Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)

The Haunting of Bly Manor first published by Sight & Sound, November 2020 In Australia and New Zealand, there is a non-alcoholic beverage named Claytons, bottled and coloured to resemble a spirit, so that abstainers can have it without standing out from fellow drinkers. A popular advertising campaign for Claytons that ran in the Seventies…

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep first published by Little White Lies Let’s call it the battle of the SKs. In 1977, Stephen King publishes his best-selling novel The Shining, translating into the allegorical language of horror fiction the toll that his own alcoholism was taking on his professional and domestic lives. in 1980, Stanley Kubrick turns that novel…

Haunting

Haunting of Hill House (2018)

This is not a review as such of Haunting of Hill House, but rather a Twitter thread – or a ghost stor(if)y – that attempts to tease out a recurring (and transforming) theme, summarisable in a single but polysemic word, that runs through the structure of Mike Flanagan’s series. Have you ever watched a film…

Ouija

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

First published by Little White Lies It is 1967 – even the Universal logo looks as though it is from the Sixties – and Doris Zander (Lulu Wilson) is being bullied by two boys in the school playground. “You know why people say mean things?”, the school’s priest Father Tom Hagen (E.T.‘s Henry Thomas), after…

Oculus

Oculus (2013)

Oculus first published by Film4 Synopsis: Mike Flanagan (Absentia) realises a long-gestating horror project in feature-length form, as a brother and sister face evil – and themselves – in an antique mirror. Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) star. Review: In 2005, Mike Flanagan directed and co-wrote a 32-minute short about a…

Absentia

Absentia (2011)

Absentia first published by Little White Lies “When the mind can’t deal immediately with trauma, with grief, guilt – it’s sometimes easier to create something to help us process it.” So says psychiatrist Dr Elliott (Scott Graham) to his heavily pregnant patient Tricia (Courtney Bell). Tricia has certainly experienced more than her fair share of…