Threshold

Threshold (2020)

Threshold first published by VODzilla.co At the beginning of Threshold, disgruntled school music teacher Leo (Joey Millin) gets a call from his unseen mother. “We’ve found Virginia,” she is heard to say down the line – and so Leo is dispatched to pick Virginia up and bring her home. Leo has not seen or heard…

Night

The Night (2020)

The Night first published by VODzilla.co Some way into Kourosh Ahari’s The Night, a painting in the lobby of the Hotel Normandie catches the attention of Babak Naderi (Shahab Hosseini) as he waits for the elevator with his wife Neda (Niousha Noor) and their baby daughter Shabnam (Leah Oganyan). The painting is, paradoxically, an approximate…

The Free Fall

The Free Fall (2021)

In horror, as in Freudian psychoanalysis, it is usually a young child who witnesses – and misunderstands – a primal scene (typically, sex between parents), engendering the perversion of that child’s psychosexual development. The Free Fall certainly opens with a primal scene, as Sara Wright (Andrea Londo) enters the upstairs bedroom of her parents, only…

Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Broadcast Signal Intrusion first published by Movies On Weekends Broadcast Signal Intrusion opens with a video recording that resolves into a dream. A woman runs happily through a field, and a man pursues her with a camera. Then she stops, swaying in the mist, her face turned away, and we get his, or at least…

The Pink Cloud

The Pink Cloud (A Nuvem Rosa) (2021)

“This film was written in 2017 and shot in 2019,” reads the pink-on-black Portuguese text that opens writer/director Iuli Gerbase’s feature debut The Pink Cloud (A Nuvem Rosa). “Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental.” No further elaboration is required to determine which actual events the film might be imagined to resemble – for…

Sound Of Violence

Sound of Violence (2021)

Sound Of Violence first published by Movies On Weekends Slashers and other kinds of psychodrama typically feature a sequence which, in a phrase borrowed from Sigmund Freud, gets called the ‘primal scene‘ – often opening the film, or shown in flashback, and capturing the formative psychosexual moment of childhood trauma that leads a confused young…

OffSeason

OffSeason (2021)

OffSeason first published by Movies On Weekends Aside from an attention-grabbing prologue and the occasional flashback, OffSeason is set entirely on the coastal island of Lone Palm just as the last summer tourists leave. The key word here is ‘off’ – for although this is a pleasure resort whose blue-skied beaches are for half the…

Viy

Viy (1967)

Viy first published by Little White Lies, as entry 123 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column The Russian author Nikolai Gogol published his novella Viy as part of a collection of short stories called Mirgorod which first came to print in 1835. It was a bawdy tale of the supernatural, with horny witches, errant holy men…

King Car

King Car (Carro Rei) (2021)

Renata Pinheiro’s King Car (Carro Rei) opens with a montage of images: cows (with cowbells) walking among foliage; a tree half-hidden behind a plate-metal barrier; grass growing on an old car wreck; more cows, and more car wrecks. What all these images have in common is the clash of nature and technology that will come…

Come True

Come True (2020)

Come True first published by VODzilla.co “So we really just show up and sleep?” asks Sarah (a dreamy performance from Julia Sarah Stone, Allure, 2017) in Come True, directed and co-written (with Daniel Weissenberger) by Anthony Scott Burns (Our House, 2018). Sarah has just signed up for a ‘sleep clinic’, where she will be paid…

De Kuthoer

The Columnist (De Kuthoer) (2019)

The Columnist (De Kuthoer) first published by Little White Lies “If people don’t agree with me, they’re allowed to be angry, they’re allowed to curse me, fight against me, with every argument they can come up with. But they aren’t allowed to silence me.” Anna Boot (Claire Porro), a third year in high school, is…