Boys Like You

Boys Like You (2024)

There is an initial ambiguity to the title of Paul Holbrook’s latest short, Boys Like You, which he has co-written with its star, Lindsay Bennett-Thompson. For that middle word, ‘like’, could be either verb or preposition. Certainly the local boys liked June (Bennett-Thompson) when she was younger, and now, though living with her loving husband…

Greenhouse

Greenhouse (2022)

Greenhouse screened at London Korean Film Festival 2023. This is a longer version of my on-stage introduction (plus programme note) Greenhouse gets its title from the off-road, metal framed structure in which single mother Lee Moon-jung (Kim Seo-hyung) is living. More tent than home, with plastic sheeting for walls, and designed to house plants, this…

Mother May I

Mother, May I? (2023)

Mother, May I? opens, as indeed it closes, with a view of the countryside seen through a window – an idyllic image of nature that conceals a human drama just beyond its frame. For the camera slowly pulls back to reveal the curling smoke of a lit cigarette balanced on an ashtray, and then an…

Inland

Inland (2022)

Freshly released from a mental institution, a young, taciturn ‘Man’ (Rory Alexander) with a history of violence and a head full of elusive childhood memories heads back to the only people he knows – the fatherly Dunleavy (Mark Rylance), plus old playmates Daisy (Nell Williams) and Toby (Sebastian Orozco). Yet in writer/director Fridtjof Ryder’s first…

Resurrection

Resurrection (2022)

“A sadist never understands why others aren’t enjoying his sadism as much as he is,” says Margaret (Rebecca Hall) in the opening scene of Andrew Semans’ Resurrection. Margaret is talking to an intern whom she is mentoring for a biotech company. Naïve, inexperienced Gwyn (Angela Wong Carbone) has reached out to Margaret about a boyfriend…

Dark Stories

Dark Stories (2019)

Dark Stories first published by Through the Trees Single mother Christine (Kristanna Loken, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2003) comes under attack from a psychopathic Chucky-like semi-animated doll that has just been delivered to her home. Bound to a chair in the basement, she tells the knife-wielding mannequin a series of five ‘scary stories’…

Ice Cream Truck

The Ice Cream Truck (2017)

“What is it about the suburbs?”, wonders Mary (Deanna Russo) aloud in The Ice Cream Truck, as the driver of an actual ice cream truck waves to her from the street. There is something hyperreal, dare one say it, ‘Lynchian’, about this scene – the perfect houses, the immaculate lawns, the sunny skies, and that…

Light

Dark Light (2019)

Dark Light first published by SciFiNow The oxymoronic title of Dark Light involves a paradox. Like a Buddhist koan, it announces the film as a contradictory challenge that the viewer, sitting in the dark cinema looking at the flickering light projected onto the screen, must try to resolve, even if resolution is ultimately impossible. This…

Stalked

Stalked (aka Unseen) (2019)

Stalked (aka Unseen) first published by SciFiNow Sam (Rebecca Rogers) is in a difficult place. Recently divorced, she is struggling to negotiate what is left of her relationship with unhelpful ex-husband Craig (Ian Sharp) while also being left to juggle work and looking after her five-month-old daughter Amy (Amber Edgar) alone. Yet Sam is a…