Told mainly through a computer and websites, a father tries to find his daughter after she goes missing.

The format Searching uses to tell its story made it much more suspenseful and interesting than most other regular narrative features in its genre. The use of real websites both popular and obscure adds to the descent that David (John Cho) has to go through. Speaking of which, given that most of the time is spent solely with him, Cho does a fantastic job…so much so that he actually overshadows the other actors, though they all do their best. Beyond the main plot, the way the internet is portrayed is scarily accurate. From the different types of content that’s promoted on websites, to the people pretending to feel bad about a situation just for attention, it all feels genuine.

The Nun
After the suicide of a nun, a priest and a novitiate investigate the area where it occurred, discovering the horrors that lie within it.

The Nun should be a film that I dislike, with the amount of jump scares, strange editing choices (especially during some vision scenes), and an all-around cliche feel (you’ll likely feel like you’ve seen this film several times before). But director Corin Hardy managed to grab me, perhaps due to my love of gothic looking films. Everything from the cinematography to the set design has a very creepy feel to it, with set pieces in graveyards, underground dungeons and a church’s nave. The film is also bolstered by the leads Demian Bichir (the genuinely sympathetic but stoic Father Burke) and Taissa Farmiga (Sister Irene, a curious but confident practicing nun who has some great moments in the third act). And despite the constant jump scares, they were at least real and a few genuinely got me. The Nun was one of the weaker Conjuring films, but still well done.

The Predator
A soldier must work with a scientist to protect his son from both the government and Predators.

The Predator doesn’t feel finished, and I don’t mean in a “cliffhanger ending” way. I mean there are moments where it feels like scenes are missing, such as never seeing what happens to certain characters (one of the main characters literally disappears towards the end). Speaking of the characters, there are none in this film, just caricatures, designed to fit a stereotype without having any development. And for a film that’s supposed to be intense and scary, the amount of comedy ruins any of that, and even then, most of the humor doesn’t even work. It really is interesting how a film with so much talent in front and behind the camera can result in such a bad film.

A lumberjack goes after a cult leader after the death of his wife.

What other film can you think of has Nicolas Cage fighting a demon biker gang? When’s the last time you saw Nicolas Cage give a genuinely great performance that makes you sympathize with his character while also being insane? What about a haunting score from the late Johann Johannsson that combines orchestra, synth AND rock? There are also amazing supporting roles from Andrea Riseborough and Linus Roache, the latter who hams it to oblivion. And don’t even get me started on the beautiful neon drenched visuals. Mandy is as much of an experience as it is a movie, and it’s one that you must see.