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A Canadian horror gem and hilarious Bruce Willis fare: The biggest and best on Netflix

After a pretty messy first attempt, the makers of those terrifying Conjuring movies get the origin story of creepy doll Annabelle right
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca

Backcountry

This Canadian movie is a beautiful slow-burn with a simple, unsettling concept. When a couple goes camping and find themselves turned around, they are stalked by a menacing black bear.

Adam MacDonald – known mostly for his acting in Rookie Blue – gets behind the camera to shoot the film he also penned, and gives the audience a taut, suspenseful ride.

It’s the tension that will get you. We’re left waiting, wondering when the bear will arrive, and the ambiance of the entire film is one of quiet dread.

With a startlingly good supporting performance from Eric Balfour – from 24 and Haven – and a convincing lead in fellow Rookie Blue alum Missy Peregrym, this is a surprisingly good little flick.

4/5 Stars

 

Alien: Covenant

This Alien sequel was supposed to revamp and kickstart the franchise – and though it’s a fine addition with some truly awesome sequences, it never quite reaches the levels of the original two.

Covenant – directed by Ridley Scott, who helmed the original – is about a colony ship that discovers an uncharted spot filled with alien lifeforms.

This is one heck of an action movie, even if it does lack the substance of the original greats. With Michael Fassbender reprising his Prometheus role, and such talent as Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup and Danny McBride, it’s an eclectic, interest band of characters.

Alien: Covenant sure provides the thrills of an Alien franchise film, even if the fun is just surface level. Go into it for the fun, and measure your expectations. You may like it more than you expect.

3.5/5 Stars

 

 The Whole Nine Yards

There’s no doubting the best days of Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry are behind them, but this awesome comedic gem proves just how hilarious they both could be.

The film revolves around a dentist at his wit’s end who realizes a famous mobster has moved in next door.

Willis, stone-faced and bitingly funny, is the perfect complement to Perry’s sarcastic, Friends schtick.

Add in key performances by the late Michael Clarke Duncan, Rosanna Arquette, Natasha Henstridge and a hilarious Kevin Pollak, and you have a recipe for success.

Just do me a favour and don’t watch the sequel. It’s better that way.

3.5/5 Stars

Role Models

When two underachievers mess up on the job and end up doing community service, they find a bit more happiness in the chaos than they bargained for.

Wheeler and Danny are reps for an energy drink who get stuck in a Big Brother program after things go awry,

Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott are a perfect pair in this raunchy comedy, directed by the man behind Wet Hot American Summer.

Superbad’s McLovin’ himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, is a great supporting star, as well as Glee’s Jane Lynch as the no-nonsense Big Brother facilitator.

This is an incredibly funny, remarkably sweet film, and one that always puts a smile on my face.

4/5 Stars

 

Annabelle:  Creation

After a pretty messy first attempt, the makers of those terrifying Conjuring movies get the origin story of creepy doll Annabelle right.

This sequel (prequel, I don’t know how this works these days) about the death of a little girl, and her doll-maker father’s grief, is a pretty spooky tale.

He invites the girls and a nun from a shut down orphanage into his remote home, but they soon begin being terrorized by the possessed doll Annabelle.

All I can say is I think the heavens David F. Sandberg took over after the original flopped. The Lights Out director has a knack for building suspense, and it shows here.

The movie is more terrifying than it ever has any right to be, is well-acted – especially from Anthony Lapaglia – and is smartly told.

It’s a rare horror sequel that outdoes the original by miles.

4/5 Stars

 

Weekly New Releases to June 30:

  • The Avengers
  • Mike Epps: Only One Mike (Netflix Original Standup)
  • Dope: Season 3 (Netflix Original)
  • Instant Hotel: Season 2 (Netflix Original)
  • Anne with an E: Season 2

 

Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.




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About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist & public relations student. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk, and the first movie he saw in theatres was Beauty & the Beast.
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