Summoners

Summoners (2022)

Summoners had its world première at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival   “Just feeling nostalgic,” Jess Whitman (Christine Nyland) tells a librarian (Margaret Reed), explaining why she is sat on the library floor rereading an old book. Nostalgia is key to Terence Krey’s Summoners, co-written and co-produced with Nyland, in which Jess returns for the first…

We Need To Do Something

We Need To Do Something (2021)

We Need to Do Something had its UK première at Celluloid Screams 2021 “Hell is other people,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre in No Exit (Huis clos, 1944), his play about a trio of ideologically incompatible people trapped in a room together for eternity. A similar principle underlies Sean King O’Grady’s We Need To Do Something, adapted…

Mara (Pobochnyi effekt)

Mara (Pobochnyi effekt) (2020)

“I won’t live in a mausoleum,” complains singer/composer Olya (Marina Vasileva), in Mara, of the grand if monolithic apartment building into which she is about to move temporarily with her husband Andrey (Semyon Serzin). “Come on,” Andrey insists more encouragingly, “it’s a constructivist landmark!” In a way, they are both right about the nature of…

Dachra

Dachra (2018)

Dachra first published by VODzilla.co “Inspired by true events,” states text at the beginning of Dachra, as the camera tracks a humming man carry a sack from the boot of his car to a square where the sack’s contents – a young boy – are ritually, bloodily sacrificed. The scene is impressionistic, shot close over…

String

The Black String (2018)

“Say it,” insists Dena (Chelsea Edmundson) in Brian Hanson’s feature debut The Black String. “Say, ‘I want this to happen.’” As she utters these words, Dena is straddling Jonathan (Frankie Muniz) on his sofa, and starting to undress, yet Jonathan seems conflicted. On the one hand, he initiated contact with Dena through one of those…

Clock

The House With A Clock In Its Walls (2018)

The House With A Clock In Its Walls first published by Little White Lies Eli Roth has made his name making puerile films for adults – the sick Evil Dead riffing of his debut Cabin Fever (2002), the touristic torture porn of Hostel (2005) and its sequel, the cannibalising of Italian anthropological schlock in The…

Suspiria

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria first published by Little White Lies, as entry 47 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Suspiria begins with an arrival, and an entrance. Hoping to perfect her ballet studies at Europe’s most famous Dance Academy, American Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) has just landed at the airport in Freiburg, Germany on a wet and windy night. As…

Falling

The Falling (2014)

The Falling first published by Grolsch FilmWorks It is the late 60s, in the colourfully decaying months between Summer and Winter. As Britain teeters between postwar puritanism and sexual revolution, the pupils in a rural girls’ high school are undergoing an analogous transformation that will set them at odds with their teachers, parents and other authorities….

Summer

Dark Summer (2015)

Review first published by FilmLand Empire “Wow! You’re like Shia LaBeouf from that movie with the creep next door.” Here, catching her first glimpse of the electronic monitoring device tethered to the ankle of Daniel (Keir Gilchrist), Abby (Stella Maeve) is only giving voice to what we are already thinking. For like the LaBeouf-starring Disturbia…

Another

Another (Mark of the Witch) (2014)

Another first published by FilmLand Empire “I have thoughts and feelings that aren’t mine,” says Jordyn (Ana Paula Redding), the confused heroine of Jason Bognacki‘s Another [now retitled Mark of the Witch]. “I wake up in strange places and I can’t remember how I got there.” Jordyn’s sense of extreme disorientation is perfectly reproduced in the viewer…