The Movie Waffler New Release Review (VOD) - NEW YEAR, NEW YOU | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review (VOD) - NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

new year new you review
Old rivalries emerge in sinister fashion as a group of young women gather to ring in the new year.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Sophia Takal

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Carly Chaikin, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Melissa Bergland


hulu into the dark

New Year’s Eve is the absolute worst, isn’t it? Even having to think about it now, at a few days before Christmas, is bringing me out in hives. The clubs and pubs filled with once a year boozers. The streets curdling with nervous hope and encroaching regret. The bloody Hootenanny on the telly for those of us who daren’t leave the safety of home. And then, just to cap it off, the fireworks: entertainment for children. NYE marks the end of the most brilliant part of the year, which begins with Halloween and takes in the immolation of a historical figure along with the birth of a god. But the end of the year is just that, a lid on the festivities. Looking forward to the next 12 months? What, having to go through all of that shit again? Making doomed ‘resolutions’ as we look back over the various disappointments and pitfalls of previous last year? *Shudders*. No thanks. But a horror film that exploits the utter existential misery of this night, and does it in a snappy, surprising and, occasionally, sexy way? I’ll take a cup o’ that!

new year new you review

New Year, New You is the latest chapter of Into the Dark, the Hulu/Blumhouse web anthology series, and one of those made for television horrors that - like Trilogy of Terror, Bad Ronald and my beloved Dark Night of the Scarecrow - thrives within the medium. Horror is a genre that trades on intimacy, and there is something psychologically (and deliciously) destabilising about watching horror at home, the idea of the uncanny invading a safe space. New Year, New You will be broadcast on the 28th, but I would save it for Hogmanay viewing with friends, where the movie’s awkward social situations, undercurrents of jealousy and remorse, and the eventual release into full on mania will take on a seasonal resonance. The situation is that four childhood friends-come-adults meet up in a remote house for New Years. Among these women are a recently out of the closet lesbian, a larger lady and one who has been through an undisclosed trauma (Suki Waterhouse, who sports a pink scar across her jawline to represent her damaged nature, but which does nothing to detract from her insanely on-fleek eyebrows). The evening’s big ticket however is their youtuber mate, a glamorous woman who enjoys modern fame and fortune as a lifestyle guru trading in streamed banalities and "self-love selfies" on her channel, urging women less pretty and fortunate than her to "like themselves." Will she even turn up and condescend to meet her ex-school chums, who, by their own definitions are failures compared to their star-of-social-media pal? Let’s hope so, because one or two of these partygoers may have a surprise up their cut off sleeves for her…

new year new you review

Sophia Takal’s direction is unhurried, allowing us to get close to the bunch, filming in shallow focus as the low-key disappointments of their lives and the like play out. The dialogue and chemistry of the group feels natural, and if it wasn’t for the plinky plonky score and repeated motif of mirrors and fracturing, you’d forget you were watching a horror. Yet, as the Prosecco flows so do worries, and intimations of self-loathing seep through the banter, and when #GetWellDanielle actually does show, her presence acts as a catalyst, intensifying emotion as the film takes a twist into Death and the Maiden territory…

new year new you review

There is a treatise from Danielle about how fame is not all it’s cracked up to be, but it all rings a bit hollow even as she is saying it (after all, she did have it off with a very famous, very rich random whom the film knowingly refers to as "Mr. Electric Car": nicely played). Each of these women equate Insta-fame as aspirational, perhaps reflecting an uncomfortable truth about the limited values and outlooks of millennials, as, underneath the scars and the Charlotte Tilbury, all that each of these women want is approval, from their peers and the world at large. It’s no way to live, really, and the film is far too savvy to forgo the courage of its convictions, giving us a wonderfully spiteful ending that suits the theme of the evening. New Year, New You is a dark diamond, a cheerfully cynical and salty black comedy to ring in the new year with. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, indeed!

New Year, New You will premiere exclusively on Hulu’s 'Into The Dark' On December 28th.


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