The besties review
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Country: South Korea
This is like if one of those Syfy movies were really fucking good. Suffice to say, this is now one of my favorite monster movies ever. The best aspect of the film for me is definitely Song Kang-ho's fantastic turn as Park Gang-du, the simple-minded father who serves as the emotional center of the film. In any other action movie, he would be an unlikely leading man, but in a Bong Joon-ho film he fits perfectly.
I also love how Bong always makes family a central part of his films. Even though this isn’t my favorite of his, it does stand out to me as a singular achievement in the monster movie genre. Looking forward to many rewatches!
Let the Right One In
Despite a really great premise and some solid cinematography, this one just didn't do it for me. I appreciated how subtly the film treated its "genre" (it's basically a serene drama film with mere traces of horror), and I liked Eli a lot, but ultimately I just didn't feel connected to Oskar at all. The ending is bomb though! 🏊
I Saw the Devil
Country: South Korea
Though I loved the brutal and balletic fight choreography, I found the rest of the film a bit disturbing for my taste. If this were a brisk, 90-minute revenge thriller that featured more of Joo-yeon v. Kyung-chul and less of Kyung-chul abusing his victims, I would’ve liked it a lot more.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Country: United States (Persian-language)
Boy am I a sucker for B&W cinematography. I loved the performances and the music, but this definitely feels like a movie that gets better on the rewatch. Now that I have experienced the plot and gotten to know the characters, I'm looking forward to spending more time in Bad City.
Raw (This review may contain spoilers.)
And I thought my first week of college was craaaaaazy.
But seriously, if this whole movie was just the hazing and animal surgery it still would’ve scared the shit out of me. But nah, of course there's people eating people.
I’ve never been good with body horror or realistic gore. But even so, this is the most grossed out I’ve felt watching a movie in a while. Raw is cringe cinema of the highest order— a 90-minute descent into bloodlust and cannibalism that is simultaneously hard to watch and hard to look away from.
Garance Marillier is truly fantastic, the pacing is perfect, the cinematography is simple (but effective), and the score slaps. In fact, there really isn’t anything about this movie that I didn't like.
Oh, and that “bite battle” towards the end was fucking baller. Iconic.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction."
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!
David Merkle rules.