Director: Albert Serra
Starring: Eliseu Huertas, Lluís Serrat Massanellas, Vicenç Altaió . UK. 2h 28m
Albert Serra, the Catalan trailblazer, always fascinates with his interpretations and adaptations of withering classic figures. Through a dusty lense he creates lavish cultured tapestries for them to play in, sometimes seeming alive now and again they seem as fragile and shaggy relics they have left behind.
His baroque mix up of pleasure meets desire in the guise of Cassanova meets Dracula combines fantasy and fiction in a flight of fancy style, at times it’s pretty grotesque while bolsters by lots of risque blush and tickles, a truly great adventure set against an unusual Transylvanian setting. Continue reading Història de la meva mort / The Story of my Death (2013)
Director: Fernando Di Leo.
Starring. Henry Silva,Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Mario Adorf , Luciana Paluzzi Italy. 1h 35m.
Following on from Caliber 9, De Leo hits back with another violent manhunt movie.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming syndicate boss Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, David (Silva) and Frank (Strodey) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A local assistant, Eva will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite as useless as everyone suspects. Continue reading Italian Connection / Hired to Kill / La mala ordina (1972)
Director: Reginald Ebere.
Starring. Fredrick Leonard, Nigeria. 4h +.
After a spate of gangland style Nollywood movies I settled into something a bit more tender, This mini series sees a father having to deal with a niaeve and rebellious daughter who has the ability to see ghosts but that’s not her biggest problem is a strange one but pulls on the heart strings as intended.
The series opens with Hilary being dropped off at her father’s house, her mother has decided that she wants to get married and is dropping off Hilary as it’s not her father’s turn to look after her, an unsuspecting bachelor (Leonard) who wasn’t aware that he has a daughter and the shock of the 14 year old instantly kills his current relationship with an unnamed flame (Uju Okoli). I have to give it to the Nigerians for introducing a movie in such a razzmatazz style. Continue reading Hilarys Heart (2019)
Director: Matt Allen
Starring: Brian Thompson, Ben Browder, Shoshana Bush, Cheryl Texiera, Adrienna Barbeau. USA. 1h 32m
Matt Allen follows up his Aces and Eights short movie with a debut feature HOAX! which turns out to be a quirky faux mockumentary thriller about an investigation into the existence of Bigfoot, after a spate of teen disappearances in the Colorado mountains.
It’s easy to call it just another Bigfoot movie: but there has been a recent run of lowish-budget features that have broadened the creature featutes horizons by taking things to a new place, especially the fan favourite Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012). Somehow, without many clues or prompts or evidence, it does keep the question open in order to keep the viewers guessing until the very end, but does bigfoot exist or is there an alternative reason why teens are being slaughtered in the hills? And either way why would you want to go out with limited resources to find out? Continue reading Hoax (2019)
Director: Gerard Johnson
Starring: Peter Ferdinando, Stephen Graham, MyAnna Buring, Elisa Lasowski, Neil Maskell, Richard Dormer, Tony Pitts, Mehmet Ferda .UK. 1h 24m
This matter of fact police corruption movie turns out to be not only thrilling, but delicately devious which sees the argument of righter and wronger turns heels from the streets of London into a literal blood bath.
Johnson keeps the movie on it’s feet with fast camera action that in ways follows it’s heroes and foes like an episode of [insert your favourite cop drama here] the story slowly steps out from the clamamtiy from time to time through bloody revelations, and it all becomes too much for the hardened street cop who is the focus of the movie. There’s something raw about the filming approach, the locations aren’t luxurious especially in the daytime which are filmed on any street corner, something we can all relate to, but at night the film comes alive in darkness and neon, the characters aren’t built on in the conventional way, instead they are more like sweaty desperate chess pieces but still the camera moves around them with glee. Continue reading Hyena (2014)
Director: Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell
Starring: George Knapp, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, Colm Kelleher .USA. 2h 07m
Based on the best-selling book by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher, Hunt for The Skinwalker is a documentary about the most intensive scientific study of a “paranormal” hotspot in human history.
