If you missed the first installment then you can find it here…
200 The Monster (2016)
Super effective and powerful movie starring Zoe Kazan as a mother who’s doing all she can to protect her daughter while stranded on a lonely road. Tons of traditional horror alongside poignant metaphorical ideas on what a monster truly is in this entertaining and thought provoking horror story.
Invited back to his home village for a civic honour, a writer (Gorka Otxoa) discovers some unpleasant truths about his family and why his village hasn’t changed in more than a century. Brilliant comedy horror with a slash of the uncanny, kinda like Day of the Beast but without the drugs and leather pants.
198 Late Phases (2014)
A cranky retired blind police officer begins to settle into Crescent Bay, a comfortable place to spend one’s golden years, but he’s instantly aware that there’s something not quite right as the townsfolk are picked off one by one during random animal attacks. A sinister secret flows within the community but nothing can intimidate this determined hero, Starring Nick Damici from Stake Land in one of the more progressive Werewolf movies of the decade.
Crime-scene cleaners (Erlend Nervold, Jon Sigve Skard) discover an unstoppable, legendary creature (Silje Reinåmo) at a remote cabin.One of the early folk horrors that crept in at the beginning of the movement, introducing the world lovely ideas of Huldra’s and other creatures.
196 Overlord (2018)
I think this film was wrongly advertised as a horror, it’s ore of an action film with some monstrous nazi’s in it, more there to add a more robust foe to the American hero’s more than creatures to scare the audience, but whatever the classification, Overlord is really entertaining and wildly fun film starring Jovan Adepo in this blended zombie thriller and part gore fest action movie.
Now we’re in the territory that i like the most! I love deeply disturbing and psychological films. this one justifies itself but making the original bad guy the lowest of the low, raping and killing a child is frowned upon by most. So it’s easy to accept what’s happening. It’s quick, gory and sick but it’s not over the top. There is a huge sentimental umbrella over the film. It raises a lot of questions about what a parent would really do to a killer peado if they got their hands on them, wrong and right it turned upside down, walls of sanity broken down. I live for cinema like this, its’ uneasy and darkly thought provoking.
194 Jackie (2016)
Natalie Portman strips all the glamour away from the life of Jackie O, immediately before and after the assassination of her beloved husband. It’s a tragic retelling of a terrible event but manages to show how Jackie her children were stripped of their humanity for the sake of the state and how her strength and devotion managed to keep her sane and her build back up to the woman we all know and love. Very robust work.
A slightly less edgy take on an Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, see a typically adorable heartthrob James McAvoy play a really nasty cop with a ton of vices. It’s a lovable story about a man dealing with his inner demons by feeding them and allowing them to play with his life. funny, cruel, daring and incredibly insane. Not the trainspotting-esque missing piece but something a bit more grown up and responsible but equally deviant and disgustingly fun.
192 Inside Llewellyn Davis (2013)
1960s Greenwich New York a wanna be folk singer (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads, he struggles in life but his passion to be the next Dillon but can he overcome each obstacle set by him from his past? A somber movie from the Coen Brothers, filled with their unusual characters and a strange undercurrent and even a little bit of possible time travel, did you notice it?
Luke Goss returns as a hardened cop who’s just out doing his civic duties when he’s suddenly sent on a ton of wild jobs which sees him facing death in more extreme ways, he and his studios partner begin to wonder why their operator is doing this, is it her cruel intention or is she being forced? A low budget action movie which is surprising really good, a bit tongue in cheek but a really enjoyable solid effort and with so much charm, so carting Ving Rhyanes and Michael Pare.
190 A Most Violent Year (2013)
Two brilliant stars side by side in this grizzly drama. The word violent in the title might have led some down the wrong path, it’s more of a social aspect rather than mafia pistol whipping. An immigrant businessman Able Morales (Oscar Isaac) strives to expand his business against all odds in a city filled with rampant decay and corruption, lucky his stunning wife (Jessica Chastain) is just as cut throat in this brilliant methodical thriller that retells a slightly darker American Dream.
Robert Redford returns to the screen in a one man effort that shows that he still has what it takes to dominate a movie and make it wonderful. A man awakes to find that a container has punched a hole in the side of his boat, the complex fix becomes a battle between man and nature. With only one spoken word “fu!k” and a lot of pacing and pensive thinking, it’s quite a powerful movie with so much going on, silent and reflective of how fragile we all are.
