5 Steps That Will Save You Serious Money Every Time You Shop at Walgreens

There’s a Walgreens on just about every busy street corner. That means they’re super convenient for those times I run out of toothpaste, toilet paper and hair care products AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ve been a Balance Rewards member for years, but I never paid much attention to how the program works. I’ve just shopped as I normally would and enjoyed the occasional surprise at the cash register.

But after noticing more frequent rewards offers, I did some digging. Now, I’ve figured out how to get the most of Balance Rewards, so I can save more money at Walgreens.

How to Maximize Your Walgreens Balance Rewards

 

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards is a point-based system that offers 10 points for every $ 1 you spend in stores and online. You can also earn points on photo services and at the pharmacy.

You can track your points by logging in to your account or downloading the Walgreens app. You can redeem points as follows:

  • 1,000 points = $ 1
  • 2,000 points = $ 2
  • 3,000 points = $ 3
  • 5,000 points = $ 5
  • 10,000 points = $ 10
  • 18,000 points = $ 20
  • 30,000 points = $ 35
  • 40,000 points = $ 50

The best part is that you don’t have to rely solely on spending money to earn points. As a Balance Rewards member, you can also earn bonus points from paperless coupons, weekly ads and members-only perks.

Here are five ways to maximize your Balance Rewards.

1. Pay Attention to Your Receipts

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens receipts give you a summary of your rewards balance, and they’re often accompanied by Register Rewards.

Register Rewards are coupons you can use on your next purchase. Sometimes they offer savings on a specific item or type of purchase. Other times, you can earn bonus points, such as $ 10 worth of bonus points with the purchase of $ 25 or more of eligible items. Register Rewards for specific items are usually labeled with a yellow tag, and they expire after two weeks.

Another reason to pay attention to your receipts — aside from using them to score cash back through Ibotta — is to keep track of your points. While it can be fun to let your points add up without paying attention, you could miss out on points, because… well… technology.

You can see your point activity for the last 90 days in your account and your transaction history for the last year and a half.

Just remember: You can’t earn points on some products, including alcohol, tobacco and dairy.

2. Check Out the Weekly Ads

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you don’t pay attention to the Walgreens weekly ad, you could miss out on deals and opportunities to earn bonus points.

For example, an August 2018 circular featured these offers for bonus points:

  • 3,000 bonus points ($ 3 reward) for spending $ 12 or more on participating products.
  • 5,000 bonus points ($ 5 reward) for spending $ 15 or more on participating products.
  • 10,000 bonus points ($ 10 reward) for spending $ 50 or more on participating products.

Participating products are usually within the same category — for instance, the offer featuring 5,000 bonus points included children’s or infants’ Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, Sudafed, Zyrtec and Desitin.

You can also find offers for bonus points and browse current sales, clearance items and online-only deals on the Walgreens site.

3. Save More With Paperless Coupons

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens rewards also offers paperless coupons, which you can find through your Balance Rewards account or in the app. These include manufacturer coupons, along with special offers for bonus points.

You can “clip” these coupons right to your Balance Rewards account, so there’s no need to print or physically clip coupons — just present your rewards card or phone number at checkout, and the coupons will be applied automatically.

As of this writing, 545 paperless coupons were available. Some of the most recent offers were for 5,000 bonus points on purchases of $ 25 or more and 500 bonus points on Walgreens brand bath tissue.

You can filter coupons by category and sort them by expiration date, coupon value, brand name, recommendations or most recent. You can also view and clip upcoming coupons.

Paperless coupons can also be used for online orders, as long as your Balance Rewards card is linked to your Walgreens account.

4. Earn Bonus Points With Members-Only Perks

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards also offers members-only perks, which are usually opportunities to earn more bonus points.

One recent perk offered 10 times the points on purchases of $ 20 or more in stores or online between Aug. 12-25. So instead of earning 10 points for every $ 1 you spent, you would have earned 100 points for every $ 1.

Another members-only perk is the Beauty Enthusiast program, which offers 5,000 points for every $ 50 you spend on beauty products, including cosmetics, nail care, skin care, hair care, fragrances, beauty accessories, and bath and body products.

When you opt in, you’ll immediately receive a welcome email with an offer for 20 times the regular  points. You’ll also have access to exclusive promotions and samples, a personalized beauty profile, product picks, and expert tips and tutorials.

5. Get Even More Points for Making Healthy Choices

runners compete in a race.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This is one of my favorite things about Walgreens Balance Rewards: You can earn points just for being healthy through Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices.

