Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m
Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.
Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body. Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)
AKA Non Si deve profance il sonno dei morti, Don’t Open the Window, the film officially has 15 titles, so take your pick..
Director: Jorge Grau
Starring: Ray Lovelock. Arthur Kennedy, Cristina Galbo. Spain/Italy. 1h 35
There’s a subtle Giallo twist to this unusual but gripping science fiction zombie flick, undead, mystery, giallo, car crash, sci fi horror, pesticides, it’s got so much going on but all to the backdrop of the gorgeous English countryside and littered with the creeping dead.
The film focuses on two protagonists who until their vehicle crash led two totally different lives, there’s Edna (Galbó) Who’s trying to visit her family and the brash George (Lovelock) a hot tempered and pushy individual but his drive really powers the action. Continue reading The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue / Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
Starring. Aura Garrido, David Oakes, Ray Stevenson. Spain. 1h 48m.
The background of this mesmerising thriller is reminiscent of stories straight from the imagination of HP Lovecraft, but the film is actually based on a story by Albert Sanchez Pinol with the same title. They both involve a lone man on the edge of his sanity who lives locked tight in a light house on a remote and uninhabited island, existing like a hobo and fighting off deadly sea creatures each night.
The film breaks open at sea, a fine-looking ship is being chased by dolphins as a young Irishman named Friend (Oakes) travels to this remote island in the South Atlantic to work as a meteorologist, the only inhabitant of the island is the caretaker of the lighthouse, a tough character called Gruner (Stephenson). After a cold and abrupt introduction Gruner informs Friend that the previous meteorologist died from typhus. The crew depart leaving Friend to cosy in his new cabin he watches Gruner in his fortified lighthouse with intense curiosity, why would someone need to defend a lighthouse? Friend unpacks and finds a journal from the late meteorologist, detailing nightly attacks from strange creatures form the sea, assuming this was feverish dreams of a dying man he drifts off to sleep until a slimy webbed hand feels under the door and he finds himself under attack. He managed to fight off the intruders, the next day he tries to get Gruners attention but is ignored. He spends the day fortifying the cabin and finds a gun. Awaiting another attack but he’s overrun and in the fight ends up burning the cabin to the ground, hiding on the rocks of the beach with a blanket he spends the night hiding. Continue reading La Piel Fria / Cold Skin (2017)
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana . USA . 2h 1m
Based on : Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.
Generally I love war movies, when I was growing up it was mostly about WWII or Vietnam but then as the world got older, we had new wars to dramatize, mostly set in the Middle East or Africa and for wars which no one really wanted to discuss. The films became less about the action and more about the people involved. The almost poetic Jarhead (2005) saw the build up and break down of several officers as they battled themselves and each
other pent up with fear and anger fighting a war that didn’t need men to participate, the war itself mostly forgotten and the freedom to really interrogate the men involved, which pretty much summed up the situation, the point of the war was weak the people being sent out there weren’t needed or prepared. Continue reading Lone Survivor (2013)
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya. USA. 1h 50m
The lack of originality in this horror sci fi is quite disturbing, not only the story pretty basic, but it could have lead to some riveting situations, but the set up is like a b movie horror, if there was a trail of blood leading to a room of screams the cast would trip over each other running into sudden death. But there is a blinding moment at the “oh fuck” ending which really hit a personal nerve with me otherwise the film would be a total disaster.
An unnamed interstellar mission uncovers a basic life form in some soil samples from Mars. The probe is recovered by the International Space Station and their 6 member crew manage to revive a cell sample, which quickly evolves into a multi celled organism which American school children name Calvin. I can only imagine it started out as a piece of space Slime Mold (Check out the docu film Creeping Garden for a ton of info) An accident in the lab causes Calvin to become dormant, so Hugh Derry (Bakare) tries to shock Calvin back to life, this obviously pisses off Calvin who crushes his hands an in his hostile frame of alien mind then roughs up the doctor and starts smashing up the lab. At one point he breaks into a small cage and eat one of the lab rats, and starts to grow larger. Despite initiating safety protocol, which means isolating the doctor and Calvin, the team still decide to enter the room in order to save the doctor, (DOH!), Calvin then see this is a free lunch. This is probably one of their more imaginative attacks, as he enters the scientist body and eats him from the inside out, but upon reappearing he is larger, which is a pretty big indication to the fact that Calvin just consumes and grows. So after eating Ryan Reynolds our boy Calvin then decides to go on a murderous rampage in and around the ship. Continue reading Life (2017)
Director: Juan Carlos Medina. Original Book : Peter Ackroyd
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays. UK. 1h 49m
Lessons can be learnt from this gloomy victorian epic, it has all of right elements but it just lacks that little je ne c’est quoi. Characters fall flat and the mystery becomes boring and repetitive. Within the elaborate stages and cliche back streets of London, before the time of Jack the Ripper there was the Limehouse Golem, a mysterious killer who slaughtered at will for his audience.
