‘In Darkness’ Review: Natalie Dormer Shines in the Engaging Thriller

This essay is by our guest writer, Grace.

Natalie Dormer returns to the big screen as Sofia McKendrick, a blind pianist who overhears what the police dub to be a suicide in the apartment upstairs. The deceased is Veronique (Emily Ratajkowski), daughter of accused war criminal, Zoran Radic (Jan Bijovet). Set in London, the modern day thriller pulls from familiar tropes to create something new. The project was borne out of Dormer and director Anthony Byrne’s mutual frustration with the “landscape of female characters” in the genre and succeeds in producing an imperfect, complex, and three-dimensional female lead. This is a landscape that since evolved, but one that continues to be in need of growth. It also reveals itself to weave in the theme of violence against women, which is incredibly relevant in our society today with the rise of the #MeToo movement.

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Emily Ratajowski and Natalie Dormer in ‘In Darkness’ © XYZ Films

With an increase in popular psychological thrillers following the phenomena of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it’s a shame that this one should be swept under the rug. While the film would certainly have been improved with the aid of a larger budget (it was shot on-location in 25 days), it still prevails with the little that the overall project has been afforded. Nearly a decade in the making, Dormer (who co-wrote and produced) and Byrne have created an engaging and entertaining addition to the genre.

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Tribeca TV ‘18 ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ Review: The Mystery Remains

Thic piece is by guest writer Grace Perkins.

Picnic at Hanging Rock has been adapted for the screen once again. This time, as a six-part miniseries distributed by Amazon Prime. Based on the classic 1967 Australian novel of the same name by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock will be available to the public on May 25th. However, it might even be more appropriate to think of it as a “six-hour film” as many of those affiliated with the project have dubbed it.

While you may be acquainted with Peter Weir’s mystical and highly heralded film, so far, Picnic through the lens of the 21st century, is a promising and relevant reimagining. It fails to fall into a singular genre, shifting between the titles of drama, horror, thriller, and the expected historical hues of period dramas. 

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