Halloween FrightFest 2021

Halloween FrightFest 2021 round-up

Halloween FrightFest 2021 round-up first published by Sight & Sound Includes capsules of: The Seed, The Possessed, Last Survivors, Veneciafrenia, Miracle Valley, Barbarians, Amulet, The Innocents For its first time, this year’s Halloween FrightFest spanned two days, with a total of nine features (including John Campopiano & Chris Griffiths’ exhaustive, embargoed documentary Pennywise, on the…

Rituals and Cycles of Grief

Rituals and cycles of grief: 10 picks from FrightFest 2021

Rituals and cycles of grief: 10 picks from FrightFest 2021 first published as a preview piece for BFI Includes capsules of: Post Mortem, Slapface, Offseason, Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night, Hotel Poseidon, Dawn Breaks Behind The Eyes, The Unburied, Coming Home In The Dark, Ultrasound, Broadcast Signal Intrusion Grief is an…

Mystery Spot

Mystery Spot (2020)

Mystery Spot first published by VODzilla.co There is a motel in the middle of nowhere. It once boasted the ‘Mystery Spot’, drawing visitors from all around with its array of optical illusions and “funhouse tricks to lighten people’s wallets”, but ever since a fire left this roadside attraction in disrepair, the guests have stopped coming, and the…

Killer Concept

Killer Concept (2021)

Killer Concept first published by VODzilla.co Blonde Mary-Rose (Maddie Ludt) chats on the phone in her kitchen as a hoodie-wearing figure with a machete watches her from the shadows of the street outside. These moments openly riff not just on John Carpenter’s iconic slasher Halloween (1978), but also on Wes Craven’s postmodern Halloween pastiche Scream…

No Man Of God

No Man Of God (2021)

No Man Of God first published by VODzilla.co No Man Of God begins at its end, in 1989, with a TV news report stating that “after an exhausting series of appeals that lasted ten years, Ted Bundy is dead” – executed in the electric chair at the Florida State Prison. In this way, Amber Sealey’s…

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…

When The Screaming Starts

When The Screaming Starts (2021)

When The Screaming Starts first published by VODzilla.co “I’m Norman Graybridge. A two-time award-winning documentary filmmaker. I’ve achieved great success in unearthing groundbreaking stories in people living on the fringes of society. So when I stumbled upon Aidan Mendle in the darker recesses of the internet, and learned of his twisted dream, I knew I’d found…

Prisoners of the Ghostland

Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Prisoners of the Ghostland first published by VODzilla.co Prisoners of the Ghostland, the first English-language film from prolific genre anarchist Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish, Tag), begins with balls. More precisely, with a slow zoom into a coin-operated machine full of brightly coloured gum balls, and a smiling Japanese boy in front of it,…

Are We Monsters

Are We Monsters (2021)

Are We Monsters first published by VODzilla.co “I wonder what comes after this,” says Michael (Justin Hayward) in the opening scene of Are We Monsters, in what is clearly for him the beginning of something new as much as the end of an era. Michael and his family have for generations been hunting and killing…

Bad Candy

Bad Candy (2020)

Bad Candy first published by VODzilla.co Halloween. It is, at least in myth, a time of masks and monstrosity, when the boundaries between the human and the inhuman, the living and the dead, are unusually fluid, when candy and other just des(s)erts are served cold, when a healthy respect for the seasonal spirits can make…