Overwhelm

Overwhelm The Sky (2018)

Overwhelm The Sky begins in desert, with a sole figure limping desperately towards the road to flag down help from a passing pickup truck, as the stabbing strings on Costas Dafnis’ score evoke Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). By the time we have got back to this desert scene, well over two hours of the film…

Business

Trouble Is My Business (2018)

Trouble Is My Business takes its name from a 1950 collection of four short stories written by Raymond Chandler about the private eye Philip Marlowe. This is to say that, from the outset, the film advertises its status as hard-boiled detective pulp fiction, which, in its cinematic versions, means film noir: movies featuring Marlowe like…

Whistleblower

The Whistleblower (Chui shao ren) (2019)

The Whistleblower first published by Sight & Sound, February 2020 Review: After a one-night stand with old flame Siliang (Tang Wei) – whose hotel bedroom is festooned with paintings of Salome and Medusa as (unheeded) warnings that this femme is very much of the fatale kind – Melbourne-based company PR and family man Mark (Lei…

Mercy

Just Mercy (2019)

Just Mercy first published by Sight & Sound, February 2020 (here modified) Review: Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy takes place in Monroeville, Alabama – also the birthplace of author Harper Lee and the setting for her 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird. In the film, locals seem confused, referring to Lee’s lawyer protagonist Atticus Finch…

Bloodline

Bloodline (2018)

Bloodline first published by SciFiNow The beginning of Henry Jacobson’s feature debut Bloodline seems comfortable (at least to the horror viewer) because it is so steeped in cliché. A nurse (Christie Herring) wanders an empty hospital corridor at night, thinks she hears something behind her, enters the shower room, undresses, and has a shower, while…

Buried

Dead & Buried (1981)

Dead & Buried first published by Movie Gazette It may be dead quiet, pretty as a postcard, and hospitable to strangers, but there is something rotten in the small coastal village of Potter’s Bluff, whose locals, while always polite and friendly, have a nasty habit of disfiguring and murdering visitors, and capturing all the gory…

Blame

I Blame Society (2020)

I Blame Society enjoyed its World Première Tues 28 January 2020 at the Rotterdam Film Festival strap: Gillian Wallace Horvat’s (f)unhinged metacinematic satire I Blame Society serially skewers an indie film scene that marginalises creative women. Meet Gillian – an unfulfilled amateur filmmaker in LA. She has an MA but is unemployed, and the slew…

Heathers

Heathers (1989)

Heathers first published by Movie Gazette Smart teenager Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) has problems, which she obsessively chronicles in her diary. At high school she has become an honorary member of a bitchy clique whose three other members are all called Heather (Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker), and she is attracted to their popularity…

VHYes

VHYes (2019)

It’s 25 December, 1987 in Jack Henry Robbins’ VHYes, and 12-year-old Ralph (Mason McNulty), on the cusp of adolescence, receives a camcorder for Christmas. Over the next six days leading to the New Year, Ralph obsessively documents not just his adventures – with his family and his best friend Josh (Rahm Braslaw) – but also…

Feedback

Feedback (2019)

Feedback first published by SciFiNow “Are we safe?”, asks the voice on the radio promo. “Could we commit a crime and get away with it?” The feature debut of Pedro C. Alonso, which he co-wrote with Alberto Marini (Summer Camp, 2015), Feedback observes a near Aristotelian unity of time and place, unfolding almost entirely over…

Little

A Little More Flesh (2020)

Consenting to watch horror cinema is like entering a Faustian pact where you do not always get what you bargain for. Go into A Little More Flesh, for example, the latest low-budget feature to be written, directed, shot, edited and produced by critic Sam Ashurst, and you might be surprised to find yourself instead watching God’s Lonely…