Turtle

The Red Turtle (2016)

The Red Turtle first published by Little White Lies In Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge), a man shipwrecked and alone on a desert island conjures for himself a companion who falls somewhere between mortal reality and imagined fantasy, and the two go on adventures together that come to define life – and…

Napping

Napping Princess (2017)

Napping Princess first published by Sight & Sound, September 2017 Review: Somnolent final-year high schooler Kokone Morikawa (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata) leads a double life. In her waking hours she struggles to grasp an image of her mother Ikumi (who died in an accident when Kokone was a baby), to work out whether she should move…

Creation

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Annabelle: Creation first published by Sight & Sound, September 2017 Review: Sequels tends to move forward, but with Annabelle – a child-size, creepy looking porcelain doll and also a conduit for a demon looking to possess souls and spread evil – it seems that the only way is backward. Her first on-screen appearance in the 1970-set…

Knight

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Transformers: The Last Knight first published by Sight & Sound, August 2017 Review: “This is what the end looks like.” This line comes in the opening sequence of Transformers: The Last Knight, as men in armour fight a ferocious battle in a field in England, sometime during the Dark Ages. As King Arthur’s small band is…

The Ghoul

The Ghoul (2016)

The Ghoul first published by Sight & Sound, August 2017 Review: “People who suffer from depression often feel they’ve always felt this way. Like they’re trapped in a circle.” So says the psychotherapist Helen Fisher (Niamh Cusack) to her withdrawn, halting patient Chris (Tom Meeten). What Fisher does not realise is that Chris is an undercover…

Wellness

A Cure For Wellness (2016)

A Cure For Wellness first published by Little White Lies “Who the hell takes the waters in the twenty-first century anyway?” The speaker is an executive in a New York financial firm whose CEO Roland Pembroke (Harry Groener) has gone AWOL to a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. On the eve of a merger worth billions,…

Trash

Trash Fire (2016)

Trash Fire first published by VODzilla.co  “Do you remember when we first met?” Isabel (Angela Trimbur) asks her boyfriend Owen (Adam Grenier) towards the end of Trash Fire. “You were the biggest piece-of-shit douchebag I had ever met, I could not stand you.” When we first meet Owen, as he, in the film’s opening sequence, reveals…

Sun

Blind Sun (2015)

Blind Sun first published by VODzilla.co When asked who he is by a visitor to the house he is sitting, “No-one,” is how Ashraf Idriss (Ziad Bakri) instinctively responds. Right from the start of Joyce A. Nashawati’s feature debut Blind Sun, when a racist motorcycle policeman (Yannis Stankoglou) flags Ashraf’s car down and steals his papers,…

Burning

The Burning (1981)

The Burning first published by VODzilla.co  The co-eds who inhabit horror’s slasher subgenre tend to live fast and die young. For in the space of a feature’s brief running time (and these films rarely pass 95 minutes), teen characters typically undergo their first sexual experience and other rites of passage, before falling victim to a killer…

Transmission

Transmission (2017)

In keeping with its title, Transmission opens with a televisual nightmare: a disturbingly hypermanic barrage of images on a flickering screen, as though channels were being surfed by a madman. That television sits in an arched cellar, where Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March pours its incongruously upbeat notes from two speakers. This bricked bunker has been…

Dogged

Dogged (2017)

The first thing we see in Dogged is a lush green: a field of ripe wheat crops under a grey cloudy sky, all tinted in vivid, hyperreal colours. This image is a meaningful signature, for while Dogged is Richard Rowntree’s feature debut as a director, expanded from his 2015 short of the same name, he…