In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.
Director: David Cronenberg Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne .UK/Canada. 1h m
In the early 2000’s David Conenbergpacked away the New Flesh and made an intensely beautiful and fascinating account of Patrick’s McGraths novel. Even without the body horror and gore, psychotropic vibes and the paranoid surreal, Conenbergstill manages to disturb.
Starring Ralph Fiennes, as a deeply disturbed middle aged man, simply known as Spider. He’s just been released from a long term mental institution into a drab boarding house in London’s King Cross area. The tatty rooms and pealing wallpaper permeate a 1950’s atmosphere and isn’t the idea surroundings for recovery, however it’s here that Spider travels back to his childhood, spiraling back into the trauma as he remembers his obsessive belief that his father (Bryne) did away with his mother (Richardson) to start up a new life with a prostitute.
Director: Rupert Jones Starring: Toby Jones, Anne Reid .UK. 1h 40m
Rupert Jones, brother of lead actor Toby Jones, has curated a chilling deep cerebral exploration of an ex-con’s relationship with his domineering mother as he attempts to reason with a new insurrection and the secrets of his past. Kaleidoscope is only shy of being perceived as disturbing, because of TJ’s amazing character portrayal of a shy man searching for love. This down to earth portail is so poignant and beautiful raw, that the mystery surrounding his latest date is ever intertwining through reality and fantasy beings to pale in comparison. Maybe the two brothers working together was one of their best moves or maybe they are both just so brilliant at what they do anyway?
Director: Marc Meyers
Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Zachary Davis Brown. USA. 1h 47m
After the massive success of the indie graphic novel, this disturbing film steps into the shoes of the adolescent, much “loved” serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. A highly attuned retro aesthetically driven adventure, does what a lot of serial killer films avoid, it dives right into the beginning and shows that a killer was born and wasn’t nurtured into his sadism. Obviously there were shitty aspects to his childhood but the strange obsessions with dead flesh seemed to always be in him.
Director: Mike Leigh Starring: Roy Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, Neil Bell .UK. 2h 34m
Political riots just aren’t what they used to be, it seems like only yesterday innocent people were being shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed for arguing against the poll tax. WIth the Tories finally getting their wish to ban protesting it feels all that more poignant to remember our rights to speak out against matters we feel are unjust and wrong.
Director: Jake Scott Starring: Sienna Miller, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, Will Sasso, Pat Healy, Amy Madigan .USA. 1h m
What starts out to be a melodrama about a woman, almost down on her luck but making the best of her life. Eventually turns into a homage to the resilience of all women, especially those mothers who have had to fight adversity and their own demons and manage to come out bigger and stronger on the other side.
Sienna Miller stars as Debra, a gorgeous thirty something year old single mother, who lives with her daughter and grandson, life is simple in their small town in Pennsylvania. Debra is forever young, she jokes around, enjoys her freedom and is more of a friend to her daughter, Bridget (Sky Ferreira), offering advice about men more than good wholesome patenting, but their bonds is strong, so when Bridget goes missing and Debra is left to look after her grandson Jesse.
Director: Ryan Prows Starring:Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate, Jon Oswald, Shaye Ogbonna, Santana Dempsey, Mark Burnham USA. 1h 36m
From the unusual opening and until it’s bitter ending, everything about Lowlife blew me away! It’s a slow amble through the seedy side of Los Angles, connecting 3 reprobate lives together as they struggle against the same foe but for very different reasons. For some it might take some time to get into the aesthetic and bat shit crazy characters, but don’t fight it just go with the flow and the movie will take you places…. Places you might not want to go..
Lowlife works as a disjointed homage to a few lively characters who each deserve some sort of Folk Hero status. Jumping around through the timeline incorporates each person deeper into it’s whirlwind plot, a black motel keeper Crystal (Micheaux) who’s an ex addict and her drunken partner, a man on the verge of giving up on life but who needs an emergency kidney transplant. Then there’s a sly gangster Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Burnham) who runs a violent gang profiting from immigrants organs, the kinda guy who’s legendary amongst the worst f the worst on the streets and his loveable henchman ,El Monstruo (Zarate) who’s on a mission to protect his heavily pregnant wife Kaylee (also an addict). But the stand out are a couple of best friends Keith (Ogbonna) and Randy (Oswald) a couple of cons whose brotherly bond is spun into contention over Randy’s unusual prison tattoo.
Director: Curtis Hanson Starring: Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, Matt McCoy, Ernie Hudson, Julianne Moore, John de Lancie. USA. 1h 50m
After his humble beginnings with 70’s trashy slashers, Curtis Hanson slowly edged his style from layering blood and gore on young people, into something a little more grown up and psychotically sophisticated. Sometimes with a light or heavy edge of noir, his ability to write an engrossing story around a terrifying theme saw the seduction in The Bedroom Window (1987) he then amped up to his two most intense psychotic characters, first Alex (Rob Lowe) in his hard edged Bad Influence (1990) and then two years later he brought a similar, equally deranged and controlling, feminine character to the plate in, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle showing that hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. Continue reading The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)→
Director: Guillermo Del Toro Starring:Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam. USA. 1h 59m
With the lack of modern genuine gothic literature making it to the big screen, Crimson Peak had a lot to make up for, however despite it’s well crafted story, delicious cast amongst opulent sets, I wasn’t blown away by this epic ghost story. There’s a massive divide between Guillermo Del Toro’s Spanish and American work. Crimson Peak battles with its style and substance, for the most part it will wow it’s audience with an oil slick blend of colours but it seems to pluck the worse elements of gothic literature to mix but remains true and doesn’t step a foot out of the box. Continue reading Crimson Peak (2015)→
Director: Nathan Catucci Starring: Laila Robins, Santino Fontana, Dennis Boutsikaris. USA. 1h 24min
Part of the charm of Impossible Monsters is that it plays with ideas of sleep and dreams without really alluding to many of the schemas behind the expansive theology and science behind this complicated field. Often advertised as a film dealing with nightmare dreams and sleep paralysis, I don’t remember seeing much about it, and instead Impossoble Monsters falls into a rabbit hole of dark sexuality and crime de passion, ideas surrounding the opedious complex and a tutor who gets caught up in the murder of one of his students as the lines begins to blur between reality and a Ken Russellseque dreamworld. Continue reading Impossible Monsters (2019)→