Mid-Century

Mid-Century (2022)

Sonja O’Hara’s Mid-Century opens in the era of its title – 1963, to be precise –  with a montage of well-dressed housewives cleaning in their homes. The setting is the suburbia of (fictional) Mandarin, California, whose houses, designed by local architect Frederick Banner (Stephen Lang) in the late Fifties, are the aspirational envy of the…

Nightworld

Nightworld (2017)

Nightworld first published by SciFiNow Director Patricio Valladares is no stranger to FrightFest. His Hidden in the Woods (2012) – which he shot in his native Chile and then remade two years later in English – outraged some and delighted others with its shock tactics and constant lapses of taste, in a festival which many…

The Night House

The Night House (2020)

The Night House first published by Movies on Weekends The Night House begins with a montage: a boat rocking against a jetty, a beautiful timber lakehouse above, and multiple shots mapping out the the house’s interiors. What unifies all these images is their emptiness. For there is no human presence in or around this house,…

Castle

The Dark New House: Rebuilding the Gothic Castle

The Dark New House: Rebuilding the Gothic Castle first published in the Crimson Peak issue of Little White Lies, no. 61 Gothic begins with a castle. Or more specifically, with The Castle of Otranto (1764), subtitled (in its second edition) “A Gothic Story”, and set during the medieval era amongst the already crumbling stones of an…

Inferno

Inferno (1980)

Inferno first published by Little White Lies If Dario Argento’s supernatural classic Suspiria is a danse macabre set in a ballet school in Germany, its sequel Inferno turns for inspiration to the melodramas and murders found in opera – although it also begins with a book and a letter. The book, an alchemical tome entitled ‘The Three Mothers’, has attracted the nervous…

The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears (2013)

First published as part of an end-of-year listicle thingy in Grolsch FilmWorks, as (probably) my favourite UK theatrical release of 2014. A labour of love from Belgian writer/director couple Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, and forming a complementary diptych with their female-focused 2009 feature debut Amer, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears is a giallo-inflected journey into…

36

36 (2012)

Review first published by Sight & Sound, June 2014 Review: As she spends time with art director Oom (Wanlop Rungkamjad) photographing old buildings, Sai (Vajrasthira Koramit) reveals that before she became a location scout she had studied archaeology. The two activities hardly seem unrelated: after all, currently under instructions from her director to find “a…