X (2022)

X first published by Sight and Sound online Ti West‘s X opens with a visual trick to confound the viewer’s sense of time. A corpse-strewn farmhouse is shown in what appears to be outmoded Academy ratio, until the camera’s forward movement reveals that the vertical extremities of this squared image are in fact the sides…


Watcher (2022)

Watcher opens with the image of its protagonist seen through a taxi’s window, the nocturnal lights of Bucharest reflected in the glass and superimposed over her face as the vehicle moves. Julia (Maika Monroe) has just arrived in the city with her husband Francis (Karl Glusman), an American-born Romanian who has returned to his motherland…


Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes) (2007)

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes) first published by Film4 Synopsis: Writer/director/actor Nacho Vigalondo‘s multi-award-winning feature debut is a twisty time-traveling thriller with a noirish morality at its core.  Review:  While a car is in motion, its boot swings open, leaving behind a scattered wake of shopping bags – and so the driver gets out and heads back to clean up…


Torso (1973)

Torso first published by Little White Lies, as part 40 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “What you see on the screen is not a product of expressionist art. What you have here are fragments of cloth found under the fingernails of one of your companions who was barbarously murdered just one week ago.” Addressing a room…


Monstrous Feminine: gender and genre at FrightFest 2017

Monstrous Feminine: gender and genre at FrightFest 2017 first published by Sight & Sound Horror often earns itself a bad name for the way that it treats its female characters: reducing them to objectified T&A for the male gaze, or to helpless damsels in distress requiring male assistance, or to screaming pin cushions for male killers….

Jeune & Jolie (2013)

Review first published by EyeforFilm François Ozon’s Jeune & Jolie opens with a young woman removing her bikini top before stretching her lithe limbs over a beach towel. This is the actress Marine Vacth, living up to her forename by introducing her character Isabelle to us as a resplendent goddess born of the sea –…