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Mila Kunis gets lucky and two Stephen King adaptations: This week's best and biggest on Netflix

Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax.

1408

It’s definitely campy, but one doesn’t get much better co-leads for a horror film than they do here.

1408 – based on a Stephen King novella – follows a writer who focuses on debunking paranormal activity. He checks into the Dolphin Hotel’s room 1408, believed to be haunted.

Soon after his arrival, he begins to believe that the ghouls and goblins associated with the room are, in fact, real.

Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack make an interesting pair here, and are joined by stars Mary McCormack, Tony Shalhoub, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. for a great thriller just in time for spooky season,

Director Mikael Håfström makes a tense – and even funny – film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

4/5 Stars

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone

Another take on a Stephen King tale, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone turned out to be nothing like I expected, but in a good way.

Ryan Murphy, the famed horror company Blumhouse, and King come together for this intense little tale.

Craig – a well-to-do but poor young man – grows up reading to the rich Mr. Harrigan for a small stipend a week. The boy knows his mentor has done terrible things to gain his fortune, but finds him interestingly nonetheless.

The two form an unbreakable bond, up until Harrigan’s death. Craig leaves the man’s phone with the buried Harrigan at the cemetery, and leaves voicemails when he’s lonely.

One day, though, he’s surprised to wake up to a text from the phone, and begins to unravel a shocking mystery.

It’s a movie I enjoyed, starring future star Jaeden Martell and the always-welcome Donald Sutherland.

Director John Lee Hancock – of The Little Things and The Blind Side fame – creates an enjoyable, if imperfect, little adaptation.

3.5/5 Stars

Se7en

As far as serial killer movies go, it doesn’t get more entertaining or inventive than Se7en, a classic in every sense of the term.

It follows detectives Somerset and Mills, one a rookie and one a retiring vet, who are paired to hunt down a serial killer whose victims echo the seven deadly sins.

As they chase down a violent, ruthless killer, their own personal demons threaten to bring them down as well.

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are absolutely fabulous here, in career-defining work. Directed and written by a young David Fincher, it’s a movie that’s truly unforgettable.

Gwyneth Paltrow shores up the cast, along with one more star I won’t mention – I refuse to spoil things.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of the best films of all time. If you have, it’s truly time to see this near-perfect flick again.

4.5/5 Stars

The Nest

This is a movie that absolutely shocked me to my core.

I had no idea what I was going into, and what I got out of it was more than I could have imagined.

It follows entrepreneur Rory, who moved his wife Allison and family into an English country manor. But things are all but idyllic, and the surface of this perfect dream begins to crack.

Writer-director Sean Durkin has crafted a film where the less I tell you, the better an impact it has.

Leads Jude Law and Carrie Coon deliver performances that elevate the whole endeavour, and it’s an independent film that really just hits you.

This is one you’ll just simply need to see and admire as soon as possible.

4/5 Stars

Luckiest Girl Alive

I don’t normally do this, but though I didn’t love Netfix’s Luckiest Girl Alive, it truly needs to be seen for Mila Kunis alone.

Based on the massive hit novel, it follows Ani, whose carefully curated image and life are something every girl could die for.

She works in publishing, is set to marry wealthy Luke, and has it all going for her.

But when secrets she shoved in the past threaten to resurface, Ani is brought to the brink.

It’s tonally all over the place and a bit difficult to watch at times, but my God, is it ever good for one reason – Mila Kunis gives the most dramatic, resonant turn of her career.

Finn Wittrock, Connie Britton, Scoot McNairy, Alex Barone and young Chiara Aurelia are all good, but the lead just really steals this one.

Overall, the film falls into good-not-great territory, but you’ll see Kunis in an entirely different light after this revelatory showing.

3/5 Stars




About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk.
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