and the occasional flashback, OffSeason is set entirely on the coastal island of Lone Palm just as the last summer tourists leave. The key word here is ‘off’ – for although this is a pleasure resort whose blue-skied beaches are for half the…

First Cow

First Cow (2019)

First Cow first published by Movies On Weekends “It’s the getting started that’s the puzzle,” says King-Lu (Orion Lee) in Kelly Reichardt‘s First Cow. “No way for a poor man to start. You need capital. Or you need some kind of miracle… Or a crime.” It is the early nineteenth century, not that far removed…