Wild Love

Um, yeah, so probably not for the kiddos.

Come to this gnarly man vs. animal slugfest with the right attitude and it’s frequently hilarious.

Don’t, and you’ll probably be the one huddled over in the corner, whispering, “What is wrong with you?”

A lot, apparently.

I don’t want to spoil things, especially for a film which is just a zippy seven minutes, so let’s just set the table like so — a human couple make an error in the woods, and come to regret it. Big time.

Go, enjoy … then prepare your angry emails.

 

The Searchers

It’s a home, but not his home.

In the end, John Wayne walks away, his battle-hardened soldier a hero to some, a villain to others, his shadow his only companion as he departs.

Community grows in the Old West, but there is no place left for the rough and tumble men who helped make it possible.

The ending of this landmark film is bittersweet, featuring a celebration over the return of Natalie Wood’s kidnapped character, but also a silent, hardly-noticed farewell, as Wayne fades into the sunset.

He got his Oscar years later, but this was his finest work.

 

Red Dot

Harsh and unforgiving.

Trapped and pursued deep in the backcountry, their dog eviscerated and their own lives in constant danger thanks to largely-unseen enemies, the couple in this Swedish thriller can do little but run, and pray.

At first, they think their predicament is a tale as old as time — city folks piss off country folk, then get their nasty comeuppance — but there’s much more at stake here.

Carefully keeping a major revelation hidden until after the halfway point, director Alain Darborg keeps us guessing.

Then, he drops the hammer in one of the more emotionally-brutal finales in recent memory.

Blue Ruin

Everyone hurts.

And bleeds. Everyone bleeds pretty good, too.

This rock-solid tale of revenge going really wrong was largely crowdfunded through Kickstarter, and the people who put their money on the line enabled director Jeremy Saulnier to work some rough magic.

We follow a man, desolate and depressed, living out of his car and haunted by the murders of his parents years before.

Given a chance to avenge the bloodshed when their killer is sprung from jail, he opens a gigantic can of worms, ensuring no one will exit unharmed.

Secrets die hard, but men die harder.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Venison is a dish best served cold.

Wait, that’s revenge…

There are no real deer involved in this loopy creep-fest, but a whole lot of payback is involved, both physical and psychological.

As a cardiac surgeon burdened with nasty secrets, Colin Farrell wanders in a daze, unable to stop his family from falling deathly ill from unknown causes.

It all seems to lead back to an eerie teen who blames the petulant papa for the loss of his own dad, and now wants blood for blood.

Odd, yet utterly absorbing, this one will linger in your brain pan for days.