Waves (2019)

Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer: Trey Edward Shults
Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Sterling K. Brown, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lucas Hedges, and more.


The Intro:
I want to start with a quick shout out to my friend Chloe Harvey who helped push me to see this film. Obviously, I already had an interest in hopefully seeing this movie someday but she reached out to me and sang about how wonderful the movie was, urging me to see it when I could. With the strong recommendation, I found the only showing at a desolate theater and watched “Waves” with a large crowd consisting of two other people.
A24 and Trey Edward Shults’ film “Waves” has been seemingly crashing the hearts of many of its viewers. Following a very interesting trailer, I was prepared to let “Waves” crash all over me.

IMDB Summary:
“Traces the journey of a suburban family – led by a well-intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss.”

The Oberrating:
Wow… Now I expected a powerful movie just from the trailer alone and I heard that many were praising it but I still was not prepared for such a tense and breathtaking film. “Waves” is broken up into two parts. Without spoilers, that is as much as I will say. The first half is exactly as I explained; incredible with high tension and conflict that feels like at any moment, something nuclear could occur. I am incredibly appreciative of this because Trey Edward Shults has now done this with two films that are exactly “horror” but have horror like tension (and I say two films because I have not seen his first work, “Krisha”). With said tension, there would be absolutely none if not for the wonderful actors within the movie. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is excellent. You want a pushed and conflicted young adult filled to the brim with toxic masculinity, then you have his character Tyler. Sterling K. Brown played the father, and my lord, Brown is simply phenomenal as he always is. I would watch that man say the alphabet on loop. Next, with Taylor Russell, playing the sister of Tyler, she is almost the opposite of Tyler personality wise. However, her character breaks out of her shell and for me, is a centerpiece of the idea of forgiveness and coming together. Lastly, not to say everyone else was not a stand out performance but Alexa Demie and Renée Elise Goldsberry were wonderful.

As I teased to previously, “Waves” is an immaculate showcase of blended genres. At its core, I would say it is most definitely a family drama. A heavy and powerful drama. Yet the flair of unknowing horror is very evident in “Waves” as this unknowing horror was the core concept of Shults prior film “It Comes at Night”. The mystery of “What is next?” is what drives the tension sky high and kept me breathless and anxious for a straight hour.

The Wrap-Up:
“Waves” is incredible. As I said before, I expect the best from A24, but time and time again, my expectations are somehow blown away each time. A movie about heartbreak, forgiveness, and recovery. “Waves” will have you on the edge of your seat for a drama film, simply waiting for an implosion. While I had practically nothing bad to say, my only partial negative critique was losing a bit of interest as it transitioned into the second half of the film. However, after only a few moments, critically important parts of the movie begin to happen which gripped me right back into focus. Folks, please see “Waves”. While it may be depressing and upsetting at times, this is truly a cinematic experience. If you do not like those kind of elements, then maybe take a pass but otherwise… WATCH!

Other Takeways:

  • Once again, I would watch Sterling K. Brown recite the alphabet on loop if I could.
  • I almost see Taylor Russell’s character and Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s character as yin and yang to each other.
  • Lucas Hedges: The King of Supporting Roles
  • Hospital Scene = break my damn heart why don’t you
  • Toxic Masculinity is disgusting… as if you needed a reminder.
  • Cinematography and score is masterful.

Rating: 4/5


Waves 1

Waves 2

Waves 3


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