The Middle Man

The Middle Man (2021)

The Middle Man first published by Sight and Sound, April 2023 Review: Adapted by its director Bent Hamer from Lars Saabye Christensen’s 2012 novel Sluk, The Middle Man is set during the Trump Presidency in the fictional Midwest town of Karmack – a once flourishing community which has of late suffered severe economic depression, and…

Dead Mail

Dead Mail (2024)

Dead Mail had its World Première at SXSW 2024 “I suppose if you’re lonely enough, you open your mind to just about anything”, says Ann (Micki Jackson) when she learns from her post office co-worker Bess (Susan Priver) about male-order brides. Male loneliness, and the lengths to which it will drive men, are key themes…

Jar City

Jar City (Mýrin) (2006)

Jar City (Mýrin) first published by Film4 Summary: In Baltasar Kormákur’s Icelandic chiller, a police inspector investigates both a murder and his nation’s inherited history. Review: The label film noir may conjure images of New York’s mean streets or Paris’ shadowy avenues, but in fact, as Erik Skjoldbærg’s Norway-set Insomnia proved in 1997, the genre can also…

Into The Mirror

Into The Mirror (Geoul sokeuro) (2003)

Into The Mirror (Geoul Sokeuro) first published by Movie Gazette, 23 Oct, 2004 Woo Yung-min (Yoo Ji-tae) used to be a decorated sharpshooter for the Seoul police, but after a single error of judgement which led to the death of his partner in a mirrored nightclub, guilt and self-loathing have made him half the man…

Shrooms

Shrooms (2007)

Shrooms first published by musicOMH, 8 Nov 2007 Cinema has unbounded potential to give even the most sober of viewers access to the subjective experience of drug-takers, where it can be devilishly difficult to sort the hallucinatory from the real. Recently Requiem for a Dream, Spun and A Scanner Darkly have all depicted the user’s…

The Pale Blue Eye

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye first published by Little White Lies You wait ages for one fictionalised detective story featuring Edgar Allan Poe during his cadetship years at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and then two come along. Yet where Christopher Hatton’s Raven’s Hollow (2022) was so deeply engaged with the…

The Menu

The Menu (2022)

The Menu first published by Sight and Sound, December 2022 Review: “He’s not just a chef,” Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) says to his dinner date Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), “he’s a storyteller.” Tyler is speaking of Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), a celebrated master chef to whose exclusive restaurant Hawthorne, located on an island of the same name,…

Surrogate

Surrogate (2022)

“Just because somebody leaves us, it doesn’t mean they don’t love us,” Natalie Paxton (Kestie Morassi) tells her nine-year-old daughter Rose (Taysha Farrugia) some way into Surrogate. Nat is consoling Anna for the unexpected death of their beloved dog Indy, but her words might apply equally to Rose’s father, who disappeared from the picture before…

Derelict

Derelict (2024)

Derelict was reviewed from an exclusive preview screener prior to its 2024 festival run  The opening sequence of Derelict resonates with its title. For it shows empty spaces at dawn: a forlorn field, and by it an old, graffiti-covered building, perhaps once used for stables, but now long abandoned. Its sole occupant is merely a…

Orphan First Kill

Orphan: First Kill (2022)

Orphan: First Kill first published by VODzilla.co Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan (2009) told the story of a bourgeois family adopting a nine-year-old in an attempt to fill the chasm of grief left by a stillbirth, only to discover that they have let into their already fraught household a psychopathic murderess (played by Isabelle Fuhrman) who is…