Category Archives: Thriller

Animal Kingdom

Director: David Michod.
Starring: Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, Luke Ford, Laura Wheelwright. Australia. 1h 53m

There is something extraordinarily authentic about Animal Kingdom, this sinister tale of a twisted criminal family is something can nervously be regarded as far fetched, but after an ounce of research into the criminal underworld of the Land Down Under, after watching this movie there’s a lingering fear that “based on a true story” might appear in the closing credits.

With characters like the notorious Chopper (2000) and the gut churning Snowtown (2011) just two pieces of projects based on real events and people, this just feels like the next step in a progression of a young country with a criminal culture that’s making up for lost time. Continue reading Animal Kingdom

Advertisements

The Last Broadcast (1998)

Director: Lance Weiler, Stefan Avalos.
Starring: David Beard, James Seward, Stefan Avalos, Lance Weller. UK. 1h 26m

The year before the Blair Witch (1999) blew us away the Last Broadcast has already been released, but there’s a lot of nay saying about which one came first, it’s certain that Blair Witch caught more media attention and was reportedly started before this film but whichever way they were produced, this $900 film grossed $4 million at the box office which makes a much bigger success by comparison.

The film deals with a documentary filmmaker named David Leigh (Beard) and his investigation of the Fact or Fiction murder, where a group of TV hosts were murdered under mysterious circumstances,. As the show was only on a mere public access channel the death didn’t make the headlines and Leigh takes it on himself to find discover the truth behind the killings while making his documentary.

Continue reading The Last Broadcast (1998)

Moth (2016)

Director: Gergo Elekes, Jozsef Gallai.
Starring.Lidia Szabo, Jozsef Gallai. UK/HUNGRY/USA. 1h 21m.

I’ve never been so irritated by a lead character in any film so much as by the terrible co lead in this offensively bad horror. While I understand that English isn’t Lidia’s first language and have no problem with her thick accent and delivery of lines, she makes this constant clicking mouth noise in EVERY line of dialogue which really brought on a case of misophonia. I think maybe if the film was more gripping and she wasn’t so bad at acting it might not have been so bad. The rest of the cast, ie the director, makes a better effort as a more stoic broody Swedish born hero of the film he’s the voice of reason to his scatty partner in crime. Continue reading Moth (2016)

Identity (2003)

Director: James Mangold.
Writer: Agatha Christie And Then There Were None
Starring. John Cusack, Jack Busey, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Pruitt Taylor Vince. USA. 1h 30m.

The sophistication of the movie sets it apart from other thrillers of the era, at first I couldn’t quite pinpoint it but after researching the film and discovering that it’s loosely based on an Agatha Christie novel, then it all fell into place. While I’ve never been really into Christies work I am often spellbound by the dynamic and grizzly narratives. This is a perfect testament to the fact that her writing strengths are unbound and with the right adaptation will probably live on. Continue reading Identity (2003)

The Thing (2011)

Director:Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Starring:Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen. USA/Canada. 1h 43m

From the first viewing of the thing I had a love and hate relationship with it, I was about 6 or 7 and it scared the crap outta me but I had to watch it, and i dealt with the sleepless nights and nightmares, but what always inreguided me was the events that happened prior to this cult classic in the Norwegian camp. But after all this hard work I think maybe it should have been left alone or given to someone with more dedication to the horror genre.

It could have gone either way there could have been an equally creepy body horror, on par with what changed the game in the early 80’s or someone could play by the rules and make a move fall into line with all the typical cliches that the Thing tried to break away from. but while the movie didn’t live up to my expectations it was made with all the best intentions.

