Shrooms

Shrooms (2007)

Shrooms first published by musicOMH, 8 Nov 2007 Cinema has unbounded potential to give even the most sober of viewers access to the subjective experience of drug-takers, where it can be devilishly difficult to sort the hallucinatory from the real. Recently Requiem for a Dream, Spun and A Scanner Darkly have all depicted the user’s…

That's A Wrap

That’s A Wrap (2023)

 That’s A Wrap had its international première on Fri 25 Aug at FrightFest Marcel Walz’s That’s A Wrap begins, as it indeed it ends, with an actress sat in a dressing room before a mirror. In the opening scene, Alexis (Cerina Vincent) puts on makeup, with the poster for her latest film – also entitled…

Dark Glasses

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) (2022) 

Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) first published by SciFiNow Giallo king Dario Argento‘s Dark Glasses (Occhiali neri) opens with a wide establishing shot of residential buildings in Rome’s leafy suburbs, and then various mobile shots looking upwards at roadside trees and apartment blocks. As it is revealed that the perspective belongs to Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli) at…

Deep Red

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) (1975)

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) first published by Little White Lies, as entry 139 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column A sweet children’s song, a Christmas tree in a cosy domestic setting, silhouettes on the wall showing one person viciously stabbing another, and then a blood-stained knife falling to the floor, by the shoes of a standing…

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)…