Sting

Sting (2024)

You wait years for a spider movie, and several scuttle along. Recently we have seen spiders attack the (apartment) block in Sébastien Vanicek’s Infested (Vermines, 2023) and an outsized arachnid on a spaceship in Johan Renck’s Spaceman (2024) – and now Kiah Roache-Turner’s Sting combines the two, as an asteroid-borne Alien egg shoots through a…

The Lair

The Lair (2022)

The Lair first published by SciFiNow   It is April 2017, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, and if there is one thing that we know, it is that Neil Marshall’s The Lair is going to end with a bang. We know this because text at the very beginning reveals that the rest of the film will…

Night Sky

Night Sky (2022)

Night Sky first published by SciFiNow. Near the end of Night Sky, someone will menacingly promise protagonist Oren (AJ Bowen) “a long excruciating couple of agonisingly painful hours while you – you helplessly wait to bleed out,” adding, “a sensation with which I think you’re pretty familiar.” Indeed, when we first meet Oren in the…

10 Robot Films

10 Robot Films

10 Robot Films published by BFI, 7 July, 2022, timed with the UK theatrical release of Jim Archer’s Brian and Charles Includes capsules of: The Golem How He Came Into The World, Metropolis, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Stepford Wives, Demon Seed, Alien, Blade Runner, Ghost In The Shell, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Ex…

Spaghetti Junction

Spaghetti Junction (2023)

“Once upon a time, things made sense,” says young August Greenfield (Cate Hughes) in voiceover at the beginning of Spaghetti Junction. “My family made sense, and things seemed glued together, in their place. But then one night in July, everything changed.”    Where August’s first four words are the conventional introduction to a fairytale, the…

My Stepmother Is An Alien

My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988)

My Stepmother Is An Alien first published by Little White Lies, and entry 144 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Hard to believe now, but when Jericho Stone pitched his original script to Paramount Pictures in 1981, it was a serious drama whose sci-fi frame provided an allegory for domestic child abuse – think something along…

Archenemy

Archenemy (2020)

Archenemy first published by Little White Lies strap: Adam Egypt Mortimer’s ARCHENEMY uses myths of empowerment and alienation to create a messily subversive maybe-superhero film We live in the era of the superhero. Those costumed crusaders have been all over our screens, mythologising the politics of our times, while exploiting adolescent dreams of empowerment. Yet…

Stage

Alien On Stage (2020)

Art is a collision of ambition, actuality and audience.  Every year, an amateur dramatics group comprising employees of the Wiltshire and Dorset Bus Company stages a Christmas show for charity – but one year, their young writer Luc Hayward decided that he wanted to move on from their usual pantomime scenarios to a far more…

Honeymoon

Honeymoon (2014)

Honeymoon first published by VODzilla.co The opening image of Honeymoon is of tin cans on strings being drawn along the road by a car. For as its very title implies, director Leigh Janiak’s first feature – which she also co-wrote with Phil Graziadei – is concerned with marriage, or more particularly with what comes next…

Origins

Memory: The Origins Of Alien (2019)

Memory: The Origins of Alien first published by Little White Lies Not every documentary on a sci-fi horror hybrid made in 1979 opens with a modern staging of Aeschylus’ play The Eumenides on the numinous open-air ‘theatre’ of ancient Delphi, but then Alexandre O. Philippe’s Memory: The Origins Of Alien is engaged, as its very…