Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged thriller

Chasing Alliecat

In this action-packed thriller written for a young adult audience, author Rebecca Fjelland Davis brings multiple themes to the forefront, places them on the table and gets dirty—dirty as in riding mountain bikes in the woods of a small town and scarily getting involved with some unsavory characters in the wilds of northern Minnesota. With a plot interwoven with themes of death, friendship, family, and abuse, this novel provokes your senses and makes it all worthwhile.


School is let out early because of a massive blizzard. Everyone is supposed to get home before the weather gets worse. But Scotty Weems and his friends decide to stay after for a couple hours to work on a shop project, figuring that one of their parents will be able to pick them up on the way home from work. This turns out to be a really bad (and really deadly) decision. Along with several other students and one teacher, they are trapped in the school by the snow. And it keeps coming. And coming. It doesn’t take long before this becomes a survival story.

No One Killed Jessica

In 1999 model/waitress Jessica Lall refused to serve drinks to a rowdy man in a crowded bar, who then shot her point blank in a fit of rage. That man turned out to be the son of an influential politician, but with 300 witnesses it seemed like a straightforward case. However, in an unfortunate example of the rot in the judicial system and rampant corruption, all the witnesses were either threatened or paid off, and the evidence was tampered with, leading to the release of the killer. No One Killed Jessica by Rajkumar Gupta follows the initial courtroom campaign relentlessly pursued by Jessica’s sister, Sabrina (Vidya Balan), and then the news media battle for the reopening of the case led by fictionalized reporter Meera (Rani Mukherji).

Black Swan

The hype had me prepared for Black Swan to be a disturbing and gory movie. But the truth of it is this: even if you’re squeamish, like me, there’s nothing in the film you can’t look at… out of context.

Pune Highway (11/11/2010)

During my childhood, visits to India were largely spent travelling. A lot of this involved time on the infamous GT Road, a dry scaly snake taking us wherever we wanted to go. Aside from the beauty of fields either side, there was always the fear of danger lurking nearby. Visiting these roads was always interesting—but you knew they had the potential to harbour deadly forces. Whenever something happened, people would react wildly. The road was both a blessing and a curse, progressive in its promise, but with a lot to hide. Whenever an incident on happened we looked on in wonder, not really knowing protocol. Minor scuffles in traffic would result in typical rambunctious arguments which proved entertaining for some—but larger incidents were a different matter. A cyclist thrown off his bike, for example, would result in a series of complexities not only for the culprit but also for spectators. Typically, they’d refrain from contacting the authorities, afraid of opening a can of worms.

Fair Game

In a moment of frustration toward the beginning of Doug Liman’s Fair Game, Valerie Plame points out the flaws in an overzealous CIA analyst’s interpretation of data. “Somebody had to ask the question,” says a collected Plame as she reveals evidence that shatters to pieces one of the popular arguments for invading Iraq. This moment of clarity is a microcosm for the film’s overall message and for the whole country’s frustration at an administration that lead a nation astray by providing answers before taking time to ask the questions. Americans were mislead, lied to, and ruled by fear during the years under the Bush administration and no clearer evidence may exist than the mistreatment of CIA-agent Valerie Plame.

Law of Attraction

As far as my taste in reading material goes, I tend to avoid genre books, particularly cookie cutter thrillers and mysteries as many most often lack originality, societal observation, and genuine writing skill. Alison Leotta’s novel Law of Attraction, however, manages to be the exception to the rule, creating a mystery that adheres to the genre standards but also manages to transcend them through tackling the heavy hitting topics of domestic abuse and power struggles within heterosexual relationships.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I knew when I bought my ticket that Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps would not be a feminist film. I had an idea of the storyline: Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) returns for Oliver Stone’s modern depiction of the beginnings of the current economic crisis, told through the eyes of Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), a young ambitious businessman, and his girlfriend Winnie (Carey Mulligan), Gekko’s daughter.

Running Dark

Running Dark is the second book in Jamie Freveletti’s action-mystery-thriller series featuring chemist and long-distance runner Emma Caldridge. The first book, Running from the Devil, establishes the character of Caldridge as a strong scientist with a flair for quick thinking and physical endurance in the worst of situations.

