Welcome

Welcome To The Circle (2020)

Welcome To The Circle first published by SciFiNow “Welcome to the circle” is a recurring utterance in writer/director David Fowler’s debut feature of the same name. These words are addressed to anybody finding their way into an isolated woodland community whose few residents – Rebekah (Cindy Busby), Lotus Cloud (Heather Doerksen), Sky (Andrea Brooks) and…

Howling Village

Howling Village (Inunaki-mura) (2019)

Howling Village (Inunaki-mura) first published by SciFiNow Takashi Shimizu, the director and co-writer (with Daisuke Hosaka) of Howling Village (Inunaki-mura), will always, along with Hideo Nakata (Ring, 1998; Dark Water, 2002) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, 2001), belong to the pantheon of J-horror filmmakers. This comes down to Shimizu’s auteurist rôle at the centre of one…

Conductor

The Soul Conductor (Provodnik) (2018)

The Soul Conductor (Provodnik) first published by SciFiNow ‘Busy’ is the word that comes to mind in trying to describe Ilya S. Maksimov’s The Soul Conductor (Provodnik). For this is a film in which multiple subgenres and perspectives collide, and the viewer is left, not unlike the self-medicating heroine Katia (Aleksandra Bortich), struggling to find…

Fantasporto 2020

Three lessons from Fantasporto 2020

Three lessons from Fantasporto 2020 first published by Sight & Sound 1) Longevity is its own reward   Dreamt up in 1980 by a trio of film fanatics, two of whom – Beatriz Pereira and Mário Dorminsky – incredibly are still running it 40 years later, Fantasporto was Portugal’s only film festival back then, and…

Radio

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019)

A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio (2019) first published by SciFiNow Strap: Luciano and Nicolás Onetti play DJ, appropriating and remixing eight festival-wowing short horror films to tell their own story All alone in his studio/home (and dressed in a jacket with the same striped pattern as that on the Beetlejuice figurine that decorates his…

Fanxiao

Detention (Fanxiao) (2019)

“Everyone is responsible,” says the male Voice of Authority over the tannoy at the very beginning of John Hsu’s Detention (Fanxiao), before adding “…for reporting espionage”, and further warning that failing to do so is a crime, that inciting rebellious thoughts will result in punishment, and that subverting the government is punishable by death –…

Gone

Gone (Poissa) (2019)

Gone (Poissa) opens with the interior of a corridor in a house at night (a child’s toy dog sitting in the foreground), followed by a rapidly accelerating montage of exteriors – all wide open landscapes in different seasons and geographical locations around the globe. This prologue involves a strong element of mystification, as there is,…

UnTrue

UnTrue (2019)

“I am married to a lunatic.” So says Mara (Cristine Reyes) of her missing husband as she is interviewed by a police officer at the beginning of writer/director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s UnTrue – and before she even launches into her story of a marriage marred by unstable behaviour and domestic violence, the horrific bruising across…

Infection

Infection (Infección) (2019)

A novel strain of bat-derived rabies spreads rapidly, transforming its victims into ravenous, bite-happy zombies, and leading a small band of survivors to struggle for their very lives against increasingly overwhelming odds. We have been here before: after all, the only thing that proliferates faster than a contagious disease is the sheer number of films…

Entangled

Entangled (2019)

Entangled sets out its stall early, with a voiceover from Loretta (Paloma Kwiatkowski) about the multiverse which we have all heard about from sci-fi and comic books, and the likelihood that if someone in one universe is attempting to make contact with another, someone else in a parallel, near-identical universe will inevitably be trying to…