Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls (2023)

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls had its international première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2023. When a film comes with a title like Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls, it is announcing its generic affiliations to the fantasy realm. Yet the title character Onyx the Fortuitous is in fact Marcus J….

King Knight

King Knight (2021)

King Knight first published by Movies On Weekends Richard Bates Jr.‘s King Knight begins with an animated picture book, and a “once upon a time”-style narration, as though we are about to watch a Disney fairytale – although the book’s final image is a map of contemporary California, as the narrator declares “sometimes the most beautiful flowers grow up…

Run Hide Fight

Run Hide Fight (2020)

Run Hide Fight first published by VODzilla.co (in a slightly truncated version) Perhaps cinema’s first school shooting depicted was in Lindsay Anderson’s if…. (1968), whose antihero (Malcolm McDowell, in his on-screen debut) opens fire on fellow pupils, teachers, parents and visiting members of the establishment in a recalcitrant assault upon society’s stuffy status quo. On April 20, 1999, the horror of…


Superhost (2021)

Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) are co-presenters on their travel vlog Superhost, compiling and uploading to-camera pieces about the high-end holiday rentals where they stay. They are also a genuine couple – and right from the opening scene of writer/director Brandon Christensen‘s Superhost, there is a clear tension between their real relationship and…

Jakob's Wife

Jakob’s Wife (2021)

Much as genre producer Travis Stevens’ feature debut, the haunted house movie Girl On The Third Floor (2019), exposed the toxic masculinity at the heart – and in the very architecture – of the American home, so too his follow-up Jakob’s Wife continues this gendered (and genre’d) preoccupation with domestic relations. The very title of…


Reborn (2018)

“Don’t worry, I’m method.”  With these words, young, entitled starlet Gia Fontaine (Alexa Maris) justifies her insistence upon improvising a scene (about a meeting between a long-estranged mother and daughter) before she has even finished reading the script pages. “Oh,” says Lena O’Neil (Barbara Crampton), rolling her eyes, “Got it.”. Middle-aged Lena – old enough…


Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich first published by SciFiNow From its direct-to-video inception in 1989, there have been 11 films in Full Moon Features’ Puppet Master franchise (the last, Puppet Master: Axis Termination, made in 2017, some 13 years after Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter), as well as a non-canon crossover with Demonic Toys in…

Dead Night

Dead Night (2017)

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018: Dead Night (2017) Most of the action of Brad Baruh’s Dead Night takes place over one long dark night on the 21st March, 2015 – Spring Break, technically, but still snowy in the Oregon hinterlands. Yet the film opens in the same place on 12 June, 1961, as a couple canoodling…


Replace (2017)

Replace first published by SciFiNow Young Kira Mabon (Rebecca Forsythe) and Jonas Swierczynski (Sean Knopp) are on their fifth date, and Kira has decided to spend the night with him. On their way to Jonas’ apartment for the first time together, with their whole future ahead of them, they banter about the different ways that ageing men…


Sun Choke (2015)

Sun Choke first published by VODzilla.co “It’s not a punishment. The rules were put in place for your protection, little girl. Everything we do, we do for you to get better… and you’ll feel so much better after.” The speaker is Irma (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, Road Games), a neatly dressed woman who…