Tag Archives: college

In Search of Balance (2016)

Director: Adam Pfleghaar
Starring:Various USA. 1h 14m

This detailed insight into how we fit into the bigger scheme of things as one element of planet earth, starts as an engaging documentary that slowly unravels into strange conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas which seem to sell a bitter snake oil.

Film-maker Adam Pfleghaar has devised a collage of interviews and compiled meticulous research , and constructed an audio-visual meditation on the themes of how we, as a species are only a tiny cog in a giant wheel, seeing the bigger picture is alluring and understanding how far detached we are from nature if eye opening but the end result of In Search For Balance had me scratching my head working out how these guys cured diabetes but The method and technique doesn’t seem something marketable for the rest of the public

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Career Girls (1997)

Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Katrin Cartlidge, Lunda Steadman, Mark Nenton, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 23m

I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to spend time with Mike Leigh, sometime in the late 80’s early 90’s, is he this hyper thinking character he often portrays in his films, in this case the energetic Hannah (Cartlidge) who, in this femine tour de force is a lady version of Johnny Fletcher (David Thewlis) from Naked, at least with her quick wit and attitude, she’s no much of an awkward asshole.. thankfully!

4 years after Naked (1993) Leigh returns with a less traumatic but equally charming insight into the friendship between Hannah and Annie (Steadman), once best friends at university, the two awkward characters shared their adventures and possibly even a boyfriend at one time.. Annie’s psoriasis held her back. But after a rough start Hannah begins to see the real charm and quality of the girl and their union is one of strength and genuine caring for eachother. The third wheel, Clare (Byers), the original roommate to Hannah is shoon shafted from the apartment for her abrasive nature and the girls move in Ricky (Benton) a husky austic guy who has the hots for Annie, Mark Benton’s portrayal of autism for the time was really outstanding, there’s a lot more understanding of the condition and yet the character, while not entirely accurate as being autism really highlights a person with a mix of mental conditions that we recognize without putting a finger on it.

Continue reading Career Girls (1997)

Personal Shopper (2016)

Director: Olivier Assayas Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigird Bouaziz, Nora Von Waldstratten. USA/UK/France. 1h 45m

At times it’s easy to forget that Personal Shopper is a horror movie. If you’re into something which burns slow but delivers a whack at the end then this might feel like it’s let you down, but there is a huge revelation at the end but it might not be what you were expecting. At times it’s mundane and even dull, but Assatas’ genius technique is to force the viewer to not to see what’s coming so when something does stand out it has a larger impact. It’s not hard to connect Kirsten Stewart to keywords such as “Blank” and at times it’s a perfect emotion for the film that deals all too honestly with grief, alienation and death.

Continue reading Personal Shopper (2016)

Possession Experiment (2016)

Director: Scott B Hansen
Starring: Scott B Hansen, Bill Moseley, Chris Minor, Nicky Jasper, Jake Brinn. USA. 1h 24m

Considering how popular Found Footage movies are, I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done by a bigger studio. Our fascination with watching online train wrecks, drama and spooky videos are all satisfied with this somewhat inventive horror that starts well but sadly falls into too many horror clichés before burning out.

The budget seems to have been spent on Bill Moseley 5 minute intro where he plays a priest performing a fairly clumsy exorcism on a young girl in the basement of a house, the lords prayer is used instead of Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and a few lines are missing, the scene is shot well but doesn’t make sense, at one point the girl with all the stereotypical garb, long dark hair, spewing Latin and a long white nightgown, levitates and attacks, everyone just watching her or running away and she’s only challenged after dispatching the unfortunate man not before. Personally I’d have believed the scene more if Mosley was the possessed and not a priest, could you imagine letting him rip in a role like this!!?? Either way the exorcism is an utter failure and the filming of it leaks out and sparks some interest from a young man who desires something meaty for his theology homework assignment, after investigating the original site and getting spooked by a potential haunting, he devises a kick starter to return to the site and actively offering himself up to be possessed on a live web cast. Continue reading Possession Experiment (2016)

Approaching the Unknown (2016)

Previously Ad Inexplorata “Toward the Unexplored

Director: Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Starring: Mark Strong, Sanaa Latham, Luke Wilson, Charles Baker .UK. 1h 30m

A deeply philosophical sci fi drama that borders the aesthetics of lo fi and challenges a lot of immortal questions about mankind exploring anything about the world around them as well as the wells of unknowns from within.

There’s a ton of highly sophisticated looking tech and a groundbreaking invention at the centre of this one way trip into the void. But Director Mark Rosenberg is more focused on creating an intelligent and driven character and isn’t happy until he’s peeled back all of his layers to get the most intimate look into a fictional character that I’ve seen in a long time. Apart from his pet project, which literally milks water from rocks, the rest of the tech isn’t the shiny fan dangled aspect but Captain William Stanaforth (Strong) does know this machinery all too well inside and out but it doesn’t mean everything is going to run smoothly despite his expertise.

