7.5/10 Director Jeremy Saulnier blew me away when I saw “Green Room” and ranked it as the 3rd Best Film of 2016. This film, being its follow up came in at #10 for my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2018. Although it is not as good as “Green Room”, there is still a lot to admire here. The beautifully shot imagery and haunting score collide with a dark and dreary mood that lingers throughout the entire film and is extremely well done. Much like his last film, the violence is graphic but extremely well done, particularly in a scene involving a shootout with police. The acting is solid even though Jeffrey Wright stays somber for the entire film. The film has a lot of ambition and although it doesn’t successfully achieve every goal it seeks to accomplish, its ideas are fascinating ones. I wish the character motivations would have been better explained/communicated and there are definitely some questions left unanswered, which all falls on the screenwriter. Those character motivations and underdevelopments are the film’s biggest flaws. The film does a solid job of misdirecting us with which way we think it will go. There are some coincidences but nothing so extreme that it really hurts the overall quality in a major way. I even enjoyed the film’s title because even though most of the film actually takes place during the day, the film deals with the inner darkness of all of these characters. The production value is very high and this is Saulnier’s most ambitious film to date with the largest scale. Some flashbacks scenes could have been cut because they seemed slightly unnecessary but overall the pacing is very strong and we are intrigued and entertained the entire time, wondering what will happen next. In the end, an additional pass on the script could have made this good film a great one but although it has some problems, the overall positives surpass the negatives. This grisly film is dark, violent, engrossing and not for everyone but if you give it a chance I think you will find a lot to appreciate and I look forward to whatever Saulnier directs next.

#GetUpTheAnchorage / #Masskacre / #TheWolfOfAllSleet / #TheDarkWright / #VeteransSlay / #TheHuntsmanWintersGore

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