For those who missed the previous parts
Strict vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) encounters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world during her first week at veterinary school. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her principles and eats raw meat for the first time and brings about a new confusing chapter in her life, her older sister holds some of the secrets but she has to single handedly piece together her new lust for flesh and blood. A daring piece which is brilliantly acted by a young cast. A captivating exploration of cannibalism or vampirism in its purest form.
Chris, an African-American man, decides to visit his Caucasian girlfriend’s parents during a weekend getaway. Although they seem normal at first, he is not prepared to experience the horrors ahead. This really changed the game for Black Cinema, sparking huge debates but as a stand alone movie it’s an incredible piece of storytelling keeping an audience on the edge much like Hitchcock
Two big names clash as estranged brothers in the MMA Octagon, Tom Hardy as an ex marine vs his equally talented brother Joel Eggerton who takes time out from his teaching job to enter the arena, while their recovering alcoholic father Nick Nolte tries to bond with both as everyone seeks some form of redemption while listening to Moby Dick on Audible. It shifts from brutal violence to tense drama, but it’s totally relentless in giving each actor the chance to really give their best, with little distractions it’s hard not to fall into each scene from Director Gavin O’Connor.
A hard working cop loses his family in a bizarre event at the hospital, but soon he finds himself face to face with the dark forces while investigating a massacre at a school. With forces joining from both sides of the border in this English/Spanish horror, Police and the Vatican have to battle together as no child is safe when the Devil comes for them. Once this horror gets going it really doesn’t stop until, and it takes no prisoners as the frights come in all forms, giving its audience something new to chew on. It’s greatly atmospheric as well as action packed and co stars Tobin Bell as a creepy occultist with strange motives and a possessed wooden carving of Christ that is pure nightmare fuel
96 Possum (2018)
One of my all time favourite actors Sean Harris gets to shine while he stars in one of the most talked about British art house horrors of the decade. A disgraced children’s puppeteer returns to his family home but being confronted by his evil stepfather Alun Armstrong and secrets of the past seem to be too much for him as he begins to crumble mentally and sinks into a depressive surreal state while the world around him, including his creepy puppets seems to follow suit. Very deep and moody.
A razor sharp insight into a con man desperate for work, realising his quick methodical thinking can earn him big numbers when he outruns all the other night crawlers in town and using his manipulative and sociopathic tendencies to get ahead in a cut throat game. Jake Gyllenhaal is perfect as the man we all love to hate, but it’s addictive to see him sink to new lows.
There seemed to be a huge push for having an authentic and riveting Roman invasion movie this decade the big contenders were The Eagle and this Film Council flick starring a bunch of home bred classics such as Liam Cunningham, Dominic west and Michael Fassbender which for me was a brilliant stand out movie. A group of Roman survivors fight for their lives after an attack. The script isn’t gonna win any awards but there’s a lot of really good action and great drama to be had and I loved every bravado moment of it.
With the fear of herself and family becoming homeless a young girl Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) tries everything she can to make ends meet in the absence of her meth cooking father, who skipped bail and vanishes. Facing all the odds, she then has to break the local code of conduct and confront a local conspiracy theory about the matters concerning her father. A Bleak and haunting tale, both sorrowful and full of hope, the best work yet from both writer/director Debra Granik and Lawrence.
A reminder that no matter what Jim Jarmush puts his mind to turns into a darkly romantic road trip through time and the human psyche. Ancient vampire lovers (Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleton) are reunited when one becomes depressed with the state of humanity, after reuniting they are soon targeted by a wayward sibling and an old friend come into contact with a bad batch of blood sparking a new chapter in their Vampiric existence. A sombre movie which a deep heady hippy feel to it, not your typical blood sucker flick.
Rent boys a la Carrivgaio! A young man travels to London and becomes a rent boy, but his addiction to art has a profound effect on him, once he gazes on one of his classics, himself and his closest associated become part of the painting, in reality he’s spazzing out having some kind of art induced divine seizure but these outtakes help spur him onto the next adventure. It’s quirky and strangely delightful, lots of neon lit sets and naked bodies under robes, a rare combination that’s a treat for the eyes and imagination.
A lively period black comedy film that was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and with a star studded cast, tells a story about Queen Anne and two women jostling to be her “favorite”. An elegant and dotty mix of fun and frolics. Eccentric, funny, shocking, and surprising. It’s wonderful.
