Shelter (aka 6 Souls) (2010)

Shelter first published by Sight & Sound, June 2010 Review: “Isn’t it possible that what you’re looking at is what you’re actually seeing?” With this line, delivered by open-minded but faithless psychiatrist Dr Harding (Jeffrey DeMunn) to his more doctrinaire psychiatrist daughter Dr Cara Jessup (Julianne Moore), Shelter (aka 6 Souls) sets out its reflexive stall….

Condition of Return

Condition of Return (2023)

“What makes a person do something like that?”, Special Agent Molcheck (Larry S. White) will ask as he picks up Dr Donald Thomas (Dean Cain) at the airport in Phoenix near the beginning of Condition of Return.  We already know what the ‘something’ is, because the film’s prologue showed a visibly upset Eve (the ever…

My Sister's Wedding

My Sister’s Wedding (2022)

As its very title suggests, My Sister’s Wedding is concerned not just with the institution of marriage, but also with a protagonist who is simultaneously at the film’s centre and on its sidelines.  When it comes to her family, Allison Valentine (Samantha Sayah) is always caught in between. She is the middle sister to older…


Hostage to the Devil (2016)

There is always more than one side to a story. Marty Stalker’s documentary Hostage to the Devil shows interviewees asserting that Father Malachi Martin‘s death from a cerebral haemorrhage in 1999 was due to interventions either from agents of his political enemies in Rome, or from Satan himself. The fact that he was 78 at…


Silence (1971)

First published by Film International In Japan, Christianity is a minority religion of only marginal significance to the nation’s culture, and accordingly Japanese films that focus on Christianity tend to do so as a means to an end. While Suzuki Norifumi’s nunsploitation shocker School of the Holy Beast (Seiju gakuen, 1974), for example, freely adopted the trappings…