Wendy

Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Wendy and Lucy first published by EyeforFilm “I’m lost”. They are the words that Wendy (Michelle Williams) writes on makeshift posters, alongside a picture of her missing dog Lucy – and they are words that apply equally to herself, and more broadly, to America’s dispossessed underclass.  En route from Indiana to Alaska hoping to get…

Bliss

Bliss (2019)

Bliss introduces us to the crumbling world and fragmenting headspace of Dezzy Donohue (Dora Madison). A Californian artist who has run out of creative juice, Dezzy has twice asked for extensions on her latest commission, and is getting nowhere with it. David (Chris McKenna), her agent of long standing, can see the writing (if not…

preview

Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 preview

It was 20 years ago today… past, present and future in Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 Hindsight is 20/20. Nobody could have known, way back when Audition was programmed as part of the inaugural edition of FrightFest in the year 2000, how forward-looking a selection this would prove to be. For, apart from being a film…

Ranger

The Ranger (2018)

The Ranger first published by SciFiNow ‘First-time feature director’ can be a loaded term. It often implies inexperience – yet Jenn Wexler has not only written, directed and produced two short films (Slumber Party, 2012 and Halloween Bash, 2013), but also produced several stylistically and thematically arresting indie titles by other directors, like Mickey Keating’s Darling…

Depraved

Depraved (2019)

Depraved had its world première at on 20th March, 2019 at What the Fest!? “You’re so pale. What are you, like a vampire or something?” This is what, a good way into Depraved, Shelley (Addison Timlin) asks the taciturn, heavily scarred stranger (Adam Breaux) with whom she has started drinking in a South Brooklyn bar. Shelley…

Habit

Habit (2017)

Habit first published by Sight & Sound, August 2018 Review: Adapted by Simeon Halligan from Stephen McGeagh’s 2012 novel, Habit follows the template established by Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) of starting off as one kind of film before jumping the genre border – in a sex club – at the halfway point. Even…

Psychopaths

Psychopaths (2017)

Psychopaths first published by SciFiNow Sanity and insanity are not absolutes, but belong to a dynamic spectrum. In the world of cinema, a film’s sanity is measured in terms of its narrative coherence, its clear exposition, and its stable visual style. The more you strip these away, the madder the finished product – although, of…

Bitter

Bitter Feast (2010)

Bitter Feast first published by VODzilla.co Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold – but in Joe Maggio’s Bitter Feast, the vendetta of celebrity New York chef Peter Grey (the ever excellent James LeGros) against blogging critic JT ‘The Piehole’ Franks (Joshua Leonard) comes meticulously sourced, prepared and finely cooked. Grey abducts his online…

Southbound

Southbound (2015)

First published by Little White Lies as Part 15 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Anthology horror films come in many forms. At their simplest, they just place their different episodes one after the other (Kwaidan, 1964; Three, 2002; Little Deaths, 2011), perhaps with a wraparound story (Creepshow, 1982; Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, 1990; V/H/S,…

The Mind’s Eye (2015)

First published by EyeforFilm Filmmakers love to look back to the movies that were the bread and butter of their formative years, helping make them who they are today – and so inevitably, much as the spirit of the Seventies (along with that period’s electoral scandal, oil crises, Middle eastern terrorism, protracted wars broad) returned…

Horror in the House: FrightFest 2015 Preview

First published by Little White Lies, in anticipation both of the Film4 FrightFest 2015, and of the focus on domestic dread in the (then) forthcoming Crimson Tide issue of LWLies. Whether it is haunted or invaded, whether its intimate secrets are exposed or its buried histories resurface, the house is where horror has long been…