Zach’s Zany TV Binge Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) Part 5 of 5 – The Blue Scorpion and Blurryman

Two weeks ago I started Part 4 of 5 with a **sigh** but thankfully I’m starting this one with a **whew**. Two weeks ago brought us two of the worst Twilight Zone episodes of not only this revival run, but of all time. They were ham-fisted with over the top social commentary which dragged the episodes into the gutter. I was crossing my fingers that these last two episodes were saved for last because everyone there knew that they were something special and wouldn’t disappoint. And thankfully, they were right. They are the two best episodes right under Replay, my favorite episode this season. Especially the very last episode, which I really can’t tell you anything about, as the trailer for it doesn’t ruin a damn thing. And neither will I. So until next year, let us enter one last time into my review of the reboot of…The Twilight Zone.

The Blue Scorpion

Thankfully, The Blue Scorpion really doesn’t have any kind of social commentary to it. And the episode is very straight forward with an ending I didn’t really expect. All of this worked in its favor. The tale is simple: a man named Jeff (played by the great Chris O’Dowd) inherits a rare and mysterious gun from his father, who had just killed himself with it. A special bullet comes with the gun, and on the bullet a name is inscribed, his own, Jeff. The gun also comes with a set of rules with how to handle it, weird rules, one of which being, don’t ever keep it in darkness as the gun is scared of the dark. Also in the middle of a nasty divorce, Jeff now has to navigate through this hard time in his life with a gun that seems to be speaking to him with Jeff becoming obsessed with it every moment it is in his possession.

Like I said, the story is pretty straightforward, and the episode is brought to life by Chris O’Dowd’s performance, which other than Sanaa Lathan, is probably the best performance in this new run of 10 Zone episodes. He has to display grief, obsession, compassion, fear, any emotion you can think of he goes through it here, and pulls it off in spades. I was also surprised by the end of the episode. I thought for sure I knew what direction it was going to go in, but the episode slapped my face in the end, and went in a completely different, more thought provoking direction. I kind of loved that my expectations were subverted in this instance.

The rest of the episode is pretty great too. I’ve said it a dozen times times, but the one constant great thing in these episode is the cinematography. Every shot is wonderful to look at. This episode felt like it could’ve made a run with the classic Twilight Zone episodes of long ago. It felt like all the pieces of the puzzle were put together with no strain on trying to make pieces fit that wouldn’t. It is definitely an episode I would like to revisit down the line.

Blurryman

I really can’t talk about this episode all that much. I can only describe it by the log line on IMDB.com “A writer is haunted by a mysterious figure.” I can tell you that Seth Rogen and the great Zazie Beetz are in this episode, and I can also tell you that while I was worried about Seth Rogen’s acting at first, the episode pulls the rug out from under you very early in where you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Have I said too much? I don’t think so. The real star of the episode is Zazie Beetz, who other than being in Atlanta and playing Domino in Deadpool 2, is fantastic and needs to be in more things in general.

My third paragraph I’m going to describe how they can make season 2 of The Twilight Zone better, as I don’t know what to say anymore about this episode. I guess I can say the writer of this wrote the so-so episode The Comedian and this is definitely an improvement. This episode was also directed by Simon Kinberg, who next week makes his theatrical directorial debut with Dark Phoenix. He did a pretty good job and everything about the episode looked and felt cool. But yeah, I could tell you to expect the unexpected in this episode but my jaw was almost on the floor and my interest piqued less than 5 minutes into it. The last thing I will say is that if you think you’ve gone meta before in different television shows, this episode brings a whole new meaning to that word. But yeah, I ranked it high on the list of new episodes because Blurryman did something different, which I appreciated. The only thing that took away from it was the horror element that didn’t really work in the middle of the episode.

