III (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound “Where am I?” asks a man near the beginning of Pavel Khvaleev’s directorial debut III. He had been a patient in quarantine at a clinic, but has now resurfaced in the middle of a mist-filled lake, as disoriented as the viewer. Before his removal…

Sun Choke (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound The setting is a luxurious, sun-dappled, peaceful home and garden on the outskirts of Los Angeles, but with the strange, strained relationship between its two female residents gradually coming into focus, Sun Choke also proves to be, as its title implies, a suffocatingly claustrophobic…

The Rotten Link (El eslabón podrido) (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound “Welcome to El Escondido” reads the wooden sign which snaps off its supporting chain and brains Roberta (Paula Brasca) at the beginning of The Rotten Link. The rest of the film will be a chronicle of a death foretold, showing the loose links in…

Over Your Dead Body (Kuime) (2014)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound “Sometimes I wish that the play was my real life,” says husband and father Jun (Ito Hideaki). “I don’t,” replies Miyuki (Shibasaki Ko), who is playing the wronged wife Iwa in a production of Yotsuya Kaidan, even as she suspects that her lover (and…

The Nightmare (2015)

The Nightmare first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound The first thing we see in The Nightmare is the darkened interior of what will turn out to be a TV studio. As ‘Chris C.’ describes how, when he was just five, he saw a news anchor address him directly by name through the…

The Lesson

The Lesson (2015)

The Lesson first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound With his mother dead, his father abroad and his older brother Jake (Tom Cox) eager to kick him out, Fin (Evan Bendall) is unloved, unsupported and in with a bad crowd of sexist, delinquent peers. On Fin’s sixteenth birthday, his disgruntled English teacher…

Landmine Goes Click (2015)

Landmine Goes Click first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound A landmine is all latent potential. It lies hidden, sometimes for years, and then when triggered brings indiscriminate death and devastation to all caught in its vicinity – which also makes it a horrific device for cinematic suspense, as well as a powerful metaphor….

Curtain (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound Director Jaron Henrie-McCrea has a bit of a thing for Alfred Hitchcock. His 2012 feature debut was called Pervertigo, and his follow-up Curtain (aka The Gateway) uses a New York apartment’s bathroom – and more specifically its shower, that key location for horror ever since Hitch’s Psycho – as…

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Aaaaaaaah! (2015)

Review first published (in a different form) by Sight and Sound Steve Oram is an actor best known for gadding about the periphery of genre, whether as the serial-killing caravanner Chris in Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers (2012) – which he co-wrote – or as the grizzled copper in Ivan Kavanagh’s meta-cinematic ghost story The Canal (2014). Now Aaaaaaaah!, his feature debut as…

Horror without Limits: The Film4 FrightFest 2015 Programme is Announced

With a staggering 76 features screening across the extended Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August (Thursday 27th-Monday 31st), the amorphous, omnivorous Film4 FrightFest is a Blob-like monster that just keeps growing and growing until no cinema can contain it. Its main programme is spread, like last year’s, over three screens at the VUE…