REVIEW: While there’s room for improvement, ‘Relic’ stands as a solid thriller

In most cases it’s good to hold on to items important to one’s family… except when they happen to be haunted or produce evil.

Unfortunately, that’s basically what we have in this picture.

Set in rural Australia, “Relic” tells the story of three women, the eldest Edna (Robyn Nevin), her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote). Edna, now a widow, lives alone in an old house and is getting to the age where it may be appropriate to have her stay at an assisted living facility. This is made apparent when she goes missing and comes back acting strangely.

At first, both Kay and Sam suspect the issue may be dementia, or general cognitive decline. However, as the movie goes on, Edna’s actions, and the house itself, become more sinister.

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REVIEW: ‘The Rental’ falters after promising start

This movie is a good example of why maybe you should just stay at a hotel.

“The Rental” follows two couples, the first being Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his girlfriend Michelle (Allison Brie). The other is Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Mina. Josh is Charlie’s younger brother, and while the two don’t get along perfectly, they decide to go on a vacation together to a rental house.

Despite meeting a less than pleasant caretaker upon arrival, the four start off the weekend well enough. However, a situation arises that complicates the whole trip and it happens around the same time they notice something strange about the house.

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REVIEW: ‘Fatal Affair’ is a thriller everyone can skip

Netflix, how dare you steal this movie from the Lifetime Channel.

That joke isn’t just based on the genre this movie is in, it also fits because the director of this motion picture has a lot of experience in the realm of TV flicks. The film follows a married woman named Ellie (Nia Long) who’s just moved to a new home with her husband Marcus (Stephen Bishop).

The movie picks up with Ellie attending a rather routine meeting at her job, but that changes when she sees her firm has hired a tech expert named David (Omar Epps). David is Ellie’s old friend from college, and the two are happy to meet up again. However, Ellie soon finds David to have dangerous ideas and motives.

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REVIEW: ‘You Should Have Left’ squanders potential

There are interesting concepts at play in “You Should Have Left,” but sadly, it doesn’t result in a great film.

Directed and written by David Koepp, “You Should Have Left” stars Kevin Bacon as Theo, a man who is planning to go on vacation with his wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and her daughter Ella (Avery Essex). The vacation home they choose is a rather modern looking one in a rural area of Wales.

At first, it seems like the perfect spot to get away, with the house being spacious and the beautiful countryside out the window. However, as time goes on, details about Theo’s past and current relationship issues cause strain. On top of that, strange things start occurring in the seemingly perfect house.

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REVIEW: ‘7500’ offers thrills in close quarters

All of “7500” takes place within the small confines of a cockpit. Considering this film was made for just $5 million, doing so probably kept costs down. It also brought the tension up.

The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tobias, a co-pilot for a German airliner just leaving the airport. Joining Tobias in the cockpit is the Captain Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger), who’s the older, more experienced of the two. Meanwhile, working as a flight attendant is Tobias’ girlfriend Gökce (Aylin Tezel).

Tobias is a little stressed, as he and Gökce are house-hunting, but otherwise it seems like a routine flight. That is until the airplane is subject to a hijacking attempt. Tobias manages to keep the hijackers out of the cockpit and announce Code 7500 to air traffic controllers to let them know of the situation, but the terrorists begin taking hostages, making the situation tense.

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REVIEW: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a stirring film about radio worth tuning in for

Late night talk radio about UFOs is always a good time, so much so that the late host Art Bell made a career out of it with his show “Coast to Coast AM.”

That concept can now be enjoyed in movie form, too, thanks to this enjoyable indie thriller.

“The Vast of Night” takes place in a small New Mexico town in the 1950s and centers on two characters. One is Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard phone operator, and the other is Everett (Jake Horowitz), a radio station DJ. Both teens are working the night of a big basketball game, so the town is rather quiet. As she’s connecting phone lines, though, Fay hears a frantic caller, and later a strange sound coming through the system.

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REVIEW: Few things work in ‘The Hunt’

You better like buzzwords and dog whistles if you’re seeing this movie, because there sure are a lot of them.

“The Hunt” follows a group of characters who wake up one day in a clear field, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When they eventually come together around a large crate, they find the box is full of firearms. Moments after finding the guns, the group is fired upon and several of them are killed.

The survivors, all seeming to have similar political leanings, learn that they are being hunted and must try to survive. The one with the most success in surviving the situation is Crystal (Betty Gilpin), who seems to have some combat experience.

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REVIEW: Moss, special effects boost ‘Invisible Man’

No Dark Universe, no problem.

After the shared cinematic universe idea for Universal’s famous movie monsters crashed, plans were reworked to have more independent, individual films. The first one up is “The Invisible Man,” written and directed by Leigh Whannell. The movie stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia, a woman who just left her abusive boyfriend.

Cecilia is shaken from the relationship and is left with anxiety, fearing that her ex, Adrian, (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) will come after her. However, she soon learns that Adrian has supposedly committed suicide. Just as she begins trying to rebuild her life, though, Cecilia begins to feel stalked and terrorized by an unseen force, which she believes is Adrian.

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REVIEW: ‘The Rhythm Section’ is far offbeat

Revenge movies don’t need to be this complicated.

The “Rhythm Section” is about a woman named Stephanie (Blake Lively), who lost her entire family in a plane crash. Since the tragedy, she fell into a world of drugs and prostitution. However, she learns from an investigative journalist that the plane crash was actually orchestrated.

With that knowledge, Stephanie seeks help from a former MI6 agent named B. After some pleading, B agrees to train her and prepare her for revenge on those who planted the bomb on the plane.

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REVIEW: ‘Gretel & Hansel’ burned by poor story, character execution

It’s so disappointing when a movie is close to winning you over and doesn’t.

The most recent example is “Gretel & Hansel.”

The film is inspired by the classic dark fairy tale, although this one takes liberties. As the story goes, the two young protagonists Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and Hansel (Samuel Leakey) are forced to venture out into the woods on their own and fend for themselves.

As one would expect, they stumble upon a welcoming structure with plenty of food and a kind woman (Alice Krige) willing to share. However, there’s of course something more nefarious going on.

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