Living

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead first published by Little White Lies When George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, co-written with John A. Russo, came out in 1968, it would change the horror genre forever, bringing the creature feature out of the gothic castle and into the ordinary home, and refashioning cinema’s zombies (called…

Grave

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Grave Encounters 2 first published by VODzilla.co Found footage is one of the few subgenres whose name refers not (like, say action or comedy) to content, nor (like horror) to an ideal viewer response, but rather to the films’ (fictive) material framing and form – which is to say that, for all its claims to…

Virginia

Sweet Virginia (2017)

Sweet Virginia first published by RealCrime Magazine The twin China Brothers had their debut, the Coen-esque Australia-set thriller Crawl, in 2011, with Paul on writing/directing duties and Benjamin producing. In 2012 their follow-up spec script Sweet Virginia, with its superficially similar scenario of a hired killer creating chaos in a small town, was near the top…

Caniba

Caniba (2017)

Caniba first published by RealCrime Magazine “There’s no reason to make this.” says Jun Sagawa to his brother Issei. “I don’t see how anybody could enjoy it.” Jun is talking about the manga open before him, written by his brother as a graphic memoir of the murder, necrophilia and cannibalism that Issei executed in Paris in…

Night

Dark Night (2016)

Dark Night first published by RealCrime Magazine Dark Night opens with a close-up of a woman’s eye, lit alternatively in blue and red. For a few instants, that image and those colours promise the heavily stylised sensationalism of the Italian whodunnit genre known as giallo – before it becomes clear that the bright lights, far from…

Apples

Bad Apples (2017)

Bad Apples first published by SciFiNow One Halloween night, a heavily pregnant woman is found dead after being repeatedly stabbed by her ex, the two babies apparently still alive in the blood pooling between their mother’s legs. This forms both the prologue to Bad Apples, and its primal scene, setting all the pieces in place for…

Diverge

Diverge (2016)

Diverge first published by SciFiNow Diverge opens at the end of the line for bearded Chris Towne (Ivan Sandomire), his ailing wife Anna (Erin Cunningham) and perhaps all life on Earth. Chris and Anna are trudging across arid salt flats, shot wide with a smouldering New York City occasionally visible in the background. Their infant Dylan…

Made

I Made This For You (2018)

“In the UK and Ireland more than 125 people will commit suicide this week,” reads text at the beginning of I Made This For You, followed by a chaotic montage of people engaged in the noisy business of their everyday London existences. These, it will turn out, are some of the dramatis personae of both…

Banshun

Late Spring (Banshun) (1949)

Late Spring (Banshun) first published by Little White Lies Yasujiro Ozu‘s Late Spring opens just outside the Kita-Kamakura Station, a place of (locomotive) stasis and motion marked by a signpost written in both the local Japanese and the English of the recent occupiers, as a breeze stirs through the surrounding trees.  This wind of change will bring with…

Crowhurst

Crowhurst (2017)

Crowhurst first published by Sight & Sound, May 2018 Review: It begins near its end, with Donald Crowhurst (Justin Salinger) being informed by radio that he has just won the Golden Globe Trophy. This ought to be great news, but the look of grave horror on the mariner’s face is recognisable as the very same crestfallen…

Titan

The Titan (2018)

The Titan first published by Sight & Sound, May 2018 Review: “We did it!” declares Professor Collingwood (Tom Wilkinson) near the end of Lennart Ruff’s feature debut The Titan. “We stole fire from the gods!”   Collingwood’s words evoke the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who indeed stole divine fire, gifting it to humanity as an…