Up first this week is Knock at the Cabin from M. Night Shyamalan. I’m not a fan of his movies, but I will say that this one is the least “M. Night Shyamalan” film to date. Sure there is a twist ending, but overall it’s a pretty straight forward home invasion flick. Maybe he stuck to the source material more than he normally would and because it already had a surprise twist, he didn’t need to do his normal “M. Night” twist that you see coming a mile away. That’s the major issue I had with the film, I had read the source material, the book The Cabin at the End of the World, a few years back and knew what to expect. The film is about two men taking their adopted daughter to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, but soon 4 strangers come knocking. They tell them the world will end unless someone makes a sacrifice. Having read the book I knew whether or not they were crazy or actually prophets. What made it at least watchable for me is it might be Shyamalan’s darkest film. Yes The Sixth Sense was about ghosts and dead people and yes Signs was about an alien invasion, but this is based more in reality. It’s more human. You might think it’s your typical home invasion plot, but all 7 main characters are humanized. The four people you think are the bad guys explain who they are and what they are about. The two fathers and the daughter are all grounded in reality as well. The bad guys don’t think they are bad guys. The two fathers want to protect their family and you get a bit of backstory about them and their daughter while never spending too much time outside of what’s happening in the cabin. It’s this single location for the bulk of the movie that at least keeps the movie on track and never losing focus of where it’s going. I don’t think it was the hit they thought it would be not even doing 3x its budget worldwide which is funny to me because I might actually consider watching it again at some point which I never say about M. Night movies. If you missed this one and like his movies I recommend it to his fans. If you like home invasion movies you might like it too. I preferred the book.

Sticking with home invasion movies next is Unwelcome. It sort of is a home invasion film, but with a creature feature twist. It opens with a couple getting attacked in their apartment. The husband’s aunt dies and leaves her house in rural Ireland to him so they move there to feel safe while his wife is pregnant. They are told about an Irish lore and must leave a blood sacrifice or else. At first they don’t believe in it, but go along. With the roof needing repair they hire a local family to fix it, but get into it with them. The family wants revenge when the one son goes missing and then the movie takes a hard turn. The lore kicks in and little Red Caps (think leprechauns) show up and the craziness kicks in. I loved this part of the film. It’s so ridiculous in the third act I ended up having fun with it by film’s end. Colm Meaney is great as usual and the creatures are very well made. I have no idea if the lore makes a lick of sense, but again I had fun with it.

Third we have Children of the Corn. No not the original horror gem, but a new version from 2020 that was released this year. I say new version because other than there being children and corn, there really are no similarities to the classic. Of course they gender swap the lead bad kid despite how beloved Isaac is as a horror icon. There is nothing unique or special about this version. There is no couple lost, it’s all locals who did something bad to kids so the kids want revenge. You get a bit more of the creature in the corn in this one, but by the time that comes about I really wasn’t all that interested in the film. I’m a big fan of the original so any remake was going to have a hard time topping the first film, but this one doesn’t even attempt to have similarities. None of the kids seemed creepy enough. There was no sidekick ala Courtney Gains. I think it plays more as a prequel than a remake because it shows the kids killing all the locals so why not make it a prequel? I can’t say I’m disappointed in it because I had no expectations, but it’s not good even in a franchise of bad sequels.

Last we have Maria Bamford Stand-up Spotlight from Mill Creek Entertainment. This contains two specials The Special Special Special! and Weakness is the Brand. I’ve enjoyed her stand up for years because she tackles so many different subjects. Nothing is off limit with her and her delivery is great. She’s one of those comedians you think it’s going in one direction, but the punchline takes a hard left and she consistently gets big laughs. The Special Special Special! is very different because there’s no audience. It’s not at a club, it’s at her house with her parents. It’s funny because a lot of her routine is about her dysfunctional family and with her self-deprecating comedy style it’s awkward yet funny. Weakness is the Brand is one of her newer specials and the best part is the Uh Oh bit when she talks about issues she has like on Instagram and being on Worst Cooks of America: Celebrity Edition. It’s so self-deprecating it’s hilarious. If you are a fan of hers you need this collection.

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