Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Burning Shadow (2018)

Director: Alexandre Nahon.
Starring. Matthew Dennis Lewis, Russell Dennis Lewis, Roxanne Mesquida, Roger Guenveur Smith, Richard Edson, Julie Delpy, Sal Landi. USA/France. 1h 28m.

This is one of those films you stumble on and while you might not be able to really appreciate it in its entirety you can’t fault it’s delivery. Often the film is described in such a way that sells it so short, but without any facilities it is indeed about a man who is down on his luck and obsessed with a stripper, by chance, he meets a homeless man who’s his double who he invites him into this life. Don’t let this fool you there’s so much more bubbling away under the surface of this dreamlike fantasy film with a huge sinister overtone that plays on perception of reality.

Charlie (Lewis), is in a dead end job, flipping tables at a diner owned by a totally incomprehensible Julie Deply, often he has to skip out of his hotel window to avoid the landlady asking for overdue rents, the only reason he has no money, is that he spends every penny to see his favourite European stipper at the local club. And each day he marvels at the local kingpin, Mr Jones (Guenveur Smith) a cool latino who uses the relaxed diner as a halfway office, sat at his favourite booth with his mostly silent Frenchmen henchmen (Edson)who clearly is a character you don’t want to fuck with but they have an understanding and respect between all three of them, mostly based on fear more than admiration. Continue reading Burning Shadow (2018)

Crawl (2019)

Director: Alexandre Aja .
Starring. Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, a few CGI Gators. USA. 1h 27m.

I ain’t gonna lie, Crocs and Gators have always frightened the crap out of me, Sharks are pretty scary and if I were lost at sea then they would be my biggest priority but Gators have the added bonus of being shark like and able to cover some distance on land, which means it’s harder to run from one.. long story short, all those fears eventually came flooding back in this strangely heartwarming and slightly predictable creature feature.

Alexandre Aja really astounded his audience with such classics as the blood lusty hellride Haute Tension (2003) which became a cult classic new wave of Extreme French Cinema which you can find a list of here, and in my opinion a very good remake of The Hills Have Eyes (), but something must have really affected him during Piranha 3D (2010) because he eventually came back swinging with Crawl, a water soaked adventure with a lot of predictability but some cracking scares and a super sentimental bonding story between a father and daughter which set this aside from the stereotypical creature feature where lots of mindless young people are systematically picked off by predators. Continue reading Crawl (2019)

Roar (1981)

Director: Noel Marshall.
Starring.Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Grifith, Zakes Mokae, Will Hitchins, Jerry Marshall. USA. 1h 42m.

I have so many issues with this “movie” and I can’t say it’s something I settle down with and watch with glee, I fully understand the allure in making something like this, anyone who lives with big cats will appreciate the love and danger of any situation, Tippi Hedren herself did live with many large cats in her home and for her this was a “natural” environment, but even she admitted in interviews after the movie that what started out as a great idea eventually became the worst decision of her life after watching the end result.

The most dangerous movie ever made.

Continue reading Roar (1981)

Skin (2018)

Director: Guy Nattiv.
Starring. Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, USA. 2h.

Redemption is the painful process etched out in Guy Nattiv’s gortty violent drama that sees a neo nazi break away from his mythical white only family in order to be a better person with the help of someone who he would normally happily attack for no reason other than the colour of his skin. Continue reading Skin (2018)

Vile blackmail (2018)

Director: ?
Starring
😕 Nigeria. 1h 28m

There isn’t much to this short Nollywood production, although for some unknown reason one distinct story seems to gets swallowed by another part way through, maybe everything went to hell during the production, or the director has a change of heart, it becomes confusing but results in more hectic drama and heartbreak but sadly doesn’t make a better movie.

The film comes together over the cruel and mindless layabout trying to make some money, constantly scrounging from his friends, the lazy douchebag spends his days laying on a sofa watching TV and promising to pay everyone back when he gets his next big role, because this actor is apparently going places, it’s the markets fault for being so darn dry. When this excuse starts to wear thin he hatches a new devious plan. Using facebook he entices a young woman into the home promising her an acting role but first she has to submit a fee and act out a special sex scene for him, not realising that she’s being prostituted the girl goes ahead, free sex for friend and he gets to watch. Continue reading Vile blackmail (2018)

They Found Hell (2015)

Director: Nick Lyon.
Starring. Chris Schellenger, Katy Reece, Austin Scott, Laurie Kynaston, USA. 1h 27m.