Continue reading The Thing (2011)

The Last Steven (2010)

AKA: TL7

Director: Imran Naqvi
Starring: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Simon Phillips, Ronan Vibert. UK. 1h m

This violent post apocalyptic thriller is set in modern London and tells the confusing and frustrating story of seven people who unknowingly seem to be the only people left after a cataclysmic event has wiped out the rest of humanity. While they struggle with their partial amnesia each assumes his role in banding together which becomes more urgent as they are stalked by a strange hooded figure an angel of death who is stalking and killing them. Continue reading The Last Steven (2010)

Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Director:Yoshiaki Kawajiri .
Characters: Master Rai, Rebi Ra, Earth Demon, Mephisto, Rapist, Hag, Yin, Chibi, Water Demon, Genichiro, Rama . Japan. 1h 25m

The makers of this slightly underpowered Anime are responsible for much more adored favourites such as Ninja Scroll (1993) and Wicked City (1987), so it’s got a high standard to live up to. The story is somewhere between Supernatural adventure and a Romantic horror, and at times seems to be a missing link between the two.

Opening mid way through a battle between good and evil, two men, former friends Rebi Ra and short lived hero Genichirou are doing cool battle shit when one hits a limit break and kinda sparks off a huge explosion which opens a gateway to hell and this envelopes the Shinjuku area.(as you do) Cut to the modern day and only a few years after this “event” and the city has been become a no go area. The military had tried to control the nasty creatures that reside there but failed miserably but despite this an underground of people still live in their beloved district. Continue reading Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Veronica (2017)

Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Sandra Escanaba, Bruna Gonzalez, ana Torrent, Claudia Picer, Ivan Chavero, Carla Campra. Spain. 1h 46m

So much about Veronica is like all the other ouija, catholic demonic inspired movies although it does have a few quirks and charms which make it stand out, not as something inventive and new but something relatable.

Veronica and her best friend have planned secret ouija based seance to contact Veronica’s deceased father, their golden opportunity is when the entire catholic school will be on the roof and outside to watch an eclipse.  There are are no awards to guess the rest of the movie, the ouija session goes terribly wrong and soon Veronica is the experiencing lots of paranormal activity around herself and home, but when this dark entity starts attacking her family, Veronica starts to research and does all she can to protect them.

Just because you close your eyes it doesn’t mean the world ceases to exist.

Plaza has found fame through a series of wholly gory Rec series which really broke through a new age of possession/zombie hybrids, and I believe like everyone else I was expecting the same from this movie which was initially billed as prequel. Continue reading Veronica (2017)

Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare / Almost Human (1974)

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock and Anita Strindberg .Italy. 1h 40m

This movie could easily be called “Il criminale più stupido d’Italia” as it follows the misadventures of a total psychotic loser criminal who couldn’t con his way out of a paper bag successfully but his constant efforts do cause some sensational cinema.

Opening with a bunch of robbers/kidnappers, snatching a young boy, their (not so trusty) getaway driver is Giulio Sacchi (Milian) manages to kill an officer while waiting and soon the gang is being chased around the city, they manage to speed past a train which cuts them off from the cops in time for them to drop the child and ditch the cops, they find a secluded place to recoup and kick the crap out of Giulio for foiling their efforts, after threatening to castrate him he heads back into the city alone. The brute roughs up his girl for some money and kills another cop while robbing a cigarette machine, while other officers arrive to investigate he starts displaying disturbing behaviour by squaring up to Inspector Walter Grandi (Silva). Eventually the bad tempered loose cannon, devises a scheme of kidnapping the daughter a wealthy businessman, who his girlfriend works for, but with a crazed moral compass and no scruples his manages to mess up each step of the way, but just manages to stay one step ahead of Inspector Grandi but mostly by mistake. Continue reading Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare / Almost Human (1974)

Just Before Dawn (1981)


Director
: Jeff Lieberman
Starring:George Kennedy, Chris Lemmon, Gregg Henry, Deborah Benson. USA. 1h 42m

While gearing up to write a review for Satan’s Little Helper (2004) I finally deciding to actually investigate who directed it and low and behold it happens to be the pretty well known director Jeff Lieberman better known for his earlier films such as Squirm (1976) and the hippy flashback from hell Blue Sunshine (1978) but while I passed through life totally oblivious to directors, I never would have connected the two as the style is so very different but in between these amazing varied classics comes another slightly different movie, a backwoods slasher with a very different atmosphere to a lot of the other genre specific slashers of the era. Just Before Dawn is a menacing thriller that takes a very sly stab from time to time. Continue reading Just Before Dawn (1981)