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Director: Janicza Bravo Starring: Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, Colman Domingo, Jason Mitchell Running Time: 90 minutes


“Every day on Twitter there is one main character. The goal is never to be it.” So goes an established adage among Very Online Twitter users (synonym for the depressed), and one worth questioning, isn’t it? From rise and fall celebrity stories, to social media ritual sacrifice, to stories we big up to our mates of some mad one on a mad one, there is an accepted understanding, there is a threshold past which you become a ‘character’, and once that happens, are you still a person? Does everything that happens to you then become on-brand for people’s expectations, do people still see you as a person in the same way? Twitter by its nature imposes limits on character. One leading lady of online who proved an exception to the rule is Aziah “Zola” King, whose long thread about the wild story of how her and “this bitch” fell out captivated readers all the way to the end of a thread, a Rolling Stone article and now, an A24 movie. Suitably shallow as befitting its source material, Zola still uncovers plenty of interesting ideas about power, presentation and identity.

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Director: Antonio Campos Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Haley Bennett, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, Bill Skarsgård Running Time: 138 minutes


 

Based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, director Antonio Campos brings together an impressive ensemble cast to tell a story of intergenerational turmoil and malevolent superstition, set against the beautiful backdrop of Coal Creek, West Virginia.

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Director: Trey Edward Shults Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Riley Keough Running Time: 91 minutes


Shotguns getting cocked. Barking dogs. Barricaded houses. Cagey, distrustful men with southern accents. Fear of the dying and their blood and their viscera. Hiding infections. Arguments. Us or them. Shotguns getting shot.

It Comes at Night is not a film about zombies, but it’s undoubtedly a film that knows that its audience is familiar with zombie tropes, and that they can use them to follow the film’s path even as it obscures everything in darkness. When you’re as sick as the delirious, sore-covered grandfather who’s shown as this film opens, it’s immediately clear that a mercy kill is not too far away. When the environment is as tense and uncertain as what the audience sees here; a family of (recently) three hiding out in the woods after a contagious disease has ravaged the world, viewers know that almost always, human nature ends up being more dangerous than the literal threat. The last thing this equation needs is more people in it. So in, inevitably, they come.

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