The Pyramid (2014)

Director: Gregory Levasseur
Starring: Denis O’Hare, Ashley Hinshaw, Alexandre Aja, James Buckley. USA. 1h 29m

Not quite found footage, but using a lot of the first person perspective shots, the Pyramid attempts to break the story of the century when a team of experts dig up the most uncanny find in a very unusual hidden pyramid.

With a high strung story and worrying cast the movie keeps losing grasp of its own concept. Long are the forgotten days of explorers opening up NEW pyramids, they have all been raided and documented but in Levasseur’s dusty thriller a group finds a longer Lobster pyramid and begins to investigate its potential treaties.

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Short Movie Roundup 27 February 2022

Benigni

A man suffering from depression finds some solace with a strange lump emerging from his side. There’s a strange warmth in this short Finish stop motion film that rings bells with an equally bizarre cult classic, How to get ahead in Advertising or that episode of Family Guy with chips but with a much more rewarding ending. A worthy project by Elli Vuorinen, Pinja Partanen, Jasmiini Ottelin.

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The Aplines (2021)

Director: Dante Aubain
Starring: Mally Corrigan, Aaron Latta-Morris .UK. 1h 33m

Meeting up with old friends brings back memories of the good ole days, a chance to catch up and congratulate each other and relive old times, and the perfect setting for a rose tinted reunion is a far away cabin in the wilderness , with no distractions and no neighbors to distract or keep a watchful eye. The only problem, having not seen your old school friends for some time there’s no guarantee that everyone still has all their own marbles. Will this weekend in the Alpines be a few beers and burgers or a weekend of psychological meltdowns and digging up buried true feelings?

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

Director: David Blue Garcia
Starring: Mark Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Owlen Fouere, Neil Hudson Sarah Yarkin, Jacob Latiore, Moe Dunford. USA. 1h 21m

I wasn’t aware that we needed another addition to this blood soaked series but it seems that coming out of a pandemic we just might need some fun chainsaw fun time again. The brilliance is that this isn’t a remake, a reboot or a re-imagined mish mash of horror pulp and a genuine attempt to revisit a dusty town has been achieved although with all the tropes, cliches and homages, was it really worth the effort?

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A Woman Scorned – The Betty Broderick Story (1992)

Director: Dick Lowry
Starring: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Collins, Michelle Johnson, Kelli Williams, Stephen Root, and Lori Hallier. USA. 1h 36m

We’ve had Alien Vs Predator and Freddy Vs Jason and even Godzilla vs Mothra, but have you ever seen a jilted wife fight her husband, the horror generated by a blond bombshell feeling the grips of age and jealousy is nothing compared to the other hollywood beasts. If at some point ,Betty Broaderick turned up at a 50ft woman and shot lazers from her eyes at his “deadbeat” husband while people flee in terror then no one would be shocked.

In it’s own rights there’s an air of horror about (directors) taught drama. The case of Betty Broaderick was one which shocked America and the world was glued to her televised court case, the details all too much to chromphrend for a lot of people. How can a wife be so cold hearted, but no matter what Betty did or was accused of, she also had her fans, it wasn’t even a matter of Hybristophilia, there was a jisted ex wife uprising on the cards, so what did Betty do?

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Short Movie Roundup 20 February 2022

Night Bus

On the eve of her 30th birthday a Black London bus driver finds a strange entity on her night bus. Taking the unusual turn of not having a screaming blonde teenager as their main character, directors Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth have made a strong independent black woman a viable strong heroine. Using atmospheric sounds and clever camera work they build up as the bus ride begins to rattle the nerves of the young woman.

The feisty London attitude really kicks in after the bus gets a mind of it’s own and attempts to drive off Christine style but the battle is on when the entity begins to move around and the doors are locked.

It’s such a powerful and highly creepy showdown between creepy old hag type entity and Lakisha from Bromwell High, and rare that a female character decided to kick ass straight away but our girl is like “Na Mate” and goes MMA on this laughing ghoul. It’s refreshing and has a solid execution.

The Lookout

Lookouts have been the subject of a lot of creepy pasta styled short stories but rarely feature in movies, and this cracking short from Katherine Oostman is a prime example of why we really need more Lookout horrors. When a fire lookout gets a strange call for help over her raio she ventures into the pitch black forest to investigate.

Venturing out alone into a forest that you already know one person is struggling in is one brave thing to do, but once you begin to start finding strange cobwebs, it’s already time to nuke that particular forest from orbit.. Instead our brave heroine keeps up the investigation and attempts to help where she can but can anyone ever realize when they have been trapped until it’s too late.

