Bring Out The Fear

Bring Out The Fear (2021)

Bring Out the Fear first published by VODzilla.co There is a careful ring-compositional rhyme between the first and last times we see recovering alcoholic Rosie (Ciara Bailey) in writer/director Richard Waters’ Bring Out The Fear. For in scenes that bookend the film, she is shown lying in a cosy-looking white-sheeted bed – and several scenes…

Dreamland

Dreamland (2019)

Dreamland first published by Little White Lies, as entry 101 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “We’re in a different world,” says a grizzled hitman (Stephen McHattie) of his surroundings near the end of Dreamland. He is not wrong, and the clue is in the title. For Bruce McDonald’s film falls into a body of works…

Hunted

Hunted (2020)

Hunted begins with a campfire story. A mother, credited as ‘the huntress’ (Simone Milsoochter), tells her eight-year-old son Jeremy (Vladimir Ryelandt) of a time long ago when, in this very wood, giant wolves saved an innocent girl from being sacrificed and eaten by the priest Nicodemus and his starving army of peasant crusaders. This story’s…

No Mouth

Girl With No Mouth (Peri: Agzi Olmayan Kiz) (2019)

Girl With No Mouth (Peri: Agzi Olmayan Kiz) first published by EyeforFilm Turkish director/co-writer Can Evrenol’s feature debut Baskin (2015) and his second film Housewife (2017) both used imagery from horror and (literal) cult to delve into the disturbed psyches of their protagonists (respectively male and female). His latest, Girl With No Mouth (Peri: Agzi…

Wildling

Wildling (2018)

Wildling first published by SciFiNow “Do you want to hear a story? Do you want me to tell you about the Wildling?” Fritz Böhm’s feature debut Wildling opens with a story of monsters and bestiality told by a Daddy (Brad Dourif) to a little girl (Arlo Mertz) at bedtime. Yet the place where Anna hears this…

Wellness

A Cure For Wellness (2016)

A Cure For Wellness first published by Little White Lies “Who the hell takes the waters in the twenty-first century anyway?” The speaker is an executive in a New York financial firm whose CEO Roland Pembroke (Harry Groener) has gone AWOL to a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. On the eve of a merger worth billions,…

Woods

In the Dark Dark Woods… (2017)

“In the dark dark woods, there was a dark dark house. And in that dark dark house, there was a dark dark room. And in that dark dark room, there was a dark dark woman. And within that dark dark woman there was a dark dark soul…” If Jason Bognacki’s previous feature Another (2014) was…

Spirited Away (2001)

First published by Movie Gazette Here’s a recipe for an enchanting spell: carefully distil The Odyssey and Alice in Wonderland, add a dollop of Grimms’ fairy tales, a soupçon of The Sorceror’s Apprentice and a sprig of Cupid and Psyche, and then sprinkle liberally with Japanese demonology. Garnish with exquisite hand-painted backgrounds, just the odd bit…

Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

First published by LWLies “Once upon a time, long long ago, there lived an old bamboo woodcutter…” Along with the exquisitely layered and painted parchments that we see at the beginning of Studio Ghibli’s latest feature The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, these opening words, delivered by a reassuringly female voice, leave little doubt that…

Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls (2014)

The Boxtrolls first published by Film4 Synopsis: In this stop-motion steampunk fairytale from the production company behind Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), a young foundling and his adoptive monsters resist scapegoating and persecution. Review: In the hill-top/-middle/-bottom hamlet of Cheesebridge, the upwardly mobile Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) makes a deal with Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris): in…

Harvest

The Harvest (Can’t Come Out To Play) (2014)

The Harvest (aka Can’t Come Out To Play) first published by Grolsch FilmWorks What greater signifier could there be of all-American normality than a baseball game? The Harvest opens with a Little League match in the weekend sun, suddenly disrupted when young pitcher Bobby is accidentally struck hard in the chest and has to be rushed to hospital,…