The Grudge

Screen Gems

Drab second English-language remake of a hit 2003 Japanese horror tale about a haunted house whose malign influence infects and follows all who enter it. This time out, the most prominent of its ensemble of victims is a recently-widowed police detective (Andrea Riseborough). As she and her troubled partner (Demian Bichir) investigate the death of a specialist in assisted suicide (Jacki Weaver), the stories of others accursed by the dwelling are traced, including a young realtor (John Cho), his pregnant wife (Betty Gilpin), the elderly couple (Lin Shaye and Frankie Faison) who sought the euthanasia practitioner’s services and an ex-cop (William Sadler) confined to an insane asylum. Failing skillfully to interweave his various narratives, writer-director Nicolas Pesce bids for audience attention with ever bloodier deaths and ever more hideous sights. Excessive gory violence, gruesome images, mature themes, including the implicit possibility of an abortion, a couple of profanities, at least one milder oath, a few rough and several crude terms. O; R

Underwater

Fox

Tedious survival slog follows an electrical engineer (Kristen Stewart) and some of her colleagues (led by Vincent Cassel) as they escape the severely damaged underwater drilling facility where they’ve been living and working and head for the shelter of a similar structure nearby. But the mysterious creatures that inflicted the destruction are not inclined to let them pass in peace. Like the ocean depths in which it’s set, director William Eubank’s monster movie is dim and murky as it alternates between the boredom of spending time in the company of one-dimensional characters and brief outbursts of nasty mayhem. Brief but intense scenes of violence with much gore, a few uses of profanity and a couple of milder oaths, at least one rough and several crude terms, a bit of crass talk. A-III; PG-13

The Gentlemen

STX

Darkly sophisticated, but sometimes wildly wayward crime saga from writer-director Guy Ritchie. A British private detective (Hugh Grant) hired by the editor (Eddie Marsan) of a London tabloid to investigate an American-born drug kingpin (smooth Matthew McConaughey) recounts to the gangster’s loyal consigliere (Charlie Hunnam) the complex web of facts he’s uncovered surrounding the boss’ effort to sell his massive marijuana operation (to Jeremy Strong). His narrative, which also takes in the rivalry of two ethnic Chinese underworld figures (Tom Wu and Henry Golding), the part played by a boxing coach (Colin Farrell) whose pupils double as thugs and the role of the crime lord’s beloved wife (Michelle Dockery), is pitched as the opening salvo is a blackmail scheme. An energetic pace, witty exchanges and the effective spinning of the plot’s many wheels-within-wheels cannot compensate for the lighthearted outlook on brutal mayhem that marks this well-crafted but amoral film. Pervasive violence with much gore, including an attempted rape, implied aberrant sexual behavior, a narcotics theme, relentless rough and crude language. O; R


Parasite

Neon

This South Korean feature begins as a sly comedy, then takes a surprising turn that leads on to a bloody, operatic climax laden with grim social commentary about class conflict. After the son (Choi Woo-shik) of an impoverished family uses false pretenses to secure a position tutoring the daughter (Jeong Ji-so) of a wealthy household (led by Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong), both his parents (Song Kang-ho and Chang Hyae-jin) and his sister (Park So-dam) con their way into jobs with the prosperous clan while pretending to be strangers to one another. But the longtime housekeeper (Lee Jung-eun) they’ve displaced has a secret that threatens to upend their successful ruse. Clever and insightful, director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho’s film is too disturbing for casual moviegoers, though grown viewers willing to tackle its tougher elements, including some explicit sensuality within marriage, will encounter an accomplished piece of cinema. In Korean. Subtitles. Much gory violence, semi-graphic marital lovemaking, a couple of profanities, a few milder oaths, considerable rough and crude language. L; R

The Turning

Universal

Director Floria Sigismondi’s loose, updated adaptation of Henry James’ classic 1898 novella-length horror story “The Turn of the Screw” provides the occasional jolt on the way to a thoroughly incoherent ending. A newly hired live-in nanny (Mackenzie Davis) at an isolated country mansion presided over by an austere housekeeper (Barbara Marten) is gradually unnerved by the sinister behavior of her initially endearing young charge (Brooklynn Prince) and of the girl’s sullen, aggressive older brother (Finn Wolfhard). Is the manor haunted? Is the lad possessed? Or is the protagonist going mad? While James keeps readers on a knife edge with alternative possibilities, screenwriters (and brothers) Chad and Carey W. Hayes can’t seem to decide what direction their script should adopt, so they wind up veering all over the place. Since one of the possible ghosts had a taste for sadistic sex and a character meets a briefly glimpsed bloody death, their film is strictly for grown-ups. Some violence with momentary gore, occult and mature themes, including aberrant sexuality, an image of rear nudity, partial upper nudity, at least one profanity and a milder oath, a single rough and a couple of crude terms. A-III; PG-13