The best films and TV shows on BBC iPlayer (23rd April 2017)
Ivan Radford | On 23, Apr 2017
We review the best TV shows and films currently available on BBC iPlayer. (Click here to skip to our reviews of the best movies on BBC iPlayer.)
For BBC Three recommendations, including Clique, Murder in Successville and Five by Five, click here.
Versailles: Season 2
“The more I consume of you, the hungrier I become.” So said no one of this BBC and Canal+ co-production about the turbulent early reign of Louis XIV. Season 1 of the daft period drama was as ripe as a gone-off brie, and Season 2 only gets worse, full of duff dialogue and over-the-top soap operatics. George Blagden, who was impressive in Vikings, continues to do his best among the sumptuous silliness, but glamorous costumes and set design can only get you so far – even with Anna Brewster enjoying herself as the pregnant Madame de Montespan (going full House of Cards) and the introduction of a poisoning to the French court. Episode 1’s genuinely shocking finale gives a nasty new perspective on the beauty of an eclipse, but Versailles remains far from TV royalty. After a season of people bathing in milk and inexplicably speaking English, though, there’s still fun to be found in the sheer ridiculousness of it all. If it’s fromage you want, this is the programme for you.
Tom Binns, Tom Binns and Tom Binns star in this mockumentary series about the people who work in a hospital. A comedy about doctors with one man acting half the parts? It sounds tired and tedious, but Hospital People is an entertaining sitcom with a sizeable dose of likeable charm. That’s partly thanks to writer Paul Doolan, whose decision to focus on the other people who work in a hospital, from self-centred manager Susan Mitchell to the painful comedy stylings of the in-house chaplain. Radio DJ Ivan has a sub-Alan Partridge quality , but Binns’ enjoyable performances are colourful enough to make each caricature stand apart from the others and still bring the giggles. And, just to be on the safe side, the show makes the smart choice to bring in a guest star to join a strong ensemble: the always-superb Alex Macqueen as former TV doctor Jeremy Lace, who runs about the building trying to cure patients with his non-existent medical knowledge. Looking for an easy-to-watch sitcom with a steady laughter count? This is just what the doctor ordered.
Kirsty Wark: The Menopause and Me
Everything you always wanted to know about the menopause (but were too afraid to ask)? That’s been status quo on the subject for years – as with a lot of issues related to female bodies, the menopause has been a taboo topic. It’s only a century or so since society locked up woman for symptoms such as melancholy. Enter Kirsty Wark, who, in 2017, takes us on a tour of the menopause, from personal anecdotes and observations to advice from experts in the field. There is research, we learn, that is investigating whether it may be even able to reverse the menopause altogether. For now, though, with women living longer and longer, this dose of understanding, empathy and just good old-fashioned candid humour is a welcome breakthrough.
Pick of the Week: Line of Duty: Season 4
We need to talk about Jason Watkins. Everyone’s attention has been focused solely on Thandie Newton’s casting in Season 4 of Line of Duty, but it’s Watkins who emerges as the real star. He plays a forensics guru in this new entry in the BBC’s nail-biting cop series, who finds himself going head-to-head with Newton’s DCI Roz Huntley. Newton is as fierce as she was in Westworld, driving forward an investigation into a serial kidnapper and murderer at the kind of ambitious pace that you know is destined to end badly. Sure enough, AC-12 soon enter the frame after an adrenaline-pumping operation that opens the season – and, if that feels like a familiar format to the series, it’s pleasingly accompanied by the equally familiar stomach-turning mix of fast-paced police-work and shocking twists. Watkins is the key to bringing Jed Mercurio’s typically gripping script to life. His career is as versatile as it comes, from Taboo’s snivelling villain and W1A’s clueless middle-management to Nativity’s snooty teacher, Mr. Shakespeare, and even an unsettling turn in Inside No. 9 a few weeks ago. Here, he moves from unpleasant to honourable to deeply unjustified without breaking into a sweat. By the time he does start looking nervous, you’ll have your eyes open wide with surprise. Clear your Sunday nights for the foreseeable future: Line of Duty’s done it again.