A stuntman and getaway driver (Ryan Gosling) falls in love with a woman who’s married to a useless criminal (Oscar Isaacs). In a bid to protect her from her husband and some gangsters (inc. Ron Perlman), he decides to cross over to the other side of the law in Nicolas Winding Refn’s vaporwave classic with a stunning colour-scheme and OST and lots of slow mo beat downs.
Brandon Cronenberg follows in his father’s footsteps with his personal take on the New Flesh, in this near future thriller, people are so psyched up on celebrity that agents like Syd (Caleb laundry Jones) who collect viruses from the biggest names so their adoring fans can experience the same cold, flu, itch and ailments, while trying to score it big, he infects himself with a new virus without knowing it’s true origin, he soon enters a dark nightmarish fleshy landscape.
Derek Cianfrance released two sensational movies in 2012, this was the latter, a stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) turns into a robber in order to live a happy life with his child and lover and grabs the attention of a police officer. They both get on a collision course that affects their families. An interesting insight into family feuds and the lingering trauma that can affect the unsuspecting children.
86 She’s lost control (2014)
A professional sexual surrogate gets herself involved with a new client and starts to develop feelings for him, sadly the man co starring in this dark drama has his own violent secrets. A brilliant directorial debut from Anja Marquardt. A precious simmering film with powerful undercurrents.
85 Fehér isten / White God (2014)
A young girl dealing with separation between her parents, in this coming of age Hungarian film, after finding an abandoned dog and struggling to protect it from human abusers, they manage to begin a canine revolt. Soulful and moving in all the right places.
British former boxing champ puts aside his habits and fights back against the job centre then decides to try and reach his former prime after hooking up with his childhood boxing club owner, a real hard hitter starring Johnny Harris and Ray Winstone
83 Jackals (2017)
A family try to steal their son back from a mealovent cult, with the help of an expert they need to undo his “programming” to make him normal again but the connection with the gang isn’t just support, there’s something more sinister at large, gripping cabin/siege horror with lots of gore and screams. A primal nightmarish horror, which could affect anyone.
Part council estate teen romance and part occult slasher horror, this rare horror from Colm McCarthy, stars Kate Dickie who plays a woman on the run from a violent ex, alone in her new flat with her teenage son, she warns him to stay away from girls and to be in at night, but with numbers murders on the estate is she a caring mother, or is there something more sinister about the pints of blood she extracts to paint symbols on the walls? More occult/folk horror at work on a low budget but very effective fantasy monster horror.
The movie series that everyone loves to hate, and the segment with the least amount of love, but I for one really cherishes them all. This is a stand out movie, something which I feel had to be done and done in this way. The original movie shocked, then Mr Tom SIx came back swinging with a strong second but for him the job was done wo why not go out with a bang, after all the screen is his oyster. In this over the top finale the method of attaching people no one likes to each other asses is performed in a prison, with a lot of the previous cast and some new faces/asses we have the Human Millipede, a cameo from the director and organ sex. Why Serbian film is still banned I will never know.
80 Monsters (2010)
LoFiSciFi at its best in Gareth Edwards original epic that sees a different earth after a massive alien invasion, but not as we’d expect, a lot of flora and fauna have settled in our tropical regions. A cynical journalist begrudging agrees to escort an American tourist home through the infected zone to the safety of the US border, their journey is a ecological tribute to the mixed future that mankind is forced to embrace. It’s absolutely stunning, with limited action but the bigger impact and story is relevant to any immigration problems that are being faced no matter what the species. Sadly the sequel drops the ball.
A chilling reminder of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant III, a 22 year old black man who crosses paths with a range of good and bad people before facing the void. Well paced and solid editing with a very realistic presentation and active camera work. Not easy to watch but poignant and hopefully a film that will continue to highlight the world we live in, starring Michael B Jordan outside of the boxing ring.
A group of south London youths and a un suspecting nurse have to protect their block from an alien invasion. From one half of “Adam and Joe” comedy team, comes a brilliant right from the streets sci fi-action-comedy featuring some of the most impressive low(ish) budget monsters i’ve ever witnessed. Genuine characters from local school, and a real career boost for John Boyega.
A gut wrenching docu film about Tilikum, a captive killer whale who lives up to his name. Highlighting the lives of the people affected by the containment of whales in the sea park industry and the fateful events and controversy surrounding this particular character, a very on point film from Gabriela Cowperthwaite.
