Director: Frank Merle.
Starring. Malcolm McDowell, Paige Howard, David Dastmalchian, Billy Zane, Katerina Mikailenko, USA. 1h 30m.
Malcolm McDowell somehow manages to steal the show while only playing a small but vital role in this dark twisted interview from hell as he looks away a handful of top contenders for a new role in his powerful company allowing them to eliminate each other for the perfect job.
I was really impressed to see this “sub-genre” of interview/exam thrillers cropping up within the Escape Room horror genre. It’s pretty scary enough to have a few strangers locked in a room desperate to escape but when greed or desperation for a new job is also thrown into the mix there seems to be a heighten level of underhandedness in an already cut throat world.
Each candidate is entered in the first of a series of jobs interviews with their fierce future boss, played by the seasoned McDowell whose presence rightfully dominates his screen time, his no nonsense approach gives a great indication of his ruthlessness in the boardroom, and his determination to find the right person. But waking up in a locked room with a few strangers, it’s James (Dastmalchian) who starts to steer the movie. I haven’t seen him in much since Prisoners where he plays that freaky psycho with the snakes but in a total reversal he’s quite a pleasant and capable lead but he’s only just stands out in this mix of mad characters. Continue reading The Employer (2013)
Director: Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Bill Sage, Chloë Sevigny,Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, Guinevere Turner, Reese Witherspoon .USA. 1h 41m
After the success of a brilliant deeply disturbing and somewhat witty and stylish novella of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, Mary Harron transformed the saucy satirical bits into this cult movie starring the charismatic Chriistian Bale at the front of star studded cast. Bale was set to steal the show and this really boosted his career and ego to the outer limits, but I can’t argue that he gives a smart and sensuous performance.
I read the book and was happy to leave it as that, something the original author agrees with, but it became impossible to totally avoid the movie as it’s used to popular culture so much through doll’s phrases, and gifs it’s unavoidable. Continue reading American Psycho (2000)
Director: Cédric Kahn
Starring: Stefano Cassetti .France/Italy/Switzerland. 2h 4m
Based on: Je te tue. Histoire vraie de Roberto Succo assassin sans raison
by Pascale Froment.
What exactly is a criminal? Someone who goes above and beyond to get what he wants with little regard to anyone else or the law, or a totally feckless loser who just stumbles from mess to another? Cedric Kahn manages to paint a detailed picture of a man who crosses both of these descriptions and still manages to be both comical and highly dangerous in his escapades.
In this brilliant, slightly polished adaptation of real events, a bizarre criminal anti hero is etched out as Cassetti masquerades as Roberto Succo, a mixture of Jesse James, Hitler and Norman Bates, he argues about art, nationality and politics along the way. Mr Succo, esconded form prison five years after being convicted for the murder of his parents in 1981. His death defying run of fun saw him elude police in three different countries for 2 years, spending his time woeing girls, sightseeing, killing, raping, burgling and fucking up the odd bank job. The movie is generally detested by the French police for its alleged glamorisation of a real-life killer, but it’s a testament to the accuracies within the film and highlights how useless they were to allow him to carry on for so long. Continue reading Roberto Succo (2001)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m
Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.
This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Director: Brian Smrz
Starring Ethan Hawke, Xu Qing, Paul Anderson, Rutger Hauer, Tyrone Keogh, Nathalie Boltt, Liam Cunningham, Jeremy Yong .USA. 1h 39m
The overall character is like a science fiction bourne movie, the strengths lie in the espionage action thriller but you can’t ignore the countdown timer in the leads arm. But the film has a huge anchor and this drags along in a sea of theology Travis is a man on a mission but it’s plagued with ghosts of the afterlife, as he stands looking into the abyss it’s looking back at him and he’s reminded that he needs to make amends.
