Category Archives: Mystery

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken , Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 43m
Based on  Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Sometimes I read the synopsis of a film and then check the time and can’t fathom how someone can drag out something so simple for so long, reading about Gerald’s Game, a woman trapped along chained to a bed, the mind doth boggle how i can last for nearly two hours, but this movie is amazing in the details and revelations that incur during Jessie’s surprise and accidental incarceration.

Jessie (Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Greenwood) travel to a remote beach house to rekindle their marriage, with a bit of kink, after running into a stray dog, Jessie puts some food out for the dog incase it’s still in the area and notices that a door has been left open. Focusing on the fun she slips into a something more comfortable and Gerald pops two viagra, handcuffs his wife to the bed and dies from a heart attack. Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017)

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Lake Mungo (2008)

Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin  Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m

Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.

Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services  go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body. Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)

Naked Lunch (1991)

Director: David Cronenberg
Based on – Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs
Starring: Peter Welller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider. Canada, Japan, UK. 1h 55m

This bold, Kafkaesque putrid remake of the legendary novel by William S Burroughs, is possibly as vivid and imaginative as the original book, but if you’ve read the book you’ll realise that no film could ever really be a true adaptation, so the screenplay is a metatextual adaption. Detailing characters and scenes from a complex novel and other works from Burroughs, both fictional and from his journal and the events which lead to the 1951 death of Joan Vollmer, Burroughs’s common law wife.  So while it’s not entirely Naked Lunch, it should at least FEEL like Naked lunch and at times it feels a lot like Burroughs but slightly more coherent.

As a surreal autobiographic piece the film follows the life of William Lee, who is basically Burroughs, a bug exterminator who discovers his wife is stealing his insecticide and using it to get high. Lee is arrested and starts hallucinating because of his exposure to the powder. Believing that he’s a secret agent  he beings a strange relationship with two handlers, one is a insect typewriter and an alien “Mugwump“. The typewriter assigns him a mission of killing Joan, she’s allegedly an agent of an organization called “Interzone”, Lee dismisses this notion but on returning home he finds Joan having sex with a friend and kills her, inadvertently carrying out the mission, he flees to interzone, a city in North Africa where he spends his time writing reports to his handlers, this slowly becomes the Naked Lunch book and after taking more mind altering drugs and getting a new typewriter, a Clark Nova, this insect  stresses that he needs to find Dr Benway by seducing Joan Frost who’s a doppelganger of his dead wife and then things get really weird, and with the addition of a drug that is made from a centipede. Continue reading Naked Lunch (1991)

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Director: john Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen,  Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh . USA . 1h 35m

A sort of coming of age  of the Beat Poets, Kill Your Darlings presents a “as they were” to the major literary movement. Krokidas uses a small time 1940’s murder as a feature to lead into how these soon to be famous writers first met. He romanticize everything, including all the negative aspects of the characters, their argumentative  nature and self destructive tendencies are all keys of inspiration but the film wallows in a faux nostalgia and sensationalism rather than digging deeper to provide a better insight. Continue reading Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Chappaquiddick (2017)

Director: John Curran
Starring: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara,Bruce Dern. USA.

Jason Clarke impresses as the last Kennedy whose reputation sank along with the demise of a young supporter in murky mystery.

The history of the Kennedys and their prominence in the hearts of the American public as they rose to new heights of the country’s political area. But after the demise of Bobby and and Joe Jr, everything landed on the shoulders of Ted. This is all mapped out in Chappaquiddick, attentively directed byChappaquiddick (2018). The writing was all down to Allen and Logan, a screenplay not adapted from any specific research as no one knows what actually happened. But this becomes part of the point. But Chappaquiddick isn’t all about the facts from this fateful night, it’s microscopic lense is pointed at the Kennedy’s behaviour during the turmoil, and eventually turns it’s analytical finger at the audience and makes you question what you would do with such a powerful network at your disposal and a presidency at risk. Continue reading Chappaquiddick (2017)

Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)

Director: Hiroshi Katagiri
Starring: Eva Swan, Sean Sprawling, Katherine Taylor, Simon Philips, Doug Jones, Lance Henriksen. USA/ Japan. 1h 45m

Katagiri’s feature length debut opens up with an embellished biblical quote from Matthew 18:9, but instead of casting your eye into hell fire, the word is changed for Gehenna, this cuts away for a group of natives performing a ritual involved cutting off a mans face and walling him up in a cave.
After the bloodshed, the film cuts to a pristine office, where Morgan (Henriksen) speaks with his daughter about checking out a new spot in Saipan, the family business is tied with tourism and they have acquired a new piece of land which Paulina (Swan) is determined to check out as she’s planning on taking over the family business soon, this is all you’ll see of Henriksen so don’t get your hopes up Henny fans.

