BY BECCA JOHNSON APRIL 4, 2023
Just like that, we are a quarter of the way through 2023. We've had a fair share of misses, including a low-budget horror based on a much-loved children's story, a Magic Mike sequel with little to no steam past it's opening scene and yet another Children of the Corn remake. However, it's been a pretty exciting year so far with some stand-out action, lovable small budget romance stories and some imaginative original horror. Join us as we discuss the best 6 flicks of 2023 so far.
6. Infinity Pool
Following closely in his Father's footsteps, Brandon Cronenberg has created yet another memorable, original and messed-up horror movie that although divisive, is undeniably creative and fresh. Starring Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgard in the lead roles, Infinity Pool is best to go into as blind as possible. When on a vacation with his wife Em (Gabi Foster), Skarsgard's James finds himself lead astray by seductive and mysterious Gabi (Goth), who leads him on a path of violence, hedonism and horror. The performances are fantastic from all involved, yet recent horror icon Mia Goth is of course a standout. The visuals are out there, utilising neons and trippy scenes that elevate the material and the horror. The plot is particularly unique, and although at face value it's shocking, gross and just plain weird, the more you think about it, the more you realise how much it has to say. It's a sci-fi horror combo that works a treat – but be warned – a trigger warning for bodily fluids is needed...
5. Creed III
Though not the only sequel on this list, Creed III is one the years most fantastic watches, and definitely the best sports movie we have so far. This time around, our titular character Adonis Creed must fight former friend Damien Anderson, who after years spent in prison and feeling neglected by Adonis, wants nothing more than to best him. Creed III is much the same as it's two predecessors, but this isn't a bad thing. It boasts excellent performances From Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors and Tessa Thompson, very well choreographed boxing scenes and the best visuals from the entire trilogy. As a directorial debut from Jordan it's even more impressive, and he shows promise in this field. There is a lot of exposition in the first half to get things going, but once it gets there, it's powerful and exciting. There's a lot of heart amongst all the chaos, particularly those scenes involving Creed's partner and daughter, which is what makes this movie truly special.
4. Scream VI
Despite being nowhere near the best of the franchise, the killer reveal being a little lacklustre and a few plot contrivances here and there, Scream VI was an absolute blast regardless. The four survivors from last year's movie leave Woodsboro behind to start a fresh chapter in New York City... but danger seems to follow them and is just around the corner. Setting the movie in the big apple was an excellent idea, as the surroundings were utilised fully. We get alleyway kills, subway stabbings, high rise apartment chase scenes and even a bodega shootout. The performances are great from the new-ish cast, who solidify themselves as characters worth following – especially sister duo Tara and Sam played by Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera It's the goriest of the franchise yet, with plenty of blood and gnarly deaths. It has it's flaws, but it's a solid entry into an already solid franchise. Let's see what it can do next – hopefully, we continue the streak of no bad entries.
3. Blue Jean
Quite the opposite of Scream VI, Blue Jean is a character study following PE teacher Jean during 1980's England. Jean is forced to live a double life, as being a lesbian under Margaret Thatcher's Section 28 poses dangers for herself and her career. When her secret is under threat, Jean is pushed to extreme lengths to keep her job and integrity, stuck between doing what is right and what is best for her. Blue Jean tells an incredibly important story in a raw and honest way, helmed by a fantastic lead performance from Rosy McEwe. There is so much to say behind every word and action, and McEwen gracefully embodies the films message. It is powerful and necessary, even today, exploring the hardship the LGBTQ+ community faced and still faces today. It's also a technical gem, with gorgeous cinematography and perfect framing. It is touching and special, deserving a larger audience than it's received.
2. Rye Lane
Like the above, Rye Lane is a smaller budget picture that deserves as wide an audience as possible. Though, this time around, we have a hilariously charming rom-com. It follows two twenty-something's in London mostly over the course of one day, who are both reeling after bad break-ups and help each other deal with nightmare exes. Rye Lane will leave you grinning from start to finish due to how endearing and funny it is. The comedy works a treat, the performances are great, particularly from the two leads, and there are even a few side-splitting cameo's along the way. The dialogue is sharp, witty and relatable, actually reminiscent of how young British people speak. It's fast-paced and never misses a beat, and despite being set in one day, it utilises clever and artistic storytelling techniques to fill us in on prior events. Finally, the London setting was brilliant. Watch this movie and thank us later.
1. John Wick: Chapter 4
Not only the best movie of the year so far but the best movie from the franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4 deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. With the price on his head ever increasing, John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table – but before he can earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy. The movie's best feature is obviously it's action sequences, that are superbly choreographed and super memorable. Luckily, there are plenty of them. The cast, both old and new, were all so likeable with terrific performances across the board; Bill Skarsgard, Donnie Yen, Rina Sawayama and Shamier Anderson are all standouts. Of course, Keanu Reeves is insanely cool as our titular character. It takes us on a true journey across the world, with stunning cinematography, tremendous worldbuilding and a swift run-time that never feels like almost three hours. It keeps us on the edge of our seats at all times, and although we have to suspend a lot of disbelief in how much of a beating Wick can take and still come away unscathed, it doesn't even matter. The action scenes are totally worth the ridiculousness.