Observance

Observance (2015)

Frist published by Little White Lies, as the 19th part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column ‘Observance’ is an equivocal term, referring equally to acts of surveillance and of religious ritual – and in Joseph Sims-Dennett‘s Observance, these two meanings merge into a fluid unity, as the boundaries break down between ‘mystery’ as both genre category…

Below

The Dark Below (2015)

Films that confine their actions to deeply constrained locations are always exploiting the claustrophobic nature of the theatrical space itself. Whether they are caught in a submersible (Pressure, 2015; The Chamber, 2016), a lift (Abwärts, 1984; Blackout, 2008; Devil, 2010; Elevator, 2011), a sauna (247℉, 2011), a phone booth (Phone Booth, 2002), on a funicular…

Chamber

The Chamber (2016)

“Originally a DSRV, that’s a Deep-Submersible Rescue Vehicle… I don’t know where she was from originally, but the Norwegian Navy got a hold of it in ’82, decommissioned in ’89, reappropriated by the commercial company Stolt Virgin a year later, and now rented out cheap to the Incheon Company and the Koreans.” The speaker is…

Pressure

Pressure (2015)

First published by Sight & Sound, September 2015 Synopsis: The Somali Basin. Mitchell, Engel, Hurst and Jones are lowered 670 feet in a diving bell to fix a damaged oil pipeline. A storm above sinks their support ship. The four manage to make brief contact with a stricken Chinese fishing vessel. After nearly killing Mitchell…

Bunker 6 (2013)

Review first published by Grolsch FilmWorks What with Xavier Gens’ painstakingly nihilistic The Divide (2011) and now Greg Jackson’s feature debut Bunker 6, Canada is fast establishing itself as cinema’s ground zero for tense post-apocalyptic bunker-set psychodramas – wherein, no matter how fatally toxic the wastelands outside may be, the real hell is figured as a…