E-Demon (2018)

Director: Jeremy Wechter
Starring: Julia Kelly, John Anthony Wylliams, Christopher Daftsios.  USA. 1h 26m

It’s quite easy to simply explain this movie as being a demonic indie version of Unfriended (2014) but that would be doing it a disservice as it’s actually better than unfriended, not only is the creepy atmosphere more enhanced it has much better setups to it’s more shocking moments.

Launching with a masked figure warning us about “certain events”and truths that have to be exposed to the public, an  Anonymous style broadcast is a stark warning from the E Demon Resistance that opens with a group of friends start a routine web chat, and start to enact their favourite past times which is basically pranking each other which they lightheartedly called “getting freaked”.  The first uber elaborate prank involved a young man speaking with his grandmother who warns him about a haunted trunk and witchcraft. He proceeds to go into the loft where he has opened the trunk and starts to perform a ritual which results in him releasing a deviously clever demon that had been trapped for centuries in Salem, Massachusetts. Continue reading E-Demon (2018)

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Ankoku Shinwa / Dark Myth (1990)

Director : Takashi Anno, Tomomi Mochizuki
Writer: Daijiro Morohoshi
Starring : Nozomu Sasaki, Alan Marriott, Mizuho Suzuki. Japan. 1h 40m

When I first started getting in Anime Akira (1988) probably kicked things off for me, and I dug deep in powerful fast pace cyber and horror films. But one film really stood out on a few trailers. Its pale colours, still images and traditional soundtrack make it stand apart from the rest of the 90’s Manga collection.

Having a deep love of folklore and being totally mystified by the demonic creatures in the advert I was sure to get a copy ASAP and i fell in love with animated films all over again, but for very different reasons than before. Continue reading Ankoku Shinwa / Dark Myth (1990)

Unsane (2018)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring. Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple. USA. 1h 38m

Everything about the opening of this movie is just dull and unassuming, which is a risky and dangerous move from director Steven Soderbergh, luckily it doesn’t last too long. While introducing the lead, Sawyer (Foy), we learn just how mundane her life is, the faceless office worker, who suffers all the nagging and office politics as the rest of us, she eats lunch while skyping her disapproving mother and later hooks up with a (not tinder) date, but after taking him back to her place with no strings attached sex, she freaks out thinking that he’s her stalker and the film re opens with her talking to a therapist.

We start to learn that Sawyer has been running away from an unknown stalker, hiring professionals (Matt Damon) to secure her routes to work, protect her personal details etc., but simultaneously we are also privy to the idea that she might be suffering from delusions and that the stalker is a fabrication of her overactive and vivid imagination, Unfortunately at this point in the movie she accidently signs herself into a psychiatric ward for observations, and for the rest of the film we, alongside her have to try and piece together just how sane or unsane she really is. Continue reading Unsane (2018)

Mandy (2018)

Director: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy Olwen Fouere, Richard Brake, Bill Duke. USA. 2h 1m

Cosmastos seems obsessed with 1983, where his previous movie was also set, is there a parallel here? Same year with possible answers to Professor Arboria’s mystic drug… but nothing is laid out in a straightforward way, he keeps the viewer guessing about what is real and what might just be fantasy, eventually your not sure what you believe in anymore, questions are raised especially about the drugs involved and at times this film really pushes the envelope. Continue reading Mandy (2018)

Fat City (1972)

Director: John Huston . Based on Fat City by Leonard Gardner
Starring. Stacey Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrell, USA. 1h 36m.

There’s something magical about John Huston’s Fat City. I’m not sure if it’s the relatable characters, which are more realistic than cinema usually allows, or the detailed social dissection  by the masterful Huston himself. For years I had overlooked this believing it just is another poor relation to Rocky, but in fact it’s the opposite way around. I have always adored the Rocky story that eventually turned into an epic Saga which is still going 40 years later, a man with true grit and determination, rising up to great heights to live the American Dream and fighting with a true heart… Continue reading Fat City (1972)

Perdizioni mortali / Tulpa (2012)

Director: Federico Zampaglione
Starring: Claudia Gerini, Nuot Arquint, Michele Placido, Ennio Tozzi, Ivan Franek, Michela Cescon, Federica Vincente. Italy. 1h 24m

As dedicated nod to the 70’s Giallo movement Tulpa sees a successful business women, Lisa Boeri (Gerini) get pulled into a grotty underworld while living a vivid double life.

Opening with a gore filled sado masochistic murder. A man enters a deadly game as a dominant but soon becomes the victim of a leather gloved maniac with a wild moral compass, out of the thick bloodied and drawn out scene the story of Lisa, a ball busting,  successful business woman, well respected and admired but she keeps her nocturnal activities a painstakingly repressed, after hours she’s an eager member of a esoteric underground club, named Tulpa, owned by a strange tibetain character, a true embodiment of the hierophant played by the otherworldly Nuot Arquint . Unfortunately for Lisa, her two world’s are set to collide when her sexual partners from the club are savagely slaughtered. Continue reading Perdizioni mortali / Tulpa (2012)

Alps (2012)

Director: Giorgos Lanthimos.

Starring.  Aggeliki Papoulia, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Verkis, Ariane Labed, Maria Kirozi. Greece. 1h 33m.

After the amazing Dogtooth (2009) project, Lanthimos was a closely watched director, but his next project seemed like an amazing idea on paper but even with his surreal approach to film, personally I felt as if he missed his own target by being too realistic and not fantastical enough, or maybe the hype train mutated my anticipations to a level that not even a great director could reach.

ALPS is part is about a group of therapists who set up a business to allow families to get through the grieving process by supplying them with “trained” actors to play the roles of their loved ones, so they can have those precious last moments with them, say goodbye or to just have the feeling that they are still around for a few days. The drawbacks are that the actors don’t look like the people they are impersonating and they have to improvise on details the families give to them, hand written scripts and a few left over clothes but they make do, as method actors are especially adapted to do. Continue reading Alps (2012)

The Meg (2018)

Director: Jon Turteltaub.
Based on: Steve Alten
Starring. Jason Statham, a giant fish, some other people. USA. 1h 52m.

Opening mid disaster was probably a good idea for this film cos that’s what it turned into. I was so psyched for a new Jaws (1975), and it’s impossible for me to see this as anything else. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t expecting it to be similar in anyway but I was hoping for a new quality shark horror movie that wasn’t just another Sharknado (2013). But this lackluster adventure, is only just above par for a Sharknado movie for me and i was greatly disappointed on so many levels, but it did have some charm, what’s not to like about a cheesy thriller with a jumbo sized shark, suitable for 12 year olds with a theme tune of Hey Mickey in Filipino!? Continue reading The Meg (2018)

El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)

Director: Arturo Ripstein.
Starring: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Diana Bracho, Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, David Silva, María Rojo. Mexico. 1h 41m

After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation,  their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.

Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play.
Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness. Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)