188 As Above So Below (2014)
A girl on a mission to explore the catacombs to discover the secrets of the Knights Templar, slightly messy mythology but all round fast fun found footage journey into the unknown. Big scares and all the little weird stuff too, with the best cold ending ever
Susan receives a manuscript of her ex-husband Edward’s new novel and finds it very compelling. However, the story forces her to confront several disturbing truths about their marital life. Set in the real world and living out the book there are two absorbing stories for the price of one. It’s interesting to see relationships and emotional pain from a different perspective. Stylish, sad and yet brilliant.
When Keller Dovers (Hugh Jackman) daughter and friend go missing he takes matters into his own hands when the local police headed by Jake Gyllenhaal appear to be doing nothing, while discovering the man he thinks is responsible (Paul Dano) he slowly find himself falling down a rabbit hole and into a maze which no parent wants to find. A tense layered film with lots of meanings, twists and turns, totally engrossing and deserves every credit
185 The Loft (2010)
Dutch crime film directed by Antoinette Beumer. It is a remake of the 2008 Belgian film, where a group of friends share a loft space to do as they will but when a dead girl is discovered who is to blame. A tight drama with a tense faceoff as they each relive their last 24 hours, can you work out who did it? Remade again for the American Market as it’s such a brilliant mix of characters with a very unusual dilemma.
184 The Wolfman (2010)
A bold remake from Joe Johnston, and starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. Lawrence Talbot returns to his family home at Blackmoor in England, after his brothers mauled body is found, but the strange murders keep plaguing the town. A stylised retelling of the classic, hated by most but for me, definitely an interesting visually stunning story with a few comedy kills.
183 The Bunny Game (2011)
A prostitute fights for her life after being abducted by a sadistic truck driver in the desert. A supposed re telling of real events which makes it way more impressive that a young actress could go back and re live this nightmare, Either way this black and white adventure can be really hard to watch, highly disturbing and brilliant work.
182 This Must Be the Place (2011)
In every mans life there comes a time when he has to do something for his family, for Cheyenne (Sean Penn) after his father passes he takes it on himself to hunt the nazi’s that persecuted his blood line in this delightful coming of (old) age styled road movie with buckets of comedy as Sean Penn imitates Robert Smith and puts wrongs to right as he blasts through America with his tiny sidekick.
In a sleepy backwater town a funeral director and cremation enthusiast (Brad Dourif) teams up a teenage (pseudo goth) loner and start promote the business by making a few extra bodies appear from time to time, they also bond over crosswords which is the best way to make new friends. It’s low budget but anything Dourif puts his hands to is golden. It’s any horror teens wet dream, teaming up with a psycho and killing all the bad guys.
A young man (Aaron Poole) returns to his mother’s home after her death, with the aim of sorting out the family affairs he realises she’s opened her home to a cult run by two strange brothers, moving statues and other phenomena attracted a unique following including a dark presence which still stalks the property. A subtle horror with a heavy brooding atmosphere, Vanessa Redgrave lends her masterful tones to advance the movie, it’s really delightful and set in a stunning Malpaquet style house, utterly spellbinding.
179 The Void (2016)
A crowdfunded movie with heavy HP Lovecraft pallet, a strange cult lays siege to an understaffed hospital, much like Assault on Precinct 13 the inhabitants must fight to survive the night but what demonic/inter dimensional forces are they fighting against? Only time will tell as they enter the Void. It’s amazing what you can do if you really put some effort into a movie, Aaron Poole stars again in this very caustic movie, and a strange open ending means we might get another dose.
178 Seoul Station (2016)
Before Train to Busan there was an animated forerunner, a delightful prequel that explains the humble beginnings of this zombie outbreak and it also serves as a taster as this series delivers more than just the usual frights, it has a massive emotional spine which churns up feelings and fear. The story is laid out with gorgeous (computer) animation and has some very shocking chills and crazy violent moments, for me this was so much more impressive than the main feature.
A mysterious film starring Paul Hamy as Fernando, a lone Ornithologist who manages to get lost in the Portuguese forest while studying black storks. He stumbles on a range of surreal characters. A sensual and art house retelling of the life and times of St Anthony of Padua, a great visionary movie, with some touches of Embrace the Serpent but with a more stable story line.
