Category Archives: Thriller

Shutter Island (2010)


Director: Martin Scorsese Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsle, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas USA. 2h 18m

Scorsese is a legendary director but more often I find I can work out his films from the get go and this one I called in the intro and then didn’t enjoy a single second of the movie because for me it was so clear what was going on. But in hindsight I can see the appeal for anyone who didn’t clique what was going on, it must have been gripping and playing on all of their emotions.

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m

“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler”
“A what?”
“You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “

This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.

Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.

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In Fear (2013)

Director: Jeremy Lovering Starring:Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech. UK, Ireland. 1h 25m

There’s nothing new about a couple going for a fun thrilled romantic break in Ireland, it’s not like the market is swamped and this is a genre movie but with crackers like From the Dark (2014), which sees a more established couple trying to revive a strained relationship while descending on a village overrun by hard to kill vampires, along with this creature feature there’s a brilliant psychological tale Travellers (2011) that involved a group of city boys running into some Irish travellers but until a few magical 360 plot spinning reveal it’s hard to know who’s the worst set of characters. So with these already out and about, for seasoned horror fans, this movie initially kicks off as more of the same, or is it? Jeremy Lovering uses these others as stepping stones and red herrings, helping to throw his audience off and In Fear manages to fool and chill constantly from beginning to end.

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What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)

La polizia chiede aiuto, lit. ‘The police ask for help”

Director: Massimo Dallaman
Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi .Italy. 1h 30m

Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.

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Suntan (2016)

Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Starring: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou. Greece. 1h 44m

Suntan is a movie that’s as slow burning as it’s lead characters’ heavily protected skin. An epic adventure into the darker races of the human condition that follows a middle aged man, who embarks to a remote Greek island to be the only doctor, but instead he thrust into a hedonistic paradise and once the holiday season beings, he finds himself shunted further into an unfamiliar world of casual free love and a dangerous obsession. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, a Greek filmmaker whose work is totally unknown to me but after watching this shocking and incredibly sad story of sexual obsession. His outlandish style,ability to capture and develop hyper real character and throw some absurd black comedy into such a serious drama, he deserves to be recognised alongside contemporaries such as Yorgos Lanthimos.

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The Perfect Getaway (2009)

Director: David Twohy
Starring: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth. USA. 1h 34m

There’s a lot to like about this thrilling mystery and there’s a lot to appreciate about a psycho thriller which delivers some really cool (hard to kill) characters set on the beautiful islands of Honolulu. Two couples are travelling and enjoying the Eden-like surroundings, fully aware that there are a pair of serial killers on the loose, each couple are highly suspicious of the other but it’s up to the audience to look for the subtle clues and piece together who just might be a pair of deadly psychopaths.

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Feedback (2019)

Director: Pedro C Alonso
Starring: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coppersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head. UK. 1h 37m

After a duo of short movies Pedro C Alonso was given free range for his first feature film. Seemingly going balls to the wall with his daring psychological thriller, it turns a night of work into a night of hell for one highly secretive and very questionable DJ. Alonso seems to enjoy throwing his characters into a vivid world maximised by raging colours sound and violence, chuck in a pair of leather gloves and more eyeliner and we’d have a semi decent Giallo.

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The Silencing (2020)

Director: Robin Pront Starring:Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Caleb Ellsworh-Clark Josh Crudda, Annabelle Wallis, Zahn McClarnon . Canada. 1h 33m

Backwoods horrors seem to have traveled from the deserts of the southern American into the cold forests of the north, incorporating indigenous folklore along the way. The Silencing tries to keep itself in the here and now, offering a grimy armchair detective mystery with icy drama, some daring thrills and a fathers promise to find his missing daughter at all costs.

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The Salvation (2015)

Director: Kristian Levring.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall, Michael Raymond-James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce.USA/Denmark/South Africa. 1h 32m.

Westerns have long been a tough genre for me, I grew up watching them with my mother and grandfather and I really started to hate them. I suppose any entertainment that makes the adults lose interest in how cute you are will do that to a child’s psyche.. the only entertainment was playing with Gramps while he slept through some of the classics. Later on in life, when I got over the trauma, I rediscovered Spaghetti Westerns and I started to accept the genre back into my life, unless there’s a Mexican revolution a haunting Ennio Morricone soundtrack and less white people attempting to make believe that America has always been white, then the better things start to get. I’ve loved the reassurance of darker and more graphic horror westerns such as Seraphim Falls (2006), Brimstone (2016) and the almost instant cult classic Bone Tomahawk (2015), which have won me over. But without having a mythical foe or a revolution, there’s a striking grasp of The Salvation which has a more believable story of two immigrant brothers just trying to get ahead in the wild west and meeting ugly adversity.

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Norfolk (2015)

Director: Martin Radich Starring: Denis Menochet, Barry Keoghan, Goda Letkaustie. UK. 1h 23m

Sometimes cinema can be drab and unkind, which is the unnerving feeling you’ll end up with after watching Martin Radich’s Surreal coming of age art house drama.

The downtrodden ,depressing atmosphere permeates from the screen, as a father attempts to protect and train his son. While living off the grid in a remote rural location the two have strained relationship, mulling around their isolated home, their only connection is watching tv together. Unbeknowst to the son, a job from the past has caught up with his father and now their lives are in danger and one more murder must be commited, just one more contract or one more act of revenge.

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