Hypochondriac

Hypochondriac (2022)

Hypochrondriac had its world première at SXSW 2022 As its very title implies, Hypochondriac is concerned with symptomatology and its absence, and with pathologies both real and imagined. This preoccupation with therapy is hammered home by a series of sequences involving medical consultations, where a parade of different doctors keeps repeating to protagonist Will (Zach…

A Cloud So High

A Cloud So High (2022)

A Cloud So High had its world première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022 A Cloud So High opens with a classic establishing shot: a road sign for Schooner, California that situates the viewer in a highly particularised place. It then shows local ex-cop and realtor Gene ‘Sackler’ Sarling (John Savage, The Deer Hunter) listening to…

Surge

Surge (2020)

Surge first published by Movies On Weekends Aneil Karia’s feature debut Surge opens with a high-angle wide shot of travellers and staff moving through the interior of Heathrow Airport, with the camera ever so slowly zooming in, as though looking for meaning in the chaos. At first a man in a red tie momentarily occupies…

Implanted

Implanted (2021)

An African-American man staggers though a dark alleyway, clutching – and punching at – his own head. He collapses, gets up, reels about like someone intoxicated, or perhaps a zombie, his hands and the back of his jacket bloody. Bent over and in obvious distress, unsteady and unstable, he lies down in the road, and…

When I Consume You

When I Consume You (2021)

When I Consume You had its UK première at Celluloid Screams 2021 Perry Blackshear‘s feature debut They Look Like People (2015) featured two friends, played by Evan Dumouchel and MacLeod Andrews, working together through the demons and delusions of mental illness. So when, some way into Blackshear’s third film When I Consume You, David Castille…

Basenji

Basenji (2021)

Basenji screens at Cine-Excess 2021 The Basenji is a breed of dog from Central Africa whose name derives from the word for ‘savage’, whose ‘bark’ is more like a high-pitched yodel, and whose attitude towards strangers is reserved. Although a regular barking dog does briefly feature, there is no actual Basenji to be found in…

World's Fair

We’re All Going To The World’s Fair (2021)

We’re All Going To The World’s Fair UK première at Grimmfest 2021 We’re All Going To The World’s Fair begins with an initiatory ritual of sorts. After nervously rehearsing her introduction a couple of times, Casey (extraordinary newcomer Anna Cobb) sits alone at the desk in her neon-lit attic bedroom with her stuffed monkey Poe…

Baphomet Mountain

Baphomet Mountain (2020)

Baphomet Mountain opens with two paths crossing, whether by arbitrary accident or providential design. In his cowboy hat, Country Boy (Austin Burnette Mitchell) sits on a dusty roadside, playing guitar and singing a country song – with a blues lilt – whose lyrics (“Mama, daddy ain’t coming home tonight”) mark him as a man on…

Wander

Wander (2020)

The text with which Wander opens offers a dedication to “all indigenous, black, and people of color who are targeted and have been displaced through border control on stolen land”, and expresses a desire to “expose government violences, propel change and honor the voices of those who have been silenced.” Sure enough, the film opens…

Z

Z (2019)

Z first published by VODzilla.co You wait for one ‘imaginary friend’ narrative with an intense mother/son relationship at its heart, and two come along. In Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real (2019), a young student must contend with the possibility that he has inherited his mother’s mental illness, even as Daniel, the destructive imaginary friend…

Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper (2021)

‘Hysteria Pictures Presents’ reads text that opens The Yellow Wallpaper, in what is as much an announcement of theme as a production credit. For as this film begins with the primly dressed and veiled Jane (Alexandra Loreth), her physician husband John (Joe Mullins) and their baby son travelling in silence by horse-drawn carriage to the…