Early on anyone watching this will believe that they have worked out

Disappear

What’s better than a bit of Stop Motion cinema.. black and what stop motion!! This darling piece by Hendrikus De Vaan follows a man haunted by his past and pestered by his present. The moody atmosphere is enhanced by a small magic act that he sets up when the world gets too much. We’d all like to vanish from time to time but what if we had the ability to make ourselves disappear?

It raises questions about mortality and what happens when a person leaves. We all know that life goes on right, but without aiming to be anything other than insightful there’s a hollow feeling in the wake of this movie, that just might leave you pondering a few of life’s mysteries too.

Eskos

There’s something special about this 10 minute Stop Motion marvel from director Barnaby Dixon. There’s a lot of homage to the Quay brothers work, not only in tone and motion but the visceral objects. A pair of robotic characters carry out tasks of butchery and packaging of fish, but a bird-like creature begins howling; it disturbs one of the characters and it’s presence rings in a mount of changes.

It’s really cleverly done, the animation itself is smooth and faultless, the sound was put together by Matt Loveridge and accompanies the surreal landscape perfectly. There’s some adoration for the “loose ends’ ‘ of the film, how bean cans and wire hoops are not dressed up as extra items.

The Hole

This uncanny short movie features a series of rooms, that even without characters are torn apart and partly restored after being “attacked” by unseen forces. It’s apparent that someone’s home is in the middle of a bloody battle but seeing the guts and bones of a home, a school or even a lavatory blown apart and then reassembled for life in a war zone is chilling. It’s a sterling concept and executed so well by Ghaith Mahmoud & Mayar Nouri.

Waste Away

Elly Stern’s magical movie is pretty surreal, a homeless woman takes a piss in an alleyway and encounters a discarded fish that changes her life..

I love when stop motion directors get creative with materials and the use of plastic as the ocean is quite clever and poignant. There’s a serene connection with motherhood and taking care of the planet. Once the woman has a reason to be strong and fight for survival nature takes over and the story shifts into one about how we perceive nature attacking us when in reality it’s just trying to settle the status quo after all of our damage. It’s insightful and extremely thought provoking.

Demon Hole (2017)

Director: Josh Crook
Starring: Samantha Scaffidi, Samhain, Paris Campbell, Laura Barbiea, Summer Mastain, Steve Lipman. USA. 1h 21m

Trouble teens left to their own devices are supposed to clear up some rural land while as part of their tortured community service, but instead they find a cabin, decide to light up some blunts and start some hanky panky.. who would’ve thought this would lead to demonic possession?

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Short Movie Roundup 13 February 2022

She Lives Alone

Lucy Rose’s traumatizing dark fantasy film is on par with Hagasuzza at times with tormented characters roaming around a hauntedly shifty world of spirits and repressed memories. Maud’s domineering mother has passed but faced with freedom the young woman is faced with a dark entity in her home, at first stealing her prayer beads, the encounters become more ferocious.

With an unsettling mic of music from Die Hexen and perfect costumes from Maddy Williamson, Rachel Teate is cast deep into a historic where the unknown comes knocking all too frequently. Rose uses a few surreal shots to highlight Mauds frightening experiences but otherwise her world is just one massive supernatural trip, at one point, after a prophetic dream, Maud attempts to end the matter with a bizarre bloody ritual which has devastating results.

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Terza ipotesi su un caso di perfetta strategia criminale / Who Killed the Prosecutor and Why (1972)

Director: Giuseppe Vari
Starring: Lou Castel, Adolfo Celi, Beba Loncar. Italy. 1h 32m

One of the easily overlooked Giallo/Politizen films which has a storyline which trips over into the Psychotropic realms there’s a ton of sleeze to get through in Vari’s vibrant thriller.

Fashion photographer Carlo (Castel) and hit model girlfriend Olga (Loncar) are rolling in the dunes when Carlo notices a shady encounter, a couple of men start beating a third man unconscious and set fire to him in his car, Carlo catching all these on film, knowing they are onto something big and take the photos to Uncle Fifi, Olgas wheelcharir bound porno director relative, for advice on how to get the most money for the precious photos.

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In Search of Balance (2016)

Director: Adam Pfleghaar
Starring:Various USA. 1h 14m

This detailed insight into how we fit into the bigger scheme of things as one element of planet earth, starts as an engaging documentary that slowly unravels into strange conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas which seem to sell a bitter snake oil.

Film-maker Adam Pfleghaar has devised a collage of interviews and compiled meticulous research , and constructed an audio-visual meditation on the themes of how we, as a species are only a tiny cog in a giant wheel, seeing the bigger picture is alluring and understanding how far detached we are from nature if eye opening but the end result of In Search For Balance had me scratching my head working out how these guys cured diabetes but The method and technique doesn’t seem something marketable for the rest of the public

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