Choose (5/10)

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Basically Sophie’s Choice: Special Serial Killer Edition. Intense opening scene where a teenager is forced by a home invader to choose between killing her mom or her dad. Dad volunteers to get it in the chest of course (yay disposable men!) Cut to plucky young reporter with bigly sweater monkeys and a cop dad. She’s hot… on the trail of the You-Choose-You-Lose Killer. And apparently she smells like apples according to random creepy guy. More choices, more dead or disfigured victims. Soon the trail leads back to something from the killer’s past that ties all the random victims together.

This is mostly a police procedural, though somewhat light on police and procedure. And the investigating is really just running down some clues from the Forced Dichotomy Boogeyman, who turns out to be a whiny little bitch. And, to add insult to injury, the monkeys stay in the sweater. Overall, watchable but nothing you haven’t seen before, assuming you’ve watched some movies that are similar to this one.

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The Thing (7/10)

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I avoided this when it first came out since I thought it was just another opportunistic remake of a classic movie (the irony being, of course, that 1982’s The Thing was also a remake of a classic movie, but we’ll ponder that another time). Two things made me decide to go back and check it out: It’s more of a prequel than a remake (despite having the same title), and it was written by Eric Heisserer, who wrote 2016’s “Arrival”, which looks to be quite good.

So, this does indeed explore the events preceding “The Thing” (1982), covering the finding of an alien spaceship and the accidental release of the alien survivor. While certainly not as good as the 1982 movie, it is a solid action/horror with some very creepy effects, which were an odd blend of practical and CGI. Definitely well-made and worth a watch, it captures at least some of the claustrophobia and creepiness of the 1982 “The Thing”.