- The Sword & Shield
Netflix's October Releases
By LILLY LEJEUNE, Co-Editor-in-Chief
With the onset of Covid, many Mountain Brook students need an escape from the struggles of school and a global pandemic. Between essays and math homework, I recommend taking a look at the Netflix Originals of October. I watched four movies released last month and rated them on their quality of script, acting, and emotional response.
*”Hubie Halloween” - 3/5
A campy Halloween movie with a taste for the unexpected, “Hubie Halloween” provides a necessary laugh in uncertain times. Prioritizing comedy over scares, this movie enshrines the fun Halloween movies of our childhood (with more adult humor). The all-star cast includes Adam Sandler, Noah Schnapp, Julie Bowen, and many others. Notably, Cameron Boyce was slated to play Mike Mundi, but after his tragic death, his friend Karan Brar took over the role.
The charismatic, goofy underdog, Hubie, played by Adam Sandler, quickly captures the hearts of his audience. As tensions mount on Halloween night, it is up to Hubie to ensure the safety of Salem, Massachusetts. While facing werewolves, witches and wild kids, Hubie struggles with the demons of his past on Halloween night. What this movie lacks in plot, it makes up for in lighthearted comedy. If you’re looking to shut off your brain and watch a movie, this is the flick for you. The script was decent if you enjoy campy humor, and the acting was a perfect fit for the film, but the emotional response was subpar.
*This movie contains crude humor not suitable for younger audiences.
“His House” - 4/5
With the backdrop of a civil war, His House weaves a suspenseful psychological thriller with ancient creatures and ghosts. As two Sudanese refugees settle into their new home in London, they struggle to find peace after escaping almost certain death, only complicated by the fact that there is something wrong with the house. The movie switches between their lives in London and their journey across Africa and Europe.
“His House” walks a delicate line between sympathy and horror for the main characters. Though marketed as a horror movie, I found the ghosts of their past far more interesting than the ghosts of the house. The narrative of a refugee family leaving their homes is not often found in the horror genre. It’s incredibly refreshing. Even if you don’t enjoy horror movies, I recommend “His House”. I did not find it very scary, but I did watch it at 9 in the morning. The script was excellent, the acting superb, but the emotional response was not great.
“Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” - 4/5
For history buffs and ordinary people alike, “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” is a wonderful documentary about the archeological digs outside Cairo. Rather than taking a more factual approach, this documentary tells the story of discovery week by week. This documentary introduces a host of real life characters, foremen, researchers, doctors, etc. and captures the charm of daily life on the site.
Even as a newcomer to archaeology, this documentary explains simply the importance of findings and the organization of a dig. As the archaeologists uncover the tomb of Wahtye, an important Ancient Egyptian figure, we see the unfurling narrative of his life in his tomb, the most significant discovery in half a century. While this recommendation may be off the beaten track, “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” is a unique view of modern archaeology and its most important discoveries. Though this film was real life and not scripted or acting, I thoroughly enjoyed the shots that they chose to include because they fully captured the excitement and joy of success for the archaeologists.
“Over the Moon” - 4.5/5
We may be in high school, but you’re never too old for a good children’s movie. Though it isn’t the animated classics of our youth, it is a unique story about a young Chinese girl, Fei Fei, and her journey to reconcile her grief and let go of the past. Four years after the death of her mother, her father wants to remarry, but Fei Fei cannot accept a new member into her family.
During the Moon Festival, her mother’s favorite holiday, Fei Fei embarks on a journey to the moon to meet Chang’e, the moon goddess. Her journey across the moon will teach her, her new step-brother, and Chang’e important lessons about grief, death, and life. In a time when we’ve all been struggling, sometimes the simple realities of kids’ movies can melt the pain away, even if just for a few hours. The script was fantastic and the animation perfect for a kids’ movie. The emotional response? I may have cried.