We have two extremely different takes on some traditional horror tropes this week: Witches and Vampires.
The first film is Goran Stolevski’s You Won’t Be Alone, which follows a witch in 19th Century Macedonia as she moves through different bodies and lives. Noomi Rapace gets top billing but she’s really only one of the characters this witch uses as it’s form. You Won’t Be Alone is being compared to Robert Eggers’ The Witch, and that should tell you immediately if you’ll enjoy this film. It’s being packaged as a horror movie but it’s really more a folksy, naturalist view of what life as a witch would look like. It’s beautiful, though occasionally gory, and surprisingly quiet. There’s little dialogue and the story is mostly told through stream of consciousness subtitles. It’s surprisingly sexy and extremely unconventional but it will stick with those who like more from their scary movies than stabby guys in masks. I’m giving You Won’t Be Alone an A- but again, if you were disappointed in The Witch, you probably shouldn’t bother. (You Won’t Be Alone is rated R for violence and gore, sexual content, graphic nudity, and sexual assault.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Marvel’s newest big-screen hero Morbius, played by Jared Leto. It follows Dr. Michael Morbius, who suffers from a rare blood disease until he finds a cure that is also a curse. This saves Morbius by turning him into something akin to a vampire, but one that can’t control his urges. Matt Smith plays longtime friend Milo, who also suffers from the disease but none of the guilt that comes with the cure.
I went into Morbius with zero expectations and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Leto is a strong enough actor to convey Morbius’ internal conflict and Matt Smith is such an elegant bad-guy, you kind of start rooting for him. Like most Marvel films, the characters and actors are more interesting than the fight scenes, which actually get boring. The battles in Morbius suffer even more because they happen at night and use a strange “smoke” affect which makes it tough to see what’s going on. It does effectively lean into its horror-roots, making Morbius surprisingly scary at times. Fans of Jared Leto will appreciate all the different versions of him, morphing from sick to healthy to vampire seamlessly. Those suffering from Leto Burnout however might feel differently. One of the best things about Morbius is it’s efficient use of time, clocking in at 1 hour and 45 minutes. That’s one of the shortest films I’ve seen all year which might be why I’m giving Morbius a B-. Seriously, I didn’t even need a bathroom break! (Morbius is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, some frightening images, and brief strong language.)