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The Into Film Festival drew to a close for another year in November 2018, so it's about time we announced the winners of the 2018 Into Film Festival Review Writing Competition!
It was another exceptional year for reviews, with hundreds and hundreds of entries coming in from across the UK, across all age groups. After a long judging process, we ultimately whittled them down to these three eloquent and unique takes on The Eagle Huntress, Supa Modo and A Quiet Place - and a special shout-out to Larbert High School in Scotland, who boast two of the three winning entries!
A massive congratulations to Charlie (aged 9), Meredith (14) and Vania (16) for their terrific winning reviews, which were judged to be the cream of the crop by Film Critic and Chair of the London Film Critics' Circle, Anna Smith! They each receive a Fire HD 8 Tablet and £200 of cinema vouchers for their school, and we hope to see many more reviews from these talented scribes in the future. Read the three winning reviews below.
And for all of those feeling inspired by Charlie, Meredith and Vania's efforts, it's very easy to get involved with our year-round Review of the Week competition. So if anyone in your Into Film Club or classroom has any strong feelings on their Christmas viewing, whether positive or negative - and Vania's review below shows us how effective and entertaining a negative review can be - then get them writing and posting reviews on our website!
Perfect positive promotion for women. The Eagle Huntress is a fantastic movie about a girl who lives her dream of being an eagle huntress; the first one in the world to be exact! It's a movie that truly shows that girls can do whatever they want. This is a must have movie that is like nothing else - it's fun, exciting but also heartwarming. The perfect movie does not and cannot exist but if it did, it would probably look a whole lot like this!
Supa Modo is the story of a young girl whose hopes and dreams of becoming a superhero are threatened by a terminal illness, When her young mother decides to take her out of hospital for her last few remaining months, her well-inspired village rally together to make her dream come true. This Kenyan film was directed by Likarion Wainaina and stars the young and brilliant Stycie Waweru, as Jo, speaking Swahili language. The screenplay was done by Mugambi Nthiga, Silas Miami, Wanjeri Gakuru and Kamau Wa Ndung'u. The film was a perfect mix of Moana and Spider Man.
This drama feature length film kept the audience on edge throughout due to the several shocking plot twists. It was very reminiscent of childhood and allowing your imagination to run wild, so this film was relaxing to watch as it gave you a break from adult worries. Supa Modo also featured, not only, an all black cast but also had the consistent theme of girl power throughout and that girls can be tough and superheroes too.
I also loved the way in which it was filmed due to its long and wide shots of the beautiful Kenya, showing exactly where it's set and what their world is like. This added a certain edge to the film, which is different to most other high budget Hollywood films.
I think this was a very good film to watch as it was emotional, yet included a sense of inspiration as to what we can be or even how to treat vulnerable and people in need. Overall, this was a very rewarding and roller coaster of a film.
For a movie that got 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.6/10 on IMDB and 82% on Metacritic, I was disappointed by A Quiet Place. John Krasinski's horror failed to frazzle my nerves as Rolling Stone told me it would, I didn't feel the heart thumping fear that comes with most horrors and I was more scared by 2009 children's movie Coraline than this overrated failure.
Frankly, I fell asleep within the first five minutes and only woke up because the toy spaceship made a noise. That's when I thought it was getting good, but you get a minute of on-the-edge-of-your-seat nerves and then a further half hour of absolutely nothing memorable happening.
There are so many questions on my mind leaving the cinema. How did the Abbotts survive for so long? What are the creatures and how did they come to the earth? Who thought it was a good idea to make this movie?
The best part of the film was the last fifteen minutes, my heart was thumping and I was hiding behind my hands waiting for the moment of horror. All the good scenes involved the creatures being on the screen. However, quite a few scenes could have been cut to make it a short film and it would have been so much better than the outcome now.
The concept itself was super interesting and new, the use of silence at certain points in the film couldn't be faulted and I believe that it was a very experimental and exploratory take in filmmaking. However, the cons outweigh the pros in this situation. It needed spooky theme music, the first half lacked majorly in keeping me interested and sometimes the scares were predictable and not scary enough.
London Evening Standard's Film and TV journalist Ellen E Jones gives her top tips and advice on writing top notch film reviews.
Reading time 3 mins
Introduce primary film club members to the art of reviewing and develop their critical thinking and literacy skills.
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