Director: Pascal Laugier.
Starring: Taylor Hickson, Anastasia Philips, Kevin Power, Rob Archer, Mylene Farmer, Crystal Reed, Emilia Jones, USA. 1h 31m.
Pascals past record, in my opinion is chequered, in his early career he assisted on one of the most perfect films ever made, Le Pacte Des Loups (2001) he broke the mold and may stomachs with the New French Extreme visceral classic, Martyrs (2008) then let me down with the confusing and long winding, No Slender Man tale of the Tall Man (2012), but he’s come back swinging with a perfect blend of all the best psychological and physical horror from his past, with a sublime film that gives the creeps and will rattle a few cages along the way. His approach to this twisting tale is unique in that it plays on a strange story this is presented from different perspectives each slipping in and out of each other seamlessly but the dynamics are hauntingly beautiful and yet covered in as much nostalgic creepiness as the house it’s set in.
The two young sisters at the centre of this film, couldn’t be more different, Beth (Reed/Jones) is a sensitive horror writer, always lost in her thoughts about Lovecraft inspired texts but faints at the sight of blood, her ballsy sister is pretty awesome, hot tempered and ready for a fight but they are sisters, just so different the fiery Vera (Philips/Hickson) is a delight. Continue reading Ghostland (2018)
Director: J.A. Bayona
Starring : Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Justice Smith. USA. 2h 9m.
So once again we learn how dangerous dinosaurs are, and that includes mutant dinosaurs.. Because the old school variety just aren’t as scary as we thought… Jurassic World introduced a slightly different take on the “let’s make a theme park with dinosaurs”, Chris Pratt became a new lead with a group of modified raptors including his darling Blue. But the sentiment is quickly launched out the window for a fast paced non heel breaking action flick. All that pent up emotionalism returns in this even quicker paced often silly sequel.
Opening with a group of mercenaries trying to collect dinosaur bones to build more beasts, as their island is destroyed by a volcano, they are soon despatched by a few lose dinosaurs. A montage follows the world is divided, let the dinosaurs die or do they have a right to life and should we save them? Claire Dearing (Dallas Howard) is determined to save as many as she can, after hooking up with Owen they are summoned to the mansion of Benjamin Lockwood (Cromwell), who was there when the first dino’s were extracted and with the help of his associate Eli Mills (Spall) they have set up a sanctuary. All Claire and Owen have to do it fly to the island, gather as many dinosaurs as possible and get them back to the sanctuary. Claire and Owen do their “thing” without their feelings get in the way too much. Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Director: Ian Bonhote.
Writer: Peter Ettedgui UK. 1h 41m
Having lived through the mastery and magic of McQueens stunning artistry until his untimely tragic death, I felt as robbed as anyone who was inspired by the brilliance that McQueen brought into the world. After reading several books and watching numerous documentaries about him and his beguiling muse Isabella Blow (another character I hold close to my heart), I thought I really knew it all, but this thought provoking film brings so much more raw emotion and in depth background to the surface, including very personal testimonies from those who lived and worked so very closely to the legend. Continue reading McQueen (2018)
Director: Zak Bagans.
Starring. Zak Bagans, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley .USA. 1h 51m.
Fitting somewhere in between a documentary and mockumentary it’s easy to see the appeal with Demon House. not just based on real events the film struggles to remain a proper found footage movie with a few added dramatisations and real interviews about a real haunting in Gary, Indiana. The full details of the Ammons haunting case were documented and followed by Zak Bagans, who then purchased the house after the family moved and his attempts to coax out the entity.
Demon House starts with the great deal of promise and effective film making, opening with the purchase of the property the look and feel of the film is spot on as a documentary which is how the film has been labeled. Zak buys the property, sight unseen and just on the knowledge of the mass hysteria that broke out when an African American family were experienced demonic possession in what was called a “Portal to Hell”. Continue reading Demon House (2018)
Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m
This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn) despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.
At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)
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)