What I love most is it lets me automatically earn points for doing what I was already doing — tracking my health and fitness with devices and apps such as Samsung GearFit2, MyFitnessPal and Google Fit.

Points are earned by tracking your healthy choices, including:

  • Walking, running or cycling: 20 points per mile (limit 1 mile per day).
  • Exercise: 20 points per daily log.
  • Weight: 20 points per daily log.
  • Sleep: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood pressure: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood glucose: 20 points per reading (limit two readings per day).
  • Nicotine replacement therapy: 20 points per daily log.

And you don’t even have to connect apps or devices to earn points for healthy choices. You can still earn points by tracking your activities right from your account on the Walgreens website or app.

But if you do connect your apps and devices, you’ll earn 250 points per app and device. Plus, you’ll earn points without really thinking about it, as long as your activity tracker and fitness apps are all connected.

The maximum amount of points for healthy choices you can earn is 1,000 per month, which is equal to an extra $ 1 off per month. That may not be the biggest reward, but it’s great for a little extra motivation to keep your health and fitness goals on track.

If you’re an AARP member, you can an earn 50% more points for healthy choices, along with five times the points (50 points per $ 1) on Walgreens brand health and wellness products. You’ll also receive 1,000 points per vaccination you get at the pharmacy. All you have to do is link your AARP membership with your Walgreens Balance Rewards account.

After putting all of these tips to the test over the last month, I’ve saved a total of $ 17 from coupons and earned 21,000 points — enough for a $ 20 reward! I’m so proud of my new money-saving habits, I might just spend that $ 20 reward on something I don’t even need.

OK, not really. I’m saving it for the next time I run out of all of my bear necessities AT THE SAME TIME.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She had “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” stuck in her head the entire time she wrote this post.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections

When it comes to the midterm elections in November, small business owners will be more registered to vote than the overall population.

That, at least, is among the findings of a new survey by Thumbtack, an online service for small businesses. The survey indicated 85% of small business owners surveyed report being registered to vote, versus 70% of all Americans signed up to vote.

Further, 93% of small business owners who are registered to vote say they “definitely” or “probably” will do so, while only 88% of registered voters nationwide say the same, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

The survey showed 17.1% of small business owner respondents reported the No. 1 issue in determining their vote this November is the economy and taxes. Some 5.8% named healthcare as their top issue, making those the most important issues for nearly one-third of small business owners. There are roughly 30 million small businesses in the nation.

“Small business owners continue to tell us they want their representatives to focus on the issues that impact their businesses and their families like the economy and healthcare,” said Thumbtack Head of Public Policy, Kellyn Blossom stated in a press release.

“Small business owners are going to be a crucial constituency for every campaign this November. They care deeply about what affects their communities and plan to turn out in large numbers to vote.”

Thumbtack surveyed 980 small business owners from late August and early September nationally in hundreds of categories, including electricians, music teachers, wedding planners, and wellness professionals to name few. Entrepreneurs were asked about their voter registration status, plans to vote in the upcoming election, and the issues guiding their political preferences.

Additionally, Thumbtack and the Small Business Roundtable are partnering to make sure business owners’ voices will be heard this election.

The Small Business Roundtable is a membership-based group comprised of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Association for the Self Employed, U.S. Black Chambers Inc., National Small Business Association, and Asian / Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.

 

The post Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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A Rape Accusation Against Cristiano Ronaldo Is Finally Getting Attention. It’s About Time Soccer Had Its #MeToo Moment

Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s most famous soccer player and arguably the most famous athlete in the world. But in the last few days, his name hasn’t been in headlines for winning championships or crying on the pitch after being issued a red card. His name is flashing across screens because of a 34 year-old woman named Kathryn Mayorga, has come forward to say Ronaldo brutally raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

How is it possible that a story that sports media in North America had no interest in publishing less than two years ago, is now splashed all over every screen and social media platform? This case was not reported on by any major outlet except for a story in 2017 by the independent German newspaper Der Spiegel. Except for a select few commenting on social media (myself included), the case against Ronaldo got no traction. Fast forward 18 months, and Der Spiegel published another story. This time, it was a detailed account from Kathryn Mayorga herself. The publication spent more than 20 days with her and held countless interviews, fact checked and re-checked before it published.

