The Trouble With Harry Review

The Trouble With Harry movie posterSynopsis
The trouble with Harry is that he is dead and, while no one really minds, everyone feels responsible. After Harry’s body is found in the woods, several locals must determine not only how and why he was killed but what to do with the body. (via IMDb)

Review
The Trouble With Harry is Alfred Hitchcock’s attempt to try something outside of what is expected of him. I didn’t know this was a romantic comedy going into the film so when the characters started cracking jokes, it took me by surprise. It was a pleasant surprise but a surprise nonetheless. However, if there was a non-horror story that Hitchcock was going to tell, this is very fitting of him. In true English fashion, the humor is very macabre and dark. The movie’s sense of humor might not be for all audiences but I enjoyed it; it reminded me of Weekend at Bernie’s in a way (which might not be the best movie for comparison but whatever). Even with the premise, no matter what happened, Hitchcock always managed to keep the film light and witty, never leaning too far into the dark humor that it becomes uncomfortable. The romantic pieces that were intertwined with the black humor made for an… interesting combination. Thankfully, the couple pairings of Edmund Gwenn with Mildred Natwick and John Forsythe with Shirley MacLaine were able to provide a levity to the film. Each pair was cute together and played well off each other. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only was Hitchcock a master storyteller but a master caster as well.

I thought The Trouble With Harry was GOOD πŸ™‚ It was good for what it was but definitely doesn’t compare to his other films that I have seen. The macabre humor was fitting for a Hitchcock film, regardless of genre, and I enjoyed it but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I like to see directors try things outside their normal cadence and while The Trouble With Harry might not be one of Hitchcock’s best films, it is entertaining all the same.

Favorite Quote
Sam Marlowe: When I saw him, he was dead.
Jennifer Rogers: He looked exactly the same when he was alive, only he was vertical.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Alfred Hitchcock – Director
John Michael Hayes – Screenplay
Bernard Herrmann – Composer

Edmund Gwenn – Capt. Albert Wiles
Mildred Natwick – Miss Ivy Gravely
John Forsythe – Sam Maarlowe
Shirley MacLaine – Jennifer Rogers
Jerry – Arnie Rogers
Mildred Dunnock – Mrs. Wiggs
Royal Dano – Deputy Sheriff Calvin Wiggs

Ready or Not Review

Ready or Not movie posterSynopsis
Grace (Samara Weaving) just married Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), the love of her life. In the Le Domas family, it is tradition to to play a game whenever someone new joins the family. For Grace, The game takes a sinister turn when she must hide for her life.

Review
When I saw the trailer for Ready or Not, I was hooked. Lately I have been trying to watch more horror-y movies ever since I was a guest on an episode of Damien’s podcast and this film looked to be right up my alley. The trailer was humorous but still seeped in horror elements. Leaving the theater, Ready or Not was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I think what I enjoyed most in this movie was how darkly hilarious it was. It actually reminded me a lot of Game Night. Where Game Night is a dark comedy with thriller elements, Ready or Not is a thriller/horror with dark comedy elements. Also like Game Night, Ready or Not never takes itself too seriously. It is also very absurd at times and it revels in that absurdity, making it all the better. If Ready or Not had tried to be a serious film despite its ludicrous and somewhat supernatural concept, I don’t think it would not have been nearly as entertaining.

Even though I was constantly laughing, this film kept me on the edge of my seat. It is mostly a thriller but it also employs many techniques used by traditional horror movies to build anticipation and make you hold your breath. This is actually more of a horror/thriller but with more of the latter with some of the former sprinkled in. Because of this mix of humor, horror, and thriller, Ready or Not never feels like it drags on, keeping at a brisk pace and never letting go. Even with this movie’s pace, it feels like it’s just the right length at around 100 minutes or so. Some things could have been explained a little better with a few extra minutes but that’s pretty trivial and doesn’t detract too much from the film.

With such a focused cast, it fell on Samara Weaving to carry much of this movie. Luckily, she is more than up for the task! Weaving is fantastic. She has some of the funniest lines and moments in the film and pulls them off with ease. Weaving has a few action moments as well that she handles like a pro. Her performance is filled with both energy and vulnerability. Basically, she’s the perfect fit. I’m unfamiliar with most of her work but she is definitely on my radar now as an actress to look out for.

The entire story takes place in or around the Le Domas family mansion. As such, it needed to be as much of a character as the actors. The set designers managed to do just that. Everything is absolutely gorgeous and brimming with personality. Despite only spending 100 minutes in the Le Domas residence, it feels like there is a tangible history to the mansion. Truly an excellent set design.

I thought Ready or Not was GREAT πŸ˜€ Circumventing many horror tropes and expectations, this darkly twisted comedy will keep you on the edge of your seat with thrills while at the same time will have you rolling with laughter.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin – Director
Tyler Gillett – Director
Guy Busick – Writor
Ryan Murphy – Writer
Brian Tyler – Composer

Samara Weaving – Grace
Mark O’Brien – Alex Le Domas
Adam Brody – Daniel Le Domas
Henry Czerny – Tony Le Domas
Andie MacDowell – Becky Le Domas
Elyse Levesque – Charity Le Domas
Nicky Guadagni – Aunt Helene
Kristian Bruun – Fitch Bradley
Melanie Scrofano – Emilie
John Ralston – Stevens
Liam MacDonald – Georgie
Ethan Tavares – Gabe
Hanneke Talbot – Clara
Celine Tsai – Tina
Daniela Barbosa – Dora
Chase Chruchill – Young Alex
Etienne Kellici – Young Daniel