Four very dif­fer­ent “hor­ror shows”.

the best of the month

North & South - - Contents -

On Ch­e­sil Beach Cin­ema re­lease: August 30 Drama (M)

British author Ian Mcewan’s 2007 novella On Ch­e­sil Beach isn’t the best of his works to be adapted for film (there have been six), but its ex­plo­ration of love, sex and trauma keeps ping­ing round your head long af­ter the cred­its have rolled. It helps that the leads – court­ing uni­ver­sity graduates turned vir­ginal new­ly­weds Florence and Ed­ward – are played by Saoirse Ro­nan and Billy Howle. They not only cap­ture class-riven, pre-swing­ing 60s Eng­land but also re­gret and long­ing: emo­tions that suf­fuse Mcewan’s nov­els. The plot, as such, is an­chored at a fusty ho­tel on Ch­e­sil Beach, where the young cou­ple’s hon­ey­moon be­gins and ends. Flash­backs and flash-for­wards fill in the gaps of a lay­ered and so very hu­man story. VIR­GINIA LAR­SON

Dark Tourist Net­flix: TV doc­u­men­tary se­ries

Tick­led, TV jour­nal­ist David Far­rier’s Kick­starter-funded 2015 doc­u­men­tary on “com­pet­i­tive en­durance tick­ling”, was a mini- mas­ter­piece of the macabre. Now the af­fa­ble Kiwi has popped up on Net­flix with an eight-part se­ries, Dark Tourist. Com­par­isons with Louis Th­er­oux’s jour­neys into real-world weird­ness – and the Brit’s guile­less style – are in­evitable. Far­rier is a wor­thy fel­low trav­eller- doc­u­men­tar­ian, al­though Dark Tourist is such a global whirl­wind, you’re left want­ing to know more about what mo­ti­vates peo­ple to take a bus trip through the ru­ins of Fukushima, Ja­pan, ner­vously clutch­ing their Geiger coun­ters; to join a “Pablo Es­co­bar tour” in Medel­lín, Colom­bia; or fol­low the foot­steps of US serial killer Jef­frey Dah­mer. But grip­ping, voyeuris­tic view­ing it is. Rec­om­mended for arm­chair trav­ellers with a taste for the bizarre. VIR­GINIA LAR­SON

A Quiet Place DVD: Sci-fi/hor­ror (M)

It’s day 89 of the apoc­a­lypse. Al­most all life on Earth has been wiped out by Ridley Scott- in­spired aliens that look like mon­strous bipedal cock­roaches on speed. Blind but with hy­per­sen­si­tive hear­ing, they at­tack any­thing that makes a sound, so much of the ten­sion comes from ex­tended stretches of si­lence (when it opened in US cine­mas, A Quiet Place be­came known as the silent hor­ror film that shames noisy eaters). Only a sadist could con­coct a scene where a woman has to give birth alone and with­out a whim­per. What that says about ac­tor/ di­rec­tor John Krasin­ski’s re­la­tion­ship with real-life wife Emily Blunt, I can’t imag­ine. But on screen, they ramp the sus­pense to break­ing point as em­bat­tled cou­ple Lee and Eve­lyn, in a des­per­ate, seem­ingly hope­less fight to keep their chil­dren alive. “Who are we,” asks Eve­lyn, “if we can’t pro­tect them?” JOANNA WANE

CLAS­SIC PICK The Pris­oner DVD: TV se­ries (PG)

Half a cen­tury ago, one of the most sur­real se­ries ever made be­gan en­tranc­ing English TV view­ers. Pa­trick Mc­goohan, its gim­let-eyed star, pro­ducer, writer and di­rec­tor, plays an English se­cret agent im­pris­oned in a suf­fo­cat­ingly cute vil­lage. For 17 episodes the agent – known only as Num­ber Six – dodges heav­ily made-up nurses with hy­po­der­mic nee­dles, hu­man chess pieces and gi­ant, sin­is­ter bal­loons in his strug­gle to es­cape. As his neme­sis, Num­ber Two, com­plains ad­mir­ingly, “He can make even the act of putting on his dress­ing gown ap­pear as a ges­ture of de­fi­ance!” The ar­rest­ing vi­su­als, Mc­goohan’s charisma and his sig­na­ture out­burst – “I am not a num­ber! I am a free man!” – sup­ply depth, adrenalin and im­mac­u­late 60s cool (and hu­mour, not all of it in­tended). JENNY NI­CHOLLS

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