Bakemono

Bakemono (2023)

Late at night in the backstreets of Tokyo, a woman (Hanaka Mizuki) arrives with a wheeled suitcase at a dingy, ‘creepy’ rental apartment, where, terrified, she is attacked in the dark by a fleshy, half-glimpsed creature. This is the bakemono, or ‘monster’, of the film’s title, explained in text as a composite of bake, ‘changing’…

The Coffee Table

The Coffee Table (La mesita del comedor) (2022)

The Coffee Table (La mesita del comedor)screens at HÕFF – Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival  “I guarantee that this table, due to its design and standard, will change your life for the better,” says salesman Cayetano (Eduardo Antuña) to Jésus (David Pareja) and María (Estefanía de los Santos), out shopping with their newborn son…

The Djinn

The Djinn (2021)

The Djinn first published by Sight and Sound, Nov 2021 Review: On “a quiet summer night, 1989…”, young Dylan Jacobs (Ezra Dewey) is woken in his bed by the sound of his mother Michelle (Tevy Poe) sobbing. As he heads down the hall, she turns, and the candle illuminating the kitchen in otherworldy orange is…

2LDK

2LDK (2003)

2LDK first published by EyeforFilm Their publicists and agents might want you to believe that aspiring starlets are just glamorous gigglers with pretty faces, perfect bodies and enviable lifestyles, but Japanese cinema has recently sliced through all the smiling beauty to expose the tormented souls within. In Takashi Miike‘s astonishing Audition (1999), a would-be actress’s veneer of…

Before I'm Dead

Before I’m Dead (2021)

Genre is often just a way to frame and to storify psychological experience, and this is certainly the case with Before I’m Dead. The feature may assume an increasingly mind-melting range of genre elements – space invasion, doppelgängers, time paradoxes, a looping trap (expressly compared to Harold Ramis’ Groundhog Day, 1993); and it may feature a…

Why Don’t You Just Die! (Papa, Sdokhni) (2018)

Why Don’t You Just Die! (Papa, Sdokhni) was written for S&S, although I don’t think it was ever published. Review: Papa, Sdokhni, the original Russian title of Why Don’t You Just Die!, translates roughly as “Daddy, die” – and it will come as little surprise that Russian writer/director Kirill Sokolov‘s rambunctious feature debut is a full-blown assault on the…

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…

sdokhni

Why Don’t You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) (2018)

Why Don’t You Just Die! (Papa, sdokhni) first published by SciFiNow “One, two, three Evil won’t touch me.” In the opening scene of Why Don’t You Just Die! (aka Papa, sdokhni, literally a patriarchy-smashing ‘Daddy, die’), 20-something Matvei (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) chants these words, steeling himself to ring the doorbell of an upper-floor apartment. At this point,…