Category Archives: Thriller

Solace  (2016)

Director: Afonso Poyart
Starring:Abbie Cornish,Jeffrey Dean Morgan,Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins,Marley Shelton, Kenny Johnson  USA. 1h 41m.

Solace appears to be one of the modern thrillers speeding in on the heels of the Se7en (1995) phenomenon, a group of mismatched detectives with the addition of an aged psychic are on the trail of a serial killer whose victims seem to have nothing obvious in common. Merriweather (Morgan) plays an fairly unconvincing and over friendly detective who has loosely tied together a handful of homicides together, along with his feisty sidekick Katherine Cowles (Cornis) who aims to build a psychological profile for this person but is struggling and thus causing an age of an old friend as psychic John Clancy played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins who reluctantly aides them in their task. It’s a mish mash of mediocre thriller and cop drama cliches with some adaptive CGI from new director Afonso Poyart. Continue reading Solace  (2016)

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Hardcore Henry (2015)

Director: Ilya Naishuller
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, Russia/USA 1h 36m

It’s hard to know if we do actually need a first person shooter style movie considering the amount of computer games that are widely available on the market, but we definitely have one now,  after the success of both Crank (2006/2009) movies,  budding director Ilya Naishuller, took things one step further with his action packed Sci-Fi thriller Hardcore Henry which was promised to be a full of adrenaline rush for the whole 1 hour 36 minutes duration, and to be fair it achieve its’ goal but with a more detailed and complicated narrative than was expected. Continue reading Hardcore Henry (2015)

The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton and Adam Nevill’s The Ritual
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton. UK. 1h 34m

One of the perks with Netflix is that it gives you the opportunity to watch on the go, which I tried to do with Ritual, but after watching the opening scene I had to stop the film, get home, get comfortable and absorb this film as it instantly grabbed my attention.

It opens with a few guys, not really willing to admit they are getting older but needing to get out on an adventure,  or just the yearly lads holiday, Ibiza!? no they are getting to old, camping, that’s too boring.. so what? The discussion goes into the street and on the way home a couple stop to get some vodka, the night is young and it must be continued while picking up the booze in the offie, they become aware that the place is being robbed, Luke (Spall) hides behind a display while his best friend tries to talk the situation down, it doesn’t work they start attacking him, and he bleeds to death while staring at his cowardly friend… this is the first lesson of this movie but the location changes to the deep dark forests of Sweden and the stakes get higher. Continue reading The Ritual (2017)

Repulsion (1965)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. UK. 1h 45m

In Polanski’s highly thrilling black and white drama that kick started his tenant trilogy (which consists of  two other classic films  The Tenant (1976)  starring Polanski himself,  and the Cult classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) ,  and this dark thriller, a young beautician drops deep in a claustrophobic insanity possibly spurred on by a suppressed family trauma as her feline sexuality sparks great interest from many suitors.

Repulsion is strangely enjoyable, and is a deep internal  nightmare that transpires through any age, and is easily relatable to. Adapted by Gérard Brach it is fantastically brought to life by Polanski and on a meager budget of £65,000, this debut  English film the budding director lost his footing at first, but as the dialogue vanishes he turns up the atmospherics and the results are quite dark and bold.

A beautiful timid girl Carole (Deneuve) is left alone in an apartment shared by her sister and her sisters husband, they are off to Europe for their holiday, leaving her some outstanding rent money for an angry landlord they skip town. Instantly the first cracks start to show in the relationship with her boyfriend  and soon she starts making mistakes at work. Very slowly we see the layers of Carole’s psyche peel away leaving a vulnerable kitten and murderous vixen.

It’s quite easy to write off Carole in the early throes of the films, you hardly notice the little mouse in contrast of her sisters sultry boldness overwhelms her and she spends a lot of the time hiding behind her bleached blonde 60’s bouffant hair, but as her character changes, she starts to give up the goods and her performance is tremendous, her charisma teamed with the reclusive scenes of the apartment and shocking effects persuades the

viewer to miss the realities of what’s going on. Blending themes from Dementia 13 (1963) and Persona (1966).

The ingenuity of the effects are really beautiful not only do you literally see the cracks appearing in Carole life but her fears are coming out of the walls and dark shadows of her apartment. Polanski plays the art house card now and again, there are silent shots of rotten vegetables and dirty plates that co exist with the knife wielding madwoman episodes, but

these are short and frantic, but cause as many ripples as any Hitchcock Psycho scene and emphasis her meltdown and the effects it’s having on the real world.

