Rolf Peter Ingvar Strom has certainly made a name for himself, but rarely ever secures the big roles that he deserves unless it’s in some dark Swedish tv show…
The Coens have that magical touch that doesn’t come around very often, if they were chefs they would put together the most bizarre ingredients and while you would turn your nose up at it, you would probably like it and wouldn’t know why. There is nothing remarkable about the drama in their movies but the characters are so unique and magnified that they hypnotise the audience. They manage to bring out the best in a lot of actors that I had lost hope of, including George Clooney, one of their marvelous creations was the icy blond hitman in Fargo, and was my introduction to Stormare. The stony faced and emotionless thug, Gaear Grimsrud is coolly played by Stormare who’s more interested in pancakes than sex. Driving around with his inferior and lippy partner Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) they manage to get entangled in one of the most bizarre kidnappings on film. I can find no fault with the movie or any of the cast. Continue reading Spotlight – Peter Stormare→
So the brain fart behind this list, with all the best intentions, was to collate a bunch of movies where some kind of media has been possessed, cursed or a strange entity is controlling, and in turn is spreading itself via modern(ish) technology such as video, photography or radio signals etc.
Throughout history fairy tales and horror stories were filled with twisted tales of cursed items, a spinning wheel here, fake food there, red dancing shoes everywhere. The notion of something being cursed isn’t new at all but the type of items that surround us everyday have changed and it’s only natural that they too become subject to this affliction of being cursed or possessed.
For me the first memorable modern story featuring haunted media was in the Koji Suzuki 1991 novel The Ring, where a girl, Sadako is able to project her hate onto a video tape where the viewer is given 7 days to live after watching the abstract footage. The video description was chillin it kept cutting out going back every few seconds, it’s not until the end of the novel you realise it was literally looking through the eyes of Sadako and perceiving her blinking.
In the original book Sadako possess the paranormal trait known as Nensha, the ability of Psychic Photography but it was okay as a book in the written format you could only read about the video recording, the actual recording didn’t exist, although things really changed when the movie was released, all hell broke loose in fact, with people losing their shit about a real curse. The cursed video tape remains a constant fixture in the movie and book series, eventually it begins to evolve into other formats both in fiction and in the mass hysteria that it caused, there were reports of Japanese school girls losing their minds about reading reports about the tape and then dying 7 days later, had their raised a tulpa? Is the power of suggestion that strong, Ring mania has begun.
Nensha, is the ability to burn thoughts onto photographs, was around a long time before Koji Suzuki’s groundbreaking novel, the earliest claim comes from Tomokichi Fukurai around 1910 and even Uri Geller jumped onto that bandwagon in 1995. The only evidence that I’ve seen of this in a movie was the darkly comical Premonition (2004) and that’s when I started this magical list, but 16 years later here I go with my first installment…
In order to answer one of many frequently asked questions I have made this page with the intention that I will keep it updated with my favourite short movies. For now this will be from 2009-2019 and hopefully I’ll keep a yearly list from now on.
If you’re more interested in animation then I have a few lists of my favourite Animation on 4 and stop motion shorts listed here, they pretty much are all solid favourites.
Opening credits in a short movie? I don’t think I’ve seen this before?? This short kept delivering as it proceeded through a table to rare and disgusting delicacies. plate on a plate of strange looking food is piled on a table until the table falls through to the next floor. bin the dinner continues…until they break on through to the next floor.
It’s a strange purgatory that these diners are living in, a crazed demented dinner party that drops through layers of hell, probably a metaphor for their lavish and gluttonous lifestyles, until the opening stare of the matridee (Jean Marchand) becomes the final stare it’s a brilliant creative shot movie from none other than Denis Villeneuve. is it me or does the dinner splay slightly reminiscent of the food served at the end of Salute the Jugger?
Now and again a short movie either needs to grow into a feature or a series to really maximise its potential but this short from Lee Matthews is utter perfection.
A young deaf school girl managed to mislay her phone but while waiting for her mother to collect her, a strange man in a blue van pulls up when he approaches her she runs into the woods to make a quick getaway. From there on a cat and mouse chase begins as she struggles to escape the man.
It’s a very surreal situation as the girl is deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, so this isn’t just the average teen running for their life from s slasher, this girl is really vulnerable, but Matthews manages to really capture the dark wonderment of the forest and the desperate situation with such crystal clarity it’s hauntingly beautiful to watch and listen to, the switches between sound and deafness twined with a beautiful soundtrack really make the film whole.
while I was mesmerised by the camerawork and the taunt story I was absolutely blown away by the ending, the police become involved and there’s this punch in the gut ending after a few words from a family friend, but then something very strange happens in the woods and I need this story to continue. Mr Matthews is someone to keep an eye out for.
You can stalk him on twitter here @Lee_A_Matthews
Alfred J Hemlock
In the previews this character reminded me of a dodgy Johnny Depp fucked up on London Gin and I wasn’t far wrong, just add some Beetlejuice, and viola! . A young girl, named Emily is dumped on the way home by a jealous and pissed off boyfriend after an argument at a party, sobbing she says to herself that she wants to die.. and while heading home she chances on a comedy villain who identifies himself as Alfred J Hemlock who terrorizes her. while the matter is serious there’s a touch of League of Gentlemen in this charismatic thriller. I would like to see more of Mr Hemlock in the future, he’s brilliant running around dark alleys with a hatchet and singing strange songs while riding a tiny bicycle.. what more do you want from a horror villain. Lead man Tristan McKinnon who only seems to have made a few shorts, really can hold his own in a full length film and hopefully if Wyrmwood Chronicles of the Dead takes off I hope he gets a proper role.