Photo: World Productions/ BBC / Aidan Monaghan
Last Chance: The Last Kingdom: Season 2
Almost 18 months after the BBC’s impressive historical epic raided our screens, The Last Kingdom returns for more pillaging, attacking and puzzling over national and individual identities. Season 2 begins as Uhtred begins his voyage north to reclaim his home land of Bebbanburg, not to mention avenge the death of Earl Ragnar and others at the hands of the nasty Kjartan. The promise of battles and vengeance against familiar faces will be enough to draw fans of the first season back, but the show keeps its focus on the wider political stage – Alexander Dreymon’s immature, headstrong Uhtred is fun to watch because of the way he rides roughshod across history, trying to carve out his own story, but is always kept in check by actual events. And so he finds himself caught up in Alfred’s plans, as the king back in Wessex looks to a former Danish slave, called Guthred, to exert his influence further north in the country. Add in Uhtred’s sister, Thyra, and this is all shaping up very nicely indeed.
Last Chance: Galapagos
Think of the Galapagos and you think of one thing: turtles. But this beautiful BBC nature documentary stands out from the crowd immediately by having a different focus for its first episode: the pink iguanas that live on the biggest volcano on the islands. They’re bright pink, they’re almost extinct and they live on a volcano – so they’re already guaranteed to be your new favourite animal. We join Liz Bonnin and a group of scientists aboard the Alucia, a vessel on an expedition across the Galapagos. Her enthusiasm to both learn new things and help them out with their work is an engaging hook that’s a refreshing change from the usual Attenborough-like narrated format. Galapagos purists, meanwhile, will be pleased to know that turtles still make an appearance.
Photo: Liz Bonnin / Atlantic Productions
Last Chance: Stargazing Live: Australia
The BBC’s live astronomy series is one of the best pieces of scientific programming it’s produced in the last decade. This time around, Stargazing Live heads to Australia to check out the sky in the Southern hemisphere, giving us a breathtaking view of the Milky Way from a surprising new angle. It’s a clever switching up of the format, just in case it’s starting to get old. With Dara O Briain and Brian Cox as winning, informative and entertaining as ever, though, there’s no risk of that. Missed them live? You can stream all three episodes whenever you like.
Photo: Pete Dadds/Andrew Hayes Watkins/Andrew Walker
Last Chance: Decline and Fall
Whether you’re a fan of Jack Whitehall or not, there’s little doubting that he’s just right for the part of Paul Pennyfeather, a fresh-faced young man who gets fired from Oxford University and ends up taking a job at a boarding school in Wales. Adapted from Evelyn Waugh, the comedy of manners that ensues is old-fashioned, to say the least, but Stephen Graham and Kevin Eldon in the cast bring strong serving of chuckles, with Eva Longoria on intoxicating form as romantic interest Mrs. Beste-Chetwynde and David Suchet stealing scenes – and then chewing them – as the haughty school head, Dr. Fagan. Look beyond the cast and you’ll see James Wood with a writing credit – the man who gave us Rev. If that isn’t enough to get you watching, we don’t know what is. Old-school entertainment of the lightest kind.
Last Chance: Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad
Rio Ferdinand is disarmingly, movingly frank in this documentary about the footballer coming to terms with the loss of his wife to cancer. Struggling to raise their three kids, and discuss their mum’s death with them, the documentary not only gives us a portrait of a goal-driven man having to pause for a moment to reflect, but also a study of grief, how long it takes to process and how it impacts those around you.
Photo: Richard Ansett
Doctor Who: Season 10
“After a year and a half off air (barring Christmas specials), Steven Moffat kicks off his final series by penning an episode that sheds the heavy continuity and arc-driven storylines of recent season openers (Series 9’s The Magician’s Apprentice, in particular) and gives audiences a fresh new insight into the series. Enter Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie, a university canteen worker and grown-up foster child with an insatiable yet unfulfilled desire to learn. Pearl Mackie makes Bill a bubbly, inquisitive and utterly charming presence; she is arguably the foil that Capaldi’s Doctor has needed since 2014. The Twelfth Doctor’s regeneration is yet to come, but with the introduction of Bill Potts, this soft reboot suggests a series that’s raring to show us some new tricks. It’s hard to think of any other TV series that can start as fresh as this 10 seasons in.” Read our full review.
