Director : Randall Cole
Starring :Nick Stahl, Mia Kirshner, Devon Sawa . Canada. 1h 26m.
The found footage Canadian thriller stars Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner as an unhappily married couple whose lives are turned upside down after they are tracked and eventually infiltrated by an unknown stalker. The film has a low key release and is fairly average in most aspects. Continue reading 388 Arletta Avenue (2011)
Day 25 of 31
Director: Pascal Laugier.
Starring:Morjana Alaoui Mylène Jampanoï . Canada. 1h 34m.
This film comes straight out of left field and doesn’t ever give any real explanation for it’s bizarre and wildly disturbing nature and really crushes your guts at the end, but it’s a delight to muse over. On the outset it’s pretty forgivable to assume this is just another excuse for torture porn styled horror, without spending a lot of time thinking about the gruesome detail it’s easy to see how it all boils down to the persecution of women, so no brownie points there but simmering around the narrative are lots of other social and religious questions, most of which will turn anyone insane if you go into them in great detail.
Continue reading Martyrs (2008)
Day 23 of 31
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jennifer O’Neill, Steven Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane, Michael Ironside. Canada. 1h 43m
For me early Cronenberg films shine very brightly with imagination and unique fleshy charm. He is certainly one of those directors who can sell a dark concept with a mysterious shroud that gives his audience layers of fear to think through, these concepts were never all that solid but are strong with so many possibilities.
From his early body shocker films like Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977) he slowly evolved his work to include more science and the emphasis on social interactions gave way to internal chemistry, and in this thriller the mind is the central focus more than the whole body.
Starting out strong, ConSec a private security firm attempts to showcase the abilities of one of their scanners,and boasts a fine tuned collection of mind powers including, telepathy such as mind reading, mind-control, and telekinesis. When the Scanner attempts to interact with a member of the audience, it turns out this individual is a much powerful scanner and the brain battle that ensues leads to one of the most brilliant head explosions ever, i assume Cronenberg couldn’t resist the flesh. The security staff attempt to capture the man but he uses his immense skills to kill the guards and escape. Continue reading Scanners (1981)
Director: Nathan Morlando
Starring: Scott Speedman, Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand, Joseph Cross, Brendan Frasier. Canada. 1h 45m
Coming out hot on the heels of Public Enemy (2009) and other films such as Lawless (2012) this Canadian edition to the host of the new wave of crime tells a true story compared to the fantasy filled Gangster Squad (2013) and is quite refreshing in the age where super heroes seem to be taking over again. this is emotive drama Starring Scott Speedman as the modern-day Robin Hood, Eddie Boyd, he didn’t give to the poor but according to reports he was admired by the general public not only during his days as a bank robber but also later on in life when he decided to go straight he was once again seen as a public treasure. Continue reading Citizen gangster (2015)
Director: Chad Archibald.
Writers: Chad Archibald and Cody Calahan.
Starring:Michelle Mylett, Caroline Korycki, Gemma Bird Matherson. Canada. 1h 28m.
Considering that this movie is about a man who stalks women who are either getting in or out of the tub, I was expecting more tits.. but.. dammit there were no butts either..
A near death experience in a lake leaves Madison (Michelle Mylett) with an extreme case of hydrophobia and it’s stopping her from attending her best friend Hannah’s(Caroline Korycki) wedding as there might be rain and the Drownsman will come and get her, take her into his world and kill her. In their attempts to help cure Madison of her phobia, her friends hold a seance to try and contact this entity and discover that Madison is right and the drownsman AKA Sebastian Donner does exist and he still loves to hear his victims hearts beat as he drowns them…. Continue reading The Drownsman (2014)
Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Based on: The Double by Jose Saramago
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini. Canada, Spain. 1h 31m.
Every now and again an amazingly bizarre psychological thriller filters through to the big screen. and they usually go unnoticed as they don’t cause a lot of hype with the masses but this surreal doppelganger mystery is filled with some of the most curious and breathtaking cinema that I’ve seen for quite some time.
