Film Round-Up: Hellraiser, Bros and The Good Nurse

Some movie stuff.

Hellraiser

Riley suffers from addiction and ends up finding a mysterious puzzle box which makes her dreams and nightmares come true. Hellraiser has always been a weird horror franchise as while Pinhead became an own icon in its own right, the ideas of the film were so odd that it never took off like much simpler concepts like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. And it won’t take off with reboots like this. It’s a muddled film that can’t really make its ideas work with the new themes of addiction, replacing the just pure need of sex that was in the original. The story never really takes off because of this, and the bland characters that are there to be butchered don’t help either. The gore is very impressive and there are plenty of unique kills to be enjoyed, but there’s not much more than that in this movie.

Bros

Billy Eichner is a middle aged gay man in New York City who believes it isn’t possible for him to fall in love. One man he meets aims to prove him wrong. This film caused quite a stir when it was released as there are very few gay rom coms and definitely not one released at this scale. It’s also pretty decent. It’s funny, the romance is believable and nice enough you want to root for it and while seeing the usual clichés is quite painful, there’s enough humour and charisma to get through it. The biggest problem is Billy Eichner himself. He’s just a very unlikable performer. His character is meant to be a bit unlikable but he doesn’t have the charm to make you like him despite it. Eichner gives his typical performance which can be funny as a side character, though some Parks and Recreation fans would disagree, but as a lead it is offputting. The script is strong enough to overcome him for the most part, but this film would have been a lot better with someone else in the lead role.

The Good Nurse

Jessica Chastain is suspicious that new nurse Eddie Redmayne is killing patients. It’s a very easy applause point to say that the American healthcare system is broken. A film saying as much isn’t brave or controversial, it’s playing to the audience much like a wrestler saying the current town he’s in has the best crowd around. But if you can find a way of saying it with a fantastic narrative, I can be pulled onboard again. This is the film that does that. This is a quietly sinister film about an evil man who has no real reason for doing what he’s doing. Eddie Redmayne is just quietly awful mostly because of how normal he is. For a large part of the movie, he’s just a fairly normal human being. He engages in small talk, seems fairly pleasant, just someone you know. But then it’s revealed how nasty and twisted he is, and it becomes a tense nightmare of a movie as Chastain has to navigate her friendship with Eddie’s character and hospital politics which could see her sacked for trying to stop a killer nurse for the simple reason that it may embarrass the hospital. As well as a damning indictment on hospital cover-ups, this is a brilliant film about accidentally becoming friends with the villain.

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A Guy Who Talks About Movies

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.