Wither

Wither (Vittra) (2012)

Wither (Vittra) first published by Grolsch FilmWorks A cabin in the woods. A toolshed. A cellar complete with trapdoor. Supernaturally suppurating co-eds requiring dismemberment. And a final boy (Patrik Almkvist) forced to confront his loved one (Lisa Henni) in the most horrific of circumstances. Yep, ‘wither’ must be Swedish for ‘the evil dead’, as this Nordic…

Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck (2017)

Wonderstruck first published by Little White Lies “You really do live in a museum,” complains single mother Elaine (Michelle Williams) to her son Ben (Oakes Fegley), whose bedroom is festooned with the souvenirs, mementoes and detritus that he has curated over the 12 years of his life. Museums form key locations in Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, which…

Chaw

Chaw (2009)

Chaw first published by Little White Lies Forget the cutesy porkers of Babe (1995) or Charlotte’s Web (2006) – there is nothing quite like a really big pig to remind us of our place on the food chain. The first porcine nature’s revenger, Razorback (1984), was also the runt of the litter, but at least it…

Pig

Pig Hunt (2008)

Pig Hunt first published by Little White Lies John Hickman (Travis Aaron Wade) and a trio of his military-obsessed friends (dubbed ‘the morons’) are heading from San Francisco to the backwoods of North California for a weekend of male bonding and pig hunting – with John’s resourceful girlfriend Brooks (Tina Huang) tagging along to keep their…

No Country

No Country For Old Men (2007)

No Country For Old Men first published by EyeforFilm “I was sheriff of this county when I was 25 years old. My grandfather was a lawman. Father too…” The voice-over that opens No Country For Old Men is a nostalgic plea for tradition, as well as an elegiac recognition of its passing into oblivion. As he…

Cohen

King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (2017)

King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen first published by SciFiNow The documentary King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen comes with a certain anxiety about oblivion. First there is that title, modelled on the self-consciously lurid form of Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold World of Ozploitation! (2008),…

Promise

Promise (2017)

“There must be another way,” says Abe (Nabil Elouahabi) in Promise. “He was our child.” Abe and his wife Sarah (Rebecca Callard) have been trying to have a baby for years, but Sarah lacks progesterone, and has recently miscarried. So the interracial couple makes a reciprocal agreement with Syrian refugee Hajar (Lara Sawalha): if she…

Images

Images (1972)

Images first published by Little White Lies, as the 54th instalment in my Cinema Psychotrunicum column  “In Search of Unicorns – a book for children,” intones author Cathryn (Susannah York) in voiceover at the beginning of Robert Altman’s Images (the title appearing in modest lower case), before narrating the events of the latest fiction that she…

Prodigy

Prodigy (2017)

Prodigy first published by SciFiNow “Children like games.” The term ‘prodigy’ is often used of young children who can beat even skilled adults at chess. Accordingly in Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal’s feature debut of the same name, chess has a prominent part, although the gamesmanship involved is used not to confer dominance, but to expose…

Annihilation

Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation first published by VODzilla.co Lena (Natalie Portman) is both a soldier and a scientist. This might, as the psychologist Dr Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) suggests, make Lena perfectly suited for the expedition that these two are undertaking with three other women: physicist Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson), geomorphologist Cassie Sheppard (Tuva Novotny) and paramedic Anya Thoronsen…