Director: Gareth Evans.
Starring. Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins, Michael Sheen. USA. 2h 10m.
Gareth Evans’ Apostle is a troubled journey into the dark nature of man being forced upon the nature around him in the guise of a new religious cult who have hauled up on a remote island. Evan’s previous projects are considerably different in nature, mostly the Raid (2012) and Raid 2 (2014), which saw a lot of action and violence, although he did perfect sidestep into horror in the V/H/S 2 (2013) anthology when he co directed the Safe Haven segment but again his horror came with a fast pace. But in this epic horror, he manages to divide the film into something more brooding before it picks up speed and descends into a casserole of blood or torture. Much like Panos Cosmatos Mandy (2018). When you think you’ve “got” the movie, suddenly there’s a shift into something unexpected and there’s not going back.
Continue reading Apostle (2018)
Director: Andy Roberts
Starring: Jack Angel, Andy Roberts, UK. 1h 06m
While not wanting to dumb down the power of this movie, but it has to be said that this is like a British version of The DaVinci Code (2006) set around the city of Bath
and surrounding countryside, Andy (Roberts) is a talented young student in photography and film hooks up with his psychic uncle Jack (Angel) and friends to uncover the secret mysteries behind the architecture and history of the city. Jack, has a knack of hearing supernatural entities and sensing presences that are ethereal in nature, after getting his young nephew to join him in filming his investigations, young Andy starts noticing some life-changing events.
Drawing on the success of various other found footage and mockumentary films, there’s a lot of charm in occult angel. Initially a digs deep into the history of the city and the formation of famous landmarks and churches, and then it starts to look at the prehistory, pagan beliefs and uncanny connections between prestigious buildings and pagan icons. Continue reading Occult Angel (2018)
Director: Lance Daly.
Starring. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keogham, Sarah Greene. USA. 1h 40m.
This brilliantly dark poetic revenge flick from the bleakest part of Irish history is rough but so intense. Based on the Irish Language short called An Ranger by PJ Dillon and Pierce Ryan, this lengthy retelling is focused on an Irish Ranger returning home from war and finding his homeland is very different to how he left it.
Starting on another tangent, the film opens with Hanna (Weaving) losing his temper with a prisoner, a member of the Young Irelander movement, while losing his temper he strangles the man he sips from his canteen while another guard realises Hannah has killed the prisoner.
Meanwhile Martin Feeney (Frechville) a former Connaught Ranger arrives in Connemara, west Ireland in 1847, the worst part of the Great Famine, he finds family home hollowed out and filled with pigs, he learns that his mother died from starvation and his brother was hanged after stabbing a bailiff during the family’s evection. Feeney stays with his brothers widow (Greene) who are squatting in one of the few remaining houses. Soon the landlord arrives to evict the family, killing Feeney’s nephew and destroying the home. Feeney is arrested but managed to kill his captors and destroy the barracks and re returns to find his sister in law and her daughter dead from exposure. This sparks something dark inside of Feeney and he begins to seek a tortuous bloody revenge on the men who have wronged him. Continue reading Black 47 (2018)
Director: Matthew Holness
Starring: Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong .UK. 1h 25m
There’s a place that some dark artist like to go, it often involves gloomy and eerie aspects from a fuzzy past that are easily recognised but often pushed back to those obscure corners of our minds, like a suppressed memory Possum manages from slither its way out of the dank interior of an old English home, and hides itself in the brown bag carried by a disgraced children’s puppeteer as he embarks on a journey to confront his stepfather and his own inner demons.
The film opens with Philip (Harris) wandering aimlessly around a remote area of Norfolk with his bag clutched tightly to him, after some atmospheric art house scenes backed by a heavy Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. He spys a few teenage boys on a train he tries to talk with one but he runs away from the creepy man, Philip returns to his home, a dank rundown home with a disheveled garden, here he opens his bag and chucks the contents into a metal barrel with the promise to destroy the leggy creature, eventually we are made aware of Maurice (Armstrong), a sly and controlling character who seems to want to encourage Philip to keep his puppet, while constantly keeps asking if he’s going to burn it, which Philip agrees to but then never does. Little by little Maurice exerts control over Philip and suggests different places for him to visit, while the puppet is slowly revealed and each time the effects on Philip get more disastrous. As a news story about a missing school boy flourish in the news, questions are raised over Philips possible involvement. Continue reading Possum (2018)
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Javier Botet. USA. 1h 30m
John Krasinski’s pensive thriller is designed to make you feel like an active participant of a family who is faced with unreal fears. The camera often swings around the characters making you feel that that your part of the conservation, tagging along as a silent witness.
