Custom

Custom (2024)

Custom had its world première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2024. “Hi, I’m Snake”, says a young man (Rowan Polonski) direct to camera at the beginning of writer/director Tiago Teixeira’s feature debut Custom. “And I’m Flower,” says the young woman (Abigail Hardingham) sat next to him. ‘Snake’ and ‘Flower’ are not their real names – for…

Mid-Century

Mid-Century (2022)

Sonja O’Hara’s Mid-Century opens in the era of its title – 1963, to be precise –  with a montage of well-dressed housewives cleaning in their homes. The setting is the suburbia of (fictional) Mandarin, California, whose houses, designed by local architect Frederick Banner (Stephen Lang) in the late Fifties, are the aspirational envy of the…

Profound Desires of the Gods

Profound Desires of the Gods (1968)

Profound Desires of the Gods first published by Little White Lies “The islanders aren’t particularly clever, so they get their stories and reality all mixed up. It just shows how simple and pure they are.” This is what Kariya (Kazuo Kitamura) says of his one-time Okinawan hosts near the end of Profound Desires of the…

Here For Blood

Here For Blood (2022)

Here For Blood had its international première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2023. Here For Blood begins with young student Elise (Holly Jade Balmer) jogging to her suburban home, only to discover her girlfriend bleeding out in the shower, and a masked man waiting nearby who stabs her multiple times in the chest. This bloody prologue,…

Agatha

Agatha (2022)

Agatha opens in darkness. A dim light is introduced as a woman’s hand pulls loose bricks from a wall, and reaches into the shadowy niche beyond to extract a mysterious wrapped object, and to observe it under an electric bulb. There is then a cutaway to an old crone crossing a misty field, apparently some…

In The Earth

In The Earth (2021)

In The Earth first published by VODzilla.co In The Earth begins with an image of the object at its centre: a menhir with a circular opening in its middle through which the arboreal foliage beyond is framed. It is like the monolith from the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – a mysterious, numinous…

The Weird Kidz

The Weird Kidz (2022)

The Weird Kidz had its world première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival In the centre of Black Bird – established only a decade ago in 1975 and, according to its sign, “A real nice place to raise your kids up” – are three 12-year-old friends who embody the community’s first generation of children. They…

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…

Anything For Jackson

Anything For Jackson (2020)

Anything For Jackson first published by VODzilla.co Satanists come with their own stereotype. The picture that they present in the popular imagination usually goes something like this: young, male, long hair, black leather, listens to heavy metal, incel. What you probably do not picture – unless your internal iconography is dominated by Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s…

Unburied

The Unburied (El cadáver insepulto) (2021)

The Unburied had its European première at FrightFest 2021 Writer/director Alejandro Cohen Arazi’s The Unburied (El cadáver insepulto) is the story of a prodigal son’s return. In Buenos Aires, Dr Maximiliano Espósito (Demián Salomón) has just had his book Tribal Education published, outlining the peculiar codes and traditions elaborated by boys who have grown up…