My man Dom knocked it out of the park with his latest review of Them: Covenant, the newest Black torture porn horror series on Amazon Prime. As you can see from the above thumbnail, it’s trash. I’ve not watched it but I could tell it wasn’t for me just from the trailer and Dom confirmed many of my initial thoughts when he watched it for our sins.
It’s spoiler-heavy but I never planned to watch it so whatever. Even if you hadn’t planned to watch Them either, I implore you to watch the review anyway. Not least for its razor-sharp critiques on a lot of things regarding Black media and how some of it is made for white people to coax them out of their privileged world view (I guess?). As much as I loved Get Out and it helped me deal with a lot of personal demons, I fear that it has unintentionally awoken a beast that is white studios greenlighting Black horror because it’s seen as “diverse” to peddle Black torture narratives that just make Black people feel worse.
But those are my thoughts. Go listen to Dom’s and laugh your way through otherwise you’ll just cry. If you watched Them, what did you think? Let me (and Dom) know in the comments.
I like to think January is the last month you can mention any kind of “best/worst of” lists for the preceding year and it’s arguably the best time to do them. You get a few days or weeks to digest everything you’ve consumed and you can give a more level-headed response to it.
Dom Griffin aka The Armchair Auteur is that kind of person and that’s why he uploaded his choice of the 10 worst movies of 2020 to his YouTube channel. In his signature style, Dom gives brief lip service to half the list and tears apart the remaining 5 with a mix of acerbic wit and relatable critique that makes you enjoy the review more than you could ever enjoy the films (which is the point as they all suck).
Here’s the list so you can avoid these movies like the plague. Or COVID-19.
I’m writing this in bed in the middle of the night rather than sleeping on my parents sofa bed like I was last year. I couldn’t see them because of the virus and this Christmas period has been my least favourite in living memory.
As Dom said, it’s messed up and the raunchiest Batman outing to date (Joel Schumacher’s renditions were more playfully camp before you say anything) but it works so well on all levels: cinematically, in character development, thematically, and with set designs. The fact that Batman didn’t need to be front and centre throughout the movie proves how good it was.
Anyway, let me not wax lyrical about it as Dom does a much better job in 5 minutes.
Stream his review below and subscribe, damnit! Oh, and Merry Christmas!
In fact, I’m not a fan of any kind of critic. It isn’t because they have differing opinions from mine—I’m grown enough to accept not everyone likes the stuff I do— but the unnecessarily verbose language and a strong belief in their own sauce are off-putting. But Dom Griffin is one of my favourite exceptions.
If you don’t know, Dom is a film critic who runs The Armchair Auteur, a video project that covers weekly reviews, old and new, rants and video essays about film and film-adjacent pop culture. I’ve known him for quite a few years and his critiques have piqued my interest in films I never would have considered otherwise.
For this video, Dom gives his beginner’s guide to movie binging during quarantine. I managed 60 films in 2019 which is more than I expected but Dom was out here watching 611 last year (according to Letterboxd). How did he do it? You’ll have to watch to find out.
But one tip he gives early on is: watch shorter films, particularly around the 90–100 minute mark. It sounds obvious but it makes sense if you want to run through a larger quantity of movies. You’re also more likely to finish it even if you’re not 100% into it. Nobody wants to commit to a 4-hour movie and realise it sucks halfway in. That’s 2 hours you can’t get back.
For more helpful tips, stream Dom’s guide below and please subscribe to his channel.