The Feast

The Feast (Gwledd) (2021)

The Feast (Gwledd) first published by Sight & Sound, September 2022 Review: Over plain opening credits, birdsong and the bleating of sheep can be heard, sonically conjuring a rural idyll, before being interrupted first by the sound of a car arriving and then by the noise of a much louder motor. The source of that…

The Tank

The Tank (2023)

“He’s not a lizard, he’s an amphibian, like some of the oldest, baddest dinosaurs,” says pet shop owner and trainee veterinarian Jules Adams (Luciane Buchanan) in a scene from near the beginning of The Tank. It is 1978, Jules is explaining to her seven-year-old daughter Reia (Zara Nausbaum) – who would rather be at an…

Mind Leech

Mind Leech (2023)

“I feel trapped,” Craig Hoser (co-director Paul Krysinski) tells his ice-fishing buddy ‘Juicy’ Josh Henderson (Daniel James McGee) in Mind Leech. “Day in day out, I’m just driving my shitty little truck to my shitty little job, and after work I drive on to my shitty little house and live out the rest of my…

Prophecy

Prophecy (1979)

Prophecy first published by Little White Lies, as the 133th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Prophecy opens with three sequences that together establish its themes. In the first, a search-and-rescue team in the Maine woods, out at night looking for missing lumberjacks, themselves come under violent attack from someone – or something – in the dark. A tableau of…

Unearth

Unearth (2020)

Unearth had its World Première at Fantasia “If you make a tree good, its fruit will be good. You make a tree bad, its fruit’s gonna be bad.” These words, with their simple paratactic structure, and their use of a homespun figure taken from nature, sound like a moral from a parable – and while…

Sheep

Black Sheep (2006)

Black Sheep first published by Film4 Summary: Jonathan King’s uproarious comedy horror lets the genetically altered sheep of New Zealand show a less fluffy side.  Review: “I knew that the British would get it in a special way,” declared Kiwi writer/director Jonathan King at Film4 FrightFest 2007 where his feature debut Black Sheep had just enjoyed its…

Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters first published by Little White Lies Michael Dougherty is perhaps best known for directing and writing Trick ‘r Treat (2007) and Krampus (2015) – both horror features coming with a good deal of festive black humour – but he also helped write the big-budget blockbusters Superman Returns (2006) and X-Men…

Boar

Boar (2017)

Boar first published by SciFiNow Ever since the Greek myth of the Calydonian boar, monstrous feral pigs have been a source of terror, rooting their way through the undergrowth of films like Hayao Miyazaki’s eco-epic anime Princess Mononoke (1997), James Isaacs’ Orwellian Iraq allegory Pig Hunt (2008) and Shin Jung-won’s playful pastiche Chaw (2009). The…

Chaw

Chaw (2009)

Chaw first published by Little White Lies Forget the cutesy porkers of Babe (1995) or Charlotte’s Web (2006) – there is nothing quite like a really big pig to remind us of our place on the food chain. The first porcine nature’s revenger, Razorback (1984), was also the runt of the litter, but at least it…

Flora

Flora (2017)

Flora first published by SciFiNow In 1929, some students set out to join their professor on a botanical expedition in a remote forested region of Canada – but find the advance campsite empty and the professor gone. After discovering corpses at a nearby abandoned mill, the group realises that they may be in deadly peril. Sasha…

Slugs

Slugs (1988)

Slugs first published by VODzilla.co We know from the very title of Slugs, adapted from Shaun Hutson’s 1982 novel of the same name, what is coming (its full Spanish title even included the wonderful phrase muerte viscosa, or ‘slimy death’) – and yet director and co-writer (with Ron Gantman) Juan Piquer Simón opens his film with…