The Seductress from Hell

The Seductress from Hell (2024)

While her husband Robert (Jason Faunt) sleeps, Zara (Rocio Scotto) slips out of bed and downstairs to the basement storeroom, where, from a case in a chest, she takes out a notebook scribbled with the kind of inchoate chiaroscuro sketches that in horror conventionally codify a person’s diabolical descent. This opening to writer/director Andrew de…

Ride Baby Ride

Ride Baby Ride (2023)

In Michael Bay’s Transformers (2007), adolescent protagonist Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) purchases a banged-up 1976 Chevrolet Camaro to be his first car, although it is not Sam but Mikaela (Megan Fox), the object of Sam’s affection (also objectified by the film, right from the very first leering pan up her bodywork) who actually knows something…

American Mary

American Mary (2012)

American Mary first published by Film4 (for a different review, see here) Synopsis: Canadian twins Jen and Sylvia Soska write and direct this tale of surgery and revenge, starring Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps). Review: “Surgeons don’t have the luxury of being sorry”. So Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is told by Dr Grant (David Lougren) after her mobile…

Maria

Maria (2023)

Maria had its UK première on Friday 27th Oct at the Halloween FrightFest “Between the mind that plans and the hand that builds, there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart,” reads the text that opens Gabriel Grieco and Nicanor Loreti’s Maria. The content of the text is rather less important than…

Hékate

Hékate (2021)

Hékate UK première at Sohome Horror Pride Virtual Film Festival Hecate is an ancient Greek goddess typically depicted – sometimes in triple form – with dogs, keys and torches, and associated with crossroads, witchcraft, poisons, night and the moon. Although this feminine deity is never mentioned in Nadia Benedicto’s Hékate beyond its title, her presence…

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…

Violation

Violation (2020)

Violation first publsihed by Through The Trees, 13 September, 2020 Co-written and co-directed by Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Violation opens with the contrasting sounds of loons and baroque music, as a woozily abstract blurring of blues and greens slowly resolves itself into the image of a misty stone bridge over a woodland river.  This…

Candy

Hard Candy (2005)

Hard Candy first published by Film4 Summary: Ellen Page turns the tables on Patrick Wilson in this controversy-courting feature debut from David Slade, part exploitation thriller, part morality tale. Review: After exchanging risqué messages with a much older man for three weeks in an internet chatroom, finally 14-year-old Hayley (Ellen Page) agrees to meet him in a coffee…

Nightingale

The Nightingale (2018)

Rape-revenge is a powerful mythic structure. Through its apparently elegant binary simplicity any number of messy polarities (although most typically those of gender inequality) can be both framed and complicated. Part of what muddies these waters is the viewer’s awareness of the twinned, if not quite symmetrical, wrongness of both sides of the equation: rape…

meurtrier

One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) (1983)

One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) first published by Movie Gazette One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) begins as a portrait of life in a small village in 1970s France. The narration of local fireman Pin-Pon (Alain Souchon) introduces us to his French-Italian family and describes his awkward crush on Elle (Isabelle Adjani), a pretty girl who…