Anyway, we already know that Twilight Zone has been renewed for a second season. But where do we go from here? Another clue I can give you is the last episode might put a wrench into things…maybe. Whether it is a good wrench or bad wrench remains to be seen. Will they take it in a new direction after certain revelations are brought to light. I do hope that Jordan Peele comes back, and that maybe he even has time to write and direct his own episode. We’ll see…will he come back? That’s a question I hope is answered soon. My advice for season 2? Get better writers. The directors and actors are notch but a lot of the stories and scripts could use some work. Out of ten episodes, only 3 are great, 3 are good, 1 is so-so, and 3 are absolutely terrible. It needs a better batting record, and maybe have no terrible episodes next season. Bringing back a beloved series is always going to have a bumpy start, but with careful consideration and care, it could rise up back to greatness. In The Twilight Zone, anything is possible.

Ranking of Episodes

  1. Replay
  2. The Blue Scorpion
  3. Blurryman
  4. Six Degrees of Freedom
  5. A Visitor
  6. Nightmare at 30,000 Feet
  7. The Comedian
  8. Point of Origin
  9. Not All Men
  10. The Wunderkind
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Zach’s Zany TV Binge Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) Part 4 of 5: NOT ALL MEN and POINT OF ORIGIN

**sigh** And the new series started off so well. At the worst I thought I was going to be reviewing one really good/great episode and one really mediocre/terrible one these last two reviews, but alas, I got two not so great ones for you. The only thing that separates them from being worse than the terrible episode The Wunderkind is the acting. Minus Six Degrees of Freedom, these last several episodes fail because of them not just for the eye rolling, hitting the present day social commentary nail on the head, but that it keeps hitting you on the head long after the nail is already in there. I really hope that the show runners know what they are doing and saving their best two for last (although I this point I highly question it). At least Jordan Peele’s intros are still fascinating to watch. I wish he was writing and directing episodes.

NOT ALL MEN

Like I mentioned in the above paragraph, the only thing that separates this one from being worse than The Wunderkind is the acting. Taissa Farmiga, Rhea Seehorn, and Ike Barinholtz bring out incredible performances, but the social commentary in this is so in your face, it makes the twist at the end even dumber, and I’m kind of surprised I haven’t heard anything about men being offended by this episode (Don’t worry, I’m not). The plot is basically after a meteor shower, the men in a town grow absolutely nuts and with psycho and animal like behavior. Taissa Farmiga and her sister Rhea Seehorn, try to navigate the strange and destructive behavior while trying to escape the town.

Clearly an episode inspired by #MeToo, it doesn’t work because it tries to hard to say, “do…do you get it?” Yes we do, after the first 5 minutes we get it, but instead of pushing forward the plot and doing something different, characters just keep explaining the same insane behavior just with different vocabulary. And then the twist at the end basically just gives the entire episode a WTF moment and you feel as though you wasted your time. Don’t worry, I’m not going to give away the twist on here, but I’ve given you context clues to figure out what is probably is. I can also say that at least the episode looked good as well and had the same gorgeous cinematography as the other ones.

I do appreciate an episode that actually made me fear Ike Barinholtz. Usually a funny man and one of the best performers on the old MadTV (haha, kind of get why he was cast now), he is absolutely ruthless in this. I’d like to see him play more psycho characters in the future. Rhea Seehorn has always been a good actress, like on Better Call Saul, and here she’s just as convincing as someone scared out of her fucking mind. The best acting goes to Taissa Farmiga though, who I thought was terrible in The Nun as I thought she was only good for wide eyed facial expressions and that is it. Here, she is completely convincing as the woman trying to escape the harsh environment of men just suddenly going mad. Great concept, terrible and horrible execution.

POINT OF ORIGIN

And with this episode, we get the nail on the head a billion more times with social commentary, this time on immigration. Okay Twilight Zone, go home, you’re drunk, we get it. You need to now take your social commentary episodes and scale them back a little bit. You need build everything up, maybe even mix several social commentaries in (but not so in your face) at the same time to have a meatier episode. Yes, immigration is a hot button issue, but you can only state the same issue so many times using different words, and in this case, dimensions (you’ll see what I mean).