The film is an alluring documentation of a deep scientific look at highly strange paranormal events, in what seems to be a hotspot for a malevolent consciousness that is constantly changing a slowly becomes more disturbing as they investigators charge on with their experiments in the Uintah Basin.
Technically this is two documentaries for the price of one that haphazardly switches between new and older footage, some filmed over a decade ago but each scene is equally relevant and usually just as shocking. Continue reading Hunt for the Skinwalker (2018)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Based on: Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Malcolm Blair, Tantoo Cardinal, Julian Black Antelope. USA. 2h 5m
With just two major titles under his belt, Saulnier’s next project, was so highly anticipated it derailed the hype train, but the resulting ambitious drama was so different from the taut thrillers, Blue Ruin (2013) and Green Room (2015) that no one could really appreciate it in the same way and it generally got panned by the fans.
This misfire isn’t a total disaster, no one can find fault with the beautiful crafting that went into the film, Saulnier is so masterful that even if you didn’t get the movie you can easily enjoy watching it, but for me it’s just a perfect shot for a different audience. I found it just as gritty and nearly as bloody as the others, but the pushing and pulling between two fundamental ideas within the movie that would either make it a thriller or fantasy doesn’t ever come to a neat conclusion, leaving a gaping open ending which is going to piss off a lot of people but for me it’s a highly alluring project which is perfect as it is. Continue reading Hold the Dark (2018)
Director: Jon Keeyes.
Starring. Arnold Vosloo, Erin Marie Garrett, Michael Ironside, Matthew Tompkins, Hayden Tweedie. USA. 1h 25m
With it’s gripping cover I couldn’t miss this movie, a chance at a semi decent horror movie involving demons!? what could possibly go wrong.. well in short, everything, and yes you don’t need to remind me not to judge movies from their covers.. I’ll never learn. It’s an odd bag of events, talents and , the star of the film is terrible and his co stars including Michael Ironside and Arnold Vosloo!? Maybe i’m out of touch but they mean more to me than the rest of the cast doubled.. Alas it is what it is…
The life of a vice cop is often glamorized on the screen, through tough work and determination they eventually get the bad guys after an action packed chases and breaking a few rules usually there is a classic duo think of The French Connection (1971) and really what could make this style of film sour? The Harrowing is a far cry from this classic set up, and while it’s great to break convention sometimes the mix can marr either side, could you imagine if Gene Hackman ran into real demons while pursuing his case? although in all honesty he was fighting personal ones in the sequel but this is beyond the point. Continue reading The Harrowing (2018)
Director: Hope Perello
Starring: Michelle Matteson, Bruce Payne, Carol Lynley, Deep Roy, Brendan Hughes, Antonio Fargas . USA . 1h 42m
(Loosely) based on The Howling Series of novels by Gary Brandner especially Howling III Echoes.
Have you ever woken up from a hazy dream and tried to piece it back together to make a story..that’s kinda how this installment of Howling plays out. Loosely based on the third Howling book, it’s set around the life of a unusual drifter who stumbles on the wrong town. Despite his natural ability to look like Charlie Chaplin he actually has a much more dangerous and darker secret, being part of the Howling series it’s no surprise really but there’s more, just follow him down the rabbit hole… Continue reading Howling VI : The Freaks (1991)
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. USA. 2h 7m
Boldly highlighted as the most frightening film of all time, Hereditary certainly does have its moments and a dark twisted ending but is it really all that horrific? It’s undeniably creepy and boils into a crescendo of violence and psychological demise, but what it doesn’t offer are hoards of false jump scares, buckets of blood or unbelievable torture porn.
It’s hard to detail the movie as it’s subtle approach and devilish details makes it something that once explained will ruin many surprises. The movie does manage to support a constant feeling of dread for the first 90 minutes it’s hard to really see which direction the film is taking, hard to know what’s real and what might be a dream and ultimately it lines up a powerful ending that won’t be predicted by the more discerning horror fan. Continue reading Hereditary (2018)