The documents acquired by der Spiegel were damning and according to a recent Twitter thread by one of the main authors, Christoph Winterbach, there were more than 20 staff involved in working on the article. In response. Ronaldo’s lawyer and his team made a lot of noise as part of their legal posturing and even accused der Spiegel’s piece of being “illegal” because “it violates the personal rights” of Ronaldo. Laughable at best.

For those who understand the law, and the severity of the crime, there is much substance in this story. Back in 2009, Mayorga’s inexperienced lawyer (who had specialized in traffic violations) was no match for Ronaldo’s PR mega-machine and legal team, ended up settling with them for $ 375,000 on the condition Mayorga not . But Mayorga’s new legal team is disputing that contract and arguing that she was mentally deficient due to trauma from rape, and was not competent enough to make a proper decision at the time.

They have filed a civil suit on Mayorga’s behalf and the case has since been re-opened by the Las Vegas police. In Nevada, the statute of limitations has not expired for this crime. Mayorga has not only suffered physically (the hospital documented her injuries in a rape kit when she reported the crime), but she continues to suffer from that trauma to this day and—according to her lawyer—is in “active therapy.”

Ronaldo initially called the allegations “fake news” and insinuated that Mayorga was trying to get famous using his name. I have worked with survivors of violence and have yet to meet or know of a victim who has enjoyed any of the bullying, shame, societal isolation and mental health upheavals, and wanted to claim some type of infamy from an attack. And I won’t even dignify the ridiculous notion of “false accusations.”

Writing about rape culture in the soccer world is a struggle. Before the 2015 UEFA Championships, I heard about allegations against Spanish goalkeeper and Manchester United star David De Gea, who was implicated in a horrible rape case. I pitched that piece to at least ten different outlets and no one was interested in publishing it and paying me for my work. Thankfully, I found it a home at a soccer site entirely run by women. And they backed me up when the online harassment started to descend. I have only tweeted about Ronaldo thus far and the responses to my tweets have been violent and angry—presumably from Ronaldo supporters. Another indication of the hatred casually flung at women for speaking up.

Mayorga’s attorney has said that she was enabled by hearing survivors in the #MeToo movement disclose their own stories. There is a strong tide of women speaking up courageously, slowly washing away the impunity often enjoyed by powerful misogynists and abusers. Perhaps #MeToo has finally transcended into the realm of sports, a realm where it is desperately needed. With cases like Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant and Baylor University’s football team, and other men who rarely face consequences for their actions, it is needed now more than ever.

Predictably, the same sports media who initially had no interest in this story have become “experts” in criminal law, and on sexualized violence. The vacuous reporting and unnecessary reflections are mostly done by men, and center the 33-year-old star. Opinions on due process (reminder: it’s a legal system not a justice system) and about Ronaldo’s athletic prowess and teams don’t have anything to do with this case in which he is accused of anally raping a woman, who by his own accord, told him “no.”

The way that these stories are reported by sports journalists who have little or no training in reporting accurately on sexualized violence can be re-traumatizing for many survivors. Instead of investing in proper media tool kits compiled by advocates for victims of violence (all free), editors unleash a bevy of unhelpful pieces that contribute to an unhealthy society steeped in rape apologism. On that night in 2009, Mayorga was dancing with Ronaldo. Does that mean she invited rape? No. These outlets are complicit in the way that victim blaming and shaming become part of natural discourse when rape is reported.

Then there is the sexist sports establishment itself. Since the most recent news broke out, the predictably irrelevant statements of solidarity from Ronaldo’s supporters have emerged. His current team Juventus FC tweeted out nonsensically reminding Twitter that Ronaldo has conducted himself with “professionalism” and “dedication.” The issue at hand is not whether he is a “champion.” How Ronaldo performs on the pitch is not correlated to the fact that he may have brutally violated a woman. The issues must not be conflated.

Ronaldo was left off of the Portuguese national team roster for upcoming international matches—but not because the Portuguese football federation felt it necessary to exclude him from the squad for being charged with a violent crime. They somehow managed to explain this decision while singing his praises. Portugal national men’s coach Fernando Santos said in a news conference on Thursday, “[Federation] president Fernando Gomes and I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo and we considered it best for the player not to be included in this and November’s call-ups.

He went on to wax poetic about the alleged rapist: “I personally always support my players, and this is not even a question of solidarity, but I believe what the player said publicly. He considers rape to be an abominable crime and clearly reaffirms that he is innocent of what he is being accused of. I know Cristiano well and I fully believe he would not commit a crime like that.”