I did catch that the mask that Ginnfer Goodwin wears in this is an exact copy of those of the ‘normal’ faced people in the classic episode “Eye of the Beholder.” That was a nice little homage to the old. And her and James Frain’s acting was really good. And yet again, the episodes visuals and everything technical looks good. It’s just the story isn’t there. Well it’s there, but it doesn’t go further to get where it needs to go. It just stays in one place and doesn’t take it to more interesting and thought provoking levels. The whole plot is that after a rich white woman’s Mexican housekeeper is detained by the U.S. Government for not being a legal citizen, that rich white woman is also taken, but for different reasons that I will not spoil.

But again, you can guess where it is all going based on the fact that I said the only commentary on this is immigration. Where is home, truly? Why can’t we escape a wretched place to live a better life and people just accept it and try and help? Aren’t we all technically immigrants? Why is the US being a fucking bully? All those questions are asked a billion different ways, but none of them are really answered. Just another one of those “be careful, because it can happen to you” episodes. Those episodes are long and gone, we are currently in 2019. You can’t just recycle old stories and do them the same, you gotta have a better hook, instead it is the same rusty one Hollywood has used to fish a billion times over. I won’t finish this sentence again but, you know, great concept…Replay

Ranking of Episodes

  1. Replay
  2. Six Degrees of Freedom
  3. A Visitor
  4. Nightmare at 30,000 Feet
  5. The Comedian
  6. Point of Origin
  7. Not All Men
  8. The Wunderkind

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) Part 3 of 5 – The Wunderkind and Six Degrees Of Freedom

In part 3 of 5 of my two episode at a time reviews (10 episodes this season), and unlike my glowing reviews of episodes 4 and 5, this time be going to opposite ends of the spectrum, with one episode being the worst one so far, and the new one one of its best, if not the best. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first:

THE WUNDERKIND

Great premise, sloppy execution. Wasted potential. How on Earth did this one not work? How did the script even get green lit before going through several drafts and major re writes. The ending should’ve been a knockout punch to the head, not several slow and dull shots to the stomach. Seriously, how do you ruin the premise of: what if a 11-year-old became President? Well, this episode manages to do that. I was so frustrated and bored by the episode that I had to go look who wrote it. And then I was not surprised with what I found: Andrew Guest, who wrote for 30 Rock, for which I hated.

The episode stars John Cho as a once hugely successful campaign manager that tries to come back into the spotlight by trying to get an 11-year-old (the great Jacom Tremblay) elected President after a video he makes fake campaigning goes viral. It sounds good right? It’s not. First of all, it focuses too much on the campaigning and not enough on what happens once Tremblay (it’s really not a spoiler to say he actually becomes President) gets elected. The campaigning stuff is bland and boring and wastes the talents of John Cho, who of course is good here. In fact, none of the acting is a problem as everyone gives it a good go in that department. Also, the way the episode was shot and directed was great too. It lines up with the atmosphere of the previous episodes and is gorgeous to look at, even though the events taking place are hard to pay attention to.

The is completely the screenwriters fault (and maybe the producers for not pushing the screenplay back to Mr. Guest and asking him to give it a rewrite or two). With politics being a hot button topic nowadays, this episode should’ve had much more to say about our current climate. In fact, this episode really doesn’t have anything to say other than, “this kid’s presidency reflects Trump’s, do….do you get it?” No matter what side of the political fence you are on, the episode doesn’t take it to the level it needs to send any other kind of better, more subtle message. The ending is predictable and really corny, uninspired, and stupid. I can think of a dozen other ways this story could’ve branched out, all better IMO of the one that we got. It feels like this episode was trying to kind of pay homage to the classic episode, “It’s A Good Life,” but it really is in no way in the same ballpark of the genius of that premise. It is really disappointing that over all the Twilight Zone episodes I’ve seen, past and present, this is one of the worst.

