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Directed by:  Mike P. Nelson Starring:  Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Matthew Modine, Bill Sage Runtime: 109 mins

*TW: Rape, section clearly marked below*

For a long time now I’ve had a fascination I couldn’t shake with the Wrong Turn franchise, and even though our relationship status has never shifted from ‘It’s Complicated’ because of their ableist portrayals of deformed cannibalistic hillpeople, multiple cast injuries and the unauthorised use of an image of a missing woman from Wexford which the family had to fight against in the Irish High Courts, when I saw the announcement that the series would be rebooted, I wanted to give it a chance. It seemed like they were going in a fresh and inoffensive direction. Baby, we’ve changed!

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Director: Stefano Sollima Starring: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabel Moner, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener Running Time: 122 minutes

It can’t hurt a film to have a little ambiguity from time to time. Three years ago, the uncompromising crime-thriller Sicario took us to the darkest corners of the greyest areas of the US-Mexican border, a place where Mexican cartels and the US government could compete to get up to the shadiest shit. It was an intense film with a considerable combination of talent: Denis Villeneuve combining to great effect with Roger Deakins to put the suffocating effect of the crime scene on screen, a great score by the gone-too-soon Jóhann Jóhannsson and a script by Taylor Sheridan that was seemingly very thoughtfully assembled; like an Apocalypse Now for America’s drug war. On screen, the talents of Emily Blunt dragged viewers down with her own sinking feelings, an FBI agent turned bystander to the morally ambivalent machinations of the Department of Justice, embodied by the casual hoo-ra “consultant” Matt Graver played by Josh Brolin and the mysterious, violent sicario Alejandro Gillick, played by Benicio Del Toro. They were up to something, it was no good, and there was noting Blunt could do about.

Something suspicious happened towards the end of Sicario though. A balance shift, a feeling that the film was becoming a bit too enamoured of its hitman for its own good. If Matt and Alejandro come out on top at the end, does that make it a downer ending or a triumph? Who is the main character of the film again? Emily Blunt’s conspicuous absence from the sequel Soldado might tell its own story. The boys are back in town. Sicario is not sending us it’s best people. In a fraught political environment, this sequel feels even less wanted, depending on which side of the fence you’re on.

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Director: Johannes Roberts Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine Running Time: 85 minutes

People don’t want to think it’s safe to go back in the water. Jaws is a classic for a reason, but even getting away from that, movies like Open Water and last year’s hit The Shallows have made easy money by preying on audiences’ primal fear of the ocean and the black-beasts that lurk within. If you’ll forgive the phrasing, 47 Meters Down attempts to dive deeper into those fears, drawing its scares not just from its sharks but from threats like drowning, the bends, accidentally spear-gunning yourself and other nightmarish scenarios that arise when trapped on the ocean floor. A maniac chasing us through our dreams to kill us with knife-gloves and awful puns is impossible, but being eaten by a shark? Sure it’s a 1 in 264.1 million chance, but there’s still a chance, and it’s that fear that shark movies tap into to great effect. Unfortunately, while your chances of enjoying this film are a bit better than 1 in 264.1 million, it’s still a long way from a sure thing.

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