The marvellously improper Miriam Margolyes is having the time of her life in this spiky BBC Four comedy, which follows the fraught relationship between Fran and her ageing mother, Mim. Frog Stone plays the reserved daughter, who grows tired of her wayward, self-centered parent with a believable weariness and a sympathetic pang of guilt and petulant sadness – not to mention a heavy dose of embarrassment. Writing the script herself, there’s a sincerity and a frankness that is at once familiar and disarming. As their awkward time together continues, Mim waxes lyrical about everything from masturbation to sexuality, as well as the looming spectre of illness that has driven her to try and tick off all the items on her “Bucket” (her bucket list). Is she actually sick? You wouldn’t past lying for attention past her, but that’s precisely what makes her such belligerent fun: larger than life, and yet entirely realistic as a result. As an honest, tender and hilariously barbed study of an intimate relationship. it feels slightly more conventional than Channel 4’s Catastrophe, but just as caustic – and with a understated ability to delicately balance laughter and pain.
Combining the success of The Missing and Making a Murderer, this documentary series follows real life cases of missing people as they’re reported to the police. The result feels occasionally intrusive, as it ramps up the tension with dramatic music and a clock counting up the hours since the person in question (here, two children) disappeared. But the scenes where the crew enter the homes of the families of 12-year-old Joshua and 13-year-old Katie are handled sensitively enough, and it’s the lessons they learn and the relief they feel that provides the series’ real hook.
Our Friend Victoria
There’s never a bad time to remember how brilliant Victoria Wood was – and still is. So this look back over her many characters and creations (this is themed around age) is a welcome chance to reflect upon the universality of her observations about humanity – and, of course, have a fond chuckle.
Child of Our Time
Way back in 2000, the BBC starting following 25 babies born across the UK – don’t worry, they had their parents’ permission – and now, that project has come of age, quite literally: all those kids are now turning 16 and 17. And so Professor Robert Winston and Professor Tanya Byron team up to examine how the children are developing, with the insight of neuroscience and other biological research. What they discover is that 16 is a vital year for kids becoming adults, which is hardly new information, but there’s undeniable fascination in seeing the way that brains grow, change and interpret triggers, such as pleasure, which is at its most sensitive and intense than at any other point in our lives. All of this adds up to affect the myriad ways that different teenagers behave, whether they’re introverts of the life and soul of a party – or, in some cases, used to be one and have now grown into the other. The question they can’t answer yet is what role the web and social media have to play. That, however, can surely be the basis of a intriguing documentary in another 15 years.
Second Chance Summer: Tuscany
Second Chance Summer works best if you think of it as a prequel to Midsomer Murders: The Europe Edition. Yet another reality TV show, it follows 10 people to make a new life for themselves overseas by acquiring a grand farm in Tuscany. But hold your horses. This isn’t your bog-standard place-in-the-sun holiday home series: these people actually have to work out how to take care of the property, which means buying livestock, learning a foreign language and harvest the merlot grapes from the estate’s expansive vineyards. Needless to say, half of them don’t bother to put the work in, while the other half grumble about the ones not pulling their weight. That’s the other challenge, of course: learning to get along with each other. Or, alternatively, slowly re-enacting And Then There Were None. As far as reality shows go, there’s potential here, even if it just potential to swoon over Toby Jones’ voiceover every week.
Photo: BBC/Two Four/Alex Bryant
“I have written and directed a film about veganism,” says Simon Amstell. “I’m sorry.” If you laughed at that, you’ll love this. Set in 2067, when the human race has apparently converted entirely to veganism – an alternate universe to rival The Man in the High Castle and SS-GB for unnerving chills – Amstell’s mockumentary looks back at the years when people slowly began to realise the horror of consuming meat, eggs and other produce sourced or derived from animals. The film purports to explore the strange, alien idea that humans and animals aren’t equal, aiming to break the taboo surrounding Britain’s carnivorous past. It’s a neat way to tackle an oft-derided concept, by deliberately presenting what’s considered normal as the absurd – but Amstell, crucially, doesn’t lose sight of the ridiculousness of his own concept. The result is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and unsettling – and, most of unsettling of all, is the knowledge that, deep down, you may even feel yourself being won over by Amstell’s viewpoint. A thought-provoking, rib-tickling, stomach-churning satire. Read our full review.