Much is already been given away in the numerous trailers and it’s very clear to see that this family a living on the edge of a post apocalyptic future where deadly creatures are attracted to the noises we make every day. The origin of these deadly critters isn’t a factor in the movie, it doesn’t matter why they are here or what happened, the families journey now is all that the film concentrates on and for plot reasons only, but if you read clippings that are saved in the families basement you can work out that in 2020 within only 3 months most of the world’s population have been destroyed by large creatures that are attracted to sound and protected by armored skin. Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018)
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. USA. 2h 7m
Boldly highlighted as the most frightening film of all time, Hereditary certainly does have its moments and a dark twisted ending but is it really all that horrific? It’s undeniably creepy and boils into a crescendo of violence and psychological demise, but what it doesn’t offer are hoards of false jump scares, buckets of blood or unbelievable torture porn.
It’s hard to detail the movie as it’s subtle approach and devilish details makes it something that once explained will ruin many surprises. The movie does manage to support a constant feeling of dread for the first 90 minutes it’s hard to really see which direction the film is taking, hard to know what’s real and what might be a dream and ultimately it lines up a powerful ending that won’t be predicted by the more discerning horror fan. Continue reading Hereditary (2018)
Director: James Rewucki.
Starring. Tyhr Trubiak, Darren Johnston, Dr. Rage, Paul McWhinney .Canada 1h 28m.
I love cheesy low budget horror movies, not only do they often explore uncharted territory but they don’t have too much hype to live up to and they managed to stay true to what fans want. Tempus Tormentus is a strange chase horror about a drifter who ends up in the wrong town, Directed by James Rewucki. and starring Tyhr Trubiak, who also starred in a previous production Aegri Somnia (2008) also by Rewucki this compact and very likeable, but at times it can be a bit repetitive but all is forgiven for the WTF ending.
Don’t build your hopes up too much, this isn’t the “best B movie” ever, remember this is personal opinion and I have unusual tastes. The motives of the drifter are never explained, but he’s bumming rides until, late one night he end up at an unnamed town, checking into a cheap motel inspects his room which is equipped with a typewriter, and heads out to an all-night diner where he meets a trio of unusual characters who take special interest in him. After freaking him out, the bulky stranger returns to his room and settles down for the night but later on he awakes to find himself strapped to the bed and being injected with unknown fluids. Then the chase is on. The rest of the film sees Mr Mouse (Trubiak) being chased like wild prey, at times he’s literally the bunny in the headlights while the trio are chasing him through the town in their car. Continue reading Tempus Tormentum (2018)
Director: Jeremy Wechter
Starring: Julia Kelly, John Anthony Wylliams, Christopher Daftsios. USA. 1h 26m
It’s quite easy to simply explain this movie as being a demonic indie version of Unfriended (2014) but that would be doing it a disservice as it’s actually better than unfriended, not only is the creepy atmosphere more enhanced it has much better setups to it’s more shocking moments.
Launching with a masked figure warning us about “certain events”and truths that have to be exposed to the public, an Anonymous style broadcast is a stark warning from the E Demon Resistance that opens with a group of friends start a routine web chat, and start to enact their favourite past times which is basically pranking each other which they lightheartedly called “getting freaked”. The first uber elaborate prank involved a young man speaking with his grandmother who warns him about a haunted trunk and witchcraft. He proceeds to go into the loft where he has opened the trunk and starts to perform a ritual which results in him releasing a deviously clever demon that had been trapped for centuries in Salem, Massachusetts. Continue reading E-Demon (2018)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring. Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple. USA. 1h 38m
Everything about the opening of this movie is just dull and unassuming, which is a risky and dangerous move from director Steven Soderbergh, luckily it doesn’t last too long. While introducing the lead, Sawyer (Foy), we learn just how mundane her life is, the faceless office worker, who suffers all the nagging and office politics as the rest of us, she eats lunch while skyping her disapproving mother and later hooks up with a (not tinder) date, but after taking him back to her place with no strings attached sex, she freaks out thinking that he’s her stalker and the film re opens with her talking to a therapist.
We start to learn that Sawyer has been running away from an unknown stalker, hiring professionals (Matt Damon) to secure her routes to work, protect her personal details etc., but simultaneously we are also privy to the idea that she might be suffering from delusions and that the stalker is a fabrication of her overactive and vivid imagination, Unfortunately at this point in the movie she accidently signs herself into a psychiatric ward for observations, and for the rest of the film we, alongside her have to try and piece together just how sane or unsane she really is. Continue reading Unsane (2018)
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy Olwen Fouere, Richard Brake, Bill Duke. USA. 2h 1m
Cosmastos seems obsessed with 1983, where his previous movie was also set, is there a parallel here? Same year with possible answers to Professor Arboria’s mystic drug… but nothing is laid out in a straightforward way, he keeps the viewer guessing about what is real and what might just be fantasy, eventually your not sure what you believe in anymore, questions are raised especially about the drugs involved and at times this film really pushes the envelope. Continue reading Mandy (2018)