The Thing That Ate The Birds

The Thing That Ate The Birds (2021)

“You’re bloody neolithic!” Grace (Rebecca Palmer) shouts at her husband Abel (Eoin Slattery) in Dan Gitsham and Sophie Mair’s short film The Thing That Ate The Birds. Abel barely responds – and that is precisely the problem between this couple who are no longer even sharing a bed, and whose other communications are practically non-existent….

Too Late

Too Late (2021)

They say you should write what you know, and so Tom Becker has drawn on his personal experience in Los Angeles’ comedy scene to script Too Late for his wife, director D.W. Thomas, in what is their feature debut after making the shorts Back from the Future (2017) and Hey, FiBi! (2018) together. In keeping…

After Midnight

After Midnight (aka Something Else) (2019)

After Midnight  (aka Something Else) first published by Little White Lies, as entry 105 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column A wide shot shows a grassy grove with leafless trees on either side, as the soundtrack plays discordant synth tones and the sounds of a detuned radio. A woman in a dress, Abby (Brea Grant), staggers…

Rose

Rose (aka Rose: A Love Story) (2020)

“Falling in love with somebody is like, um – it’s like being pinned down by some great big animal before you even realise that it’s been following you.” So, some way into Jennifer Sheridan’s feature debut Rose, says Sam, played by the film’s writer Matt Stokoe. Rose is certainly a love story – indeed A…

Shortcut

Shortcut (2020)

“Nolan Parker? Sounds like something out of a comic book.” The speaker of these words, Pedro Minghella (David Keyes), is an armed-and-dangerous thief on the run who, according to rumour, has a taste for human tongues – and the school bus that he has hijacked has strayed into a military zone and is about to…

Hungry

Hungry Joe (2020)

Hungry Joe opens with a montage: snatches of home video from 1998 and 1999, in which happy couple Laura (Laura Bayston) and Craig (Joe Sims) learn of Laura’s pregnancy and move into a new home, intercut with footage of a fire blazing intensely. These are something like ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots, leaving the sense that…

Baby

Baby Blood (1990)

Baby Blood first published by VODzilla.co The events of Alain Robak’s Baby Blood may gestate mostly over nine months in late-Eighties France, but it has a much broader spatiotemporal canvas. For it begins with “the beginning of the world”, in an African swamp that is also the cradle of life – and its implied ending…

Perished

The Perished (2019)

The Perished begins at departures, with Sarah (Courtney McKeon) at Shannon Airport in Ireland’s County Clare, taking a flight to the mainland. A statistic appears on the screen about the many thousands of women since 1980 who have gone on a similar journey to get an abortion abroad, and the stigma that they would experience…

Seeds

Seeds (2018)

Seeds first published by SciFiNow Wading on a shoreline in shallow sea water, young Lily (Uatchet Jin Juch) plucks out a large conch shell into which tentacles, initially protruding, withdraw into hiding. This scene, both primal and liminal, opens Owen Long’s Seeds, and recurs in dreamy flashback at several key moments during the course of the…

Serial

I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

I Am Not A Serial Killer first published by RealCrime Magazine “John, you have a lot of predictors for serial killer behaviour, but predictors are just that: they predict what might happen, not what will happen. You’re in control of your destiny. You’re a good person, John.” With these words, psychotherapist Dr Neblin (Karl Geary) tries…