Rating: 1/5

Six Degrees of Freedom

Being able to watch more of the classic Twilight Zone episodes between these newer ones, I have finally discovered the trend: that each new episode is basically Force Awakening classic episodes. Meaning they are all soft reboots. Soft re-imaginings. Why I didn’t figure all this out by episode 2, I have no idea. The Comedian is a play on the episodes The Dummy and one from the 80s reboot Take My Life Please; Nightmare on 30,000 Feet is a play on Nightmare on 20,000 Feet; Replay is a play on Nick of Time; A Traveler is a play on the combination of the classics The Monster Are Due On Maple Street and Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? So what episode does Six Degrees of Freedom try to re-imagine? Easy, that would be Five Characters in Search of An Exit. And a dash of the very first Twilight Zone episode, Where Is Everybody? The first episode I mention is about 5 random characters stuck in a metal cylinder, not knowing why they are there, trying to get out. They eventually have to work together to escape, only to come upon a very dark and depressing twist of fate. I will not reveal at all what Where Is Everybody? is about in lieu of spoilers.

This episode is quite a bit different but with the that moral compass of people helping each other out to reach a common goal. Five Astronauts are about to launch the first manned mission to Mars when they hear from their superiors over the radio that North Korea just launched nuclear missiles at the United States (the U.S. is retaliating of course) and that one of those nuclear missiles is set to get there in about 20 minutes. The captain (played by DeWanda Wise, who was one of the co-leads in the very underwhelming just released Netflix film Someone Great), makes the decision to override the control center and launch to Mars anyway, prolonging their deaths in a hope that their could be a solution when they get there. Tensions are weary and one of them starts asking questions. Whether they are right or wrong…can only be answered in….The Twilight Zone.

Sorry, wanted to do a dumb cheap narration of my own there. This is definitely one of the better episodes of the six aired so far, if not THE best, then right under Replay. I had a guess of where this whole thing was going to go, and my guess was addressed quite earlier than expected, which made me question it, and ultimately its twist ending. This episode also offers one of the few rays of hope than the other Twilight Zone episodes have. While I initially thought that Replay offered a few rays of hope the more I replay the very very end of that one in my mind, the more I realized that it might’ve supposed to been a downer as well. Anyhoo, this is definitely our most science-y science fiction tale of the bunch. The isolation of Alien mixed with the conspiratorial dread of The Thing and the short story it is based on, Who Goes There? The visuals are fantastic, the acting is fantastic, everything about it works. I’m not sure any of these episodes will be considered classic in the far far off future, but this and Replay have been the closest to tone of the original series thus far.

Rating: 4.5/5

Ranking of New Episodes

  1. Replay
  2. Six Degrees of Freedom
  3. A Visitor
  4. Nightmare at 30,000 Feet
  5. The Comedian
  6. The Wunderkind

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE (2019) Part 2 of 5: REPLAY and A TRAVELER

So a couple of weeks ago I said I was going to write reviews on two of the new Twilight Zone episodes at a time, seeing as I am a big fan. Well, the 4th episode dropped today and I watched it during lunch so here is part 2 of 5 (there are ten episodes). Another quick note on Jordan Peele’s intro/narrations. He is still fantastic and his intros are a nice warm welcome to the tales that are about to be thrown at us. While no one will ever reach the heights of Rod Serling, if they ever do a reboot again in another 20 to 30 years, no one will ever beat him…or Jordan Peele. Anyway, you are about to enter, The Zach Zany Zone….

REPLAY

I’ll give you a spoiler on the next episode with my review on this: the Twilight Zone is starting to get really, really good, as these two are easily the best episodes of the season thus far, this one just edging out A Traveler. REPLAY is about a woman taking her son to college that run into this asshole racist cop alone the way. There is a scuffle and the mother accidentally hits the rewind button on her old ass camcorder she happened to bring along to film her son going to college. When she hits the rewind button, she ends up going back in time at the diner that her and her son were eating at at the beginning of the episode, along with the asshole racist cop (this one contains Jordan Peele’s best intro narration, chilling, my only complaint of this episode is that its just his narration at the end and not his physical self, but that could be due to film scheduling conflicts).

