This doesn't feel like your typical David Cronenberg film (he's known for surreal body horror films, Viggo Mortensen crime thrillers, and most recently impenetrably cold and detached Robert Pattinson arthouse flicks). This psychological thriller feels like a mix between Villeneuve's "Enemy" and the extremely underrated "Possum" (It's free with ads on Vudu, I highly suggest you watch it now. I can't stop nerding out over that film.) With a wonderful cast that includes Ralph Fiennes and Gabriel Byrne turning in strong performances, and a puzzle of a narrative that you need to piece together (wish the ending was more ambiguous on that front, leaving us to put it together ourselves), this is yet another highly underrated film partly because of how impossible it is to watch. I couldn't find a bluray, nor could I find it on VOD, so I settled for a used DVD just to SEE the thing! It's still flawed, and the conclusion is predictable once you've put it all together and a couple steps removed of how far I thought it should've gone, but that's not a reason to avoid the film if you can see it. I recommend it. 8.5/10
David Lynch mixes his earlier "Eraserhead" work with a much sillier "Wolf Among Us"-type plotline/character list that works not only as a hilarious and engaging short film, but also, like his others, intriguing to dig into and leaving you desperate to see more of it. 9/10
Having not seen the original, I was sold on seeing this movie for two reasons: Lewis Pullman (stand-out actor from Bad Times At The El Royale who was also in A24's Lean On Pete with Steve Buscemi) and the climactic pool sequence that opens the third act, and I gotta say, neither dissapoint. Lewis Pullman continues his streak of committed yet unrecognized preformances and I love everything about the third act of the film! Granted, this has a VERY 6/10 B-movie feel to it, but that's clearly what was being aimed for. My only complaint is the first half wasn't compelling, but I welcomed the attempt at fleshing out characters and restraining unnecessary violence. The motive seems to be the same, from what I've heard about the first film. What would seem generic, an 80s slasher, ends up becoming WAY more fun with the brilliant choice to have the Strangers blasting upbeat pop and love ballads to their horrific murders, it's darkly comic, twisted, and makes a weird kind of sense in-world. Once you hit the last half hour, the power of the music, violence, neon lighting, and bizarre visuals all come together to create something MUCH more unique than expected. I give it a 7.25/10.