Director: Benedict Andrews
Starring: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies .UK. 1h 34m
David Harrower (based on his play “Blackbird”)
From its moody opening juxtaposed with PJ Harverys iconic Down By the Water there’s a clear insight into how dark and difficult Benedict Andrews drama is going to be. There’s a long and complicated tale that has to be adapted from stage to screen, one that describes a relationship that too many of us couldn’t fathom and even after watching the sterling performances, it’s still a tainted pill to swallow.
Continue reading Una (2017)
Director: Curtis Hanson Starring: Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Ernie Hudson, Julianne Moore, John de Lancie. USA. 1h 50m
After his humble beginnings with 70’s trashy slashers, Curtis Hanson slowly edged his style from layering blood and gore on young people, into something a little more grown up and psychotically sophisticated. Sometimes with a light or heavy edge of noir, his ability to write an engrossing story around a terrifying theme saw the seduction in The Bedroom Window (1987) he then amped up to his two most intense psychotic characters, first Alex (Rob Lowe) in his hard edged Bad Influence (1990) and then two years later he brought a similar, equally deranged and controlling, feminine character to the plate in, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle showing that hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. Continue reading The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)
Director: Marcus Dunstan.
Starring. Josh Stewart, Andrew Roth, Juan Fernandez, William Prael, USA. 1h 30m.
Sometimes we just have the urge to sit back and watch people get tortured, and if that’s your bag, then this debut from budding director and gore king Marcus Dunstan is something that till tantalise as it has a fairly compelling backstory and delivers some trippy Saw like setups even if there are plot holes, the overall aesthetic and creepiness of the movie makes it a neon marvel of pain and guttural cinema for a new generation after the video nasty era slowed down to nothing all that special despite special effects and cheaper methods of film making becoming more available, it feels as if cinema got rather sensible for a while. But in the rise of gore and torture horror, for me this is own of the more wild and lavish mainstream titles. Continue reading The Collector (2009)
Director: Dan Bush
Starring: April Billingsley, Kelsey Scott, Conal Bryne, Rhoda Griffis .USA. 1h 41m
An interesting idea with lots of character twists and turns in Dan Bush’s courageous drama that taps into the bond of blood of a particular family with uncanny powers. For the most part what seems to be a challenging time for one woman in a mental institution eventually creeps into a much more powerful action drama that has all the making of a really decent sci-fi fantasy drama but doesn’t come across with as much power as it might have if handled differently, but it did keep me glued while it transformed into something deeper and more meaningful, maybe there will be a chance to break this story open in a sequel? Continue reading The Dark Red (2018)
AKA: Demons III
Director: Lumberto Bava
Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Continue reading The Ogre (1987)
Director: Simon Fellows Writer: Brendan Higgins
Starring.Andrew Scott, Bronagh Waugh, Denise Gough, J.D. Evermore. Canada. 1h 29m.
Irish stud, Andrew Scott stars in this muted drama that hinges on a community that is constantly turning a blind eye to some of the most horrific events that could happen behind closed doors.
When a young boy, Tyler Zeigler, goes missing in a sleepy fictional backwoods town of Harburgh, Pennsylvania, a former steel town that has seen brighter days. A local garbage truck driver and single father, Donny (Scott), plays detective, embarking on a precarious and obsessive investigation. Donald Devlin isn’t like all the other people in his town, and it’s kinda hard to pin point exactly what his ailment is, autism is top of my list but I’ve never quite seen a detective like him, Monk (2004-2009) had OCD along with a range of fears and phobias, Poirot was also OCD and it seems these afflictions help the perception of these amazing individuals, Donald is a special Samaritan, for the most part it’s easy to understand his concerns but every now and again he comes swinging from left field and does something really random as he attempts to grasp the world around him.
Continue reading A Dark Place / Steel Country (2018)
Starring: Vinessa Shaw, Ebon Moss-Bachrach .Mexico. 1h 40m
Based on: El juego de los niños by Juan José Plans
In a bold attempt to update and update the 1976 classic Who Can Kill a Child but Narciso Ibanes Serrador, Makinov has basically just remade it with little care to really expand the story and somehow it now seems slightly underpowered and drawl in all areas which could have been improved.
A young couple, Beth (Shaw) and Francis (Moss-Bachrach) are on holiday and travelling around remote islands before the birth of their child. On arriving at a new island they discover a lone boy fishing but make their way into town finding it pretty vacant. Settling down in an abandoned bar they make themselves drinks and food, assuming that everyone is sleeping off the after math of festival season. Continue reading Come out and play (2012)