3rd Night

3rd Night (2017)

3rd Night first published by SciFiNow 3rd Night opens with a confusion of images: a little girl plays with a skipping rope and doll; and an adult woman, her hands bound, runs terrified through moonlit trees, before her unseen pursuer brains her with a sledge hammer. This blurring of primal scene and subsequent murder, all…

FrightFest 2009 Diary Day 3

FrightFest 2009 Diary: Day 3

FrightFest 2009 Diary: Day 3 first published by Little White Lies Includes capsules of: Smash Cut, Hierro, Millennium: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Giallo, Trick ‘r Treat, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl Day 3 – Saturday 29 Smash Cut (2009) At FrightFest you expect to see (and hear) all manner of horrors, but after…

Sound Of Violence

Sound of Violence (2021)

Sound Of Violence first published by Movies On Weekends Slashers and other kinds of psychodrama typically feature a sequence which, in a phrase borrowed from Sigmund Freud, gets called the ‘primal scene‘ – often opening the film, or shown in flashback, and capturing the formative psychosexual moment of childhood trauma that leads a confused young…

Wyvern Hill

Wyvern Hill (aka Hollow) (2021)

“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe; it gives back life to those who no longer exist,” goes the text quote (from Guy de Maupassant) which opens Wyvern Hill (aka Hollow).  Memory plays a key rôle in Jonathan Zaurin’s feature. The first words uttered by its sixty-something heroine Beth (the excellent Pat…

Tenebrae

Tenebrae (aka Tenebre, aka Unsane) (1982)

Tenebrae first published by VODzilla.co Psychological stories typically come with a primal scene – a significant, scarring incident from the past which influences what is happening in the present, and which holds the key to some sort of resolution, or at least understanding, of otherwise irrational motivations and events. Dario Argento’s Tenebrae features (at least)…

Crystal

Crystal Eyes (Mirada de cristal) (2017)

Crystal Eyes (Mirada de cristal) first published by SciFiNow There was a time when giallo was the height of fashion. In the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, Italian thrillers were the very model of genre chic, bringing a splash of style, panache and colour to the Hitchcockian whodunnit, and showing the aesthetic angle – the ‘good side’…

Videoman

Videoman (Videomannen) (2018)

Videoman (Videomannen) first published by SciFiNow “I feel like King Kong in New York,” says Ennio Midena (Stefan Sauk) to Simone Karlsson (Lena Nilsson) in Kristian A. Söderström’s Videoman (Videomannen), “I should have been extinct a long time ago.” Ennio is a fish out of water in more ways than one. A ‘flat broke’ migrant who…

Plumage

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage first published by Little White Lies, as the 51st instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column There is a sequence in the middle of Dario Argento’s assured feature debut The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo) which sets out the film’s stall. The hero Sam Dalmas (Tony…

Straight

Straight On Till Morning (1972)

Straight On Till Morning first published by Little White Lies, as the 50th entry in my Cinema Pyschotronicum column “You bloody maniac, what do you think you’re doing!”, yells a woman (Katya Wyeth) at Peter (Shane Briant) as he almost runs her down with his convertible in the streets of Earl’s Court. Only minutes earlier, Peter,…

Tails

The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat O’ Nine Tails first published by Little White Lies, as entry 49 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column The Cat O’ Nine Tails (Il Gatto a Nove Code) is director Dario Argento’s second feature, and the middle film in his so-called ‘Animal Trilogy’ (coming between 1970’s The Bird With The Crystal Plumage and 1971’s Four…