Curse of Chucky

Cult of Chucky (2017)

Cult of Chucky first published by SciFiNow When he came up with the story for Tom Holland’s Child’s Play way back in 1988, Don Mancini was in fact laying the groundwork for a decades-spanning series of films featuring Chucky, the iconic Good Guy doll possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray. This…

Cyborg

I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006)

I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK first published by Film4 Film summary: In Park Chan-wook’s eccentric ‘romantic comedy’, the inmates are running the asylum, and love, though not a cure, is the best therapy. Review: Park Chan-wook’s international reputation is rooted in his so-called Vengeance Trilogy, making it tempting to describe his latest work, the romantic comedy…

Hellbound

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Hellbound: Hellraiser II first published by VODzilla.co “Was I right? Is it terrible?” This question, asked at the very centre of Tony Randel’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II, articulates the greatest anxiety that can be experienced about a sequel to a much beloved film. The original Hellraiser (1987), Clive Barker’s directorial debut adapted from his own 1986…

Fest

Fright Fest (American Fright Fest) (2018)

Fright Fest first published by SciFiNow Fright Fest (aka American Fright Fest) opens in a creepy hospital basement, where a young blonde (Ashley Blankenship) is captured, bound and sliced by a maniacal surgeon and a man with a chainsaw. It is such a concentrated combination of killer clichés that viewers will be relieved to hear a director, Spencer Crowe (an…

Promise

Promise (2017)

“There must be another way,” says Abe (Nabil Elouahabi) in Promise. “He was our child.” Abe and his wife Sarah (Rebecca Callard) have been trying to have a baby for years, but Sarah lacks progesterone, and has recently miscarried. So the interracial couple makes a reciprocal agreement with Syrian refugee Hajar (Lara Sawalha): if she…

Grave

Grave Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters first published by VODzilla.co The lessons of the ultra-low-budget, extremely profitable The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2007) were clear: by revitalising the ‘found footage’ format, with its uncannily self-authenticating ‘reality effects’, in this new age of light digital cameras, budding genre filmmakers could craft horror for very little money, and with…

Madhouse

Madhouse (1981)

Madhouse first published by LWLies, as the 35th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “Life differs from the play only in this, it has no plot; all is vague, desultory, unconnected, till the curtain drops with the mystery unsolved.” If this quote from George Bernard Shaw which closes the giallo-esque psychodrama Madhouse (aka There Was a…

Configuration

The Ninth Configuration (1980)

The Ninth Configuration first published by Little White Lies, as the eighth part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “You’re going to die up there.” In William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973), whose script William Peter Blatty has adapted from his own 1971 novel, the possessed 12-year-old Regan (Linda Blair) creepily directs these words at an astronaut in…

Shutter

Shutter Island (2010)

First published by EyeforFilm It is 1954, in the Boston Harbour Islands. A ferryboat emerges from a thick mist, as belowdecks a man is puking his guts out. This sequence which opens Martin Scorsese’s latest opus also sets the tone for what it is to follow, in a film where seemingly everything is shrouded in…