It’s hauntingly stark at times but a real tour de force once it gains momentum, the horrific faces of the returning couple finding their apartment in disarray reflects the faces of any avid viewer. It’s very unusual for this style of horror/ thriller to have a knife welding psychotic serial killer but with several hints at previous sexual abuse and possible incest it’s no real shocker that this girl is this fucked up.. Her next step would be Haute Tension (2003)

Rating 8/10

R: Haute Tension (2003) , Dementia 13 (1963), Persona (1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Tenant (1976)

L: Black and White Thrillers, Femme Fatals
5s : Roman Polanski

Post Discussion.

 

The Night Flier (1997)

Director: Mark Pavia
Starring: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, Michael H. Moss USA. 1h 37m.

I’ve never been all that interested in Stephen King novels, I’ve tried reading a few but I’m just not into his writing style, but the adaptations of his books do impress me from time to time, sadly this one had gone unnoticed for quite some time but I’m catching up so bear with me. I had seen a majority of this film from various gifs over the years and never really paid them much attention, it’s not real secret what the film is about, the DVD cover has the creature on it, but still the mystery and chase in the film keeps the story alive and it’s totally engrossing. Continue reading The Night Flier (1997)

Braven (2018)

Director: Lin Oeding
Starring: Jason Momoa,Stephen Lang, Zahn McClarnon,Jill Wagner, Brendan Fletcher, Sasha Rossof, Garret Dillahunt. USA/Canada. 1h 39m

After the massive successes of his many roles as a  hero, marvel super or otherwise, it’s not strange to see Jason Momoa being brave in a range of other roles, his name will attract an audience no matter what he does now and despite being typecast this movie had the right name but it’s a bit of a dumb flop of a film but we get to see Momoa running around in the snow chucking axe’s at people, so it’s not a total loss. Continue reading Braven (2018)

Limehouse Golem (2017)

Director: Juan Carlos Medina. Original Book : Peter Ackroyd
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays. UK. 1h 49m

Lessons can be learnt from this gloomy victorian epic, it has all of right elements but it just lacks that little je ne c’est quoi. Characters fall flat and the mystery becomes boring and repetitive. Within the elaborate stages and cliche back streets of London, before the time of Jack the Ripper there was the Limehouse Golem, a mysterious killer who slaughtered at will for his audience.

John Kildare (Nighy) is thrown at the case as the powers that be believe the killer can’t be found, so he’s the fall guy, so without any backup and being dangled in front of the media and disapproving public he is forced into action, sparing their prized detective for other simpler cases, but Kildare jumps into the case, almost becoming obsessed; using his brilliant meticulous mind and working with his close friend Officer Flood (Mays) the two are an alternative Holmes and Watson. Continue reading Limehouse Golem (2017)

Lycan (2017)

Director: Bev Land
Starring:Dania Ramirez, Jake Lockett, Rebekah Graf. USA 1h 27m

With all of the success of the Underworld series and countless other werewolf.lycan movies the genre develops into a melodramatic teen scream film with no real direction and hardly any point. We all know the drill about a group of kids trying to dig up a local legend but what we don’t plan on watching is all the boring bits that good films leave out, with them getting lost and talking crap for an hour. But sadly this film will subject you to a lot of “missing” elements which doesn’t build any tension and mades the film all that more tedious.. But.. it’s not a total loss… Continue reading Lycan (2017)

Jackals (2017)

Director:Kevin Greutert
Starring: Stephen Dorff,Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Ben Sullivan. USA. 1h 25m

This unusual horror, loosely based on retro accounts of cults programming teens starts out well, an point of view break in results in the brutal stabbing of a couple in their bed, the culprit catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he’s wearing a mask and heads into the next bedroom, the young girl there recognises him, it seems he’s her brother, she’s concerned about the blood on his hands and runs to raise her parents, the culprit pulls down his mask and returns to the crime scene where he strangles her.

Every family buries secrets. But some secrets won’t stay buried.

Continue reading Jackals (2017)

Matthew 18 (2014)

Director: Roy Belfrey .
Starring.Lanore Van Buren Belfrey, Sanya Belfrey, Don Benjamin, Luenell, Faizon Love USA. 1h 41m.

This all black horror movie takes it’s religion in young people way more serious that I had expected. Being coined as the scariest African american movie of all time I struggled to try and work out what it was in competition with, Blackula (1972)? Abby (1974)? The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)? There aren’t too many that come to mind but it’s an subgenre of cinema that I’m not fully clued up on unless it’s a Nollywood epic. Centering around one young girl who thinks she’s too smart for faith, Michelle Jamieson (Lanore) was raised in a deeply religious family but wants to express her independence, by moving away and thinking for herself, when an opportunity arises for her to flee her bible thumping parents she’s takes a scholarship in a medical program and skips town to her aunt’s house, a large mansion which has been in the family for generations but what she encounters rocks her beliefs to the core. Continue reading Matthew 18 (2014)