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Inception: Follows Dom Cob – a man who can enter your mind in the dream state and steal your deepest thoughts & secrets – on his last mission that could finally get him back to his family. The first thing you realise about inception is how original, visionary and well thought out the story is, then worry about how good the film would have to be to pull it all off. Despite the elaborate plot and timelines it’s explained well enough to be understood first time round (if you pay attention), but is still complex and smart enough to be appreciated on multiple viewings. Nolan brings out the best in his outstanding, but not too obvious, ensemble: especially Di Caprio, Cotillard, Levitt, Watanabe & Hardy who all step up and do justice to the great premise. The special effects department deserve a year off after this, and Hans Zimmer’s modern score takes the last 30 minutes to a whole new level. Page is only OK and more could have been made about the infinite possibilities of the dreams but other than that, no real complaints. There’s subtle gestures towards Matrix, 2001, classic Bond, and a whole bunch of crime / noir films. Inception is an iconic, truly original, mind-bending film that has it all, and breathes new life into Sci-Fi, which is currently plagued with sequels & re-makes. My main concern is that this opus will be near-impossible to top, by Nolan, or anyone else. Stunning cinema that surpasses its own massive hype and is easily film of the year.

Score: 9.5/10

Drag Me To Hell: An everywoman accidentally insults a gypsy – cue an ancient curse and impending doom for our gal. The five minute prologue is totally old school; OTT music, effects and a huge-ass demon. Fortunately, the entire film stays in this vein, and what I liked best was that while there is the odd big jump the rest of the frights come from good old-fashioned sources; wind, leaves, squeaks and creaks – no wet long-haired lizard women rattling down staircases or other such gimmicks. While it’s Genuinely terrifying this also has some subtly funny motifs like the face-fucking/hair-grabbing corpse, funeral, Goat, Dancing Ghost and even the ridiculous gross outs. There’s the best use of a stapler & ruler I’ve ever seen and a pretty sweet, but obvious, ending. Raimi’s direction is great, really proving he’s a pro by milking every drop of suspense and terror, yet making it fun and watchable – all while he’s pretty much parodying an entire genre. Drag Me to Hell effortlessly walks the line between comedy-stire and terror and I’ve not enjoyed a horror film this much in years. Classic Raimi. Classic horror. Instant Classic, just add blood.

Score: 8/10