Director: Alejandro Hidalgo Starring: Joseph Marcell, Will Beinbrink. México/Venezuela/USA. 1h 38m
Every few years there’s another game changing exorcism movie, and these stand out to the weekly releases of the same old tripe. But what makes this heavily laced CGI movie stand out from the rest? First it challenges religious scripture with a bit of cray logic but unfortunately it takes an ice age to get to the fun bits but audiences are entertained with shock moments, jump scares and lots of grisly CGI faces, sometimes with some familiarity to his previous gothic house masterpiece The House at the End of Time (2013). Having grown as a director since then he’s developed his eye but leaves behind the suspense for full out vile visuals but it won’t distract from the silliness that keeps corrupting this horror.
Sea fever, much like cabin fever strikes when everyone least’s expects it, sometimes it can be contained and only affects one person, other times it turns into group hysteria and it can be a struggle to figure out what’s real and not., but in Hardiman’s offbeat body horror, with ties to Celtic mythology, emerges a story that becomes a deep dive into our small part in the ecology of this watery planet.
The only way to confirm that you were watching a horror movie in the 1980’s was the moment a pair of boobs were flashed across the screen, the exposure of flesh was the indicator that you were in for some slaherific blood and gore, monsters and creeps and this 1988 film is a perfect victim of its age! The intro plays out like a dated underwear advert (something the director was king of having filmed over 600 of them), but this panty advert lasts what feels like 20 minutes, but luckily the models are soon hacked to pieces so don’t get too attached..
Director: John Schlesinger Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider. USA. 2h 5m
John Schlesinger’s classic thriller, Marathon Man is the type of genre movie that makes a few faux pa’s but through many bizarre plot choices, for the sake of keeping an audience on their toes, the movie generates a lot of massive plot holes but whether you mind them or not, you’ll still be blown away by the sterling acting and gripping story that plunges lead Thomas, better known as Babe (Hoffman), a simple inner city student, into unpredictable situations that make your teeth ache.. if you know you know..
Director: Anthony DiBlasi Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Natalie Victoria, J LaRose, Joshua Mikel. USA. 1h 30m
Just when you thought it was safe enough to guard an abandoned prison during the graveyard shift… There’s something about The Last Shift which really resonates with horror fanatics. A simple story which is the ultimate setting for a horror story is amped up with good old fashioned ghostly atmospherics and relies on practical effects, this is what the fans cry out for constantly and when it’s delivered it’s welcomed with open creepy arms!
Jessica (Harkavy) is left to her own devices while guarding a local empty and highly haunted prison during the night shift. and the night becomes a roller coaster of jump scares, poltergeist activity and moving family revelations.
AKA Mortal Kombat, The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms
Director: Chang Cheh Starring: Philip Kwok, Chen Kuan Tai, Chiang Sheng, Kuo Chui, Lo Mang, Lu Feng, Wang Lung Wei .Hong Kong. 1h 40m
Just when I was positive that the Five Deadly Venoms was the best 70’s martial arts film, it turns out that the (lose) sequel actually outdoes the cult classic. In a similar vein the film runs through a deadly storyline featuring a diabolical jaded kung fu master and a group of unlikely heroes.
When a brilliant wealthy fighter’s family is brutally attacked, his wife left slaine and his son now armless, the Tiger expert finds a way to restore his son’s arms with mechanical extensions but now with a blackened heart he bullies and terrifies his hometown. Finding pleasure in crippling those to cross his pat, Four of his latest victis form a bond and seek revenge, A hawer, who has been blinded, a blacksmith, made mude and deaf and a drifter whose legs are cut off all attempt to band together with a fighter who is known as tier “idiot friend”. While finding ingenious ways to overcome their disabilities they conjure a cunning plan to take on the evil gang and the four are tested time and time again and demonstrate strengths and abilities.
Director: Sara Colangelo Starring: s Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland, and Josh Lucas .USA. 1h 45m
Whenever there is a massive tragedy with one single survivor, there are bound to be many questions, and this is one of the driving forces behind Sara Colangelo’s, slow paced melodrama, surrounding a gigantic and very tragic accident in a small mining community, the survivors struggle to carry on and support each other, after the fatal accident which sets off a chain reaction of misfortune involving the most Survivor, the mining Executives guilt stricken, lonely wife, and a teenage boy with blood on his hands.
Director: Neil Jordan Starring: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry-Jones .UK. 1h 58m
Every few years vampires find themselves reinvented and they refuse to remove their fangs from our necks. Jim Jarmusch swung back with Only Lovers Left Alive, a revival of the romantic mixed with his own take on the eternal blood sucking genre, and it’s been two decades since Interview with a Vampire, the film that made millions swoon…
Byzantium switches between modern day and yesteryear through dreamy sequences and guttural gore as Gemma Arterton, often dolled up in numerous sexy outfits, and her supposed daughter Saoise Ronan play vampires who after years of running from hunters, end up in a dead end seaside town. After shacking up with a timid hotelier, Daniel Mays, they set up their own brothel in his shabby establishment.
By the time the girls have settled into their new home, the authorities are taking an interest in them, but these agents have a good idea of the monsters lurking within the innocent faces and they are highly equipped to track down these undead wenches in order to make them more dead.
The strange unsettling drama will always been known as one of the new wave of modern neon movies, at times it sets itself among vibrant titles like Into the Void (20??), and yet there’s a creepy nostalgia when remote waterfalls turn into torrents of blood, but as the girls struggle through adversity in the 19th and 20th century, with and without corsets, the compelling story of power and hunger has a heavy feminist subtext that adds weight to the already fantastic adventure. The girls are very unique from other vampires, while they are super strong and have acute senses, but their tool of the trade is a retractable fingernail which they use to kill, with this slightly feline temperament and talons the movie oozes yet another feminine thread.
” I’m never merciful, and knowledge is a fatal thing.”
The story often stops and starts, falling over its own timeline, the girls seem to spend a lot of time sandboxing, falling in love with sick boys, updating their fries, struggling with the school system and the bittersweet gothic backstory determines why the girls hate men so much. But with such a long play time it seems to take a long time to describe what we have already guessed, and yet we still don’t really know where they are intending to go.
Certainly one for those who like a bit of mysticism and pretty visuals as much as a compelling story but don’t expect to have too many memories of the film other than pretty visuals as it frustratingly loses its personality along the way.
Related: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Enter the Void (2009) Lists: Vampire romances Vol 1, Neon Cinema Spotlight: Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones
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.
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.