Through all the terrors of the past two years, it’s hard to believe that the horror film has proven the most enduring genre at the post pandemic box office. Marvel have had more disappointments in the past two years than in the preceding twelve combined. All the while, the likes of Candyman, Old and Smile have proven consistent and bankable hits. Pray for the Devil is exactly of their ilk. It is, put simply, a creaky and unholy preposterous, Exorcist lite pretender. One that boasts box ticking attributes. Attractive young leads, psychological plot notes and an appealingly frugal runtime. It’s all there. To boot, the ending begs for the birth of a franchise.
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The hunt for the new Paddington is rife in Hollywood. Ever since the Paul King helmed franchise hit the big time, studio chiefs have had marmalade-sticky fingers all over the classics of kids lit. While 2021 saw Clifford the Big Red Dog bound off Norman Bridwell’s original pages, this year brings Lyle Lyle Crocodile, an adaptation of Bernard Waber’s 1962 favourite: ‘The House on East 88th Street’, and its eponymous sequel. With music from Greatest Showman maestros Pasek and Paul, Lyle has show-stopping high notes to combat a general lack of bite.
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‘How did you write Wuthering Heights?’ So says a primly envious Charlotte Brontë (Alexandra Dowling) to her dying sister in the opening scene of Emily, Frances O’Connor’s exceptionally assured directorial debut. This question will fuel the film to come, an essay in the art of eloquent speculation.
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