Altered Perceptions

Altered Perceptions (2023)

Altered Perceptions opens with an aerial image of the Statue of Liberty – that symbol of American freedom and openness to others – at night. To the right is scrolling text that reads “THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION” (sometimes written forwards, but mostly in reverse via mirror writing). As though to validate that message,…

Minore

Minore (2023)

Minore had its European première on Sat 26th Aug at FrightFest Some way into Konstantinos Koutsoliotas’ Minore, an elderly grandmother (Efi Papatheodorou) visits the psychologist Dr Lakis Portokalakis (Alexandros Romanos Lizardos) in his office, sent there by her family to get help for the ‘unsavoury dreams’ that have been keeping her up at night. Alarmed…

A Million Days

A Million Days (2023)

A Million Days had its world première on Fri 25 Aug at FrightFest A Million Days opens with text, and with a nightmarish image. The text informs us that in 2041, owing to Earth’s impending ecological collapse, the survival of humanity will require settling new worlds through the pioneering ‘Seed Programme’, which is being facilitated…

The Ghosts of Monday

The Ghosts of Monday (2022)

The Ghosts of Monday first published by VODzilla.co “Look, over three seasons, we never found any evidence of paranormal activity,” TV presenter Bruce (Julian Sands) tells his director Eric (Mark Huberman) in Francesco Cinquemani’s The Ghosts of Monday. “It’s time to find something different.” Eric and Bruce are with a small crew, including Eric’s estranged…

Walking Against The Rain

Walking Against The Rain (2022)

Walking Against The Rain first published by SciFiNow Scott Lyus’ Walking Against The Rain opens with text which sounds like a quote from the Biblical Book of Revelation (although it is in fact of the filmmaker’s invention), about the defiant ones knowing ‘great pain’, and beasts risen from the abyss to destroy men while leaving…

Discontinued

Discontinued (2022)

Discontinued opens with Sarah (Ashley Hutchinson), filmed from behind, sitting and contemplating an idyllic lake, as a male voice calmly intones: “Return to a place where you are at peace, and reflect on the idea of impermanence. The universe keeps moving, and nothing will remain as it is, good or bad.” This is the film’s…

Unicorn Wars

Unicorn Wars (2022)

One of the ways that cinema can portray the end of innocence is to take things that would normally appeal to children and to infuse them with fear, distress or disgust. David Hand’s animated Bambi (1942) for Disney might have been very much aimed at children, but also traumatised many of its young viewers with…

A Banquet

A Banquet (2021)

A Banquet first published by Sight and Sound, April 2022 Review: A Banquet may begin with a scene of frenzied food preparation, and its very title may point to a formalised, indulgent meal, but in fact director Ruth Paxton’s film will concern itself with abstinence in extremis. Right from the opening scene, consumption is pathologised:…

Don't Look Up

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up first published by Sight and Sound When Michigan family man and astronomy professor Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) first realises what is coming, he spends the night checking and rechecking the calculations, and is quick, the following day, to call the White House with the bad news. Mindy’s urgency matches the speed of…

Everyone Will Burn

Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán) (2021)

Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán) had its UK première at FrightFest 2022 Like David Hebrero’s debut feature Dulcinea (2019), his follow-up Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán), co-written with Javier Kiran, concerns a would-be suicide, and uses genre to explore the ramifications of this damning desire. A brief text introduces us to the small…