I watched Top Gun: Maverick, and it definitely deserves the hype. I actually went to a theater for it, and realized that I don't really miss the theater-going experience. The movie itself was a simple story told excellently, which is honestly kind of refreshing after suffering through narratives which overcomplicate and collapse like the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Just set a goal and stakes, show concrete progression towards the goal, and have that progression pay off. I've been watching Brandon Sanderson's creative writing lectures on YouTube and it was really interesting to see how the movie does everything he talks about, like how the characters should have a personal connection to the goal, how there needs to be some twist that gives the audience what they were promised and more, things like that. It hit the sweet spot of sequels, it was just different enough from the original.
The Ritual. I found it on Netflix.
It's a story of a group of adult friends who decide to go on a hiking trip in Sweden, and end up having to take a short cut through the woods. They quickly become lost and experience a series of nightmares and visions, while also being hunted by a monster that chases them to this town of isolated people who worship it like a god.
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It's actually an incredible movie. It has quality scary moments and the design for the creature is astounding.
Loved this one! If you didn't already know, the concept artist who created the monster, Keith Thompson, has a gallery here
. I love everything he does, especially because his short descriptions for each work always add another interesting layer onto them. It's weird though, his last communication was how he'd post the concept art for the movie once it had been out for a while, but that was four years ago. Only silence since then.