Luz the Flower of Evil

Luz: The Flower of Evil (aka Luz) (2019)

Luz: The Flower of Evil first published by Little White Lies The prologue to writer/director Juan Diego Escobar Alzate’s Luz: The Flower of Evil (aka Luz, though not this one) is an impressionistic kaleidoscope of scenes from a woodland property. We see piles of timber by the foundations of a new house, a hecatomb of…

The Family

The Family (2021)

The Family has its European première at the Easter Grimmfest, 2022 “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”, goes the text that opens The Family. It is a quote from the section in Plato’s Republic on the Allegory of the Cave, advertising that what follows…

The Pink Cloud

The Pink Cloud (A Nuvem Rosa) (2021)

“This film was written in 2017 and shot in 2019,” reads the pink-on-black Portuguese text that opens writer/director Iuli Gerbase’s feature debut The Pink Cloud (A Nuvem Rosa). “Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental.” No further elaboration is required to determine which actual events the film might be imagined to resemble – for…

We Had It Coming (2019)

We Had It Coming opens with two programmatic sequences. In the first, Katja (Sofie Holland) is woken by the sound of a hardcore porn clip landing on her phone – a video in which, by implication, she features. She then, after grimly donning the transparent platform shoes that are part of her work costume, hangs…

Forgiveness

Forgiveness (2021)

Forgiveness has its world première at FrightFest In the ‘prologue’ (formally labelled as such) to Forgiveness, written and directed by Alex Kahuam (So You Want To Be A Gangster?, 2018), three visibly upset women – Camila (Alejandra Toussaint), Magnea (Jessica Ortiz) and Aisha (Alejandra Zaid) – shoot a hog-tied and gagged man (Andres De La…

Held

Held (2020)

Held first published by VODzilla.co Held begins with a young woman, her boyfriend and his male friend, all drinking in a car that is parked on a concrete tarmac in the middle of nowhere. It is all going well until the boyfriend announces, “She’s all yours,” and then tells his horrified girlfriend, “Relax , babe…

Every Single Someone

Every Single Someone (2021)

Samuel Marko’s Every Single Someone opens with a potential explanation of its title. As impressionistic handheld footage shows Denver sophomores Lee (Luke Krogmeier) and Arlis (Megan Elisabeth Kelly) enjoying a date out on the town together and sharing their first kiss, we are witnessing two single folk becoming a couple. Yet by the time, moments…

Inititation

Initiation (aka Dembanger) (2020)

After they have gang-banged a female member of the student body, the boys at Whiton University’s Sig Nu Pi fraternity like to mark her online account with an exclamation point. This choice of punctuation comes with a lewd pictographic connotation – explained by fratboy Beau (Gattlin Griffith) near the beginning of John Berardo’s Initiation (aka…

Fanny Lye

Fanny Lye Deliver’d (2019)

Fanny Lye Deliver’d first published by VODzilla.co Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England (2013) was set during the English Civil War, and the field of its title yielded a crop of eccentric notions about the national identity at the country’s contested margins. The events of Fanny Lye Deliver’d, written, directed and scored by Thomas Clay…

Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper (2021)

‘Hysteria Pictures Presents’ reads text that opens The Yellow Wallpaper, in what is as much an announcement of theme as a production credit. For as this film begins with the primly dressed and veiled Jane (Alexandra Loreth), her physician husband John (Joe Mullins) and their baby son travelling in silence by horse-drawn carriage to the…

Promising

Promising Young Woman (2020)

‘Promising’ is a dynamic, forward-looking word that leans hard into the future – yet in writer/director Emerald Fennell’s confident debut, the ‘promising young woman’ of the title appears to have become arrested in the present, or even in the past. Where her peers have gone on to professional careers in their field, or to happy…