Much like Vivarium last week, I wanted to do some reviews for you of recent movies that are available on streaming. Curzon Home Cinema is a great way of streaming movies, where all you have to do is sign in, and then pay for the movie you want. You can stream some great movies, like Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Vivarium and Bacurau, the latter of which you can stream for £7.99.
Bacurau is a very peculiar and odd movie, which centres on a young lady, Teresa (Barbara Colen) returning to her home town of the titular Bacurau after her grandmother passed away. In this town, there are various odd things happening, including how the town never turns up on any GPS map, no phone seems to have a signal, and there is a odd futuristic drone circling the skies. As two mysterious foreigners pass through the village, they bring along violence and destruction with them.
The less said about the overall plot, the better, because this is type of movie experienced completely cold. The film has a lot of similarities to last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Parasite, in that you think you are watching one sort of film, and then it completely changes to another sort of film about half way through. At the start, you believe you are watching a foreign-language art-house film about a foreign country and this then changes to an odder, genre-bending thrill ride.
The film feels like a huge blend of genres. It is firstly and foremost a western, but definitely in the Weird Western genre. It feels very reminiscent of the underrated 2016 flick, Bone Tomahawk, in how it is a bloody, gory, strange and hypnotic film with a lot of surprises up it’s sleeves. The film, in it’s deeply gory and violent nature, feels like it has elements of an exploitation film that could of been directed by Tarantino.
However, as we get into the latter parts of the film, the film venues into very different territories. The latter parts feel very science fiction infiltrated, being very influenced by Black Mirror and John Carpenter. Carpenter is so much of an influence on the film that a Carpenter-composed track called “Night” is actually used in the film.
With all of these strange and odd influences, the film is a very startling and strange movie that will definitely leave a mark on you. The violence is tough and hard to watch, but still gritty and visceral. The cinematography is also really beautiful and paints a really vivid picture of this town and it’s villagers.
The film is very sympathetic to the characters in the village. This is where you can feel the Carpenter influence, as the film centres on a community of people that group together over an bigger, more sinister and deadly force. This is an aspect of various Carpenter movies, especially The Fog (1980), but also, The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987). In many ways, Bacurau is the best Carpenter movie not to be directed by John Carpenter.
As startling and great as the film is, it also feels as though, sometimes the film is a little slow. This is especially true of the first act, which threads on that wire of being a little boring and un-interesting. Although, everyone will be forced to watch it on they’re home television, or on a laptop (which is where I watched it), it would probably be better suited towards the cinema as there, you’ll forced to sit through all of it.
That’s not to take away from the really, really great things about this film. It’s bloody, gnarly and genre-blending in all the right ways. Much like Vivarium, it is a much stranger alternative to the some of material on other streaming platforms, and if you are looking for something a little different, you should definitely check this out.