Samaritan

Bad Samaritan (2018)

Bad Samaritan first published by RealCrime Magazine Bad Samaritan opens with a flashback: a young boy whips a horse as an unseen woman pleads with him to stop, and then he raises a pistol and shoots. This is a primal scene – a significant event from that past that represents the moment where a person’s formative pathology takes root. Cut to…

Royale

Bad Times At The El Royale (2018)

Bad Times At The El Royale first published by Sight & Sound, December 2018 Review: Like his directorial debut Cabin in The Woods (2012), Drew Goddard’s second feature as writer/director, Bad Times at the El Royale, also concerns a structure with hidden rooms, secret surveillance and the heady clash of stories/storeys – but its chief…

Nation

Assassination Nation (2018)

Assassination Nation first published by Sight & Sound, December 2018 Review: “This is 100% a true story,” says 18-year-old Lily Colson (Odessa Young) in her opening voiceover, promising a tale of a town losing its mind and wanting to kill four teenaged girls. “It gets pretty graphic,” she adds. Indeed, while many films begin with…

Sicilian

Sicilian Ghost Story (2017)

Sicilian Ghost Story first published by RealCrime Magazine 12-year-old Luna (Julia Jedlikowska) follows Giuseppe (Gaetano Fernandez) into the woods after school. Here, as a butterfly rests on Giuseppe’s hand and a weasel brushes past Luna’s foot, the children are close to nature in their Eden of innocence – even as a POV shot suggests a…

Climax

Climax (2018)

Climax first published by SciFiNow Climax opens near its end, with a god’s-eye aerial view of virgin snow being disturbed by the staggering traversal – and collapse – of a young, blood-stained woman dressed in a tank top. Text appears on screen which reads, “To our creators who are no longer with us,” framing the full…

Gemini

Gemini (2017)

Gemini published exclusively for Projected Figures  Originally associated with the Noughties mumblecore movement, writer/director Aaron Katz makes films – Dance Party, USA (2006), Quiet City (2007), Cold Weather (2010), Land Ho! (2014) – that, in both their setting and sensibility, could not be further from Hollywood. His latest, however, unfolds in the dark heart of…

Cure

Cure (Kyua) (1997)

Cure first published by LWLies, as the 56th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “It’s not good to work too hard. You look sicker than your wife to me.” In Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (Kyua), police detective Takabe (played by Koji Yakusho, in his first of many rôles for Kurosawa) is told this by the psychiatrist…

Light

At First Light (2018)

At First Light first published by SciFiNow “How about you try to be a teenager for one night, and then you can go back to being a single mom in the morning?” So 17-year-old Sean (Théodore Pellerin, The OA) is told near the beginning of At First Light(aka First Light). Abandoned years ago by his…

Pimped

Pimped (2018)

Pimped first published by SciFiNow Pimped opens with its action framed. Through the window of a yellow-lit door, we see blue-lit revellers in the room beyond, dancing to Peaches’ Fuck the Pain Away. DP Josh Flavell’s camera slowly pulls out to reveal, on this side of the door, a tuxedoed Lewis (Benedict Samuel) telling Kenneth…

Luciferina

Luciferina (2018)

Luciferina first published by SciFiNow It begins – and ends – at the beginning.  The latest film from writer/director Gonzalo Calzada, whose previous Resurrection (2015) has proven Argentina’s most watched horror, Luciferina opens with a CG representation of a spermatozoon fertilising an egg – and it (literally) climaxes with a ‘big bang’, and the cycle of…

Lasso

Lasso (2017)

Lasso first published by SciFiNow When, in John Landis’ The Blues Brothers (1980), Jake and Eliot roll up at Bob’s Country Bunker claiming to be booked artists the Good Ol’ Boys, half the joke is the absurdity of seeing an urban rhythm and blues band having to impersonate a country-and-western outfit. Though more horror than…