Travis Conrad (Hawke) is introduced as a drunk, hanging out with his father-in-law they are fishing and drinking in preparation for spreading some ashes, afterwards the old man, played by the enigmatic Rutger Hauer passes out and Travis heads to the tittybar, grabs a hit and notices some men following him, in a shifty trick he immobilize them and sits down next to the man who sent them, his old friend who offers him a job worth $2 million. Accepting his new job of executing a unknown man he has to find him, and so he starts tracking the family of an operative who’s been hired to protect him. While learning the whereabouts he spares Lin (Qing) but she kills him after plugging him in the chest, but Travis awakens on a hospital bed where’s he’s quizzed about the location, after givin up the news he soon realizes his mistake and that he’s time is up (again) but he breaks free, the doctor explains that he’s got a timer which gives him 24 hours to live again he spares another woman and escapes to get back at his employer by protecting his previous target but to summarize the film in one phrase, Travis is having a particularly bad day. Continue reading 24 Hours to Live (2017)
Director: David Michod.
Starring: Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, Luke Ford, Laura Wheelwright. Australia. 1h 53m
There is something extraordinarily authentic about Animal Kingdom, this sinister tale of a twisted criminal family is something can nervously be regarded as far fetched, but after an ounce of research into the criminal underworld of the Land Down Under, after watching this movie there’s a lingering fear that “based on a true story” might appear in the closing credits.
With characters like the notorious Chopper (2000) and the gut churning Snowtown (2011) just two pieces of projects based on real events and people, this just feels like the next step in a progression of a young country with a criminal culture that’s making up for lost time. Continue reading Animal Kingdom
Director: Pablo Larrain
Starring: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup. USA. 1h 40m
There’s a time when a country is on the verge of a historic event and during the run up it’s common to look back at the achievements or disasters, but with the verge of a new president this raw and varnished portrait of Jackie Kennedy arrived at a reverent time.
Concentrating on the events from the point of Jackie the film revolves around the shooting of her husband , the world was shocked but the world was talking politics, talking about men and often Jackie was totally ignored, considered a bystander having everyone assume her feelings and emotions at the time and for years after. Pablo Larrain set himself a massive challenge with his first English language film, he’s taken on a task which could offend a country but his subtle hand and sympathetic eye has assured this film will be warmly welcomed. With an event this large the film is able to jump around to and fro but encompasses the tragic and lonely situation that Jackie was left in. Continue reading Jackie (2016)
Director: Gerald Kargl
Starring:Erwin Leder, Edith Rosset, Josefine Lakatha, Sylvia Rabenreither. Austria. 1h 15m
I am constantly looking for films about serial killers that aren’t total let downs and after years of searching it seems I missed the boat as one of the greatest and more accurately disturbing films was released when I was a toddler, but despite its age it really hasn’t lost any of it’s vivacity and manages to detail the gruesome slaughtering of one family by a repetitive mass murder Werner Kniesek. Continue reading Angst / Fear (1983)
This American – Mexican horror is loosely based on a true story about Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, a leader of a religious cult and drug lord who practiced human sacrifice, his gang kidnapped and murdered many people and this movie deals with the particulars of American University students who spend the night fighting for their lives in a foreign town and against a huge gang fuled by violence and chaos It takes a while to warm up but it’s then it’s pure nightmare fuel from there on. 7/10 Continue reading 10 Horror Films from 2007 Worth Talking About Volume 1
Starring: Michael Madsen, Madi Vodane, Linda Bella. USA
This generic horror with a skeletal plot manages to detail scary elements of cyberbullying along with the moral conundrum of revenge, but with so much being regurgitated from olde fables and other films it only has a few minor saving graces.
Lisa Pomson (Vodane) is a troubled teen who has been drawn to the drama and tribulations of social media and is totally addicted, as for most of the teenagers she clashes with her parents on a regular basis, her father Bill, ( Marsden) tend to just laugh everything off assuming that she’ll just learn from her mistakes, while her mother tends to come down on her like a ton of bricks judging everything and making her come parents this with the Bible. it’s a good thing they don’t know about her other bad habits, and even seem totally unaware of her eating disorder, but I think we’re supposed to believe that they are good parents!? Continue reading Devil’s Domain (2016)