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Cruel Summer (2016)

Director: Philip Escott, Craig Newman
Starring: Richard Pawulski , Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Natalie Martins, Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon. UK. 1h 20m

Philip Escott and Craig Newmans movie is an intensely controlled, beautifully raw and a bittersweetly acted account of the systematic hunt and brutal murder of an innocent autistic teen. Richard Pawulski plays a peaceful young man, Danny, who heads into the countryside for some camping, ethical fishing and to enjoy the solitude for this Duke of Edinburgh award, but unknown to him, an enamored Julia (Martins) has lied to a violent and jealous Nicholas (Miller) about Danny having sexual relations with his (now) ex, this lie starts to spread and grows into Danny being a pedophile to encourage another friend to help them track him down and teach him a lesson. Continue reading Cruel Summer (2016)

ABC’s of Death 2.5 (2016)

Director:Various.
Starring. A lotta people WORLDWIDE. 1h 25m.

There aren’t many movies series that I fangirl over but the ABCs of Death and VHS are certainly anthologies that I got my teeth firmly into. I had lost hope for a 3rd part to turn the duo into a trilogy, and in my haste I didn’t realise this strange collection has been compiled. It definitely seems to be a marmite movie, but if you enjoyed the previous then you’ll probably see a lot of charm in this selection of movies which seem to be just as creative and diverse as the rest.

During the original submissions, there was an outstanding amount of M’s submitted, and this ABC, is really an MMM as it complies the 26 favourites from the M list, which begs me to ask why the hell isn’t there a box set of 26 movies for each letter in an epic box set, but alas we have the MMM’s of death to enjoy for now. Continue reading ABC’s of Death 2.5 (2016)

A Dark Song (2016)

Director: Liam Gavin.
Starring. Steve Oram. Catherine Walker. UK/Ireland/Wales. 1h 39m.

For a directorial debut things can’t get much better than this enlightened and powerful independent movie about grief, revenge and the harsh deeper side of the occult. An obviously distraught and confused mother, Sophia (Walker) rents an isolated house in rural Wales to try and convince an angry and unhinged occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to lead her through months of grueling rites in order to summer her Guardian Angel to grant her a special favor after her son was abducted and murdered, all she wants is to talk with him again.

Sophia follows the rules to the letter, collecting large amounts of supplies and spending thousands just to entice Joseph to the house and after some rugged persuasion he begrudgingly agrees but has reservations about Sophia’s motives but she is persistent and pretty durable, and she grinds through the punishing exercises, changing her diet, and begin soaked with chilled water, denied sleep and spends hours learning complex sigils and rituals. All the while in the dim secluded house that’s alien to them both and is constantly creaking and being generally creepy, Joseph remains a moody occult guide and rude rule maker, reading from the Book of Abramelin, and making some things up to help him keep his mind in the game, usually involving Sophia’s naked body.. Meanwhile Sophia doesn’t see enough results for her hard work, but ever so slowly the magic starts to work, or is it all a result of the demanding time locked away in the house with a volatile and pushy occultist?

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Field Freak (2016)


AKA – The Monster Outside – Hüte dich vor der Dunkelheit
Director: Stephen Folker
Starring: Glenn Harston, Dave Juehring, Trena Penson, Tristan Coppola, Jim Nieciecki. USA. 1h 30m

The cover for this indie horror is mightily impressive but I think that’s where the budget stopped, still it got my attention and luckily I’m a sucker for indie movies and despite it’s poor attempt at being a convincing horror, it actually a loveable movie.

I do have a soft spot for bigfoot movies and films that include one legged black guys who make root beer in old bathtubs out back, but maybe because of my magnetism to bigfoot, or maybe I just like bad movies, it’s hard to justify why I can see all the bad points in Field Freak but still have some warmth for the film. Sometimes you’ll discover a b movie with no love or care, they either try too hard to create outside of their budget or like this family horror, they just admit that they don’t have a huge budget and just set out to make something enjoyable with a lot of heart, it won’t win over a majority but it is what it is. Continue reading Field Freak (2016)

Friend Request (2016)

Director: Simon Verhoeven.
Starring. Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers. Germany/South Africa. 1h 22m.

Not remembering where this came during the more recent spate of social media horrors, it seem that the idea of the supernatural being broadcast and manipulating people through the internet isn’t something new but something that works better on paper or maybe by being narrated on YouTube on the Creepypasta channels. But this English language German horror does offer some brilliant jump scares but lacks the substance in between.

Laura (Debnam-Carey) is one of the more popular kids at college, who lives a privileged and beautiful life, one day she accepts an online request from a loner called Marina (Ahlers) the two strike up a friendship, albeit it at arms length when Laura notices the dark and disturbing imagery on Marina facebook page. Laura starts to notice how possessive Marina is getting and lies to her about an upcoming birthday party claiming it’s going to be a quiet one but the photos of her enjoying a lavish dinner date with her friends and family get uploaded and Marina confronts her in the dinner hall, as the argument gets heated Marina hood falls down revealing a bloody scalp from her habitual hair pulling. Continue reading Friend Request (2016)