Megalo boxing is a popular sport where the boxers fight while wearing a metal frame — something that makes their attacks even more lethal. Junk Dog fights in the underground illegal rings with fixed fights, but the young kid breaks through to the big central tournament but nothing goes right for him and he becomes Gearless Joe. I really adore this remake of the 1980’s Anime Ashita no Joe. The sheer grit and determination is sublime in this dynamic animated movie, It’s hard not to fall in love with Joe dream and his tiny side kick and friends, a wonderful journey that almost puts Rocky to shame.
49 The Borderlands / Final Prayer (2013)
After reports of strange phenomena in a rural English church, a team is sent by the Vatican to see if what is happening qualifies as a miracle. At first skeptical, and mistrusted by the locals, they soon learn that they may have found something far darker and more potent than they could possibly have imagined. One of the better found footage style movies out there from Elliot Goldner, co starring Robin Hill. Bold heavy folklore horror undertones in the style of Ben Wheatley.Continue reading Top 250 of the Decade :finale TOP 50→
Strict vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) encounters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world during her first week at veterinary school. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her principles and eats raw meat for the first time and brings about a new confusing chapter in her life, her older sister holds some of the secrets but she has to single handedly piece together her new lust for flesh and blood. A daring piece which is brilliantly acted by a young cast. A captivating exploration of cannibalism or vampirism in its purest form.
99 Get Out (2017)
Chris, an African-American man, decides to visit his Caucasian girlfriend’s parents during a weekend getaway. Although they seem normal at first, he is not prepared to experience the horrors ahead. This really changed the game for Black Cinema, sparking huge debates but as a stand alone movie it’s an incredible piece of storytelling keeping an audience on the edge much like Hitchcock Continue reading Top 250 of the Decade 100 – 51→
There’s something very mysterious in Jeremy Saulnier’s cold thriller where children are suspected of being carried off by a pack of wolves. Once the retired naturalist and wolf expert(Jeffrey Wright) arrives in the secluded Alaskan town to begin his investigations he realises that there is something more tribal going on within the community, but can he solve the new spate of killings that have taken hold of the town before it’s too late? An unusual story which really divided Saulniers fan base, but I feel we need more experimental films like this to appreciate.
149 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
It’s not easy turning a generations favourite short story anthology into a movie, especially when so many cherished the books. But there were a lot of wise decisions for this creepy terror revolving around some of the loved tiny tales and a few new additions work well within the cultured mix. Ends with a chance of a sequel so watch this space. Continue reading Top 250 of the Decade 150 – 101→
Super effective and powerful movie starring Zoe Kazan as a mother who’s doing all she can to protect her daughter while stranded on a lonely road. Tons of traditional horror alongside poignant metaphorical ideas on what a monster truly is in this entertaining and thought provoking horror story.
199 Lobos de Arga / Game of Werewolves / Attack of the Werewolves (2011)
Invited back to his home village for a civic honour, a writer (GorkaOtxoa) discovers some unpleasant truths about his family and why his village hasn’t changed in more than a century. Brilliant comedy horror with a slash of the uncanny, kinda like Day of the Beast but without the drugs and leather pants. Continue reading Top 250 of the Decade 200 – 151→
Technically this is my Halloween list, but meh, every day is Halloween for me.. so carry on for the regular list of creepy shorts.
The movie from Matt Mercer plays a lot of homages to 70/80s horrors, the intro and outro are accompanied by Halloween era styled music, which is very pleasant. A young girl offers to cover for her friends babysitting job, and we all know how these babysitting jobs turn out. Left alone with a child in a strange house, it’s a classic horror trope but sliced and diced with a touch of new macabre. The creatures involved at quite armature in their crafting but effective in the application those glowing eyes are quite M83 but not the kind you want to see coming at you in the dark, Once the introductions are over, this moves goes from 0-60 pretty fast. It’s nothing extraordinarily brilliant but it’s one of the better babysitter movies. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 27 October 2019→
Films, like many other art forms should influence people, ideally for the better but, sometimes a few of us pick up on the strangest aspects of the oddest movies..
05.Motorbikes and V8’s
While I’m still forbidden to own an “organ donor machine” I do love motorbikes and stupidly over-powered muscle cars, strangely I’ve never been bothered with owning a vehicle but I’m often found on the back of a bike or helping tuning up a car or two, mechanics seem to run in the family. One day I will buy one and ride it despite both my parents threatening to put me in hospital quicker than any bike accident would.
The love of bikes and fast cars is evident throughout the film, the many “stuntmen” were really just bike enthusiasts and these crazy lost souls really pushed the boundaries of the fast chase scenes, their dedication and love for living on the edge added a touch of the genuine energy in the movie which I’ve never seen in any other film, it’s not something you can buy or install into a cast before filming, you gotta go to the source. Continue reading 5 Ways which Mad Max has influenced my life→