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.
Director: Peter Mullan Starring: Connor McCarron, Greg Forrest, Joe Szula, Mhairi Anderson,. UK. 2h 4m
There’s no doubt that whenever Peter Mullan is in front or behind the camera there’s some kinds of magic occurring, one of the least talked about and yet most cherished and influential actors/directors in the UK, this personal project about a young boys decent reom Academic glory to Violent Street Culture has to be one of his deeper shining titles.
NEDS is a tragic drama about a young and gifted boy who’s obsession is with the kids from the wrong side of the tracks and his own inner anger help carve his future. Directed and co-starred by the british Meistero Peter Mullan, who in my opinion can do no wrong, NEDs is one of his top films as Mullans nostalgic eye behind the camera sets the scene for the most realistic British coming of age drama, something a lot of people wouldn’t want to face but admittedly couldn’t deny is plausible and engrossing.
Director: Simon Curtis Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald. UK. 1h 47m
For years people had been probing for Winnie the Pooh, the character holds a lot of sentimental charm for so many generations, the profitability of this really came to be noticed, not after the museum was set up but when Disney basically bought it. For a long while I just assumed this was going to be a mushy Hollywood rendition of the creation story pasted with a rose tint and lateyed in the good times Disney branded family fun, but it couldn’t be further from what was magically achieved in this heartbreaking, thought provoking biopic.
Christopher Robin is the boy who, we all seem to know and love and yet no one really knows at all, well I’m sure the die hard fans weren’t shocked about any ot the revelations within Curti’s period piece but I did have my eyes opened to a life that seemed so charming, and yet through the creation of a cult classic book, part of what should have been a charmed childhood was ruined and all for the success of a book that reminds us all to care and take our time with life.
Director: Dom Rotheroe Starring: Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashwood, Angela Forrest, Oliver Lee. UK. 1h 25m
The allure behind Exhibit A is getting an insight in the raw details behind the case of a brutal family annihilation case. While Dom Rotheroe and curated a really authentic feeling found footage movie on an independant budget I feel that story is lacking a genuine USP. I personally felt cheated, thought I’d missed some fine detail, but after re watching the movie, I had to step back and look at it with fresh eyes, so often found footage relies on adding a touch of creepy paranormal or something sly and devious into the mix to make the voyeuristic audience shudder with fear and delight. Exhibit A doesn’t bend to those rules, and doesn’t really go anywhere into the deep waters of the typical Found Footage Horror, however if the systematic psychological breakdown of a middle england family is your thing then step in.
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.
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.
Director: Robert Redford Starring:Robert Redford, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Saradon, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendand Gleeson, Sam Elliot, Stephen Root. USA. 2h 5m
Robert Redford isn’t a stranger to the director’s chair, however as much as The Company You Keep is a solid well made thriller and definitely is robust with ideas, philosophy and heavy drama, it’s just not as exciting as it could have been.
There’s a lot of interesting story to get through, but there’s not a lot of on screen action to enjoy. Hanging it’s narrative on ideas of what happens to freedom fighters and activists; after their youthful antics, when they are all settled as respectful members of society. Slowly unwinding mentally and regretfully of the bank robberies and murders of the past, do they just settle into the society they were fighting against or does the fight never end?
Backwoods horrors seem to have traveled from the deserts of the southern American into the cold forests of the north, incorporating indigenous folklore along the way. The Silencing tries to keep itself in the here and now, offering a grimy armchair detective mystery with icy drama, some daring thrills and a fathers promise to find his missing daughter at all costs.
Director: George Basha Starring: George Basha, Richard Green, Brian Eillson David Field, Franc Violi, Millie Rose Heywood, David Roberts. Australia. 1h 50m
While it doesn’t feel that there’s a shred of originality in this epic b-movie prison flick, there’s a lot of reports suggesting it’s based on a true story!? but i’m yet to verify these claims. Either way, fact or fiction won’t make it digest any easier. A harrowing story of a man who, through a one off accident ends up in prison for manslaughter. Unbeknownst to him there’s a hidden agenda which will see him fight a tougher sentence than any other inmate.
While his girl is being preyed on by strangers, Ray, a burly war veteran, steps in as a hero to defend her honor, the altercation ends in an accidental death. The father of the murdered bully makes a deal with the Prison Warden to make Rays stay unusually difficult. not that prison life isn’t hard enough. Rays struggles enough, working his way through cryptic prison politics, race wars, gang pressure, creepy showers and the occasional trip to the hole, but unlike Andy Dufranes he doesn’t have a guy who knows how to get things to ease his time inside.
Director: Martin Radich
Starring: Denis Menochet, Barry Keoghan, Goda Letkaustie. UK. 1h 23m
Sometimes cinema can be drab and unkind, which is the unnerving feeling you’ll end up with after watching Martin Radich’s Surreal coming of age art house drama.
The downtrodden ,depressing atmosphere permeates from the screen, as a father attempts to protect and train his son. While living off the grid in a remote rural location the two have strained relationship, mulling around their isolated home, their only connection is watching tv together. Unbeknowst to the son, a job from the past has caught up with his father and now their lives are in danger and one more murder must be commited, just one more contract or one more act of revenge.