Next Exit

Next Exit (2022)

Next Exit first published by SciFiNow The road movie is, famously, a metaphor for life. Where the journey starts and ends is arbitrary, but as our travellers have strange encounters with passers-by, take various unexpected detours, and look back over what they are leaving behind even as they move on to territories new, what really…

Discontinued

Discontinued (2022)

Discontinued opens with Sarah (Ashley Hutchinson), filmed from behind, sitting and contemplating an idyllic lake, as a male voice calmly intones: “Return to a place where you are at peace, and reflect on the idea of impermanence. The universe keeps moving, and nothing will remain as it is, good or bad.” This is the film’s…

Under Spanish Skies

Under Spanish Skies (2022)

Writer/director Nathan Buck’s Under Spanish Skies begins with a woman trying to hitch a ride on a dusty road. This is Alix (Nahéma Ricci), heading to the villa in Andalusia, Spain where her uncle Andrés (Amr Waked) lives and works as an eco engineer. Alix is young and with her whole life ahead of her,…

Lilya 4-Ever

Lilya 4-Ever (2002)

This review of Lilya 4-Ever is so ancient I have lost all record of where it was originally published. Would write this very differently now… If Lukas Moodysson‘s previous film, Together (2000), showed how communal living can offer a shelter from the world’s disharmonies, then his new film Lilya 4-Ever portrays the very opposite: how…

Monsters Club

Monsters Club (2011)

Monsters Club first published by Little White Lies, as entry 138 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column By the time Monsters Club came out, writer/director Toshiaki Toyoda and the actor Eita had history. After all, Eita made his big-screen debut in Toyoda’s Blue Spring (2001), and then had also starred in his 9 Souls (2003) and…

Everyone Will Burn

Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán) (2021)

Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán) had its UK première at FrightFest 2022 Like David Hebrero’s debut feature Dulcinea (2019), his follow-up Everyone Will Burn (Y todos arderán), co-written with Javier Kiran, concerns a would-be suicide, and uses genre to explore the ramifications of this damning desire. A brief text introduces us to the small…

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…

The Kindred

The Kindred (2021)

The Kindred has its world première at FrightFest 2021 Jamie Patterson’s The Kindred opens with Helen Tullet (April Pearson) – although we do not yet know her name – running through the otherwise empty corridors of London’s Trellick Tower, clutching her belly and looking constantly back behind her, in a clear state of distress. By…

Woodshock

Woodshock (2017)

Woodshock first published by VODzilla.co “Remember when we used to play in the woods together. I got lost that one summer. When I turned around, you were gone. When they found me, I almost didn’t want to come back.”  These words which introduce Woodshock – accompanied by abstract images of Theresa (Kirsten Dunst) alone among…

Mountain

The Forgotten Mountain (Mali i Harrum) (2018)

As the titles from his filmography – Life Between the Waters (2017), The Forgotten Mountain (Mali i Harrum, 2018) and Encounter in the Air (2019) – suggest, Albanian writer/director Ardit Sadiku is an auteur of the elements. His sophomore feature opens with a spectacular vista of the sublime, in a montage of aerials revealing cloud-girt…

Dicks

Dead Dicks (2019)

It’s not every film that is prefaced with text showing a legitimate toll-free number to call (in Canada) “if you or someone you know might be at risk of self-harm or self-injury” – but then, Dead Dicks opens with a graphic depiction of suicide, as Richie (Heston Horwin, Rock Steady Row), alone among the fractured…