Sunday, January 17, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 46
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A VIGILANTE
BEST WISHES, WARMEST REGARDS: A SCHITT’S CREEK FAREWELL
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGEABLE: BARRY
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
DA 5 BLOODS
ENOLA HOLMES
FIRST COW
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAPPIEST SEASON
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
HONEST THIEF
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LYING AND STEALING
MANK
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
SOUL
SUPERINTELLIGENCE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
THE OPERATIVE
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE PROM
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN
THE VAST OF NIGHT
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BOSCH
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FEAR CITY
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (SEASON 11)
TV REVIEW: THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MORNING SHOW
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (2014)
WONDER WOMAN 1984

The Third Day is a tasty surreal horror fantasy

TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF PLAN B ENTERTAINMENT

TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY


Where is it playing?: HBO & HBO Max

What's it rated?: TV-MA

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Creators Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Pulling) and Felix Barrett helm this TV miniseries about a mysterious island inhabited by a cultish group of people. Told in two distinct storylines of three episodes each, the first set follows the journey of Sam (Jude Law), a father grieving over the loss of his murdered son. The second set, of which only the first episode has been released, follows Helen (Naomie Harris) and her two daughters—Ellie (Nico Parker) and Talulah (Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell)—who arrive on the island and find themselves facing hostility from the locals. (six 60-min. episodes)

Glen: We’ve only seen the first three episodes, and the best way to describe them is The Wicker Man (1973) meets Midsommar (2019) as directed by Tony Scott. Filmed in surreal hyper-saturated colors, it’s visually arresting. And like the two films mentioned, there’s a dark mystery at the center, and Sam seems to be integral to some pagan ritual. The island is a character unto itself—it has a causeway that’s only accessible from the mainland when the tide is low. Naturally there’s no cellphone service, and the only boat on the island is damaged. At first Sam is fascinated by the place. His father was stationed there during the war. As time goes on, and he can’t seem to get off the island, things go from weird to worse. His only ally on the island is Jess (Katherine Waterson), another visitor whose motivations are unclear. Some of the islanders seem nice enough, like Mr. and Mrs. Martin (Paddy Considine and Emily Watson), while others are intensely creepy. It’s drenched in atmosphere and deeply compelling. 

Anna: There is a whole lot of “what the hell is going on?” with this series, but the weird and mysterious atmosphere actually draws us more into the story than pushes us away from it. The first episode opens with Sam releasing a piece of children’s clothing into a creek and then coming upon a chilling scene—a young girl in the act of hanging herself. He manages to save her, and when he drives her home, he is soon stuck on the island he can’t seem to escape. The island and the people aren’t what they seem; the weird festival they’re preparing for is steeped in strangeness, and the drinks and drugs are doing no favors to keep Sam’s sanity upright. It’s very Midsommar—creepy and visually arresting, biblical and horrifying. I’m still not sure I’ve got everything that is going on worked out, but I’m excited to see how they handle the coming chapters of this fascinating series.

Glen: Jude Law really digs into the role of Sam. He’s broken by the loss of his son, and though we never see his wife, it’s clear their relationship has been devastated. When he meets Jess, they end up drunk together. We learn she’s also married but estranged from her husband, who has custody of their daughters, which he lords over her. She’s got her own secrets, most importantly that she’s at her husband’s mercy. Nobody is quite who they portray themselves to be, not even Sam, who discovers he has a deep connection to the island. The first three episodes climax in a truly odd finale, and I’m personally excited to see where the next three go and if they’re as interesting, bizarre, and well-directed as the first three. There’s nothing especially original here—we’ve seen this type of fantasy-horror before—but if you’re a fan of the genre, you’re going to enjoy slipping into this oddly compelling pagan/cult series.

Anna: I’m curious to see if and how the Sam storyline continues, or if perhaps the new storyline with Helen and her daughters takes a whole different turn. Either way, we know that this island and the people on it aren’t to be trusted, and people don’t just end up there for no reason. There’s a mysterious pull to stay on the island, which Sam can’t shake, even when it means putting himself back in danger. At first, we’re wondering how he’s going to get off the island, and that soon becomes a question of if he will even be able to get out alive. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love a bit of island mystery and drama with some cult activity thrown in. I can’t wait to see where this series leads. 

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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