Continue reading Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)

La Piel Fria / Cold Skin (2017)

Director:Xavier Gens.
Starring. Aura Garrido, David Oakes, Ray Stevenson. Spain. 1h 48m.

The background of this mesmerising  thriller is reminiscent of stories straight from the imagination of HP Lovecraft, but the film is actually based on a story by Albert Sanchez Pinol with the same title. They both involve a lone man on the edge of his sanity who lives locked tight in a light house on a remote and uninhabited island, existing like a hobo and fighting off deadly sea creatures each night.

The film breaks open at sea, a fine-looking ship is being chased by dolphins as a young Irishman named Friend (Oakes) travels to this remote island in the South Atlantic to work as a meteorologist, the only inhabitant of the island is the caretaker of the lighthouse, a tough character called Gruner  (Stephenson). After a cold and abrupt introduction Gruner informs Friend that the previous meteorologist died from typhus. The crew depart leaving Friend to cosy in his new cabin he watches Gruner in his fortified lighthouse with intense curiosity, why would someone need to defend a lighthouse? Friend unpacks and finds a journal from the late meteorologist, detailing nightly attacks from strange creatures form the sea, assuming this was feverish dreams of a dying man he drifts off to sleep until a slimy webbed hand feels under the door and he finds himself under attack. He managed to fight off the intruders, the next day he tries to get Gruners attention but is ignored. He spends the day fortifying the cabin and finds a gun. Awaiting another attack but he’s overrun and in the fight ends up burning the cabin to the ground, hiding on the rocks of the beach with a blanket he spends the night hiding. Continue reading La Piel Fria / Cold Skin (2017)

Killing of the Sacred Deer (2017)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic. UK/Ireland/USA. 2h 1m

One main thing which I have admired about Yorgos Lanthimos is that since his debut in 2009 with Dogtooth, he’s got a persistent streak to deliver his brand of cinema no matter what, his idosynchetric practice is very distinctive and each film since has been highly meticulously created, giving something different each time but with a strong je ne sai quoi which is very Lanthimos-esque.

Obviously loving the experience from The Lobster (2015) Colin Farrell returns for another darkly bizarre story this time it’s not about falling in love it’s all about a cold dish of  revenge. The film opens with open heart surgery being performed by the skilled surgeon Steven Murphy (Farrell), afterwards he meets a young boy named Martin (Keoghan) the relationship between the isn’t explained and the curiosity continues as Steven returns home to his family, Anna (Kidman) and their two children, with their idyllic and somewhat stale life in the suburbs. Continue reading Killing of the Sacred Deer (2017)

Slash Dance (1989)

Director: James Shyman
Starring: Cindy Ferda, James Carroll Jordan, J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner. USA 1h 23m

This movie was brought to my attention from fellow Twitter reviewer, Christopher Zisi @cjzisi Who is the master of all B-Movies,  and in this case I just couldn’t resist and I had to give this one a go  as it really did seem too good to miss.

A super tough female police officer who believes that she could probably kick Cynthia Rothrock ass,  goes undercover As a dancer in a old theatre and order to uncover who has been killing young girls auditioning for particular role. Continue reading Slash Dance (1989)

The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell
Starring:Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons. USA. 1h 41m

Boy meets girl on a ferry  months after a world shattering invention has been made. A reserved and often recluse scientist Thomas Harbor (Redford) calmly sits down to tell a interviewer about his new discovery; with it, he’s proven, without a doubt, there is life after death. Instantly one of the crew members shoots themselves. The world has a record number of suicides as people are desperately trying to pass on to the other side, there are public counters that are constantly ringing up the number of dead,  in the meantime, the boy and girl are journeying to meet, Harbor (Redford) the boys father and girl saviour? it’s supposed to be romantic but they animosity and angst coming from the girl makes the scene rather awkward. Continue reading The Discovery (2017)