Rusalka

The Siren (aka The Rusalka) (2019)

The Siren (aka The Rusalka) first published by SciFiNow Following a text quotation from Nietzsche (“What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil”), The Siren (aka The Rusalka) begins with a voiceover from Al (MacLeod Andrews), reading aloud a letter to his beloved husband Michael. The letter describes the Slovenian…

Rizen: Possession

The Rizen: Possession (2019)

As films like Deathwatch, The Devil’s Rock, the Outpost franchise, Frankenstein’s Army, Overlord and many others amply demonstrate, films pitched as ‘trapped in a bunker with infernal abominations’ form a (literal) subgenre, exposing the monstrousness of the military mentality. Falling neatly into this category, Matt Mitchell’s original The Rizen (2017) showed cold warriors struggling to…

Lucid

Lucid (2018)

In Adam Morse’s debut feature Lucid, an introverted, never-smiling young man (Laurie Calvert) – whose unusual name, Zel, appears to be a play on ‘incel‘ – lives alone in his apartment, inertly and indecisively, playing games and, frankly, not smelling good. Change, however, is on its way. His mother Georgia (Sadie Frost) is cutting off…

Zoo-Head

Zoo-Head (2019)

In Zoo-Head, the latest feature from writer/director Navin Dev (Red Kingdom Rising, 2014), Charlie (Daniel Ahmadi) is stuck in a loop. It is not just that he has destroyed his memory and made one day blur into another with the illicit pharmaceuticals (known as ‘zootropics’) that he regularly consumes to escape the pain of his…

Axcellerator

Axcellerator (2019)

David Giancola was just 19 when he wrote and directed his first feature, the cult sci-fi Time Chasers, in 1994. This would be the first of many films that he would make for his production company Edgewood Studios, all meeting low budgets with high ambitions. His latest, Axcellerator, is typical. As pizza delivery boy Dane (Ryan…

Tangle

The Tangle (2019)

In a future Los Angeles, a pervasive complex of interconnected, semi-intelligent nanobots, both in the air and under our skin, keeps everyone permanently online (or ‘on-Tangle’) and under surveillance, modifying our perception of ourselves and the world around us and preventing any acts of violence. A small group of people – mostly geek designers –…

Lethargy

After The Lethargy (2018)

Marc Carreté’s feature debut Asmodexia (2014) utterly inverted the established conventions of possession horror, so viewers ‘in the know’ will approach his follow-up After The Lethargy fully primed to expect the unexpected. This time around Carreté is tackling the tropes of alien conspiracy, as journalist Sara Hamilton (Andrea Guasch) is drawn to deep forestland –…

November

November (2017)

November first published by SciFiNow If, after The Witch (2014), a rural period film features backward values, supernatural motifs and goats, it comes with the expectation of a certain dark grimness – but you can leave your preconceptions at the barn door while watching Rainer Sarnet’s November, based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel Rehepapp ehk November…

Freehold

Freehold (aka Two Pigeons) (2017)

Freehold (aka Two Pigeons) first published by SciFiNow “Who else lives here?”, Mel (Mandeep Dillon) asks her boyfriend Hussein (Mim Sheikh) sarcastically, as he keeps insisting that he is not responsible for things happening in the apartment where they have started living together. Dominic Bridges’ feature debut Freehold, which he co-wrote with Rae Brunton (of…

F.U.B.A.R.

F.U.B.A.R. (aka Killer Weekend) (2018)

F.U.B.A.R. (aka Killer Weekend) first published by SciFiNow “What a bloody hoo-ha. Makes a lot of sense if you’ve got none. Here’s a giggle, just a little bit of fun.” The lyrics to the song (by Sacha Puttnam and Gian Morrocco) that closes F.U.B.A.R. (aka Killer Weekend) lay out the film’s aims and intentions. Director/co-writer Ben Kent’s feature debut…

Fig

The Bastards’ Fig Tree (La higuera de los bastardos) (2017)

“We fascists are ordinary people too,” insists Rogelio (Karra Elejalde, TimeCrimes, 2007) near the beginning of Ana Murugarren’s The Bastards’ Fig Tree (La higuera de los bastardos). At this early stage of the film, viewers may find it difficult to sympathise with such a claim. After all, Rogelio’s fascist friends, though certainly once ‘ordinary people’,…