John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks: Blair Witch, Kubo and the two strings, and more

Blair Witch
Blair WitchPHOTOS: CLOVER FILMS, UIP, THE PROJECTOR, ANIME ASEAN

BLAIR WITCH (NC16)
89 minutes/3.5 stars

This bigger-budget reboot of the 1999 original adds quadcopter drones and GPS to the gear the kids take into the dark woods in their attempt to discover its secrets.

But as the horror genre tells us, pride goes before a terrifying fall. 

Director Adam Wingard has made acclaimed horror short films for most of his career and knows that the thing sensed out of the corner of the eye is the scariest thing of all.
What starts as a slow-burn survival drama turns into a hellscape of claustrophobia and shadows.

It is the best, scariest climax to a horror movie in a long time.


BRUTALLY HONEST: NEW WAVE OF SINGAPORE AND JAPAN ANIMATION

Anime is not just fighting robots or girls in sailor outfits, it is also a weird and wonderful world of creativity unto itself. Three directors from Japan – Masanobu Hiraoka, Eri Kawaguchi and Asami Ike (The Cloudy Dog Talk About, photo) – will be coming to Singapore to present their works at the first Anime Asean festival, held as part of the Japanese Film Festival. Thirteen short films from Japan and Singapore will be screened and film-makers will be present for questions.

WHERE: Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road WHEN: Tomorrow, 11.30am ADMISSION: Free


NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS: ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING (PG13)
110 minutes

National Public Radio calls this film (photo) “devastating”. Filmed months after the death of Nick Cave’s son in a drug-related mishap, this documentary of the band recording their 16th studio album Skeleton Tree shows Cave the musician and Cave the grieving father. Andrew Dominik (The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, 2007) directs.

WHERE: The Projector, Golden Mile Tower, Level 5, 6001 Beach Road WHEN: Tuesday, 8pm ADMISSION: $13. Go to theprojector.sg for bookings


KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (PG)
103 minutes/ 4 stars

In this gorgeously illustrated and touchingly told story (left), a kid has to fulfil his destiny by searching for the power that will grant him victory in battle against evil spirits.

This is the cinematic equivalent of slow food.

In ancient Japan, Sariatu (voiced by Charlize Theron) lives in a cave with son Kubo (Art Parkinson), a born storyteller who transfixes villagers with stories of heroes crossing swords with demons.

Kubo’s tall tales foreshadow his own adventures. It is one of several clever tricks employed in this work from Laika, maker of The Boxtrolls (2014), ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe