Opera

Opera (1987)

Opera first published by Little White Lies, as the 74th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “This time our director OD’d on weird,” says wardrobe mistress Giulia (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) in Dario Argento’s Opera. “It isn’t like the movies. There if you come up with something original, everyone congratulates you.” Giulia is complaining about the transition…

Punch

Blood Punch (2014)

Blood Punch first published by VODzilla.co The trapped-in-a-time-loop narrative of Harold Ramis’ existential comedy Groundhog Day (1993) easily and obviously lends itself, in all its infernal dynamics, to more horror-oriented handling. Recently Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day (2017), its sequel Happy Death Day 2U (2019) and the Netflix series Russian Doll (2019) have popularised this…

Future

The Future (2011)

The Future first published by EyeforFilm Carefree, happy-go-lucky Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) have their whole future ahead of them. They may have co-habited long enough to prefer companionship and conversation to passion, they may spend their waking hours on-line or doing low-end, stopgap jobs that bring them little satisfaction (Satisfaction was this…

Everyone

Me And You And Everyone We Know (2005)

Me And You And Everyone We Know first published by EyeforFilm Guy meets girl, sparks fly, and, after the intervention of various disruptions and impediments, finally guy and girl get together. What sounds like the convention-bound plotting of just about any romantic comedy (a genre second only to porn in its fantasy-fuelled predictability) becomes, in…

Pariah

Pariah (2011)

Pariah first published by EyeforFilm In her bedroom, encouraged by her dykish best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), 17-year-old Alike Freeman (Adepero Oduye) – ‘Le’ to her friends – puts a strap-on dildo over her jeans. Yet if Dee Rees’ Pariah is not apologetic or even coy about the high school senior’s lesbianism, nor is it…

Unrelated

Unrelated (2007)

Unrelated first published by Film4 Summary: Joanna Hogg’s feature debut is a subtle drama addressed at the teenager still vacationing in every adult.   Review: Unrelated opens with the image of a woman wheeling a suitcase along a dirt road in the dark. She walks up to a large house, greets the party of teens drinking and…

Double

Double Date (2017)

Double Date first published by SciFiNow “They’re just girls, man. What’s there to be afraid of?” This cuts to the heart of Benjamin Barfoot’s feature debut Double Date. When Alex (James Socha) poses the question, he intends it to be purely rhetorical, as he attempts to persuade his friend Jim (Danny Morgan, who also wrote…

Nipples

The History Of Nipples (2019)

In evolutionary terms, female nipples are straightforwardly utilitarian, providing a vehicle for feeding later generations while also playing a secondary part in the sexual attraction and arousal that leads to procreation. Male nipples, however, are a genetic dead end – functionless and futile, even if their absence is perhaps even more grotesque. In The History…

Stairs

Stairs (2019)

Like many a psychological thriller, Stairs features a primal scene that it visits at the film’s beginning, and then revisits and revises numerous times during the course of its characters’ journey towards a reckoning. In an Eastern European war zone, a British special ops squad of six – Will Stanton (Shayne Ward), Kia Clarke (Samantha…

Rabid

Rabid (2019)

Rabid is up front about what it is. Before we have seen the first frame of narrative, plain yellow text on a black background reveals that what we are watching is “Based on the Original Film by David Cronenberg.” Yet remakes are a complicated business. They can be painstakingly faithful to their model, like Gus…

Barge

The Barge People (2019)

“In the past 10 years, over 150 people have been reported missing on the Kennet & Avon Canal…”, states po-faced text at the beginning of director/producer/editor Charlie Steeds’ The Barge People, over black-and-white shots of the area and stills of corpses, all accompanied by the sound of an old-fashioned camera flash. This opening claim to…