Bright Future

Bright Future (Akarui mirai) (2002)

Bright Future (Akarui mirai) first published by EyeforFilm Beautiful, fragile, free-floating and amorphous, jellyfish seem to exude a brilliant lustre all of their own, and are inscrutable to any but their own kind – try and get too close, however, and they are liable to deliver a killer sting. These creatures feature aplenty in Kiyoshi…

Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Broadcast Signal Intrusion first published by Movies On Weekends Broadcast Signal Intrusion opens with a video recording that resolves into a dream. A woman runs happily through a field, and a man pursues her with a camera. Then she stops, swaying in the mist, her face turned away, and we get his, or at least…

Redwood Massacre

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation (2020)

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation first published by VODzilla.co In The Redwood Massacre (2014), five co-eds go to party in the legendary murder site the Redwood House, only to discover that the legend is true. In other words, writer/director David Ryan Keith’s feature was a by-the-book slasher whose many clichés were offset by the horrific brutality of…

As In Heaven

As In Heaven, So On Earth (2020)

As In Heaven, So On Earth had its UK première at FrighFest 2021 “It was a mess. We kept finding pieces of evidence, putting them together, but we couldn’t find the right order.” So says Leonardo Constantini (Paolo Ricci), chief inspector of the Viterbo Police Department, in a secretive interview that he is conducting on…

The Game

The Game (1997)

The Game first published by Little White Lies, as entry 108 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Coming hard upon the huge success of Se7en (1995), although in fact conceived before it, David Fincher’s The Game presents itself as a mystery to be solved. We know this because the opening credits sequence shows a grid of…

Externo

Externo (2021)

Externo opens with a forward rush (in monochrome) through an animated Eden – and with a long, wheedling disclaimer. Bold red text tells us that the film is “based on a true story and some stories that have been told”, but then insists that its characters and events are fictional, and that “the reality that…

Glint

The Glint of Darkness: Revolution (2020)

Shaarath Vihari’s The Glint of Darkness: Revolution is something of a misfit. It comes with a duration of 51 minutes, falling awkwardly somewhere above the 40-minute bar set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute and the British Film Institute for a film to qualify as a feature, but…

Master's

His Master’s Voice (Az Úr hangja) (2018)

His Master’s Voice (Az Úr hangja) first published by Sight & Sound “It is in the quest for such knowledge that science is bringing us closer to an understanding of who and where we are,” says the host of a Sixties television programme about space exploration. “You were born into chaos. Those first days were…

Silver

Under The Silver Lake (2018)

Under The Silver Lake first published (in slightly shorter form) by VODzilla.co There is a whole subgenre of films set in Los Angeles – including Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997), Tony Scott’s Domino (2005), Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales (2006), Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland (2006), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice (2014), and…

Monstrum

Monstrum (Mulgoe) (2018)

[Please note that this review of Monstrum (Mulgoe) contains spoilers from the third paragraph onwards.] In monster movies, individual and societal anxieties assume prodigiously destructive form, so that, as well as embodying and spreading panic, they can also be vanquished or at least contained and accommodated – but nonetheless, they still retain their metaphorical power,…