Category Archives: The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: The Scapegoat

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

The trope of the doppelgänger is a perennial favorite in the thriller and horror genres. There’s something fascinating and terrifying about the idea of a total stranger walking around with your face. We think of our bodies as synonymous with our personalities or souls, so the idea of two identical bodies with vastly different souls is fertile ground for horror and suspense. The Scapegoat was adapted by television director Charles Sturridge from a Daphne du Maurier novel that explores the same territory as The Prince and the Pauper: two physically identical men who trade lives and pretend to be each other; only here, the consequences are far more serious.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: Ava’s Possessions

avas-possessions

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

Horror comedies and demon possession movies are both having a moment, but Ava’s Possessions is the first film I’ve heard of that combines these genres. Director Jordan Galland’s 2015 indie is an amusing genre mashup, but it also uses possession and exorcism as metaphors for mental illness and addiction, presenting horror not as a one-time event but as an ongoing challenge.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: The Naked Prey

the-naked-prey

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

Sitting down to watch The Naked Prey last night, all I knew about it was that it scared the bejesus out of my boyfriend when he saw it as a kid. Coming from him, this is a ringing endorsement. The brief narration at the beginning of the film explains that in the harsh landscape of southern Africa, “man… became like the beasts, and their way of life was his.” I was a bit concerned that we’d just had the moral of the film served to us on a platter before the story could begin. But the film that unfolded was far more complex.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: Taxi

jafar-panahi-taxi

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

At first glance, Taxi seems like nothing more than a lighthearted, sometimes darkly funny mockumentary about daily life in Tehran. Director Jafar Panahi drives a taxi around the city and picks up friends, family members, and total strangers, filming their interactions on a mounted dashcam. But in the context of Panahi’s troubled past, the film takes on a larger significance.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: The Guest

The Guest

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

I’m not going to spoil anything important about the fantastic Adam Wingard film The Guest. But if you want the optimum first viewing experience, stop reading right here and go watch it right now. Are you back? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

The Peterson family is mourning the recent death of their oldest son, Caleb, a soldier who was killed in combat. One day a stranger named David (Dan Stevens) knocks on their door, claiming to have served in the same unit as Caleb. He has nowhere else to go so they invite him to stay the night. Gradually David gets to know all four family members and manages to charm them while raising more and more questions, with us and with them, about who he is and where he came from. The Petersons’ 20-year-old daughter Anna (Maika Monroe) is the first to realize David is not who he says he is, but by then he has his hooks into every member of the family, including her.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick

The Boomstick Film Club: Lucky Them

Lucky Them

Watch it with us: Netflix streaming

Romantic comedies are not usually my favorite genre. I’ll watch anything, but I have a lower tolerance for the tired tropes that seem to be fixtures of crowd-pleasing rom-coms, so I end up snorting and rolling my eyes at movies my friends love. At first it seemed as if Lucky Them was going to fit neatly into that paint-by-numbers template: music critic Ellie (Toni Collette) is newly single and has just been assigned to write a story on her rock star ex-lover Matthew, who has become something of a legend since his disappearance ten years earlier. Meanwhile she also meets a handsome young street musician named Lucas (Ryan Eggold) who isn’t fazed by her attempts to rebuff him.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under The Boomstick