Director: Jeremy Lovering
Starring:Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech. UK, Ireland. 1h 25m
There’s nothing new about a couple going for a fun thrilled romantic break in Ireland, it’s not like the market is swamped and this is a genre movie but with crackers like From the Dark (2014), which sees a more established couple trying to revive a strained relationship while descending on a village overrun by hard to kill vampires, along with this creature feature there’s a brilliant psychological tale Travellers (2011) that involved a group of city boys running into some Irish travellers but until a few magical 360 plot spinning reveal it’s hard to know who’s the worst set of characters. So with these already out and about, for seasoned horror fans, this movie initially kicks off as more of the same, or is it? Jeremy Lovering uses these others as stepping stones and red herrings, helping to throw his audience off and In Fear manages to fool and chill constantly from beginning to end.
Continue reading In Fear (2013)
Director: Romain Gavras
Starring: Vincent Cassell, Olivier Barthélémy .France. 1h 28m
Somewhere in the bleak landscape built up by Roman Gavras in his disturbing and cringeworthy drama, two maladjusted men find a kidship and go on a spree of violent destruction around France. But what could link them so strongly on their crime spree, their red hair, it’s a plot which is just crazy enough to work but with Vincent Cassell not only starring but in place as a producer the film may not have achieved its full potential but it’s something so unusual and powerful, it sticks in the mind with it’s utter bizarre narrative and sly look at the social construct that would allow this to happen. Continue reading Notre jour viendra Our Day Will Come (2010)
Director: John Boorman.
Starring.Nigel Terry (RIP) , Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson (RIP) , Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart. Ireland/USA/UK. 2h 20m.
Based on:15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory
There aren’t too many movies that I can mention from my childhood that have such an epic reaction of admiration as this definition of epic fantasy. Albeit a guilty pleasure, I generally hang around heavy alternative scenes where this has become a fashion guide as well as cult classic pieces of cinema, but there’s a wealth of shiny aesthetics and magical storytelling which has never really been mimicked again making this truly unique stand alone opulent piece. Continue reading Excalibur (1981)
Director: Peter Bergin.
Starring. Ronan Murphy, Bridget O’Connor, Corey Macri, Aaron Lee Reed Ireland. 1h 20m.
Found footage can be an easy genre to devise a film for, but a hard one to master. There are obvious struggles as this survival expert attempts to film an instructional video deep in the Lolo National Park and encounters a real threat.
The lonely survivalist is tracking through the forest in a national forest while filming himself demonstrating how to make the most of your camping trip, back at home he offers a class and this instructional video will allow himi to reach more people and finally he can turn his hobby into a lucrative business. The lush forest is the perfect setting for a found footage horror, less people and factors to interfere with the story, the only problem is that so many of them are set here and it’s hard not to mention.. Blair Witch.. There I went and did it. But there are no witches in this struggling horror movie, so it’s very evident despite the red herring what’s going to appear by the end of the film and this is only one of the problems. Continue reading Territorial Behaviour (2015)
Director: Rob Bowman
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Alexander Siddig, Ned Dennehy, Izabella Scorupco .UK. 1h 41m
I fell out of love with fantasy movies for the surreal back in my teens, I still enjoy the genre but I live for the way out psychotropic pop surreal that goes that one step beyond. The fantasy genre is riddled with stories of dragons, maidens, cruel giant monsters, laws and riddles but going back to the standard western fantasy realm only gets a film canned as a tiresome Lord of the Rings rip off, so many attempts to bring Fantasy into the modern realm have challenged many a cast and crew, this silly bu entertaining project from X Files director Rob Bowman is interesting but slightly cringe.
After years of working the TV circuit Bowman branched out into a lengthy feature which resurrects a modern tale of dragons and legendary heroes, blending castles and helicopters, a tale of ultimate bravery and sacrifice unfolds. Continue reading Reign of Fire (2002)
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch .UK/Ireland/USA. 1h 58m
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino emerges with some triumph as one of the masters of modern cinema with this English Language film This Must be the Place, starring Sean Penn as a Robert Smith inspired aged rock star Cheyenne. Retirement doesn’t bring as much action as the rocker passes his time living a non existent life in Dublin spending his days alone in his mansion or with his best friend Mary (Hewson) while his American wife (McDormand) is content with her job as a firefighter.
The approach is superbly elegant and has a mix of looming camera movements and bursts of dynamic action mixed with Penns dry humor that sinks into a hallucinatory landscape, which at points is so massive swallows up the characters. Continue reading This must be the place (2011)
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?
Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia WIlliams, Djimon Hounsou, Julianne Moore. USA/UK/Russia 1h 42m
Based on The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
In principle the story is ok, I’m pretty sure the better selling novel by Joseph Delaney is worth a read if fantasy is your thing, but in this bizarre adaptation there’s no longer anything particularly outstanding. Which is totally bizarre as it has all the ingredients, great actors, many who have starred in many fantasy movies, a Russian director, and without prejudice some of the most inventive fantasy movies have come from the region, topped with a lavish story, this should have blown many pairs of socks off, but it could barely figure out how to put them on.
Opening at a weird stage in the story, we see a man locking away a screaming woman in a remote hold in a vacant landscape, is alludes to this being the outcome of an epic battle between Mother Malkin (Moore) an evil witch and Gregory (Bridges) a member of a knightly order called the Falcons who dedicate their lives defending mankind from supernatural threats. Continue reading The Seventh Son (2014)
Director: Dave Tynan.
Starring.Emmet Kirwan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake, Ian Lloyd Anderson. Ireland/UK. 1h 39m.
I assumed this was going to be more about older irish problems and feelings towards the British, maybe I’m still on a high after watching Black 47 (2018), but this is more of a cross between It’s all gone Pete Tong (2004) and Trainspotting (1996) but without that certain spark or energy instead it’s way more realistic (than Trainspotting) and totally poetic both in narrative and throughout it’s dialogue. There are many drug addicts here, some have succumbed and others literally only use it to enhance their recreation.
So this movie tells a story of Jason (Kirwan), an aspiring DJ who spends those few hours between drug field trips in the streets of Dublin, he stumbles on his educated and long time addicted brother Daniel (Anderson). The two subsequently bond and clash as they batter through their differences and in a strange Irish way, catch up with each other. Jason is determined to reach his goal at DJing a very special illegal rave while trying to win his ex back, this young man really has a lot on his plate and struggles every step of the way. Continue reading The Dublin Oldschool (2018),
Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m
This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn) despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.
At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)