Samuel Brace with four 2018 films that should be on your radar…
In weeks gone by, I have made it a habit to purposefully highlight some of the smaller or lesser known films that movie fans should be aware of in the year 2018. It seems to me that we spend so much of our mental bandwidth focusing on the obvious hits, the looming presence of upcoming blockbusters that permeate our cinematic consciousness, that we often find ourselves turning a blind eye to the underdog, the films with budgets and name recognition that can’t quite compete with their titanic competitors. Past articles of mine on this subject have included some truly exciting prospects, the latest of which you can read here, but as this year is replete with reasons to be gripped with cinematic anticipation, it wasn’t hard to locate four more movies to showcase here today. So, if you will allow it, let me ask you this: are the below four films on your movie radar? Because they damn well should be.
Under the Silver Lake
From the director of It Follows – one of the best horror movies of the decade (both a critical and fan favourite upon its 2014 release) – Under the Silver Lake should hopefully reveal more of the talents possessed by David Robert Mitchell. Starring one of the most interesting actors in Hollywood, Andrew Garfield, the film tells the story of a man named Sam who starts investigating the disappearance of a mysterious new neighbour, with whom he has fallen in love. A neo-noir comedy-drama set in LA, Under the Silver Lake looks to be quite the departure from the horror of It Follows, but if the trailer is anything to go by, audiences should still be in for quite the adventure. Hopefully the mystery at its core is worthy of unravelling.
A remake of one of history’s greatest horror movies, Suspiria tells the story of a young woman who joins a prestigious dance academy that happens to be a front for an evil den of witches. The 1977 original is part dream, part nightmare, a true assault on the senses, and one of the most visually sublime works of cinematic art one could possibly hope to consume – or rather be consumed by. The remake stars Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton and has promised to be more of a reimagining than anything else. For example, the 70s Suspiria is renowned for its vibrant use of prime colours but director Luca Guadagnino has commented that this will not be the case for his movie. Hopefully, whatever he and his team manage to conjure, this new film will be a worthwhile tribute to one of the genre’s all time greats.
Gareth Evans is one of the more exciting directors working today. The Raid and its sequel, The Raid 2, are staggering feats of action packed mayhem, featuring some of the best hand-to-hand combat that can be found anywhere on film. With The Raid 2, Evans showcased the scope and ambition he is capable of executing and his next film Apostle will hopefully reveal yet another dimension to his abilities behind the camera. Starring Dan Stevens of Legion fame, Apostle is about a man who attempts to rescue his daughter, who has been kidnapped by a religious cult. Telling a seemingly familiar tale, hopefully Apostle chooses to touch on the horror of corrupt souls perverting what was once pure, instead of simply rebuking faith as a whole. If so, Apostle could prove to be a nightmarish odyssey well worth the price of admission.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
The closest thing to a mainstream entry on this list, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s unnerving thriller Sicario is a film that could easily be ignored but evidence rather suggests that we should all do otherwise. Sicario: Day of the Soldado once again stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, this time teaming up to fight a drug war on the US/Mexico border. More importantly, while Villeneuve isn’t directing, the immensely talented Taylor Sheridan is back for screenplay duties – reason enough to anticipate something rather special. With a curriculum vitae that includes the likes of Sicario, Hell or High Water, and Wind River, anything with Sheridan’s name attached demands our attention. By evidence of its trailer, it seems Day of the Soldado has retained the visual splendour of its predecessor, along with the same hard-hitting action and deeply sinister tone, suggesting that this potentially unnecessary sequel might more than surprise one or two when it arrives this June.