An ex rodeo rider (Jon Bernthal) strikes up a friendship with a stranger (Christopher Abbott) who visits his town, not realising how dangerous the man really their almost mythical friendship comes into question when the true nature of both men is unveiled in this western styled uber violent drama set in a typically quiet town.
When a logging company decimates a forest in a small town, a sheriff (Kevin Durand) and his deputy (Lukas Haas) must confront the violent and unexplained events that follow. A creature feature with a slight difference, I love new monsters and those adapting to deforestation is like awakening an ancient foe and giving life to something that man was originally afraid of, the reason why we moved out of the forest.
Generally slated by die hard horror fans but alas I have a soft spot for this experimental zombie movie. In this apocalyptic future, the outbreak has happened, zombies are roaming around in packs but a brilliant half infected man (Matt Smith) is able to speak in Zombie, and learns that the disease isn’t making people mindless, but in fact they are just blood thirsty but able to communicate and think quite tactically. While humans search for patient Zero to find a cure, the zombies have their plan to find a key to unlocking their total domination of the planet. It’s a bit silly, but I think it’s important to dig into other areas of any genre and this really inventive horror co starring Stanley Tucci was probably more important than a lot of people realise.
Takeshi Kitano comes back swinging with the beginning of his Outrage trilogy. This first instalment follows a Yakuza gang going through an escalating mob war and various power struggles. Beat plays a henchman who follows orders and makes things up as he goes. Uber is violent and thrilling with lots of tight drama, with some nasty but highly inventive torture and killing scenes.
Talented teenage singer Steven Patrick Morrissey forms a band in Manchester, England, in the 1970s. Inspired by his mother and a young painter, Morrissey continues to pursue his dream of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. If you imagine the film is just about a troubled young man it’s quite dazzling and often set like a painting sadly it’s about Morrisey .. but it’s still stunning work
The legendary battle between two sisters reacted by a fully sterling multicultural cast with so much poise and sensitivity. Definitely knocked me off my feet on the first viewing, dealing highly with the emotional side of the family war, clothed in sumptuous garb it’s totally remarkable journey.
70 The VVitch (2015)
Robert Eggers enters the world of cinema with a hoof to the face of any naysayers. A meticulously researched and stunning movie following a family shunned by their town and scraping an existence in the local forest, although when strange things begin to happen, they fear for their lives and souls as it seems like a witch or the devil himself may be at large. An instant cult classic, partly funded by the Satanic Temple and helped raise a lot of questions about religious freedom or bondage. Very atmospheric and unsettling.
An atmospheric portrait of the men behind the Washington Sniper incident, without really touching on the many victims or really digging too deeply into the men’s psyche, but somehow managing to paint a picture of them and keep its distance, this unreal movie is quite sensitive to its subject matter while entertaining its’ audience. Not like a lot of serial killer documentary style movies out there, but stands out for all the good reasons.
A group of hopeful university students pull an expensive stunt, trying to save a section of the rainforest, unfortunately the stunt goes wrong and they end up getting captured by a native tribe of head hunters. This is when things get ghastly and interesting. Eli Roth returns to his directors chair with a brilliant up to date version of Cannibal Holocust.
A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller).
Argentine period drama film directed by Lucrecia Martel, based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Antonio di Benedetto. It’s a long drama filled with little skirmishes, a mix of superstition and eroticism blended with a deep philosophical story. It’s more engrossing than entertaining, a sublime and crushing ending, left me thinking of Jauja and Embrace the Serpent.
LoFiSciFi was coming to a blistering end but this almost perfect gem that features two of the more icons stars of the genre found each other in this surreal piece. A second identical earth appears in the distance, slowly growing closer to us, eventually we can see our doppelgangers going about their daily lives but what if things weren’t exactly the same? Two miserable people find themselves, but on is from the identical planet which seems to have split after a tragic event, is this an opportunity, a second chance to make things right? Really ingenious and emotive drama that plays with ideas of redemption through time and space.
64 Matthew 18 (2011)
An all African American ghost horror, before Get Out! A young girl travels to study at university but is confronted by malicious spirits in her new but very old plantation home. Meanwhile the family back home are also experiencing strange occult visitations. Low budget but interesting little thriller with a super atmosphere.
