Habit

Habit (2017)

Habit first published by Sight & Sound, August 2018 Review: Adapted by Simeon Halligan from Stephen McGeagh’s 2012 novel, Habit follows the template established by Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) of starting off as one kind of film before jumping the genre border – in a sex club – at the halfway point. Even…

Psychopaths

Psychopaths (2017)

Psychopaths first published by SciFiNow Sanity and insanity are not absolutes, but belong to a dynamic spectrum. In the world of cinema, a film’s sanity is measured in terms of its narrative coherence, its clear exposition, and its stable visual style. The more you strip these away, the madder the finished product – although, of…

Bitter

Bitter Feast (2010)

Bitter Feast first published by VODzilla.co Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold – but in Joe Maggio’s Bitter Feast, the vendetta of celebrity New York chef Peter Grey (the ever excellent James LeGros) against blogging critic JT ‘The Piehole’ Franks (Joshua Leonard) comes meticulously sourced, prepared and finely cooked. Grey abducts his online…

Southbound

Southbound (2015)

First published by Little White Lies as Part 15 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Anthology horror films come in many forms. At their simplest, they just place their different episodes one after the other (Kwaidan, 1964; Three, 2002; Little Deaths, 2011), perhaps with a wraparound story (Creepshow, 1982; Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, 1990; V/H/S,…

The Mind’s Eye (2015)

First published by EyeforFilm Filmmakers love to look back to the movies that were the bread and butter of their formative years, helping make them who they are today – and so inevitably, much as the spirit of the Seventies (along with that period’s electoral scandal, oil crises, Middle eastern terrorism, protracted wars broad) returned…

Demonic

Horror in the House: FrightFest 2015 Preview

First published by Little White Lies, in anticipation both of the Film4 FrightFest 2015, and of the focus on domestic dread in the (then) forthcoming Crimson Tide issue of LWLies. Includes reviews of: The Diabolical, We Are Still Here, Pod, Hangman, Slumlord (aka 13 Cameras), The Shelter, Estranged, Demonic (aka James Wan’s Demonic), AfterDeath, Emelie Whether…

Still

We Are Still Here (2015)

We Are Still Here first published by Little White Lies Like many a ghost story, Ted Geoghegan’s feature debut traffics in grief, loss and the persistence of the past. Anne and Paul Sarchetti (Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig) move away from the city to rural Aylesbury, New England, hoping to escape the painful memories of their adult…

Pod

Pod (2015)

Pod first published by Little White Lies Featuring, like Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here, a basement and Larry Fessenden is Pod, written and directed by Mickey Keating (Ultra Violence, Ritual). While lacking anything like the budget or scale of The Cabin In The Woods, it is mostly set in one, and similarly challenges viewers to a knowing…

The Film4 FrightFest 2011 Post Mortem

First published by EmpireOnline (no longer live) Year on year, the Film4 FrightFest seems to grow in size and scale, and this August bank holiday weekend’s was no exception, as the UK’s best genre festival boasted a staggering 37 new features, as well as trailers, short films, Q&As, a live directors’ commentary (on The Dead),…

Glass Man

FrightFest 2011 Diary: Day 2

First published by Little White Lies Includes reviews of: Rogue River; The Holding; Urban Explorers; The Glass Man; Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil; Vile Diary Day 2 – Friday, 26th August  This was FrightFest’s fullest day. Seven features running in the parallel Discovery Programme (covered in a separate Diary), six features in the Main Programme, and…

Body

Body (2015)

“It’s the big house on… oh my god, there’s blood everywhere… he can’t be dead… please, please.” Body opens with audio only: a very distressed call to the emergency services from one or several female voices. Bad things – even what cinema likes to call Very Bad Things (1998) – are evidently in the works,…