All Round to Mrs Brown’s
“Tune in next week for when my guests will be Angela Merkel, Darth Vader and his mother.” That’s how Brendan O’Carroll’s Mrs. Brown trails the next instalment in his new Saturday night entertainment show – and it’s to the programme’s credit that you wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled it off. Nobody needs another celebrity talk show, just like nobody needs another run of Mrs. Brown’s Boys, but O’Carroll’s improbably shift from tired sitcom to star-studded celebrity chatter just about works. “Make a date, don’t be late,” sings the strange theme tune, which creepily hints at the whole country feeling depressed, but there’s just enough warmth here to raise a smile. Mrs. Brown follows firmly in the slipper-prints of Dame Edna and Mrs. Merton before her, but goes even further by making the whole show even more about her than her guests that you’d expect. Judy Murray and Pamela Anderson sit around laughing with what seems like genuine surprise, as Mrs. Brown swears her way through the amiable hour – and while the secondary characters from the show simply aren’t funny, actual people from real life turn out to be the best possible supporting cast for O’Carroll’s everywoman creation. James Blunt is in on it more than most, but even that skit works, as the Baywatch star looms in the background looking bemused. The idea of interviewing Judy Murray’s mother instead of her, meanwhile, is a genuinely sweet touch that makes this a harmlessly lightweight addition to the Saturday night line-up. Between this and the National Lottery show – or Mrs. Brown’s Boys – we’d pick this any day.
If you were shocked by Serial, gripped by Making a Murderer or hooked on OJ: Made in America, you might think you couldn’t take anymore of America’s criminal justice system. You’d be wrong. This new three-part documentary gives us a painstakingly detailed look at every aspect of the legal system in Jacksonville, Florida. Known as the murder capital of the Sunshine State, that’s not just because of its crime rate – it’s also because there are only two options for murder penalties: life without parole or death. We follow the processing of a double-homicide case in a trailer park, which the documentary-makers smartly offset with a state attorney’s campaign for re-election. The result is decidedly unglamorous and genuinely eye-opening, from the detectives putting in the overtime to the attorney pushing for a political pay-off – and, in the middle of it all, a man is charged with murder even though everyone seems to think he’s innocent. Because this is Jacksonville, and American Justice has to be found somehow. Sobering viewing.
Top Gear fans can rest easy, because the BBC’s car series is back on track. Yes, after 2016’s uneven start to the franchise’s post-Clarkson, Hammond and May reboot, 2017 sees the show race back onto our screens with all the annoying bits (Chris Evans) stripped out and the rest of the parts given an impressive polish. With Evans absent, it falls firmly on Matt LeBlanc’s shoulders to keep the show on the road, but as he proved with the first season of this new incarnation, he’s a natural. That easygoing presence is infectious: LeBlanc’s co-hosts, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, both of whom impressed in the BBC Three spin-off Extra Gear last year, relish the chance to become main players in the programme, but appear just as relaxed. Amazon’s The Grand Tour soon found Clarkson, Hammond and May struggling to keep up its entertaining speed, turning into something that felt bloated and often forced. Reid, Harris and LeBlanc, though, are the opposite; their banter, free from attempts at sparking headline-baiting controversy, flows comfortably That informal tone means that what was once the weakest part of the series, the celebrity interview, is entertaining for the first time in years. Top stuff. Read our full review.
The BBC’s pitch-perfect reboot of everyone’s favourite family-friendly show of mechanical warfare returns for a second season. Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon are back, with Jonathan Pearce on commentating duties, and they still manage the tricky balancing act between nostalgia and novelty, continuing to bring in more science and human interest without also adding more battles. Indeed, the Beeb is still tweaking with its formula, so while Nuts 2, Jellyfish, Rapid, TMHWK, Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz, Aftershock, and Crank-E take to the bullet-proof arena, there’s a menacing new twist: hitting the Arena Tyre no longer automatically lowers The Pit. It can also release a House Robot to attack any competitor for a period of 10 seconds. Carefully rebooted carnage with added carnage? What’s not to like?
Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?
If you’re not sick of the sight of Donald Trump, this Panorama special examining his possible ties to Vladmir Putin is well worth a watch. Distilling the whole scandal into a brief 30 minutes, it explores the claims made by the leaked intelligence about the alleged connection between the world leaders, about Russia’s role in the election and the whole strategy of dismissing criticism in the press as ‘fake news’. John Sweeney doesn’t reveal a whole lot we don’t know, but what he does unearth is genuinely interesting, from the way that Russian media figures will avoid questions that don’t like to the fact that the country has a word for useful idiots who will help forward their agenda, even if they don’t realise it. The only question more troubling than the idea that Trump might unknowingly be a Kremlin ally is this: what would happen if these purported friends were to fall out?
