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Movie Reviews: 9/21/2020 to 9/27/2020

Movies reviewed this week: Girl, Action U.S.A., and The Boy Behind The Door.

9/25/2020: Girl (2020): **1/2

I enjoyed this but it wasn’t spectacular; it’s a backwoods family revenge thriller in the standard mode. Good setting — there’s this one decrepit church which was perfect — and a good soundtrack. The acting was fine. It’s always a bit iffy casting Mickey Rourke, but this is what you want out of him these days. He was laconic and threatening and didn’t go way over the top.

The one thing I’d call out as notable is the surreal atmosphere. There’s nothing supernatural about this movie, but it does take on that saturated Twin Peaks feel. It’s almost too precious to leave Bella Thorne’s protagonist nameless, but in the end it plays into the alien, isolated mood permeating the movie. And really, she doesn’t need to introduce herself. She’s already part of the town.

9/27/2020: Action U.S.A. (1989): **1/2

It’s a really stilted 90s thriller, except that the director (John Stewart) was a stuntman, and he went out and found a bunch of stuntmen to play the bad guys and incidental characters, and then he did all the stunts he’d always wanted to do. The last bit there is just my assumption, but I think it’d hold up under scrutiny. Excellent explosions.

9/27/2020: The Boy Behind The Door (2020): ***1/2

Rather violent kids in peril thriller. Graphic, bad things happen to just about everyone. We’re not quite talking New French Extremity here, but when the protagonists are pre-teen kids, everything lands harder.

That said, really good tense movie. There are a couple of excellent surprises, and it rarely went where I expected. Lonnie Davis and Ezra Dewey were very good as the kids.

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