A Hole in My Heart

A Hole in My Heart (Ett Hål i mitt Hjärta) (2004)

A Hole in My Heart (Ett Hål i mitt Hjärta) first published by Movie Gazette, 26 May, 2005 Within the confines of a small suburban apartment, amateur director/producer Rickard (Thorsten Flinck) and his insecure friend Geko (Goren Marjanovic) are making a hardcore porn film with Tess (Sanna Bråding), who dreams of fame in Swedish television’s…

Lilya 4-Ever

Lilya 4-Ever (2002)

This review of Lilya 4-Ever is so ancient I have lost all record of where it was originally published. Would write this very differently now… If Lukas Moodysson‘s previous film, Together (2000), showed how communal living can offer a shelter from the world’s disharmonies, then his new film Lilya 4-Ever portrays the very opposite: how…

Waking Karma

Waking Karma (2023)

Waking Karma opens with two text quotes that set out its stall. The first is from Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, a tragedy of incest and parenticide, and of fate that cannot be avoided no matter how hard it is resisted. The second cites the instructions given by Charles Manson to his cultish hippie ‘family’ as they…

Homebound

Homebound (2021)

Homebound had its UK première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022. First published by Little White Lies Home is, as they say, where the heart is – that formative place where the secret codes and private rites of family living embed themselves from an early age and develop into deep-seated habits, making you who you are….

Monstrous

Monstrous (2022)

Monstrous had its world première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022. First published by Little White Lies “It’s your new home. Isn’t it wonderful? It’s like a dream.” So says Laura Butler (Christina Ricci) to her seven-year-old son Cody (Santino Barnard) of the Californian lakeside house that they have just started renting. Indeed, while the title…

Funky Forest

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact first published by Little White Lies, as entry 149 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Funky Forest: The First Contact (Naisu no Mori THE FIRST CONTACT) opens with the image of a cute-looking UFO. White, with two blue portholes that look like eyes, it is perched on the barren surface of…

Deadstream

Deadstream (2022)

Deadstream had its world première at SXSW 2022. First published by Little White Lies. “I’m Shawn Ruddy – and I’m a piece of trash!”, says a chirpy young bearded man, who is played by Joseph Winter, the co-writer, co-director, co-producer and co-editor of Deadstream along with his wife Vanessa. Shawn’s words are as good an…

The Cellar

The Cellar (2022)

The Cellar had its UK première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022. First published by VODzilla.co The cellar is a special location in horror. It is typically dank and dark, full of cobwebs, dust and neglect, and seldom visited – indeed, the part of the home that is literally underground, and closest to hell. It is…

Agatha

Agatha (2022)

Agatha opens in darkness. A dim light is intoduced as a woman’s hand pulls loose bricks from a wall, and reaches into the shadowy niche beyond to extract a mysterious wrapped object, and to observe it under an electric bulb. There is then a cutaway to an old crone crossing a misty field, apparently some…

Murder, Anyone?

Murder, Anyone? (2022)

Murder, Anyone? begins with a shadow – the silhouette of a male figure in a wide-brimmed hat, illuminated by a circle of light. This monochrome image, and the melodramatic orchestral score that accompanies the superimposed opening credits, point to the now rather passé genre of film noir, while that figure – a projected artefact of…

The Ledge

The Ledge (2022)

The Ledge had its UK première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022, and was first published by VODzilla.co The night before Kelly (Brittany Ashworth) and her friend Sophie (Anaïs Parello) are due to scale the dangerous face of Antelao, highest pinnacle in the Dolomite Mountains of northeastern Italy, they are joined at the complex of cabins…