Double Walker

Written by Patrick Hao

58/100

Double Walker represents another entry in the trend of horror movies dealing with the terror of misogyny inflicted on young women that even started before the MeToo movement with films like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Witch. Just in the last month of this film’s release, Last Night in Soho tackles many of the themes of trauma that is inflicted on young women through chauvinist and abusive behavior. So, does Double Walker, the debut feature from writer/director Colin West, stand out amongst the pack? Unfortunately, no.

That is not to say that Double Walker is a bad movie by any means. The film’s direction and moody style, a mix between David Lowery’s midwestern confinement and Guy Maddin’s dreamscape, offers hints of an exciting future. The star and co-writer, Sylvie Mix, is an intoxicating presence, even if she doesn’t entirely pull off the psychological complexity behind her blank stare.

Sylvie Mix plays an unnamed Ghost, who at death was given the choice between going into the afterlife or roaming her midwestern town for the people responsible for her death. She chose the latter. The film is told with a mixture of flashbacks and voice over narration, adding a layer of dream logic, but also over-busied set up that distracts more than it intrigues. The Ghost lures men in one by one, avenging her own death through theirs. Things are complicated when she meets Jack (Jacob Rice), a seemingly nice man, who tries to help this spectral figure.

In a way, Double Walker is not too dissimilar in structure from Promising Young Woman from last year. And in many ways, both films have the same faults. They both use genre as a delivery method of the important themes, but the weightiness of those themes seems to make them resistant to having too much fun within the genre. Some of the set ups and kills have a good degree of cleverness and technical form that show that West is a talented filmmaker. Similarly, the film’s forays into a dreamlike, afterlife space is quite haunting. But the overarching self-importance holds the film back from being truly spectacular.  Double Walker ultimately feels like a good demo reel for its star and director. In fact, West has already wrapped production on his second feature with much bigger stars. If Double Walker is any indication, the future will be bright for him.

Double Walker Trailer

Double Walker will be available on VOD starting 11/12.

You can follow Patrick and his passion for film on Letterboxd and Twitter.

The Green Knight

Written by Alexander Reams

86/100

Honor is what we all search for at some point in our lives. Whether this is honor in your work, family, or hobbies, there is something we all desire honor in. Our first look at this study in honor came over 15 months ago. Then the world seemingly came to a stop and also lost its honor during the pandemic. Trading it for fear, miscommunication, and distrust. Such is the case with Gawain, played masterfully by Dev Patel. After entering into a game with a mysterious character who calls himself “The Green Knight”. He only wants to be indulged in a game. One that Gawain quickly, perhaps too quickly, accepts, and eventually sheds any facade of honor for these traits that the world did as well. David Lowery’s The Green Knight is an indulgence in a genre that once populated cinemas while also feeling modernized and old school at the same time. 

Through most of the runtime the film does not focus on the game between Gawain and the titular Green Knight. Lowery chooses instead to focus on the journey that Gawain undergoes to finish his game with him. The film skips through time, though never haphazardly, always acquainting the viewer with the new period within a few minutes of being in that environment. Something that cannot be praised enough to Writer/Director David Lowery. Always keeping the focus on a film that is not only grand in scale but rich in character. From the various scenes showcasing the superb production design along Gawain’s year-end journey to his mythic opponent. To the fantastical and surreal cinematography by Andrew Droz Palermo. Who utilizes the technique “camera obscura” to put the viewer at ease. 

Dev Patel has been on the rise for quite some time now, my favorite performance of his was in the 2016 film Lion. He is delivering at his full potential along the films runtime. His narcissistic, egotistical performance fits the role and brings a new level to his skill as an actor. He took the text that Lowery adapted and met it graduating their vision to another level. This can also be said for the entire cast, filled with a star studded lineup, but from the opening shot it’s easy to forget about them. It is Dev Patel’s film, they are just in it. For a film with grand scale, it is very quiet. With spurts of loud, grandiose moments at times. These larger moments shine brightly, and have stuck with me. This is a picture that reminds me why I not only love films, but why I want to make them. Masterclass independent filmmaking on a grand scale is a genre that is not witnessed often.

The Green Knight Trailer

The Green Knight is currently in theatrical wide release.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Episode 78: Bad Education / Ema / Putney Swope

“Even with the lowest budget in the world, you better get some names in there; that calms people down. Then be sure your leading character is in a hurry.”

Robert Downey Sr.

Links: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Google Podcasts | LibSyn | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

This week on Drink in the Movies Michael & Taylor discuss their First Impressions of a duo of Dev Patel led films in The Green Knight & The Personal History of David Copperfield. Followed by a discussion of the Titles: Bad Education, Ema, and Putney Swope.

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Streaming links for titles this episode

Bad Education on HBO Max

Putney Swope on Prime Video

Ema is currently seeking distribution