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…

Flowers

Black Flowers (2018)

At the beginning of Black Flowers, Kate (Krista DeMille, excellent), her husband Sam (Ron Roggé) and their teen daughter Suzi (Andrea Sweeney Blanco) – keen swimmers all – are enjoying their vacation on a beach when they see the atomic mushroom clouds in the distance. Cut to a year and a half later, and the…

Once

Once Upon A Time In London (2019)

Once Upon A Time In London first published by Sight & Sound, May 2019 Review: This time capsule of a nation’s (criminal) history is, as its title suggests, an English response to Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In America (1984), and it is populated with characters who, both in the film and in real…

Lords

Lords of Chaos (2018)

Lords of Chaos first published by Sight & Sound, May 2019 Review: “Based”, as introductory text states, “on truth, lies, and what actually happened”, and adapted by Dennis Magnusson and director Jonas Åkerlund (Spun, 2002; Polar, 2019) from Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind’s 2003 book of the same name on the early Norwegian black metal…

Brighton

Body at Brighton Rock (2019)

Body at Brighton Rock begins with a vista of national parkland. DP Hannah Getz’s camera remains fixed, with only the slight rustling of leaves that frame the wide shot giving any indication that this is not a still. The green of the forest and the blue of the sky all seem to have been overtly…

Llorona

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

The Mexican myth of La Llorona, or the ‘Weeping Woman’, is a story told to children to deter them from staying out alone at night. When her husband strayed, in an act of Medea-like vengeance she drowned their two children, and then herself – and now she comes for other children, her presence announced by…

Trespassers

Tresspassers (2019)

A brother and his younger sister wander through searing heat to a big old farmhouse, a long way from their urban security. It is a set-up all too familiar from Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) – except that the roadkill seen at the beginning is a kangaroo rather than an armadillo, making…

Warning

Storm Warning (2007)

Storm Warning first published by Film4 Film summary: Australian director Jamie Blanks goes back to source for this gory redneck revenge shocker, scripted by Everett DeRoche.   Review: These days, Australian cinemagoers have the likes of Greg Mclean (Wolf Creek, Rogue), the Spierig Brothers (Undead, Daybreakers), Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich (Black Water) to scare them out…

Creek

Wolf Creek (2005)

Wolf Creek first published by EyeforFilm For his debut feature, Australian writer/director Greg McLean follows a tried-and-tested horror formula – young people out on a drive become stranded in the middle of nowhere – and then takes it way off the beaten track. While it is the unflinching viciousness of the shocks in the second…

Calls

When A Stranger Calls (1979)

When A Stranger Calls first published Little White Lies, as the 72nd entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column It is for a single (lengthy) sequence, perhaps even for a single line, that Fred Walton’s feature debut When A Stranger Calls has taken up residence in the collective unconscious. The film’s opening section was adapted from…

Jack

The House That Jack Built (2018)

The House That Jack Built first published by VODzilla.co “I understand Hitler,” stated Lars von Trier in a press conference at Cannes promoting Melancholia in 2011. “I think I understand the man. He is not what we would call a good guy, but I understand much about him and I think I sympathise with him…