Adopted siblings (Sam Quartin, Niko Nicotera) hatch a plot to kill their abusive father (Mark Boone Junior), a local crime boss who won’t go down easily. Told in retrospect, this unrelenting revenge chiller, is heavy handed but steeped in a wonderful beautiful aesthetics and a lot of southern gothic twangs, an impressive performance from all including Mr Manson as hired killer Pope, in an eye catching thriller.
62 Los ojos de Julia / Julia’s Eyes (2010)
Julia Levin is haunted by the death of her sister Sara. The official verdict was suicide, but Julia is convinced that something more sinister was to blame. Co produced by Guillermo del Toro and is one of the more well crafted ghostly horror stories from the region. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster but with a huge nail biting ending that’s really worth it.
This comedy horror has to get a mention as it’s the perfect way to make a sequel, it has the same vein of comedy and splatter horror, the story continues with poise and sense, and it’s just as good if not better than the first, you can watch them together seamlessly and a lot of the cast. Just a wonderful romp in the snow, nazi zombies vs Russian zombies, it’s full on zombie war.
60 Brimstone (2016)
Guy Pearce stars alongside Dakota Fanning in one of the darkest and most disturbing horror westerns this decade. Dutch immigrants begin to forge a home in America’s but despite his position as a minister he’s not a man that can be trusted, especially among young girls, not excluding his own daughter. A harsh cat and mouse chase across a barren landscape. It’s brutal and unforgiving, a real punch in the gut.
Studious and radical director Albert Serra returns with more costume and drama in this delightful story of an aged Casanova, way past his prime, he still tries to give advice but while travelling he chances on Dracula, as beautiful as any classical painting this frivolous movie is charming and slightly sinister.
58 The Engagement (2016)
Nollywood representing! This is one of my all time favourite Nollywood movies and it’s short enough to re watch! Three friends who live in the same compound have similar ideas on dating, they want a ring before sex, but does a ring mean commitment? After they each meet the man of their dreams they begin to learn that commitment doesn’t sit on your finger. It’s a light hearted comedy drama with an important message.
We all know about cabin in the woods horrors, but this one takes things to a whole new level. A group of friends head to a remote cabin, but they aren’t faced with just a few ghouls they have the fate of the whole world in their hands but how and why? Once it gets going the film goes from level to level with an ever increasing level of threat and freakish excitement. If anyone can tell me who or what Kevin ism about please hit me up.
56 The Invitation (2015)
A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex wife, and her new lover and friends, however the night slowly disintegrates into something much more sinister and with huge deadly consequences. It’s a masterful movie, set in deep vivid tones, it slowly plays with it’s audience while forcing you to think outside the box.
55 Southbound (2015)
Horror anthology with lots of high strangeness. Despite all of the different directors etc involved there’s a common undercurrent of weird surreal horror which is so unsettling and bizarre, touches of Lovecraft and Barker throughout. It really is something for any horror fan, but really pay attention there’s so much going on in the peripheral, honestly folks there are tons of easter eggs and hidden meanings go find them!
54 Upstream Color (2015)
Shane Curruth returns with another experimental LoFiSciFi movie after his ground-breaking Primer, this time it follows a rather strange life cycle of a unique .. ageless organism? It’s unusual life cycle allows it to be used to ruin or piece together lives, a weird movie which really puts humans back into the chaotic eco system rather than hierarchy, touching and completely strange.
I’m back with the TV series again, this one I’m only really discussing the first half, an artic expiation ruined by an ancient beast trying to protect it’s fragile community. It’s jam packed with a number of outstanding actors and is a delight to watch them slowly break down under the pressure of realising they are stranded and being stalked. Kinda like The Thing from an olde era. Really brilliant work.
A highlight of the year for me, an ethologist is working on a remote wooded area when he notices something strange on the camera, going to investigate he finds a lost cursed village, he becomes stranded by a rising river and rainfall and slowly becomes as run down and depressed as the decaying surroundings. A film worthy of a Atmospheric black metal soundtrack and lots of attention.
51 Manborg (2011)
Half man half cyborg hero seeks to fight for mankind, but in reality if we have to rely on Manborg then we’re probably all dead now. It’s the style of an Adult Swim production, or some grown boys playing with action figures coming up with a booze inspired story, but for me it’s total brilliance, quirky fun to lose your shit to.