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Sundance 2022 Day 3 Recap

Day 3 of Sundance 2022 is a wrap and I got to check off three more films that had been on my radar, including two of my most anticipated films Nanny and Dual. Today promises to be an even busier day, so make sure to check back tomorrow for more reviews!


NANNY

Nanny tells the tale of Aisha, a Senagalese immigrant working to earn money working as a nanny for a wealthy family in New York City in order to be able to pay for her son to come to America. She begins seeing unsettling visions that fill her with fear and make her worry for the safety of her son back home, as well as her own well-being. Anna Diop is really great as Aisha, but the film is a bit too slow for its own good in introducing the horror elements. While it does lay the ground well for her plight, it doesn't leave enough time to delve into the mythology it tries to create with the supernatural elements. While I found the ending to be effective, I just wish that more of the haunting imagery that pervades the second half was equally present in the first. RATING: 6/10


DUAL

Dual is the type of movie made for the Sundance Film Festival. The plot is very high concept and its sensibilities are the type to appeal only to those with certain acquired tastes. It's darkly comedic and exceedingly bizarre, but I was totally engaged from start to finish. Sarah lives a pretty normal life of dodging her mom's phone calls and struggling to keep her relationship healthy with her detached boyfriend. One day she learns she has a terminal illness but is encouraged by her doctors to create a clone of herself to help her family cope with her upcoming loss. Months later, when she miraculously recovers from her illness, the court orders that she and her clone are to have a duel to the death as there can be only one of them living the life of Sarah. Dual is completely absurd and is totally in on its own joke. Karen Gillan plays both Sarah and her clone in a totally deadpan way, without an ounce of emotion or stakes in her own situation. Yet, this is what makes the humor totally work. Dual won't be for everyone, but if you can appreciate the dark humor and the preposterousness of everything it's going for, Dual is wildly entertaining. RATING: 7.5/10


SPEAK NO EVIL

All horror films require a certain level of suspension of disbelief in the characters' actions to make them work. We all roll our eyes when a character goes to investigate a noise they heard in the basement, but we go along with it for the sake of the scare. In Speak No Evil, we are pushed past that limit. It is hard to care because these characters make the most incomprehensible and unrealistic decisions anyone would ever make--horror movie or not! In Speak No Evil, a Danish family vacationing in Tuscany meets a charming Dutch family who invites them over for a weekend at their house in the Dutch countryside. Even though they barely know each other, they don't want to offend their new friends by declining the invitation. Throughout the weekend, numerous red flags pop up, but Bjorn, the father, is anxious to be a good houseguest and ignores all of his wife, Louise's concerns, even in situations that endanger their daughter, Agnes. Speak No Evil strains plausibility, but I can't deny that those last 30 minutes truly kept me on the edge of my seat. Still, the actions taken (or in this case, not taken), are really frustrating as a viewer, especially since you are never rewarded with that cathartic moment you desperately need to happen. RATING: 5.5/10


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