How nice for Ronaldo for people to believe him because he works hard and people are familiar with his persona. And while Nike and EA Games, two of Ronaldo’s major corporate sponsors, are “concerned” with the allegations, it is not enough to have them pull their money away—even though Ronaldo allegedly used sponsorship money to settle with Mayorga in 2009. The reluctance to cut ties with a powerful athlete underlines that the dignity of a woman is not worth sacrificing profits from soccer cleats.

#MeToo has yet to be championed the way that alleged rapists are.

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Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true


Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Author Michael Arceneaux talks Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the absurdity of prioritizing the “fears” of young men before the experiences of sexual assault survivors.

As we’ve come to learn in his still relatively short but nonetheless exasperating, exhausting time as president, Donald Trump’s debasement of the office moves at a freakishly accelerated pace. Every single day of this ongoing nightmare, one has to wonder not if Trump will reveal himself to be an inhumane boob—but how many times that day and to what extent? On Tuesday night, the man who once defended Neo-Nazis by calling them “very fine people” and who endorsed a person credibly accused of pedophilia for the U.S. Senate decided it was time to up the despicable ante: He mocked the victim of an alleged sexual assault during a rally in Mississippi.

He mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—the woman who came forward to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during their high school years. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s trauma to the cheers and laughs of adults. Children were present. I know that cable news pundits already bore the hell out of people with their trite, cliche-ridden newspaper columns about “both sides” showing selective morality, but there is only one major U.S. party that has its president mocking women who were sexually assaulted.

That cruel reality makes me think of the other remarkable thing President Trump said on Tuesday just hours prior: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”

It is perplexing (to say the least) that Trump would say this now given his history with those accused of sexual violence—notably, the time he infamously took out a newspaper ad calling for the death of the Central Park Five. Despite DNA evidence exonerating them, then-candidate Trump continued to profess their guilt decades after the matter had been settled. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this hypocrisy, but as she often does, she forgoed facts and straight answers in favor of spouting fables about the wannabe tyrant she habitually lies for.

It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s remarks as the ramblings of a sociopathic buffoon, but like his racism, like his sexism, like his xenophobia, like his transphobia, and like his homophobia, Trump is the id of the Republican Party, and to some extent, a major bloc of the electorate. It’s not just his son Donald Trump Jr. echoing these sentiments, it is people like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and well, Republican voters themselves. But still, it’s not just conservatives who seem to buy into this notion that we ought to care more about the concerns of the accused than the accuser. This misogyny pervades our entire patriarchal society: The idea that we must worry more about what can happen to a man’s career before we can focus on the life of a woman whom his abuse has impacted. That ultimately, and simply, men matter more.

Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz explained to the Washington Post that among Republicans, “There is a feeling of being guilty until proven innocent. In this era of #MeToo, there are a lot of men—and some women—who believe that justice no longer exists in America, that the accusation is enough to destroy someone’s career and someone’s life.”

In a new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday, the survey found that 51% of white voters believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Meanwhile, 80% of Black voters believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. For, Latinx voters, it is 66% who believe Dr. Ford. Only 40% of white voters believe her account, and when split by gender, 46% of white women believe Dr. Ford and 43% believe Kavanaugh. In sum, Luntz has a point—no matter how irrational, delusional, and disgusting the viewpoint is among those who hold it.

In fact, despite the faux condemnation of Trump’s remarks by select Senate Republicans like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, it is still likely that Judge Brett Kavanaugh—the man Ford claims once tried to rape her 36 years ago—will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in light of continued support among Republican leadership and, per Gallup, most Republicans. And apparently, with the support of most white voters.

So, my question is, how exactly is it a “scary time for young men” in America? It is a far scarier time for women in this country given that we have an American president—one serially accused of sexual assault himself, no less—who will belittle a survivor of sexual assault.

It is a far scarier time for women given that a major political party has no qualms propping up a sexual abuser to a position of power—literally to the laughs of white voters.

As RAINN notes: “Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”

Men are scared? I wish men were more afraid of facing consequences for abusing women and girls, but given the climate we live in and the longstanding statistics about sexual assault, why would they be? Look at the man who stands behind the podium with the symbol of the U.S. presidency and look at the support he maintains. I long for a better day, but no serious person would kid themselves into thinking we need to worry about young men in America.

And all that concern about men being falsely accused? About survivors “[wanting] to destroy people,” as Trump also said on Tuesday? Studies reveal that it is more likely for a man to be sexually assaulted than falsely accused of rape. “Unfounded” or false rape accusations only make up 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations. In an interview with Vice.com, University of Kansas Law Professor Corey Rayburn Yung said, “The false reporting rate [for rape] is lower than lots of crimes.”

