End of Days (1999): Action / Fantasy / Horror

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It is the end of the millennium, Satan has taken a human form while looking for the woman who will bear his child, and it is up to a suicidal ex-cop to prevent the end of days.

Arguably, one of the best, darkest… and underrated films Schwarzenegger has ever been in. Brilliant fast-paced and edited realistic action with a just over fifties, sentimental Arnie been purely tough as nails. Great shooting scenes, great fight scenes, and great chase scenes that make two hours fly by. But the awesomeness doesn’t stop here. The slow-paced sequences testing the heroes’ and antiheroes’ ‘faith’, and the drama of a young girl standing in the midst of chaos, who never chose to be special, make the End of Days an unforgettable choice to put a close to this year and decade. The film’s highlight: Arnold fighting the Satanists and the Devil in the alley.

Arnold, having undergone a heart surgery two years prior to the film, comes back performing extreme action sequences and nailing the self-destructive, rock bottom, action antihero, taking as much as he can give back. Gabriel Byrne is evil as hell – pun intended – and brutally tortures everyone crossing his path with utter style. As for Robin Tunney, she’s magnificent and I can still see why I fell for her in my early twenties. My last ‘congratulations’ goes to the director and director of photography Peter Hyams who pulled this off and brought Andrew W. Marlowe’s solid, very dark yet optimistic script to life.

Again, arguably, Schwarzenegger’s last prominent film.

Enjoy, and have a healthy, happy, productive and creative new year. Be well!!

Hereditary (2018): Drama / Horror / Mystery

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It’s not very often one sees reviews either 1 or 10 on imdb and almost nothing in between. The acting is 100% solid. The character development is as it should have been. Overall, I think that the ostensibly unjustified twists and turns of the level of paranormal activity, the takeover of the subgenre (drama) from the genre (horror), and the head-scratching ending that doesn’t meet the film’s own expectations, exasperate the average viewer.¬†There were scenes that took my breath away and narrowed my spectrum of emotions down to terror and despondency but each and every one of them¬†reflects on its purpose. And that is what makes Ari Aster’s directing astounding.