A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop

I walked out of the screening of A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop feeling vaguely dissatisfied. While the official selection of the 2010 Berlin Film Festival bills itself as a “black comedy thriller [which serves] as an expose of how intense desires can consume humanity,” it neither thrills nor tickles the funny bone.

The Owls

The anticipation for Cheryl Dunye’s latest feature, an experimental narrative entitled The Owls (Older Wiser Lesbian) was high as information about the project has been accessible for some time. The filmmaker and actors belong to the Parliament Film Collective, a matrix of lesbian and new queer cinema creativity. The film cost $22,000 to make, and seems to fit in with the challenge made by Maya Deren to make good affordable films.


The Cold War may be over (or not, given the recent New York City-based Russian spy scandal), but it’s alive and well in Salt, the new action adventure thriller directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Angelina Jolie.

Forbidden Passion

Forbidden Passion is a paranormal romance centered around the relationship of Dr. Marlena Bender and Sheriff Dante Valtrez. Set in the small Southern town of Mysteria, the book begins with Marlena returning home to confront her troubled past. Twenty years before, Marlena witnessed the gruesome deaths of her mother and sister at the hands of two men in the woods.


A retread of Anne Fontaine’s 2003 film, Nathalie, I walked out of the theater feeling rather disappointed with Chloe. Julianne Moore plays Catherine Stewart, a successful gynecologist who is married to a college professor named David (Liam Neeson).

Dowaha (Buried Secrets)

Dowaha (Buried Secrets) is the second feature film by Tunisian director Raja Amari. The film follows the story of Aicha, a teenage girl who lives with her spinster sister and older mother in the basement of a crumbling, abandoned mansion in a remote area. The women are hiding from something unknown and live in a different reality of total seclusion, other than the occasional trip into town to sell piecework at a fabric shop.

From Paris With Love

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent — Isaac Asimov Luc Besson is credited with the “story” for this violent comic book of a thriller that is an insult to Paris. Years ago, Besson wrote Le Dernier Combat and The Fifth Element, flicks that are still worth seeing.

One Scream Away

One Scream Away is the book equivalent of a CBS crime drama: barely dangerous, slightly obscene, with an expected level of crazy for the villain and a suitable amount of romance to balance the ugliness. The book is edgy only to the level that is appropriate, which, of course, is the point. It skirts the line of being nice. The plot is simple: after surviving an attack seven years earlier, Beth Denison is stalked by her attacker, now a serial killer.


Some say the mark of a great film is that it defies our expectations. If that's the case, then Oldboy director Park Chan-wook's latest should be considered one of the best. Thirst is the story of a Catholic priest who becomes a vampire, and has thus earned the label of a horror flick, but the film itself is virtually genre-proof.

The Last Secret

Secrets and lies. Can you ever really escape your past? Or do the mistakes you make when you’re young haunt you forever? Those are the questions haunting Nora Hammond, the protagonist of The Last Secret. Nora is the stereotypical rich, suburban socialite, the woman who has everything; basically, she's the prototypical victim for a literary thriller.

No Control

While Shannon K. Butcher is definitely a good writer, if you’ve read one “Romantic Suspense” novel, you’ve read them all. This genre inspires books that are all basically the same (predictable) except the characters’ names and settings are different. In this particular book, No Control, a woman named Lana Hancock is captured by a terrorist group only to be freed by a large man named Caleb Stone, an army guy who had infiltrated the terrorists’ ranks.

Sexy Thrills: Undressing the Erotic Thriller

Growing up, I loved Hitchcock films and film noir, an odd choice for a child who came of age with color television, Rambo and Reagan. Fast forward to post-college years later when I took a job at a video rental store to support a poorly stipend internship, where ninety percent of the store’s revenue was from the sale and rental of adult films. Did Barbara Stanwyck and Tipi Hendren lead to this? According to Nina K.

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol is a grandfather of French cinema; he is one of the major figures of the French New Wave who is still making frequent, full-length films.


Norwegian Aud Torvingen was born into a life of wealth and privilege. The former police officer gives back to the community by teaching women self-defense. The new women in her latest course cross all social and financial lines so that a southern society belle is on an even footing with a housewife. The women savor each other’s triumphs until one day one of them has to put into practice what she learned. After dealing with officials following the woman’s act, Aud flies to Seattle where she owns property that she must clean up as her property manager violated OSHA and EPA rules.