Daughter

Daughter (2022)

Daughter first published by SciFiNow “I want you to understand something. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want any harm to come to you at all – but if it comes to it, you will be harmed.” The speaker is Father (Casper Van Dien, in a career-best performance), and his immediate audience (Vivien…

Piggy

Piggy (Cerdita) (2022)

Piggy (Cerdita) first published by SciFiNow   Pink is a colour associated with girlishness, and with pigs. The opening credits of writer/director Carlota Pereda’s feature debut Piggy (Cerdita) are pink, to match the colour of its teenaged (anti)heroine’s trainers – yet the film also begins with the image of a pig’s head being placed on…

Incredible But True

Incredible But True (Incroyable mais vrai) (2022)

Incredible But True (Incroyable mais vrai) first published by SciFiNow In the opening sequence to Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber (2010), a police officer inexplicably steps out of the boot of a car in the desert and addresses both the camera and an intradiegetic audience about what he calls “the ‘no reason’” in films, “that most powerful…

The Harbinger

The Harbinger (2022)

The Harbinger first published by SciFiNow The Harbinger is a film of virus, infection and masks. It is set in the early wave of the pandemic when there was no vaccine and the Coronavirus was decimating New York City’s elderly and middle-aged populations. Monique ‘Mo’ Cartwright (Gabby Beans, excellent) and her brother Lyle (Myles Walker),…

Next Exit

Next Exit (2022)

Next Exit first published by SciFiNow The road movie is, famously, a metaphor for life. Where the journey starts and ends is arbitrary, but as our travellers have strange encounters with passers-by, take various unexpected detours, and look back over what they are leaving behind even as they move on to territories new, what really…

Swallowed

Swallowed (2022)

Swallowed first published by SciFiNow Swallowed is a film of mouth, cock and anus. Like writer/director Carter Smith’s previous Jamie Marks is Dead (2014), it is a genre piece with a queer element that is simultaneously foregrounded and sublimated. Its protagonist Benjamin (Cooper Koch, whose surname also seems a pun on the film’s events) is…

Dark Glasses

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) (2022) 

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) first published by SciFiNow Giallo king Dario Argento‘s Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) opens with a wide establishing shot of residential buildings in Rome’s leafy suburbs, and then various mobile shots looking upwards at roadside trees and apartment blocks. As it is revealed that the perspective belongs to Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli) at…

The Breach

The Breach (2022)

The Breach first published by SciFiNow The Breach begins where Sean S. Cunningham‘s Friday the 13th (1980) ends, with a canoe free-floating in the water – which is to say that as the vessel drifts downstream, the film is both advertising and literalising its own derivativeness. Yet the canoe is not conveying a traumatised final…

Glorious

Glorious (2022) at Fantasia 2022

Glorious has its world première at Fantasia 2022, and is coming to Shudder later this year Rebekah McKendry’s Glorious begins with its protagonist Wes (Ryan Kwanten) in a dark place. It is not just that he has had a bad breakup with his girlfriend Brenda (Sylvia Grace Crim), but also that we first see him,…

Dark Nature

Dark Nature (2022) at Fantasia 2022

Dark Nature has its world première at Fantasia 2022 “There’s no coming to consciousness without pain and discomfort,” Dr Carol Dunnley (Kyra Harper) tells Joy (Hannah Anderson) some way into Dark Nature, as she leads Joy and three other damaged women on a therapeutic weekend trek through Little Deer Lake in the Canadian Rockies. “People…