176 REC Apocalypse (2015)
For now this is the final chapter in the series of zombie/demonic possession craziness, while the first two movies are blinding great, the 3rd seemed to be a bit of a comedy out take we’re back on track with this 4th movie and it’s a jawbreaker. We’re back with the original Anna, but she’s now on board a ship in the ultimate battle between good and evil, but after her last actions she’s now under great suspicion so you never know where you stand in this epic slasher and fast paced action horror.
Batman finds himself and a range of villains transported from modern Gotham to feudal Japan, but this won’t stop them from massing armies and building technology and continuing the war! I love the blend of mecha and feudal Japan, it’s a steampunk style similar to Afro Samurai, maybe not as dynamic but for me a really cool adventure.
Pregnant with her brother’s child, a young girl tries to escape from her backwoods community after learning that she is to be sacrificed to a creature that lives in a very deep pit. Very southern gothic/folk style horror that keeps things intense and creepy,starring the lovely Lauren Ashley Carter.
173 Kuso (2017)
A mystifying movie from Flying Lotus and some creative input from David Firth who gave us Salad Fingers and other disturbing shorts. This loosely tells the story of a group of people who have survived a terrible earthquake but the world they live in is incredibly mismatched, filled with all sorts of crazy therapies and tons of puss and other bodily fluids, t’s pretty disgusting but top notch entertainment.
Javier Bardem stars in a fantastical drama. This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move. A dutiful father spends his days dealing with his own mortality while seeing and speaking to the dead for comfort and advice. A downbeat and heartfelt story which lives up to its name, and maybe a bit of dust got in my eye at the end.. maybe..
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend. Fast paced action in a pretty long movie based around parenthood in a no bullshit and all power action flick.
A papermaker (Donnie Yen) gets involved with a murder case concerning two criminals leading to a determined detective (Takeshi Kanishro) suspecting him and the former’s vicious father searching for him. This is so different in terms of traditional Chinese cinema, it features CSI styled internal graphics in the criminal playbacks and Jimmy Wang Yu the original One Armed Boxer as a one armed badass, really intelligent and profound movie.
After seeing Cell 211 I have been very interested in the acting abilities of Luis Tosar who plays the hardened criminal. He returns in this warped story of a superintendent of an apartment building who believes that he cannot be happy and secretly enjoys inflicting pain on others, a new tenant in 5B is his new target and unable to ruin her happiness with his usual methods he sinks further into depravity to upset his young woman. Luis is like a little black raincloud over each tenant, the style of the community within is much like Junet’s Amelie but with the addition of a psychotic bully, turns the sweet tale into a horror thriller
In a revised Gotham City, a mentally challenged clown Arthur Fleck lives a downtrodden and miserable life, spending quality time with his mother is his only escape is watching their favourite TV together, a show hosted by Murray Franklin (De Niro) an actor who played a similar ruthless lost man in Taxi Driver (1976). Over time his urge to make people smile leads him to a path of dark personal discoveries, but as his learns about his childhood, his new persona, The Joker beings to take over leading him to a new chapter of life and giving him something to smile about while the city burns. Possibly the best reworking of any Joker story committed to film to date, bold, impressive and realistic insight into a character we thought we all knew and still love.
167 Strange Blood (2015)
Now this film has grown on my over the years, I didn’t rate it too high while I really love the deep religious/new flesh feeling about this organic god. The film follows a brilliant but obsessive scientist who goes to extremes to develop a universal cure for all disease, he finds himself infected with a bizarre parasite that begins to transform him into a Vampire, low budget but so much fleshy disease thrills from Chad Michael Ward.
166 Citadel (2012)
Tommy Cowley lives a quiet life in a decaying apartment complex with his highly pregnant wife. The couple are attacked one day by a group of hooded young thugs, and after a shocking act of violence, Tommy is left to raise his newborn daughter alone. So shaken by the events that he’s developed extreme agoraphobia, When the gang returns for his daughter the film turns between social disturbance and possible demonic interference but the film allows the viewer to make this realisation.
Ari Aster returns with his follow up to Hereditary, this time he focuses on a small folk community based in Sweden, a small group of American friends attend a festival that happenes every 90 years only to discover it’s dark and violent sources, a vibrant treck down a crazy rabbit hole willed with heathen symbolism and unusual customs reminiscent of the Wicker Man on crack.
A quirky documentary film directed by Canadian Denis Cote. who follows a group of men dedicated to extreme bodybuilding. While most of the film is pretty silent, the main focus is there more mundane day to day living but somehow it really opens up a chance to reflect on what it really does take. Eventually it’s easy to understand the title, the strength and muscle is only a small part of a strong man, the rest is highlighted in this delicate film.