For a movie made with a “low” budget and special effects from about 20 years ago, it’s not terrible but it’s lacking a bit of energy in places but for a TV horror it’s quite different from the normal gumpf that you get served on a regular basis, but this seems to be by pure accident more than intent. Lyon’s falls into many of the typical horror traps, but it seems to be his style as he’s the father of a huge range of ‘tastrophy movies that all swim in the same stream, but somewhere in there is a fairly interesting story but delivered by a bunch of wailing idiots…

They thought they opened the portal to somewhere cool…

Some bright hopeful students successfully create a portal but unfortunately for them they open a doorway into hell, for some reason the film doesn’t show them coming together for this project, which is that touch of background that really introduces the characters but we’re landed into a situation where giant craters that lead into hell are being reported on the TV and the students are in the thick of it. Continue reading They Found Hell (2015)

Cruel Summer (2016)

Director: Philip Escott, Craig Newman
Starring: Richard Pawulski , Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Natalie Martins, Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon. UK. 1h 20m

Philip Escott and Craig Newmans movie is an intensely controlled, beautifully raw and a bittersweetly acted account of the systematic hunt and brutal murder of an innocent autistic teen. Richard Pawulski plays a peaceful young man, Danny, who heads into the countryside for some camping, ethical fishing and to enjoy the solitude for this Duke of Edinburgh award, but unknown to him, an enamored Julia (Martins) has lied to a violent and jealous Nicholas (Miller) about Danny having sexual relations with his (now) ex, this lie starts to spread and grows into Danny being a pedophile to encourage another friend to help them track him down and teach him a lesson. Continue reading Cruel Summer (2016)

Wounds (2019)

Director: Babak Anvari .
Starring. Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz. USA. 1h 34m.

This strange and dutifully tragic movie owes a lot to Cronenberg and H.P Lovecraft despite opening with a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that ends with “it echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core”. It’s hard to recognise the significance at this early stage of the movie but recalling back to the character it’s now easy to see how the main characters overall weakness as a human being made him so vulnerable for the nightmare that is about to unfold before his eyes. Continue reading Wounds (2019)

Frequencies / OXV: The Manual (2013)

Director: Darren Paul Fisher
Starring: Daniel Fraser, Eleanor Wyld. UK. 1h 45m.

Synopsis : Are human conditions, actions, relationships determined by fate, free will, or a combination of both? At any rate, if it we cannot control it – should we care?

Initially the slow drama of Frequencies starts out at school, where not only is the young and emotive Zak (Fraser) an outcast due to his low frequency he’s also deeply in love with the top girl Marie (Wyld) who is a victim of her high frequency, which totally rids her of any emotions or feelings. In this unconventional universe when they meet, their unusually high and low frequencies creates tremendous havoc. In their 60 seconds or less meetings they form a strained friendship, Zak being the lab rat while Marie tests the effects of their encounters. Later on in life, Zak’s persistent attempts to raise his frequency with the help of his best friend leads him to a discovery that not only uncovers our past but unlocks many secrets and has the potential to change all of our futures. Continue reading Frequencies / OXV: The Manual (2013)

Hoax (2019)

Director: Matt Allen
Starring: Brian Thompson, Ben Browder, Shoshana Bush, Cheryl Texiera, Adrienna Barbeau. USA. 1h 32m

Matt Allen follows up his Aces and Eights short movie with a debut feature HOAX! which turns out to be a quirky faux mockumentary thriller about an investigation into the existence of Bigfoot, after a spate of teen disappearances in the Colorado mountains.

It’s easy to call it just another Bigfoot movie: but there has been a recent run of lowish-budget features that have broadened the creature featutes horizons by taking things to a new place, especially the fan favourite Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012). Somehow, without many clues or prompts or evidence, it does keep the question open in order to keep the viewers guessing until the very end, but does bigfoot exist or is there an alternative reason why teens are being slaughtered in the hills? And either way why would you want to go out with limited resources to find out? Continue reading Hoax (2019)