We need to care more about the women and girls of this country who are not only susceptible to abuse, but burdened by a patriarchal system in which their abuser is still likely to harm without consequence.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ Review: Good Time at the Movies

What is Bad Times at the El Royale?

In this star-studded thriller, seven strangers — each with a secret to hide — check into the titular Lake Tahoe hotel, which sits on the California-Nevada border. Over the course of a stormy night, their paths cross, their pasts are revealed, and the characters find themselves on a collision course that will either lead to redemption, or an early grave.

Tarantino-Esque

Drew Goddard — whose last film was meta horror gem The Cabin in the Woods some six years ago — is clearly a fan of the master of meta crime movies, Quentin Tarantino. Not only does Goddard’s new movie ape QT’s tone and style and approach to character, it also has much in common with his last release, The Hateful Eight.

Both films feature a bunch of disparate souls holing up in a single location overnight. Thanks to Biblical storms raging outside. In both stories nothing and no one is what they seem. In both movies, dialogue-heavy interactions reveal that some characters are there by coincidence, while others have more in common than it first appears. And in both instances, those conversations trigger intense bursts of violence that result in far fewer walking out than walked in.

Tahoe’s Best Kept Secret

And what a strange, mysterious space the El Royale is. A red line running down the middle of the lobby, it’s a “bi-state establishment” that divides the warmth and sunshine of California from the hope and opportunity of Nevada. With the beds in the ‘Golden State’ a buck more.

The El Royale is decked out like a 1960s Vegas lounge, though one that’s a few years past its heyday. The film takes place at the start of the ’70s, long after the hotel’s gambling license has been lost, and a time when the ‘Summer of Love’ has transformed into something more sinister, with Nixon in the White House, and murder on the news.

Following a brief prologue in which a murder occurs in one of the rooms some 10 years previous, we’re introduced to this den of iniquity’s newest clients.


Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Cynthia Erivo in Bad Times at the El Royale.

The Likeable Seven

Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm) is a southern, silver-tongued salesman obsessed with his “accoutrements,” and determined to lavish himself in the honeymoon suite. Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo) is a soul singer clearly struggling to make ends meet. Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) looks like a hippie, but her attitude is anything but. And Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a charming priest with a serious sob story who seems out of place in such an establishment.

These first arrivals introduce themselves while waiting for the hotel’s staff, their interactions sparking tensions, setting the characters at odds with each other, and creating audience expectations that are cleverly defied as proceedings progress.

And progress they do, via a series of chapters that revolve around characters or events, some in the past to lend much needed context and stakes, and others in the present, as new guests are added to the mix (turning the four into seven), and the various storylines start to coalesce.

Excessive Run-Time

Trouble is — much like Hateful Eight — it takes an absolute age to get to the film’s finale, which itself is dragged out for longer than’s necessary. And while some of the tales that play out along the way are thrilling — most notably Father Flynn’s — others are less engaging, with one particular back-story dishwater dull. Meanwhile Chris Hemsworth’s role — which we won’t spoil here — is a little too on the nose, an issue that isn’t helped by his mugging for the camera.

But the dialogue is as sharp as it is smart. The film’s soundtrack is an all-timer that’s filled with pop, rock and soul from music’s greatest era. The politics that sneaks into the film is effective, making clever comment on the cult of celebrity and the behaviour of those in power. And there are some terrific performances, not only from Bridges and Hamm, but also via less familiar faces like Erivo — who sings like an angel — and Lewis Pullman, who might just steal the film as the El Royale’s mysterious desk clerk Miles.

Is Bad Times at the El Royale Good?

You could call Bad Times at the El Royale a Hateful Eight imitator (with a little Identity thrown in for good measure), but if you are going to crib, crib from the best. And to be fair to writer-director Drew Goddard, he’s pulled off a pretty impressive feat in his own right, effortlessly cross-cutting between multiple timelines and stories to craft a cohesive thriller that constantly pulls the rug out from under the audience.

So while it ultimately outstays its welcome, Bad Times is anything but for much of that run-time, making it both the best crime thriller that Quentin Tarantino never made, and a joint that’s well worth paying a visit.

Bad Times at the El Royale was reviewed at Fantastic Fest and hits Australian screens on October 11 and releases in UK/US cinemas on October 12.

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