Animated TV Series that has really touched my where it matters, follow Mr Pickles a satanic cult leader and also adorable doggo and his family, the Goodmans as they deal with the mindless gore in their jerkwater town.It’s everything that MTV’s liquid television tried to be for a new generation, any fans of Dethklok out there?
This terrifying horror thriller follows two best friends who set out on the trip of a lifetime around the world. Their journey, documented every step of the way, soon takes a dark and unexpected turn after an encounter with a beautiful woman in Paris leaves one of them mysteriously afflicted. It does suffer from a few horror cliches but it’s a top runner in the found footage genre for its ingenuity when needed and compelling story,
In this slick and disturbing horror film, Luz is a young cab driver fleeing from the grasp of a possessed woman, whose confession could endanger the lives of everyone who crosses her path. A refreshing horror with a minimalist approach with perfect results.
160 Hardcore Henry (2015)
A breakthrough in fast action cinema, after Crank, we have Henry, a man who awakes in a strange future, after being briefed he’s soon falling to earth and is constantly on the run with a bizarre every changing mission. Starring Sharlto Copley (not Henry) the movie kinda needs to be seen to be fully believed. It’s a non stop parkour with a go pro but there is a compelling story behind it all, so much fun.
159 Un Francais / French Blood (2015)
A modern tale of a man who attempts to back away from his racist gang. Without tons of speeches and fury drama his approach is more cerebral as he finds new things to occupy his time and realises how stupid the gang really are, trying to live an impossible dream. It’s very much a continental Skin. but with more action and less sensational nonsense and solid story telling and proactive acting.
158 Boyka Undisputed (2016)
Uri Boyka, despite being introduced as a bad guy managed to become our hero from his bad ass attitude and outstanding fighting in Undisputed 2, Scott Adkins has since gone on to really build a fan base and returned in this new chapter showing that Uri is a total Bossanova, fast cation, captivating story and another chance to chant Boyka at your TV, it’s everything!
In this enchanting new story from the Academy Award-nominated director of The Secret of Kells, Ben and his little sister Saoirse. A deeply Celtic animation with tons of symbolism and a typical bitter lovely story incorporating folklore and outstanding artistry.
Denis Villeneuve’s epic sci fi adventure that never leaves earth, has all of the best elements of LoFi SciFi but with a fairly substantial budget, Amy Adams stars as a linguistics expert called in by the military to help communicate with an alien race. With the world on the edge of fear and war, it seems the language is more than what it seems as we slowly start to decipher its mysteries.
155 Piercing (2018)
A father afraid of harming his new born baby, checks himself into a hotel to commit the perfect murder but the call girl he ends up with takes his plans to whole new levels. The author of the Audition , Ryū Murakami, follows up with an equally troubling story, brought to life by Nicholas Pesce this opulent fetish edged fantasy ride is very different but engrossing.
154 Nightmare Cinema (2018)
Horror anthologies were kept alive with this instant classic, five strangers are drawn to an abandoned theater and forced to watch their deepest and darkest fears play out, the stories have a mix of everything from cinema history, comedy, black and white psychological horror, demons, aliens, spiders, you name it, all blended up in a handful of stories, for me it was a great to see something different from the new modern trends.
153 Killing of the Sacred Deer (2017)
Cult Director of the strange, Yorgos Lanthimos hits back with a muted drama with dark undercurrents, when a cardiovascular surgeon loses a patient, he becomes attached to the man’s son but the friendship turns sour when an ancient Greek fable of revenge comes into play with strange results. Starring two of Ireland’s best, Colin Farrel and bright up and coming Barry Keoghan. In yet another surreal world crafted by a masterful director.
Rosamund Pike stars as the perfect smiling bunny boiler in David Fincher’s creepy drama. A girl who always gets her own way goes way above and beyond to present the perfect portrait of a blissful marriage to her public meanwhile when denied something that her heart desires she stages her own disappearance. An amazing probing look into the make up of a modern marriage that’s constantly in the public eye. Based on the bestseller from Gillian Flynn.
about two warring Irish traveler families in the UK. Director Ian Palmer spent years following the families and recording their fights through the generations, not only documenting the blood and gore but the behind the scenes, from children’s birthdays and mothers talking over tea. A well rounded hard insight into Bare Knuckle Fighting origins.
….more coming tomorrow…