Director: Gareth Evans.
Starring. Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins, Michael Sheen. USA. 2h 10m.
Gareth Evans’ Apostle is a troubled journey into the dark nature of man being forced upon the nature around him in the guise of a new religious cult who have hauled up on a remote island. Evan’s previous projects are considerably different in nature, mostly the Raid (2012) and Raid 2 (2014), which saw a lot of action and violence, although he did perfect sidestep into horror in the V/H/S 2 (2013) anthology when he co directed the Safe Haven segment but again his horror came with a fast pace. But in this epic horror, he manages to divide the film into something more brooding before it picks up speed and descends into a casserole of blood or torture. Much like Panos Cosmatos Mandy (2018). When you think you’ve “got” the movie, suddenly there’s a shift into something unexpected and there’s not going back.
Continue reading Apostle (2018)
Director: Andy Roberts
Starring: Jack Angel, Andy Roberts, UK. 1h 06m
While not wanting to dumb down the power of this movie, but it has to be said that this is like a British version of The DaVinci Code (2006) set around the city of Bath
and surrounding countryside, Andy (Roberts) is a talented young student in photography and film hooks up with his psychic uncle Jack (Angel) and friends to uncover the secret mysteries behind the architecture and history of the city. Jack, has a knack of hearing supernatural entities and sensing presences that are ethereal in nature, after getting his young nephew to join him in filming his investigations, young Andy starts noticing some life-changing events.
Drawing on the success of various other found footage and mockumentary films, there’s a lot of charm in occult angel. Initially a digs deep into the history of the city and the formation of famous landmarks and churches, and then it starts to look at the prehistory, pagan beliefs and uncanny connections between prestigious buildings and pagan icons. Continue reading Occult Angel (2018)
Director: Justin Price
Starring: Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes. USA. 1h 30m
I’m sure this film was intended to scare but it’s a new form of mental torture that I wasn’t quite prepared for when I sat down to watch this.
The not so credible story is centred on Nick (Miller) and his bodacious botoxed girlfriend Victoria (Halabi), opening in an old antique/toyshop that Nick has inherited the couple take stock of the contents while out shopping for Christmas gifts. Nick breaks away while Victoria take a pointless and long winded phone call, meanwhile he discovered a chest with handmade toys, the room begins to fill up with fresh snow as he discovers a creepy Elf toy holding a knife, attached to it is a curse/spell after reading this out he noticed that there’s a list of name at the bottom and they correspond to his family, meh nothing strange about this. Continue reading The Elf (2017)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)
Director: Philip Gelatt.
Starring. William Jackson Harper, Rebecca Henderson USA. 1h 42m.
Based on: They Remain by Laird Barron.
Exploration is the focus of this psychological sci fi thriller, but the execution is as conflicting as the main characters grasp on reality and eventually the slow burning just fizzles out after several meandering mistakes which were supposed to build tension. They Remain explores a relationship of two scientists , Keith (Harper) and Jessica (Henderson) who are employed to investigate an area which was once a camp for a mysterious cult. It’s not very clear what they are doing for a long stretch of the movie, the two seem to have bizarre conversations while looking at camera feeds and “researching”, apparently sent by a mysterious corporation identifies by it’s geometric corporate logo and no more.
Continue reading They Remain (2017)
Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Alexander Brickel, Kateryn Winnick, Stephen Graham, Amanda Plummer, Wass Stevens, Joshua Annex. USA. 1h 40m.
I found this lesser known gem in the bargain bucket, it came as one of those double sided discs with an equally bizarre b movie, Killer X (1999), it stayed on my shelf for years until I had a particularly shitty break up and I decided to settle down with a tub of ice cream and sob into it with a terrible movie to remind myself just how shit my life was at the time but this stunning movie really uplifted my evening.
Directed by Jeff Lieberman, a meistro who lives to live life on the edge with psychedelic and wayward classics such as Blue Sunshine (1977), Just Before Dawn (1981) and Squirm (1976) under his belt, but with this modern approach to horror, he seemed to not take any aspect of this movie all that serious but it still manages to be a creepy comedy horror with some very dark undertones, totally different from this retro classics but so brilliant in it’s own quirky rights. Continue reading Satan’s Little Helper (2004)
Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Henry Nixon, Emma Lung,Liam Hemsworth. UK. 1h 39m
At first glance it would seem that the title seems to refer to the Bermuda Triangle, where puzzling things seem to happen at sea, but really if this film deserved an apt title it would be Loop but that would sound stupid.. so triangle it is.
The film is quite smart and even with rounds of repetition it’s still interestingly constructed, sly and a fairly deep piece from British Director Christopher Smith who gave us deeply disturbing projects such as Creep (2004).
Set in the US, with a totally Aussie/New Zealand crew, there are a few accent faux pas but they are totally acceptable in the time loop chiller, that seems to be a cross between Ghost Ship (2002) and Donnie Darko (2001), that sees a group of youngsters take a jaunt on a fancy yacht and run into curious difficulties. Continue reading Triangle (2009)
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Michael Kenneth Williams, Abbie Cornish . USA. 1h 57m
It’s taken me a long time to watch this as I have such a deep connection with the original film, for me Robocop is a saint and I was almost insulted that anyone would dare to remake the movie, but this is a very loose remake that pretty much relies on you having seen the original too get make sense of some of the benial content. But don’t take my low rating as a sign that I am a total fangirl of the Verhoeven classic, I have taken a lot of energy to think outside of my little box.
In this rendition of the tragic life of Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), he’s a brilliant righteous cop who is on a questionable case that keeps giving him and his partner Lewis (Williams) the slip. Continue reading Robocop (2014)
Director: Lance Daly.
Starring. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keogham, Sarah Greene. USA. 1h 40m.
This brilliantly dark poetic revenge flick from the bleakest part of Irish history is rough but so intense. Based on the Irish Language short called An Ranger by PJ Dillon and Pierce Ryan, this lengthy retelling is focused on an Irish Ranger returning home from war and finding his homeland is very different to how he left it.
Starting on another tangent, the film opens with Hanna (Weaving) losing his temper with a prisoner, a member of the Young Irelander movement, while losing his temper he strangles the man he sips from his canteen while another guard realises Hannah has killed the prisoner.
Meanwhile Martin Feeney (Frechville) a former Connaught Ranger arrives in Connemara, west Ireland in 1847, the worst part of the Great Famine, he finds family home hollowed out and filled with pigs, he learns that his mother died from starvation and his brother was hanged after stabbing a bailiff during the family’s evection. Feeney stays with his brothers widow (Greene) who are squatting in one of the few remaining houses. Soon the landlord arrives to evict the family, killing Feeney’s nephew and destroying the home. Feeney is arrested but managed to kill his captors and destroy the barracks and re returns to find his sister in law and her daughter dead from exposure. This sparks something dark inside of Feeney and he begins to seek a tortuous bloody revenge on the men who have wronged him. Continue reading Black 47 (2018)
Director: David Lynch
Starring: John Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Judith Anna Roberts. USA . 1h 49m
A cult classic surreal black and white masterpiece… to some.. But not for me! I’m not going to bullshit, I’ve never been really into Eraserhead, I adore black and white movies and I really love surreal art (something I paint myself) and films. I’ve never been heavily into Lynch and for me this film is creepy, unusual but nothing all that special. I feel that there are two types of surreal movies, the first is a movie which is all out surreal, no easy to follow story line and completely wacky, for argument sake Dali’s Un Chien Andalou (1929), and there are other films which have a pretty liner storyline but just go about it in random ways.. Much like this one. Continue reading Eraserhead (1977)