Hobbes

The Curse of Hobbes House

“It’s a horror story for children.”, Jane Dormant (Mhairi Calvey) tells her half-sister Jennifer (Makenna Guyler). This is after the two estranged siblings, and Jennifer’s boyfriend (Kevin Leslie), have descended on Hobbes House, the estate of their recently departed aunt Alexandra (Emma Spurgin Hussey), to hear from Alexandra’s friend and executor Eurydice Saul (Jo Price)…

Origin

Origin Unknown (Sin Origen) (2020)

“Family is the most important thing,” says Francis (Lisette Morelos) to young Beto (Matías del Castillo) near the end of Origin Unknown (Sin Origen). “Without your family, you lose your source, you lose who you are.” Families of one kind or another are certainly a key preoccupation in this latest feature from Rigoberto Castañeda (Kilometre…

Captor

The Captor (aka Stockholm) (2018)

The Captor (aka Stockholm) first published by VODzilla.co Following the excellent Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue (2015), Robert Budreau’s latest feature to star Ethan Hawke comes with a dual identity. For it was originally called Stockholm (where it is also set), but is now being released under the name The Captor. Bring those…

Feedback

Feedback (2019)

Feedback first published by SciFiNow “Are we safe?”, asks the voice on the radio promo. “Could we commit a crime and get away with it?” The feature debut of Pedro C. Alonso, which he co-wrote with Alberto Marini (Summer Camp, 2015), Feedback observes a near Aristotelian unity of time and place, unfolding almost entirely over…

The Thing (1982)

The Thing first published by Little White Lies, as the 44th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column John Carpenter’s eighth feature – and his first for a major studio (Universal) – The Thing is an adaptation of John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes There?, and a loose remake of Chris Nyby’s adaptation The Thing From…

Precinct

Assault On Precinct 13 (aka AP13) (2005)

Assault on Precinct 13 (AP13) first published by Movie Gazette It is a story that has been told many times before: in the Seventies, Hollywood’s studio system gave way to an auteur-oriented movement embracing creativity and the counterculture, and producing some of the most innovative and confronting films ever to have emerged from the United States….

Assault on Precinct 13

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Assault on Precinct 13 first published by Movie Gazette Only the second feature film (after 1974’s hilarious 2001: A Space Odyssey-parody Dark Star) of B-grade king John Carpenter, who went on to make such genre classics as Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Assault on Precinct 13…

Green

Green Room (2015)

First published by Real Crime Magazine Although his feature debut Murder Party (2007) built a cult following, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier only really attracted critical attention – and the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes – with his revenger Blue Ruin (2013). His third feature Green Room shares with Blue Ruin a colour-coded title, and the introduction of…

A Touch Of Zen (1971), Last Shift (2014)

A Touch of Zen/Last Shift first published by Little White Lies as the second part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column King Hu’s A Touch of Zen and Anthony DiBlasi’s Last Shift might seem literally worlds apart in terms of their provenance, period, duration and genre. After all, the former is an epic wuxia from Taiwan released in 1970…

Violator

Violator (2015)

Violator reviewed as part of the ‘0th’ Edition of the London East Asian Film Festival (LEAFF 2015) “Acid.” It is the first word uttered in Dodo Dayao’s feature debut Violator – and although aging Benito Alano (Joel Lemangan) is talking about reflux from his dyspeptic belly, the word is also an apt introduction to the film’s…

Green Room (2015)

Longer version of piece published by Sight & Sound as part of coverage of the Cult programme at the London Film Festival 2015 The last time Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots shared the big screen was in Craig Gillespie’s over-the-top 2011 remake of cult vamp-camp hit Fright Night. Yet if Green Room, which reunites them, boasts…