Kill Them All
Yes, it’s another Ted Bundy documentary, but not really. I probably know more about Ted Bundy’s life than my husband’s, what with all the podcasts and biopics that came out last year on the serial killer. But Amazon Prime’s Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer promised to be something different, and it is. That’s because it’s not about him. It’s about his long-time girlfriend and her daughter: the women who loved a man who confessed to murdering 30 women (only 20 were identified) in the ’70s. The docu-series by filmmaker Trish Wood makes it clear that the misogyny of the time is the reason Bundy got away with it. Women were taught to defer to men: if you are attacked, don’t fight back; and the police probably won’t believe you anyway. I’m not sure if much has changed, but the take-home message echoes the key bit of advice from one of my favourite podcasts: ‘F**k politeness’. (It’s called My Favorite Murder, and yes, you should stream it.) Falling for a Killer is how we should be telling these stories: too often the killer is glorified in an attempt to find out why they did what they did, and we forget about the lives they ruined.
If you enjoy having your mind bent by the thought of time travel, parallel universes and insane characters, you’re going to love Horse Girl! I may go so far as to say that Horse Girl is the new Donnie Darko (hear me out). Alison Brie shines in this Netflix thriller in which she plays Sarah, a lonely girl who loves horses, crafting and obsessively watching reruns of a supernatural TV show. Sarah is sweet and gentle-spirited, but there’s something off about her. Maybe it’s the sleepwalking, or the fact that she wears only her grandmother’s clothes, or that her closest friend is a horse… Things really start spiralling out of control when Sarah starts sleepwalking miles away – yet when she returns home, only two minutes have passed. She hears voices that aren’t there, has dreams about people she doesn’t know and eventually lets conspiracy theories take over her life. At first, I thought Horse Girl was about a lonely girl trying to make friends. Later on, I decided it was about a girl’s descent into insanity. By the end of the film, you’re left wondering: is she really crazy, or are we all just blind?
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A whimsical Nazi comedy-drama sounds like a contradiction in terms, but there is no better way to describe this Moonrise Kingdom-esque Oscar nom. (It had six nominations – and one win, for Best Adapted Screenplay.) By turns sweet, absurd, rudely funny and tragic, Jojo Rabbit centres on 10-year-old Johannes, a bona fide Hitler fanatic and Hitler Youth member. Jojo is horrified to discover that his mother has been hiding a young Jewish woman, Elsa, in their home. But he can’t exactly rat his mom out – he’s seen, first-hand, Nazi traitors being strung up in the town square. Instead he enlists Elsa’s help to write an exposé about the Jewish people and their secret powers – titled Yoohoo Jew and filled with drawings of Jews with forked tongues and mind-control machines. His mom, meanwhile, is trying to get Jojo to see beyond the propaganda. ‘Love is the strongest thing in the world,’ she tells him. His reply? ‘I think you’ll find that metal is the strongest thing in the world, followed closely by dynamite, then muscles.’ The film also stars Hitler himself (played by director Taika Waititi) although he exists only in Jojo’s imagination, and therefore has all the maturity and poise a 10-year-old can muster. Which is not a lot.
Why Women Kill is a dark-comedy series by Marc Cherry (creator of Desperate Housewives) that follows three women who live in the same house, but in different decades. And it has me hooked! Beth Ann (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) is a housewife in 1963 who befriends her husband’s lover while pretending to be someone else (she uses her neighbour’s name) – and it seems the two are becoming besties… In 1984 (cue the shoulder pads) Simone (Lucy Liu) discovers her third husband is gay and starts an affair with a younger man, all while trying to maintain the illusion of her perfect life. Then there’s Taylor (Kirby HowellBaptiste), an attorney in 2019 who’s bisexual and has an open marriage with her husband. They both become attracted to the same woman and invite her to stay with them. Taylor’s husband thinks his dreams have come true with this threesome, while his wife seems to have fallen in love with the third wheel (who, I’m sure is up to something). The show opens on three crime scenes, but there’s no indication as to who died or how. I can’t wait to find out who killed who! The show was on DStv at the time of writing – hopefully it will be on Showmax soon.