Afterschool (2008)

Afterschool first published by Film4 Summary: The feature debut of Antonio Campos (Buy It Now) concerns a fatal incident at an élite prep school and its repercussions for one troubled pupil.  Review: Nothing quite puts us in our place as viewers like an image of someone looking at images – and that is precisely where Afterschool opens….


Watcher (2022)

Watcher opens with the image of its protagonist seen through a taxi’s window, the nocturnal lights of Bucharest reflected in the glass and superimposed over her face as the vehicle moves. Julia (Maika Monroe) has just arrived in the city with her husband Francis (Karl Glusman), an American-born Romanian who has returned to his motherland…


Lair (2021)

Lair is in the First Blood strand of FrightFest 2021’s Digital Edition Lair begins with a scene of domestic violence, as a mother lies severely injured in a large London house, and her young son is forced to play hide-and-seek. Neither will survive the brutal onslaught of their assailant. Now in jail for a double-murder,…


Sisters (1972)

Sisters first published by Sisters opens with a double bluff. First, as the credits roll to the instantly recognisable dramatic strains of a Bernard Herrmann score, we see up-close stills (courtesy of Lennart Nilsson) of a foetus developing in utero, before it is revealed that there is a second foetus hidden behind the first….


Disturbia (2007)

Disturbia first published by Film4 Summary: D.J. Caruso makes neurotic voyeurs of us all in this upgrade of Rear Window for the internet generation. Review: “Can he see us?”, asks teenager Kale (Shia LaBeouf) “No, he can’t see us,” replies his father Daniel (Matt Craven), “but he can feel us watching.” Despite having a title that suggests…


La Prisonnière (1968)

La Prisonnière first published by Little White Lies, as the 53rd instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Josée (Elisabeth Wiener) and Gilbert (Bernard Fresson) live art – literally so, given that the Parisian apartment where they live their lives together also serves as the atelier where Gilbert produces his contemporary sculptures. It is not unusual for…


Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965)

Who Killed Teddy Bear first published by Film4 Synopsis: Actor Sal Mineo baits the censors in this tawdry Freudian thriller from the mid-1960s, midway between a giallo and a slasher. Review: In 1955, at the tender age of 16, fresh-faced Sal Mineo had just been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance…

Observance (2015)

Longer version of piece published by Sight & Sound as part of coverage of the Cult programme at the London Film Festival 2015 “Just watch and report back. That simple.” Still grieving the death of his son after a prolonged illness, and the dissolution of his marriage in the aftermath, Parker (Lindsay Farris) takes on a…

A Snake of June

A Snake of June (2002)

A Snake of June first published by Movie Gazette Strait-laced Rinko (Kurasawa Asuka) and her cleanliness-obsessed husband Shigehiko (Koutari Yuji) eat at different times, barely communicate, and sleep in separate rooms. One rainy morning in June, Rinko receives a package with an envelope marked ‘Your husband’s secrets’, containing photographs of herself masturbating. Other photographs follow, also showing…