Four new films to see this week

Scream, Memoria and Cow in cinemas, Killing Field on demand

Courteney Cox in Scream

Courteney Cox in Scream

 

SCREAM ★★★☆☆
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett. Starring Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jack Quaid, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette. 16 cert, gen release, 115 min
A new bunch of good-looking teens are terrorised by a serial killer in a Ghostface mask. In common with the recent meta-reboot of The Matrix – a sequel that went out of its way to resemble the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special – this long-delayed fifth film in the Scream franchise plays the hits, once more without much feeling. The film struggles to incorporate its older ‘legacy characters’ into a genre that typically demands adults are unwilling and unable to help teens in peril. The killings are lacklustre and there are few fresh ideas. Full review TB

MEMORIA ★★★★★
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Starring: Tilda Swinton, Juan Pablo Urrego, Jeanne Balibar, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Elkin Díaz, Agnes Brekke. Limited release, 136 min

Tilda Swinton in Memoria
Tilda Swinton in Memoria

Memoria begins with an avant-garde jump scare, as British botanist Jessica (Swinton) is jolted out of bed by a mysterious boom. The noise is enough to set car alarms ringing, yet no one seems to hear it save for Jessica, who is visited again and again by the aural disturbance. Mysteries abound in the eighth feature (and fifth major prize-winner at Cannes) by Weerasethakul. Sound designer Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr’s compositions are as dramatically impactful as Swinton’s performance is delicately minimalist. Another beautifully enigma from one of the era’s greatest and most elusive filmmakers. Full review TB

COW ★★★★☆
Directed by Andrea Arnold. 12A cert, limited release, 94 min

Cow
Cow

The director of Red Road and American Honey follows the life of a relatively well-treated cow. Cow will not be to all tastes. Presented without voiceover or captions, it uses a mobile camera to capture snatches from the beast’s life over several years. She gives birth. She has a moment in the sun. If we were feeling mischievous we might dub it “Cowhood”, but that implies more sublimated narrative than we actually get. We are, however, treated to an emotional arc that ends with a devastating emotional punch. A touching film that makes its points subtly. Full review DC

KILLING FIELD ★☆☆☆☆
Directed by James Cullen Bressack. Starring Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Swen Temmel, Michael Sirow, Kate Katzman, Sean Kanan. VoD, 97 min

Bruce Willis in Killing Field
Bruce Willis in Killing Field

Never mind the plot. Willis is some sort of cop. He gets in a shootout with some sort of villain. A portion of the bad guys take Willis prisoner. Others retire to an apparently tropical farm and look forward to a shootout. You know how things go in straight-to-video land. It is hard to put into words how uninterested Willis seems. Half of his performance takes place in the back of a car. The other half is largely delivered from a chair in a shack. He may as well have delivered the turn via Zoom. Just awful. Full review DC

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