A man attends an erotic show in an underground club that ends just as a naked woman is on the verge of crushing a live spider under her heels, elsewhere a pregnant woman is sitting at home alone. Continue reading The Enemy (2013)
Director: Eric Tessier
Writer: Patrick Senecal
Starring: Marc-Andre Grodin, Norman D’Amour, Sonia Vachon, Mylene St-Sauveur. Canada. 1h 50m.
This dark twisted tale is akin to an urban legend, it has an eternal feel that hazes the brutality and mystifies the psychological aspects of the film.
After photography student Yannick (Marc Grodin) falls off his bike and injures himself, he makes the terrible mistake of knocking on the door of the Beaulieu residence to tidy himself up, after hearing screaming Yannick investigates and upon finding the source, a captive man, he also find himself trapped and held hostage in the house. Over time and during his incarceration he learns more about this batchit crazy family. Continue reading 5150 Rue Des Ormes – 5150 Elm’s Way (2009)
Director: Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment, Justin Long, Johnny Depp. USA 1h 45m.
I was so hyped to see this after seeing that it had made it onto the screenings at the Abattoir film festival in 2014 and we know they have good taste, twinned with the gross concept of a man being transformed into a walrus.. I was ecstatic.. but I didn’t realise who the director was, and no I’ve never heard his podcast.
Turn up the funny and maximise the strange.
Tusk is pretty much a tamer funnier version of Human Centipede (2010) I have to admit that it’s the two factors that would normally repel me, were actually fairly quirky and entertaining. Based around Wallace Bryton (Justin Long, an actor who will just NEVER AGE!!) who is a podcaster with his loyal buddy Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment – who obviously has been eating the dead people that he sees). While in search for the next big thing he ventures into uncharted lands to interview a kid as a prank (much to his beloved disgust) but not wanting to go home empty handed he finds an interesting “call me” in the toilets in a bar and follows up the story of mystery and intrigue, which leads him to the house of a disabled recluse who has many tales of being lost at sea and befriending a Walrus. Wallace wakes up with an amputated leg and then things only start to get seriously strange. Continue reading Tusk (2014)
A light hearted look at the demise of a young man, but sadly makes itself so uber hipster and soundtrack heavy that it loses itself in the beautiful Canadian landscape and could have delivered more.
Ben (Joshua Jackson), an elementary school teacher, has just discovered that he has an aggressive form of cancer and through a series of mishaps and without really realising what he’s doing, he’s the proud owner of a motorbike and stumbles on a message that reads “Go west young man” so he hits the road, leaving his slightly pushy and highly loving fiancee Samantha (Liane Balaban) behind. Continue reading One Week (2008)
After seeing a lot of posters and a chilling YouTube preview video this heavily anticipated film took forever to be fully released and then immediately disappeared, but I eventually found a copy and for me this is a masterpiece of dark sexual gore horror.
Initially it starts out as a muted drama, a few friends are over for a few drinks the couple kick them out, get it on and go to sleep, the next day Laura (Kayden Rose) wakes up with a few bruises but just assumes it’s from the love making the night before but things get worse, much worse, she starts to get more bruising and then her body gives up and she starts rotting. Things don’t end there as she also gets horny as hell during her descent into hell.
Everything about this film is skin crawlingly dark, it doesn’t make any attempt to cushion the blow and explores every detail of the human body and enters into the psyche of someone who is experiencing something new and disturbing about their body.
Despite it not taking off or picking up a lot of fans it has influences a host of movies that have copied many aspects of it but without really travelling as deep into the darkness and Thanatomorphose has done, which makes the copies a little more “approachable”.
Instead of being approachable this film is stark and brutal, for a debut director it’s astounding that he, Eric Falardeau, has managed to create something so en point.
If you’re into films that really go that extra mile and refuse to pay any attention to the safe word and will carry on to the bitter end then this might be the film for you. It’s also worth checking out Halley (2012), A Spanish film that take a similar stance on this morbid and creepy subject.
Full film review to come…