Trauma

Trauma (2017)

Trauma first published by SciFiNow ‘Too Much Films’ is the first production company listed at the beginning of Lucio A. Rojas’ Trauma – and this promised excess comes front-loaded. For the opening sequence shows a bound, bloody woman in a compound for the torture and execution of political prisoners. Her teenaged son Juan is brought…

Deserted

The Deserted (2017)

The Deserted first published by Little White Lies, following a VR screening at the Taiwan Film Festival, 2019 You sit in a swivel chair in a basement room, surrounded by up to 15 other people each with their own swivel chairs. There is no common big screen. Rather, individual computers feed the images direct to…

Noire

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019)

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror first published by VODzilla.co “We’ve always loved horror,” states a female voice at the beginning of Xavier Burgin’s documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, as the camera pans over empty cinema seats. “It’s just that horror, unfortunately, hasn’t always loved us.” There follows a montage of…

Silver

Under The Silver Lake (2018)

Under The Silver Lake first published (in slightly shorter form) by VODzilla.co There is a whole subgenre of films set in Los Angeles – including Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997), Tony Scott’s Domino (2005), Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales (2006), Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland (2006), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice (2014), and…

Kin

Next Of Kin (1982)

Next of Kin first published by Little White Lies, as the 78th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) did not just usher in, along with Ted Kotcheff’s Wake In Fright (1971), an ambitiously artful, thematically resonant strand of Australian horror – it also gave, right from its geographically…

Kolobos

Kolobos (1999)

Kolobos first published by Little White Lies, as the 77th instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “The other day I came into her room and she was repeating a word over and over in her sleep. Kolobos.” “Kolobos? What does it mean?” “I have no idea.” “Six years of med school, all I really needed…

Senese

Billy Senese at The Dead Center of genre cinema

Billy Senese at The Dead Center of genre cinema was first published by SciFiNow, 27/2/2019 After creating plays for radio and also making a series of short films, writer/director Billy Senese helmed his first feature, Closer to God (aka A Frankenstein Story) in 2014, updating the Frankenstein myth to the age of genetic science and…

Mirror

Into The Mirror (2018)

Into The Mirror first published by Sight & Sound, Jan 2020 Review: “Good work with the trans report last week, mate,” says bullying, predatory boss Harry (John Sackville) to Daniel (Jamie Bacon), a reserved employee who has only been in London for three months. Harry is referring to a transfer account that Daniel has successfully secured,…

Courier

The Courier (2019)

The Courier first published (in a shorter version) in Sight & Sound, January 2020 Review: “No names,” says the woman (Olga Kurylenko) who has come to a building to deliver a package, “I’m just the courier.” If this were a Ken Loach film (like, say, Sorry We Missed You, 2019), the anonymity of the courier…

Countdown

Countdown (2019)

Countdown first published by Sight & Sound, Jan 2020 Review: ‘Countdown’ is the latest killer app to spread virally across the ether,  promising to predict to users the exact time of their death – and the terms and conditions of its contract are binding. The high concept of this feature debut from writer/director Justin Dec…

Judy

Judy & Punch (2019)

Judy & Punch first published by Sight & Sound, Dec 2019 Review: Traditionally performed (since 1825) by a solo artist with hand puppets, Punch and Judy is a show that sets a series of stock characters (the baby, the constable, the crocodile, Toby the Dog, the Devil, Mr Scaramouche, the ghost, etc.) into violent, literally…