John Kildare (Nighy) is thrown at the case as the powers that be believe the killer can’t be found, so he’s the fall guy, so without any backup and being dangled in front of the media and disapproving public he is forced into action, sparing their prized detective for other simpler cases, but Kildare jumps into the case, almost becoming obsessed; using his brilliant meticulous mind and working with his close friend Officer Flood (Mays) the two are an alternative Holmes and Watson. Continue reading Limehouse Golem (2017)
Director: Bev Land
Starring:Dania Ramirez, Jake Lockett, Rebekah Graf. USA 1h 27m
With all of the success of the Underworld series and countless other werewolf.lycan movies the genre develops into a melodramatic teen scream film with no real direction and hardly any point. We all know the drill about a group of kids trying to dig up a local legend but what we don’t plan on watching is all the boring bits that good films leave out, with them getting lost and talking crap for an hour. But sadly this film will subject you to a lot of “missing” elements which doesn’t build any tension and mades the film all that more tedious.. But.. it’s not a total loss… Continue reading Lycan (2017)
Starring: William Fichtner, Jessica McNamee, Jean Louisa Kelly USA. 1h 45m
A quiet and unassuming man Mike (Fichtner) drifts through his morning routine, he writes technical manuals, his wife, Lisa (Kelly) is an ambitious teacher, they barely cross each others path, with little to talk about, his mind wanders…. He notices new neighbours unpacking and instantly becomes infatuated with Jenna (McNamee), and in turn he develops a deep hatred for her loud mouth and abusive boyfriend. Slowly things break down even further with his uncaring career driven wife as he comes to realise that he’s stuck in a stagnant relationship and dead marriage, but he has a strange backup plan, as a special friendship grows with Jenna to the point of obsession, he keeps a watchful eye over her and helps with her gardening, they even hit the pipe together so its gotta be love right?! Mike is meek, gentle and cares with his heart not his brain, you can see a deep ocean of emotions washing over this psychee ever time he sees her. After his wife kicks him out and Jenna promises to leave Mr quick fists everything seems to be okay but Mike is soon to becomes his worst enemy. Continue reading Last days of summer AKA The neighbour (2018)
Director: Lamberto Bava
Starring. Michele Soavi, Andrew Occhipinti, Fabola Toledo, Anny Papa. Italy. 1h 50m.
The literal translation of the title is The House with the Dark Staircase which is a little bit more appropriate; at least for the opening scene. Initially cast as a mini-series the film was scraped by Italian TV moguls for being too violent, so re edited as a much shorter film.
Starting with a peculiar scene a groups of boys dare each other to go down some dark stairs (hence the name) eventually one of the boys is forced down into the darkness where he meets his grisly fate, from there Bava leisurely sets the pace of a whodunit with some impressive jump scares. Continue reading La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio / A Blade in the Dark (1983)
Director:Alexandre Bustillo – Julien Maury
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, James Bloor, Jessica Madsen, Vanessa Grasse. USA. 1h 30m
Finally a modern prequel that actually has some substance and a wild dark nature!! The sequels and remakes tried to pick leatherface from the rest of the family and turn him into another serial slasher such as Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers and while this new prequel again singles him out it gives a larger insight into his family, hopefully next we’ll be able to see what turned Grampa into the hammer wielding nutter as I feel that’s the most interesting character (fan fiction anyone)? Continue reading Leatherface (2017)