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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Film Review: The Origin of Evil, A Haunting in Venice and Together Together

A murder mystery, a family of secrets and a loner app creator having a baby. How did October's latest movie releases fare in our film review?

The Origin of Evil. Image: Potential Films
The Origin of Evil. Image: Potential Films

Yay, movie time!


There is always a bit of a lull in the movie game after a school holiday break, particularly when winter brought us the blockbuster juggernaut that was Barbenheimer. Plus, with TV shows and new release films inherently delayed due to ongoing strikes, we've had to get creative with our viewing, whether it's been revisiting old favourites, heading to international film festivals, or taking up useful hobbies like sewing or cooking (lol jokes, I would never alienate my audience like that!)


Luckily, there's been a plethora of new content sweeping our screens lately, all with different genres, motivations, characters and ratings. Let's dive in.


Film reviews | October 2023


The Origin of Evil (MA)

Genre: French (subtitles), Thriller | Run time: 123 minutes | Cast: Laure Calamy, Doria Tillier, Dominique Blanc, Jacques Weber | Showing: Cinemas from 19 October, 2023 |

Origin of Evil film still
Well... noone said evil didn't have style. Image: Potential Films

Okay, so before you scaredy cats run off, despite the title, this isn't a horror movie, promise! Think slow-burn thriller of shady characters, like if Knives Out met The Talented Mr Ripley at a French café and smoked cigarettes with disdain.


Working a lowly job and kicked out of her rental, a woman decides to connect with her estranged father. Upon arriving at his estate, she finds that not only is he is exceedingly wealthy, but the family he has around him seem to despise him. Growing closer each day, the family members become suspicious of her motives and fear she may get in the way of their plans for his hefty inheritance and company control.


However, as we delve more into the lives of this family and those around them, all may not be as it seems. Mind games are played, alliances formed, secrets are told and identities are revealed - who is the origin of evil, after all?


FILM REVIEW

I was excited to watch this because a) love me some secrets-secrets-lies-lies, and b) it was a genre my partner and I could actually agree on. While action-movie lovers like him may find it a bit slow, I'm all about the gradual climb to the crescendo finish, with both of us continually changing our guesses as to what the character's motivations really were. There were some typically weird French film moments - a bathtub scene and the final ending come to mind - but overall, I was gripped and intrigued enough to not play on my phone, and that's all we really want, isn't it? Bon effort, mon amies.


Do I have to see it at the movies, or can I wait to watch at home?

Either goes.

Can I scroll my phone?

No, you gotta watch those subtitles, don't ask the person with you, that's annoying. Speaking for a friend.

Will my partner watch it with me?

I reckon, if they're into foreign film.

Overall score: 3/5.


A Haunting in Venice (M)

Genre: Mystery | Run time: 103 minutes | Cast: Kenneth Branaugh, Camille Cottin

Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh | Showing: Cinemas, now |

A Haunting in Venice film still
Whether you like him or not, it's a solid mo. Image: 20th Century Fox

So, it may be daggy, but my partner and I seriously love us some Poirot. The first movie we ever saw together was the original Death on the Nile, and we've burned through the majority of Agatha Christie's collection on streaming, from the old Peril at End House to the modern Murder on the Orient Express. I mean, come on. Secrets! Lies! Mysteries! Jealousies! And usually, some sort of grand event with amazing costumes, like a masked ball or rich heiress wedding. The new films in the genre from Daniel Craig's Benoit Blanc (Knives Out, The Glass Onion) are a lot of fun too.


The latest remake to hit the silver screen is A Haunting in Venice, part of the reworks from Kenneth Branagh, who not only plays Detective Poirot, but also directed and produced the films. (I'd be more impressed if I didn't harbour a grudge for when he cheated on the world's best friend Emma Thompson in 1994. I don't forgive, Kenneth, and I don't forget).


Set in... you got it, Venice, Detective Poirot is retired and chilling out reading newspapers and not doing much else until old mate Tina Fey appears, playing a journalist who tells him she has met a woman who can connect with the afterlife, and must be seen to be believed. Reluctantly, he attends a séance the woman leads at a Halloween party, only to get caught up in a murder mystery that only one of the party guests could have completed.


While it may not be Colonel Mustard with the hammer, the scene is set for Poirot to find the murderer - before it's too late.


FILM REVIEW

For me, while I do love a good murder mystery, I felt this was fine, but not my favourite of the series. It was quite dark, even spooky at times, with no lavish setting like a yacht in Death on the Nile or luxury island like Evil Under the Sun. Frequenters of the genre may be able to guess the culprit a few minutes before Poirot, but the film does throw enough twists and turns so it isn't totally obvious form the get-go.


Do I have to see it at the movies, or can I wait to watch at home?

You could wait, tbh.

Can I scroll my phone?

Kinda, but not at the start or you'll miss how the characters are connected and then you'll just be hella confused the whole movie.

Will my partner watch it with me?

Yeah everyone loves a good whodunnit!

Overall score: 3/5.


Together Together (M)

Genre: Comedy | Run time: 90 minutes | Cast: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison | Showing: Netflix |

Together Together movie still
They look how I felt. Image: Bleecker Street

So, full disclosure, I had half fallen asleep on the couch, woke up, and just wanted to put something kinda background on that I could vaguely get into, and this popped up on New to Netflix so I was like, cool, sure. Whatever.


Together Together stars Ed Helms (that guy you confuse with Jason Sudeikis from The Hangover and Vacation) as a single dude who is getting a surrogate because he wants to be a dad. I mean, I was into the premise, as someone going through a similar experience, I thought it might be kind of vindicating. During the film, we are meant to 'watch their unexpected relationship grow' (I guess?) as they 'challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love.'


FILM REVIEW

Um... this did not happen. I felt like I kept waiting for the movie to start, or for something to happen. He was a bit of a loner, she was like cool I'm your surrogate, she had a bit of 'tude, he was a bit annoying, they didn't really have anyone else, then she had the baby and... yep. That... was the whole movie. What a waste of valuable singing my dog her affirmations time.

Do I have to see it at the movies, or can I wait to watch at home?

Don't do either. It's like you didn't even read what I just wrote.

Can I scroll my phone?

Please do, it is all that would get you through.

Will my partner watch it with me?

Hard no, and you shouldn't even suggest it for yourself.

Overall score: 1/5 #SorryNotSorry.

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