Arrebato

Arrebato (Rapture) (1979)

Arrebato (Rapture) first published by Little White Lies, as entry 173 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Arrebato begins with a shot of a celluloid strip being cut – a promise of a feature where the very medium of film will play a prominent rôle. Sure enough, this is a film about two filmmakers, about the…

Renfield

Renfield (2023)

Renfield first published by SciFiNow, 12 April 2023 It is absolutely no spoiler to say that the last two words of Chris McKay’s Renfield, said in voiceover, are “metaphorically speaking”.  The film’s narrator is also its protagonist, even if he is usually just a sidekick and a marginal player in the shadows of someone else’s…

Sting

Sting (2024)

You wait years for a spider movie, and several scuttle along. Recently we have seen spiders attack the (apartment) block in Sébastien Vanicek’s Infested (Vermines, 2023) and an outsized arachnid on a spaceship in Johan Renck’s Spaceman (2024) – and now Kiah Roache-Turner’s Sting combines the two, as an asteroid-borne Alien egg shoots through a…

Sheryl

Sheryl (2023)

Sheryl seen at Panic Fest 2024  Writer/director Justin Best’s Sheryl opens to a close-shot, giallo-lit montage of a woman donning various layers of mask: carefully applied eye make-up, styled hair, coloured lipstick, painted and filed nails, an elegant dress, high heels, and finally an actual mask, all cut to the percussive female rap of Tinamina’s Dead…

Jeffrey's Hell

Jeffrey’s Hell (2024)

Jeffrey’s Hell seen at Panic Fest 2024  “So, the Mars story,” says filmmaker Aaron Irons at the beginning of Jeffrey’s Hell, in a monochrome to-camera piece that a caption reveals was recorded in 17th Sept, 2020. The Mars story dates back to a decade earlier than that, when Irons, fresh out of college, submitted an…

Ghost Game

Ghost Game (2024)

Ghost Game world première at Panic Fest 2024 Ghost Game opens with a masked figure entering a bedroom where a woman sleeps, standing over her with a pair of scissors, and cutting a lock of her hair. As another masked figure, this time female, enters and argues with the first one about his breach of…

The Wait

The Wait (La Espera) (2023)

The Wait (La Espera)seen at Panic Fest 2024  “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” This textual quote…

The Ceremony Is About To Begin

The Ceremony Is About To Begin (2024)

The Ceremony Is About To Begin seen at Panic Fest 2024 Director/co-writer Sean Nichols Lynch’s The Ceremony Is About To Begin opens with a series of monochrome interviews, each captioned with both the subject’s forename and, in scare quotes, the adopted name of an Egyptian god. For these are all ex-members of the Osiris Collective, a…

All Alone Together

All Alone Together (2023)

All Alone Together seen at Panic Fest  Tightly wound, temper-prone Tyler (Jordan Lane Rice) eats and drinks alone, and mourns his recently killed dog. Tyler is taunted in the office by his colleague Fiona (Lisa Starrett) who, abusive, cruel and manipulative, and separated, even compartmentalised, from him by a cubicle, is like a negative voice…

Psychosis

Psychosis (2023)

Psychosis seen at Panic Fest  “The voices are louder today, their tone tinged with a sense of caution that’s hard to ignore. Despite this, Cliff Van Aarle is looking forward to his fourth coffee of the morning, and his first for today’s peculiar meeting.”  So says the unseen – but very frequently heard – Narrator…

Physical 100

Physical: 100 (2023)

Win or bust: Darwinian struggles for survival and Greek myths of (im)mortality in Netflix’s Physical: 100 (2023) first published (in Korean translation) in the book 한류를 읽는 안과 밖의 시선: 2024 K-콘텐츠 [The inside and outside perspectives of reading the Korean Wave: 2024 K-Content], Kyunghee University Press, February 25, 2024, pp.131-9 Real physiques Created by…