The Student
What To Watch In Lockdown. Week 2: Families In Dispute
by Jasna Mason, 10/04/20

I’ve been in lockdown for just about nine days and the sound of someone breathing too loudly is enough to set me off into a murderous rage. I’m starting to sense a pattern in my friends, too; we’re all absolutely sick of the rest of our families, and just want some alone time.

So this week I have two suggestions, depending on where you currently sit on the spectrum of getting sick of your family (or whoever else you may be in isolation with). Both are cathartic tales of terrible families coming up against a perceived “outsider” (although in both the outsider was previously considered some part of the family), though one is slightly more violent than the other.

My first suggestion, for the less violently-inclined among you: Rian Johnson’s whodunnit masterpiece Knives Out, which I had the unbridled joy of reviewing last year. This is the cosier film, reminiscent of afternoons spent watching Murder, She Wrote or Midsomer Murders. The frankly awful Thrombey family are comically evil, from the subtler Michael Shannon to the full-on sweater-wearing biscoff-eating smug villain that is Chris Evans. Ana de Armas’s sweet and concerned Marta Cabrera and Kentucky Fried Daniel Craig make for a particularly amusing pair, set together against the conniving Thrombeys. With a rip-roaring plot, some very quotable lines about donuts, and a satisfying ending, Knives Out is a great piece of murder mystery fun. I will never stop recommending this film, lockdown or not.


My second choice is a film that’s new to me, and one that I decided to rent this week in an “I’m pretending to go to the cinema by paying £1.99 and turning all the lights in the house off” gesture, is Ready or Not. An exciting slasher horror comedy, the plot revolves around a newlywed who is forced to play a particularly deadly game of hide and seek with her new husband’s family as a part of their tradition. They’re convinced that, if they don’t kill the newlywed Grace, their entire family will die, spurring one and a half hours of messy violence in the corridors of the family mansion. This film was a lot funnier than I expected, with several laugh-out loud moments, including more than a few misfires and Grace’s declaration of, to paraphrase, “eff the rich”. If you’re feeling slightly more at the end of your tether with your family, this violent romp might be right for you. Full of blood, guts, and a couple gory moments you might have to look away from, this one’s a thrill ride.

Whichever film sounds more up your alley, and whether you’re at strife with the people around you or not, make sure to take care of yourself and prioritise your mental health, whether that means having a movie marathon or colouring in some pages you just printed out from Google. But for me, the catharsis of this week has been watching annoying fictional families get their comeuppance. Ah, bliss.

Image: Lyle & Mike I via flickr