The thing is though every different decision she makes after the first rewind, her and her son still find themselves running into the asshole racist cop, and she desperately tries to find a way to avoid him and get her son to college in one piece. This episode is excellent, and out of all the Twilight Zone episodes I’ve seen, this one is a pitch perfect emotional roller coaster ride. As you know Twilight Zone episodes mostly have twists at the end, and I was trying to guess this one, but instead I should’ve just stopped thinking and enjoyed the journey. I won’t say whether this episode has a twist or not, and there were several that I was thinking of that didn’t happen, but I’m very happy with the ending and route they took, it’s an almost perfect story. Sanaa Lathan stars as the mother, and she’s been in a bunch of things I have seen, Love & Basketball, Alien Vs. Predator, etc. This is easily her best performance. And as with all the other episodes, I’m loving the cinematography in these. Even if the episodes start to get worse after these two, at least it is still gorgeous to look at.

Rating: 5/5

A TRAVELER

This segment owes a debt of gratitude for the old classic The Monsters on Maple Street from the original series, but it is more of an homage with a twist. Starring Greg Kinnear and a wonderful performance by The Walking Dead’s Stephen Yeung, A TRAVELER is about a small town police station celebrating Christmas Eve. The Sheriff, played by Kinnear has a annual Christmas party where he pardons one (non huge offensive) inmate as a sign of good will. There is only one inmate this year, a deputy’s (played by Marika Sila) drunkard brother. When The Sheriff tells the deputy to fetch her brother and have him join them for the party, her brother is asleep, and sitting in the next cell, who wasn’t there before, is a man in a suit, first name A, last name Traveler (played by Yeun). He knows things, and what he knows, may get you in the end. That’s all I’ll say. If you have ever seen The Monsters on Maple Street, that may clue you into what is going on.

I figured out what was going on right away since I’ve seen that episode and guessed the ending. It really isn’t that hard and everything is set up at the beginning in a nice bow for predictable pay offs in the end. So normally I’d consider the episode ho-hum, but the atmosphere is just right, the acting is incredible, and everything is so so so gorgeous to look at. What is in a myth? What is in a lie? What is in the truth? When going back and thinking about the episode after it aired I realized there was much more to what I saw. Given the ending, there is a lot of interpretation in what anyone says, even those that have been close to you for a long time. And what is the meaning of acceptance. In the future, this episode might be more respected if viewers would open Pandora’s Box for themes and motifs. I have a feeling that a lot of people won’t like it. I did though, not just for the homages to the classic original series episode, but for new questions it brought to the table.

Rating: 4/5

Zach’s Zany TV BINGE Reviews: The Twilight Zone (2019) The Comedian & Nightmare at 30,000 Feet

Since I am seeing less movies and want to keep writing up reviews, I think I am going to start writing up two episodes at a time for the new reiteration of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Why? Because I remember watching episodes sometimes when they had marathons on sci-fi with my dad. And if I remember something like that fondly it must’ve been an important part of a great childhood I had. Anyway, so I’m signed up for CBS Access for two months and will review two episodes at a time. So 5 reviews since there are only ten episodes this first season.

Now to review Jordan Peele’s narration separately real quick. He’s the real deal. The best since Rod Serling. But if you take that into account I guess there wasn’t much competition when it came to Twilight Zone’s hosts. Serling was the only one in the original series. There was only narration in the first revival, and then Forest Whitaker in front of a shitty green screen in the second revival. Peele here does it kind of like Serling, mostly on set or in a different shot as part of the set. His diction and prose is too perfection, and whenever he welcomes us to The Twilight Zone, opening and closing, I get goosebumps. Whoever gave it a bad review saying there isn’t enough Peele can go fuck himself. Peele has projects up his sleeve and they are lucky to even be getting these small snippets of him introducing these fascinating twisty stories.

