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…

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…

Superhost

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…

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

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…

choke

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…

Gates

Beyond The Gates (2016)

Beyond The Gates begins with a mother, father and their two young boys at the grand opening of their new video store. It is a moment tinged with hope for the future, but also, from our hindsight perspective, with tragedy – as is hinted by the grave look on the father’s face at the end…

Games

Road Games (Fausse Route) (2015)

Road Games first published by Twitch (now Screen Anarchy) After a prologue shows a human corpse removed from a car boot to be sawn into pieces and buried in the woods, English tourist Jack (Andrew Simpson) appears trying – and failing – to hitch a ride home from the South of France, his fingernails bloodied and…

Sun Choke (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound The setting is a luxurious, sun-dappled, peaceful home and garden on the outskirts of Los Angeles, but with the strange, strained relationship between its two female residents gradually coming into focus, Sun Choke also proves to be, as its title implies, a suffocatingly claustrophobic…