Photo: BBC iPlayer
Let It Shine
With The Voice starting over on ITV, BBC One strikes back this weekend with the launch of its new music talent contest: Let It Shine. But while it might look like a rival to the poached singing show, this is actually another beast entirely: it’s effectively a sequel to How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, the West End audition show from Andrew Lloyd-Webber over 10 years ago. The plan this time? To find boys to play the leads in a new theatre show based on the music of Take That. It’s a distinctly less starry prize than The Voice’s record label deal, but the main difference between the two lies in that Graham Norton-hosted Maria competition: Let It Shine is a little bit dated, a little bit knowingly cheesy and, most of all, exceedingly nice. The four judges are Danni Minoque, who’s nice, Glee’s Amber Riley, who’s nice, and Martin Kemp, who displays a hitherto unknown sense of humour about himself, and is also, yes, nice. Leading them is Gary Barlow, who is very nice too, apart from that time he didn’t pay all his taxes a few years ago. Norton, tellingly, is back in the hosting role, alongside Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc. And what follows is a nice demonstration of how nice people can be when faced with nice singers – and, to the programme’s credit, it does find some fantastic crooners, from one teen with a deceptively deep voice to former Pop Idol contender Jason Brock. There’s a solid format worked out involving the stage design and the judges’ secret voting, but out-of-studio segments and the sight of Mark Owen and the other one from Take That trying to be funny behind-the-scenes are more awkward than enjoyable. Still, the bravura opening number proves that Barlow and a team of producers know how to put on the old razzle-dazzle – and at a pleasant 85 minutes, this is one show that understands it mustn’t go on for too long. Nice isn’t always a bad thing.
Photo: BBC/Matt Holyoak
Panorama: Living with Dementia: Chris’ Story
“It’s really confusing when you get lost in your own house, it looks really different at night time.” This documentary, filmed over two years, follows a 55-year-old man, as he and his family come to terms with his Alzheimer’s. The result is a surprisingly candid, movingly intimate account of the disease’s advancement, caught in simple, everyday moments (sometimes from CCTV-like footage) that make the hour-long film tragically relatable and all the more powerful. This is essential viewing.
Photo: BBC/Iolo Penri
Frank Skinner On Demand with…
BBC iPlayer’s latest original series sees Frank Skinner and an array of celebrity guests discuss – yes – iPlayer. Talking through their favourite things they’ve been watching recently, the result is like a 15-minute podcast presenting highlights from the catch-up service. A bit like our weekly column, but less comprehensive and with more famous people. Worth watching just to hear them discuss iPlayer’s original feature film Fear Itself and horror movies in general.
Available until: New episodes arrive every Friday – available for 7 days
Photo: BBC iPlayer
As BBC iPlayer’s Original Drama Shorts return for another season, one of 2014’s best, My Jihad, returns as a miniseries of three 15-minute films. The first introduced us to Fahmida (Anjli Mohindra) and Nazir (Hamza Jeetooa), two single Muslims who crossed paths at an unsuccessful speed-dating night. Picking up events one month later, this is a universal exploration of love in modern Britain that packs in twice as much warmth and wit as most 30-minute shows do in a whole season. (Read our full review.)
Available until: June 2017
Original Drama Shorts
BBC iPlayer continues to prove a platform for new talent with its latest bunch of shorts. From a moving demonstration of isolation and connection in an online age to a darkly funny – and unpredictable – story of female love and family loyalty, this is an impressively versatile collection of stories that are more than worth spending time with. (Read our full review.)
Available until: June 2017
David Oyelowo is unrecognisable as Martin Luther King in this stirring, powerful drama following his historic march for voting rights in Alabama in 1965.
A Damsel in Distress
Sparkling Gershwin musical-comedy. A dance star pursues an aristocratic heiress. Songs include Foggy Day in London Town, Nice Work If You Can Get It.
