Hot Trailers

Eddie Murphy.
James McAvoy.


Eddie Murphy plays a very kind, generous and super-helpful man named Mr Church. How can a guy named Church be bad, right?

He cooks for a white family in 1970s Los Angeles while the mother (Natascha McElhone) is sadly dying. "I was asked to cook for you and your child till you passed on," he tells the mother bluntly with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

This introduction makes her wary teenage daughter (Britt Robertson of TV's Under The Dome) resistant to the new stranger in the home until she realises he is actually the best thing in the world: He pays the bills, fries great eggs and holds the family together.

This Hallmark-style trailer, directed by Driving Miss Daisy's (1989) Bruce Beresford, seems kind of creepy in a potential-serial-killer way, but is based on a real person.

The most amazing thing is that Murphy looks like he hasn't aged at all since his last serious drama, which for the life of me, I just cannot remember. I need him to make me a great breakfast before I can think straight.


This is supposed to be a disturbing psychological thriller, but it made me laugh.

Maybe it is because it is the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie, a mirthful occasion. Or it could be due to the creepy sight of a botak James McAvoy wearing a skirt looking like he is Professor X of the X-Men crossed with Psycho's Norman Bates with 50 screws loose.

Actually, make that 23. He essays a wacko with 23 different personalities. The crazy guy kidnaps three teenage girls - including Anya Taylor-Joy (Morgan, 2016) and Haley Lu Richardson (The Edge Of Seventeen, 2016) - and imprisons them in a vast fully equipped basement.

"The only chance we have is if all three of us go crazy on this guy," goes the girls' seemingly futile escape plan.

This could be Shyamalan's umpteenth comeback attempt or McAvoy's audition for 23 other new films. Either way, like this psycho here, I'm split down the middle too.

Tay Yek Keak

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Hot Trailers'. Subscribe