The Comedian (Episode 1)

If The Comedian is my least favorite episode of the entire 10 episode run, then call this revival an absolute success. While I probably would’ve gone with Nightmare for the first episode and The Comedian be a little bit of a sophomore slump then a gradual rise, I think they went with this to ease the audience into it more. The Comedian stars The Big Sick and Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani as a comedian that doesn’t get a lot of laughs because he tries to get political with his jokes. None of them come from the heart. After his set one night he runs into J.C. Wheeler, played by Tracy Morgan, who gets some advice (makes a deal with) that he needs to get more personal with his act, or he’ll never be successful. So Nanjiani does this, but what he doesn’t realize is, that whoever he puts in his act, disappears from existence.

This episode is a little bit of a slow burn and maybe a tad bit too long. But there is a lot to like. The cinematography, tone, and mood set within the film is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The music is wonderful as well. This is probably the best acting I’ve seen from Kumail Nanjiani, and I really liked him in The Big Sick. But what the episode actually did, which I thought nothing could ever do, was for the first time not make me look at Tracy Morgan in an annoying as shit light. I’m sorry, I’ve never found him funny. I feel sorry for that terrible accident he was in, but I’ve always considered him overrated on his comedy. But here, he’s a creepy older more famous comedian, and the very limited screen time he is in, he’s actually pretty fucking good.

The episode though does have some problems slowing it down. The jokes from the comedians aren’t really jokes per say, they are more just lashing out truths, and they aren’t funny. Maybe that was the point? But I would’ve liked to see a few really good comedic jokes when an episode is called The Comedian. I didn’t understand what the audience thought was funny. Also, it is predictable. I bet you can just guess the ending from what I said. However, the pros edge out the cons, and I still enjoyed watching a new episode of The Twilight Zone. In time, a lot might not be too kind on this episode, but I have a feeling it was a small, un-filling appetizer before we get to the delicious main course.

Rating: 3/5

Nightmare at 30,000 Feet (Episode 2)

A play on the classic episode, and the only good remade segment in The Twilight Zone movie: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. Now this isn’t a sequel just because the plane might be 10,000 Feet higher (although there is a blink and you’ll miss it nod to the classic Gremlin “THERE’S SOMEONE ON THE WING…SOME…THING!” segment). This is a totally different beast and story and no monster eating a plane wing. It plays on paranoia, self-fulfilling prophecies, and civility. It’s a heavy reflection on what has happened since 9/11. It stars Parks & Recreations Adam Scott, a journalist going to Tel Aviv for a job after he laid low for awhile seeing some heinous shit elsewhere. He finds a little device behind his seat that has a podcast on it. He plays it, and it’s a podcast episode detailing how the plane on which he’s a passenger will disappear in an hour.

Pretty cool concept right? Kind of a mix of Final Destination’s fate themes and Non-Stop’s detective investigation work. Adam Scott gets up from his seat, going about the cabin, trying to listen to the clues in the podcast and stop whatever bad thing is going to happen, from happening. This film has multiple twists in it. I saw the first one coming from a mile away. But the film doesn’t stop there, it has another gut wrenching twist, which was just the cherry on the suspenseful, really entertaining episode that I just witnessed. Some are harping on that second twist, however, if you re watch the episode and just focus on the themes, it is brilliant and totally makes sense. Never take anything for face value with The Twilight Zone.

Like The Comedian, everything technical is there. The cinematography, tone, lighting, music, fucking masterful. The acting is top notch as well, with Adam Scott and Chris Diamantopoulos giving some of their best performances of their career. I love that it was a tight 37 minutes. It wasn’t too short, and it didn’t overstay its welcome. It’s a fast paced thriller sure to keep you on the edge of your toes. This is one episode I’d watch over and over, so many layers to peel back, and once you think your done, you have several more.

Rating: 4/5

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: US (no spoilers)

Wes Craven, John Carpenter, James Wan, Alfred Hitchcock, George Romero, David Cronenberg……Jordan Peele. After only two horror/thriller films, you can already add Peele’s name to the list of famous directors of the genre that will stand the test of time. US is a near-perfect horror masterpiece. Better than Get Out, in my opinion. It’s perfectly paced. It’s scary as fuck. It has humor at the perfect moments (no unintentional laughter like Hereditary). It has a thought provoking message. It’s a film that will resonate with you long after you leave the theater. It gives you just enough context clues to figure out and put together in your head what is really going on without it being explained to you for 20 minutes. It has scenes and moments set up at the beginning of the film and the rest of the movie is nothing but great pay off, after great pay off, after great pay off. And if you are arguing why Peele’s name should already be added to the list I mentioned above, do I need to remind you who has actually won an Oscar?

The less you know going into US, the more I think you will enjoy it. So if you are reading this non spoiler-y review before you see it….stop. I already complemented it in my beginning paragraph, that should be enough to kick you over if you are still on the fence. But if you have seen it, and didn’t too much care for it, I encourage you to keep reading to understand why I loved it, and perhaps why I looked into the film more deeply than Jordan Peele probably intended for me to. Because the film plays it almost straight forward until the last act. You know where Jordan Peele basically shined that social commentary through your eyes throughout the whole run time of Get Out? (some of you had a problem with that, I don’t know why) Well in this, he saves it for the last act of the film, making you want to re watch the thing through a whole different point of view. That’s how brilliant this movie is. And while yes, there is a twist, and one that I saw coming a billion miles away (yet still enjoyed it because its payoff was set up almost perfectly well), that twist doesn’t just rely on itself to make the movie. Everything else around it makes you question your loyalty as a viewer, and makes you take a deep breath and try to put the puzzle pieces together.

I’m not going to explain the plot. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know its a family on vacation that gets home invaded by people that look exactly like them (dopplegangers). Obviously, there’s a little more too it, but that is better experienced in the theater. But I encourage you to watch closely. Usually I say twists work best if you aren’t thinking too hard, but with this film, I encourage you to watch carefully from the beginning, so that you understand most of what is going on. You’ll see the twist coming but so what? You need to understand the messages more. What does it mean to have a soul? What does it mean to be human? These messages have been told time and again in countless movies, but this one does it so uniquely you’ll think the idea is wholly original again. It’s quite brilliant, and I have a feeling the more I re watch this film, the more I’m going to love it. It literally has everything a horror/thriller fan could want in a movie.

It’s too early in the year to really predict this, but I say give a nomination to Lupita Nyong’o at next years Academy Awards. She obviously plays dual roles due to the doppleganger plot, but she plays them so distinctively well that she might’ve pulled off one of the greatest horror performances of all time. She is THAT FUCKING GOOD in it. I know she has already won a supporting actress Oscar for 12 Years A Slave, but this performance is about a billion times better than that one that I wouldn’t mind her winning another award. Everybody else is good too. Her children have some of the best horror acting you could ask for. Her husband played by Black Panther’s Winston Duke is good and brings the perfect amount of comic relief you are needing with a film like this. And even Elizabeth Moss gets a small yet juicy part. The acting is there, the thrills are there, the scares are there, the camera work is there, the cinematography is there, the direction is there. It is near perfect. Oh forgot to mention the use of music. Brilliant, especially in the “final fight” scene. The new rendition of “I’ve Got Five On It” will be stuck in my brain for weeks.

My one complaint from the whole film being perfect? I thought that one of the doppleganger’s monologue at the end explained a little too much of what was going on. Half way through her short speech I was sinking in my chair praying, “Please stop talking…” The film had already given me a bunch of context clues to piece together what was happening. I didn’t need an explanation trying to make things a bit clearer. Thankfully, the monologue didn’t last long, and I breathed out a sigh of relief, knowing that I could still piece together what happened after I left the theater (which I have). If you are one of those people that needs everything handed to you on a silver platter explanation wise, this movie isn’t for you. If you like piecing together shit with ambigious context clues, this movie is an awesome mind trip. I can’t believe Jordan Peele has done it again. And to think he said that he is going to stick to the horror genre for the time being. That should excite us.