La Llorona

La Llorona (2019)

La Llorona first published by VODzilla.co According to Latin American legend, after a sexual betrayal, La Llorona (or ‘the wailing woman’) drowns both her two sons and herself in the river, and now her weeping ghost wanders for eternity in search of her lost boys, abducting and drowning any other children whose path she crosses….

Körkarlen

The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen) (1921)

The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen) first published by EyeforFilm, 12 Feb 2008 It is New Year’s Eve, and a consumptive Salvation Army sister named Edit (Astrid Holm) sits up from her deathbed and mysteriously demands that one David Helm be sent for at once. Yet when the man (Victor Sjöström), a misanthropic and abusive alcoholic, is…

Sweet

Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (2016)

Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl first published by VODzilla.co “That street with all the Victorians?” asks Beth (Quinn Shephard) upon hearing where her new friend Adele (Erin Wilhelmi) is staying in town. “Strange cats, those Victorians. You know what they used to do for fun? Dress up in weird costumes and pose for each other.Tableaux vivants….

Unseen

The Unseen (aka Amaurosis) (2017)

The Unseen (aka Amaurosis) first published by Little White Lies Writer/director Gary Sinyor is best known for making comedy features (Leon the Pig Farmer; United We Fall), occasionally with a bit of high-concept fantasy thrown in (Solitaire for 2; In Your Dreams) – but The Unseen (aka Amaurosis) is his first foray into gothic, as its story veers…

Plain

Fires on the Plain (Nobi) (2014)

Fires on the Plain first published by Little White Lies, as the 41st part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column In Elem Klimov’s extraordinary anti-war film Come and See (1985), the toll of Nazi outrages in Byelorussia was reflected on young protagonist Florya’s face, shown often in harrowing close-up and seeming to age visibly and dramatically in…

Mourning

Mourning Grave (2014)

This is, more or less, the text of my introduction to the belated UK première of Mourning Grave (the Korean Cultural Centre UK, 16 March 2017), and then a second screening the following week (SOAS, 24 March) as part of Chills and Thrills, Colette Balmain’s series of overlooked K-horror. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this special screening of Mourning Grave,…

The Passing (2015)

First published by Sight & Sound, May, 2016 Review: Welsh-language feature The Passing (Yr Ymadawiad) opens with Stanley (Mark Lewis Jones) literally down a hole. He is deep in the well that he is building by hand, shovelling mud into an old bucket that he then painstakingly hoists up into the rainy, wintry farmstead above….

Hate

Some Kind Of Hate (2015)

Some Kind of Hate first published by TwitchFilm After finally standing up for himself against a vicious bully, troubled teen Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein) is sent to a New Age reform school in the Californian desert, where he is quick to find himself the target of further bullying. In a moment of frustrated anger, he accidentally summons…

Haunter (2013)

First published by Grolsch FilmWorks “History doesn’t repeat itself,” declares the sinister Pale Man (Stephen McHattie) in Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter. “It rhymes.” This is certainly true for Lisa Johnson (Abigail Breslin), an adolescent goth who just wishes she could break free from the stifling quotidian repetitions of her family’s middle-class suburban life. Except that if…