Cold in July
Michael C Hall stars as a man who shoots a low-life burglar in 1989 Texas. He’s hailed as a hero by the town, but his father is soon out for revenge…
Short Term 12
Oscar winner Brie Larson stars in this superb 2013 drama about a care-worker confronted by a troubled teen, whose case history provokes a reminder of her own past.
Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Aardman’s stop-motion shorts never fail to charm your socks off. (A Matter of Loaf and Death and The Wrong Trousers are also available until 21st May.)
Errol Morris’ film follows former Wyoming beauty queen Joyce McKinney as she kidnaps a mormon she’s in love with and, according to him, does bad things. Picked up by the British media, the sordid true story soon became a spectacle, covering everything from brainwashed religions to – yes – the clonong of Joyce’s dog. This is a tale of love, abduction, scheming newspapers, silly disguises, an evil cult and magic underwear. It’s also a documentary.
Jimi: All Is By My Side
“I should be able to take any song and do it in a way you haven’t heard before.” That’s Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is By My Side, a film about the musician that, famously, doesn’t have his music in it. But that bizarre shortcoming turns out to be the movie’s biggest blessing. Read our full review
Un Chien Andalou
This 1929 short by Luis Buñuel is a strange, disturbing masterpiece, with its subversive, iconic images influencing cinema for decades as well as coming to define the surrealist movement.
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q)
This Danish thriller about an odd-couple detective pairing looking into cold cases is a textbook piece of Nordic noir. Fares Fares’ sidekick treads the line of annoying and amusing with a likeable charm, while the script – adapted from Jussi Adler-Olsen’s novels by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Nikolaj Arcel – ticks the traditional twist boxes with ruthless efficiency. What elevates it higher is Nikolaj Lie Kaas as our lead investigator. His face is fascinating to watch, while his blunt, grouchy delivery is the perfect match for the movie’s bleak humour. It’s by-the-numbers, but the numbers add up to something enjoyably tense.
The Absent One (Department Q)
The second in a series of screen adaptations of the Department Q novels by Jussi Adler-Olsen, the odd couple find themselves investigating the deaths of two young twins twenty years ago – a murder that seems to be linked to a nearby boarding school. What follows is a fairly straight-forward case, but as with the first Department Q mystery, it’s told with just enough style and pace to keep you gripped from start to finish.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
This moving British war film follows young Bruno, who, after his family move from Berlin to near a concentration camp where his father works, makes friends with a Jewish boy on the other side of the barbed-wire fence.
Adam Curtis’ latest documentary is perfectly at home on BBC iPlayer, freed from broadcasting constraints to ramble through the last three decades of global history to try and work out how we got to today’s world of Donald Trump and Brexit. The result is typically simplified and willfully obtuse, but there are thought-provoking flashes of inspiration amid the experimental mash-up of polemic and pop culture. Clocking in at almost three hours, no one else is making documentaries like this, and that’s something to be celebrated.
The Rack Pack
BBC iPlayer’s first scripted original drama follows the rise of snooker in the 1980s, as a young Steve Davis faces a heated rivalry with Alex “Hurricane” Higgins. Snooker may not be the most exciting or mainstream sport, but the film understands that it’s about people as much as potting – and Will Merrick as Davis and Luke Treadaway as Higgins are uncannily good, one hilariously awkward and the other tragically self-destructive. Together with business guru Barry Hearn (a brilliant Kevin Bishop) crafting a new, professional era for the sport, The Rack Pack is a moving tribute to a bygone sporting age and a legend who simply wouldn’t exist today. The result is something everyone should go snooker loopy over, whether they’re fans of the sport or not. Read our full review.
Photo: BBC / Zeppotron / Keiron McCarron
BBC iPlayer’s second original feature is the follow-up to teen documentary Beyond Clueless. Young director Charlie Lyne and the Beeb’s streaming platform prove a scarily perfect match, the lack of constraints giving him the chance to fully embrace the experimental nature of his film essay. The documentary stitches together clips from existing horror movies to explore how and why they scare us, but instead of an explanatory voice-over critiquing and giving context, we’re given a whispered narration from an anonymous woman who is working through her own fears. Contrasting cuts and eerie echoes arise during the hypnotic 80-minute montage, quietly raising questions while offering a fresh insight into films that have, in some cases, become all too familiar. As interesting as it is creepy. (Read our full review.)