Polaris

Polaris (2022)

Polaris screened at the Imagine Film Festival 2022 “Frozen world, year 2144,” reads text that opens Kirsten Carthew’s Polaris. “Few survived the freezing. A child raised by a bear brings hope from the stars.” Apart from another brief caption (“10 years earlier”) that appears shortly afterwards leading into a flashback told, storybook-style, in hand-drawn pictures,…

Brightwood

Brightwood (2022)

Brightwood has its world première at Cine-Excess 2022 “Welcome to Divorce Survival Guide Podcast,” says the distorted voice that opens writer/director/cinematographer/editor Dane Elcar’s feature debut Brightwood, “where we have open and honest conversations about co-parenting, separation, divorce, and the hardest question of all: should you stay or should you go?”  Jen (Dana Berger) is jogging…

Old Man

Old Man (2022)

Old Man opens with a large painted image, as if from an illustrated children’s book. After showing a shadowy figure walking a forest path, the camera slowly tilts to take in, further up the mountain, a cottage with a smoking chimney. That cottage will turn out to be the film’s key location, its lived-in interior…

Summoners

Summoners (2022)

Summoners had its world première at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival   “Just feeling nostalgic,” Jess Whitman (Christine Nyland) tells a librarian (Margaret Reed), explaining why she is sat on the library floor rereading an old book. Nostalgia is key to Terence Krey’s Summoners, co-written and co-produced with Nyland, in which Jess returns for the first…

Repulse

Repulse (Hrana Zlomu) (2022)

Repulse had its North American première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2022 Writer/director Emil Krizka’s feature debut Repulse (Hrana Zlomu) opens with DP Ryszard Perzynski’s handheld camera moving over the ground at dawn, passing first a discarded, dirty cloth sheep’s mask, then many sherds of broken glass and an axe – and ending on…

Influencer

Influencer (2022)

Influencer had its world première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2022 Madison (Emily Tennant) has never felt so isolated. A popular influencer, she is staying for a fortnight at a luxurious resort in Thailand, packaging her every experience, indeed her every meal, into shots and videos which she posts on Instagram with cheery messages and…

Mother Superior

Mother Superior (Mater Superior) (2022)

Mother Superior (Mater Superior) had its international première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2022 Elderly Baroness Helene von Heidenreich (Inge Maux) has been found dead in Rosenkreuz Manor, her remote woodland home in Lower Austria, with burn marks suggestive of an electric shock. As the prime suspect, Heidenreich’s young nurse Sigrun Fink (Isabella Händler)…

The Hunger

The Hunger (1983)

The Hunger on-stage introduction for the Ultimate Picture Palace’s Blood & Celluloid: Vampire Film Festival, 15 Oct 2022 In the late Seventies and early Eighties, there was a new movement identifiable in British cinema: the rise of the adman director. For filmmakers like Hugh Hudson, Adrian Lyne, Alan Parker, Ridley Scott and his younger brother…

The Weird Kidz

The Weird Kidz (2022)

The Weird Kidz had its world première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival In the centre of Black Bird – established only a decade ago in 1975 and, according to its sign, “A real nice place to raise your kids up” – are three 12-year-old friends who embody the community’s first generation of children. They…

Piaffe

Piaffe (2022)

Piaffe screened at the London Film Festival 2022 When her trans sibling Zara (Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau), a foley artist, is suddenly institutionalised, nervous, near mute film archivist Eva (Simone Bucio) takes over Zara’s commission reproducing equine sounds on an advertisement for a pharmaceutical ‘mood stabiliser’ punningly named Equilibri. Yet even as the ad’s director insists…

Vesper

Vesper (2022)

Vesper has its UK première at Grimmfest The sowing of seeds, whether literal or metaphorical, is not just an investment in the future, but a gendered activity, strongly associated with men. For in agriculture it has traditionally been men who till – and sometimes even own – the land, spreading seeds across it for their…