Director: M Night Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Ken Leung, Aaron Pierre, Emun Elliott, USA. 1h 48m
At first glance this was always going to be an awkward film for any director to make , after the great success of Sandcastles, the amazing graphic novel detailing the dark and immersive story of a group of strangers trapped on a beach, am night was the only person who probably is just crazy enough to take this on and to convert it for the Hollywood screen .
I had read the comic several years before when it first came out I have to buy a new copy as I had lost my original lent to it a dear friend who maybe one day will give it back to me, so now I have a fancy new version with extra insights from the author and cool little sticker that says it is being made into a movie. but for the life of me I couldn’t quite work out how he was going to translate this into a story for the big audience , but strangely he has come up with her intelligent and intriguing storyline which dips from the curious into conspiracy.
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.
This collection of unrelated creepy tales seems to have been a for runner for the popular V/H/S series (despite them being released in the same year) This Japanese collection just feels like a raw pre runner to the more polished American effort, but as per usual the raw unabridged versions always have that curious edge to them, and like time and time before, Japan finds a new way to creep out the cinematic world.
A team has painstakingly recovered and viewed a number of home\hand made movies accidentally capturing spooky events, but they don’t leave it there, they track down the stories behind each video trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. Continue reading Tokyo Horror Movies (2012)→
Director: Raffaele Picchio Starring: Aaron Stielstra, Alice Zanini, Francesca Pellegrini .Germany. 1h 27m Based on : the short stories “El monte de las ànimas” and “La cruz del diablo” by Gustavo Adolfo
I have to say I’m one of those horror fans who was wowed by what is now considered retro or vintage horror and I still see 70-90 as a golden age. I do however look forwards, possibly with rose tinted glasses, to find modern horrors which are able to offer something which I find wholesome and non flashy, often I am let down by green screens effects, weak characters and narratives that really don’t go anywhere but there’s always an ounce of hope that when someone attempts to go back to a cult classic and renew an old franchise they might do it with some respect and not shit on a movies history.. alas after watching this abysmal movie I am still waiting… Continue reading Curse of the Blind Dead (2020)→
AKA February Director: Osgood Perkins Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Lauren Holly, James Remar. USA. 1h 33m
After an influx of “The Exorcism of [insert name here]” movies, Osgood Perkins hits back with an edgy and slow drifting art house approach to the saturated possession genre that insists on it’s audiences full attention; as it pulls them through a mid winter drama filled with tense dark undercurrents that chilled the cast before filming and has made it’s fans think and overthink the terrifying and mind bending finale.
Perkins struggled to get the film released despite it being loved at many film festivals, but after a change of name from February to the more sinister Blackcoats Daughter. Something which sounds like it came from an old rhyme or has a deeper historic meaning but it simply doesn’t. It’s these little touches which helped to confuse the audience and adds to the films mystery, Perkings does analogise that the blackcoat could be a priest or the devil, both have often been credited for dressing in black but he just simply liked the sound of the words together and it’s up to his audience to make what they will of it. Perkins has a talent for creating deeper mythologies within the narrative of his film projects and allowing interpretation, while this openness could be seen a wild genius, it can also become grating Continue reading The Blackcoats Daughter (2015)→
Director: Makinov Starring: Vinessa Shaw, Ebon Moss-Bachrach .Mexico. 1h 40m Based on: El juego de los niños by Juan José Plans
In a bold attempt to update and update the 1976 classic Who Can Kill a Child but Narciso Ibanes Serrador, Makinov has basically just remade it with little care to really expand the story and somehow it now seems slightly underpowered and drawl in all areas which could have been improved.
A young couple, Beth (Shaw) and Francis (Moss-Bachrach) are on holiday and travelling around remote islands before the birth of their child. On arriving at a new island they discover a lone boy fishing but make their way into town finding it pretty vacant. Settling down in an abandoned bar they make themselves drinks and food, assuming that everyone is sleeping off the after math of festival season. Continue reading Come out and play (2012)→
Director: Scotty Baker Starring: Doug Jones, Marina Sirtis, Morgan Lariah, Mindy Robinson, Armin Shimerman, David Lim.USA .1h 29m.
In the opening scenes a woman’s body is retrieved from a space vessel, while recuperating, her memories of the events that led up to her rescue are watched by Marina Sirtis, who’s an agent trying to find out what happened to the crew, in order to report to a committee she is charged with viewing the memory “playback”.
In a turbulent maladjusted future there are two distinct classes, Citizens and Non-Citizens, the later class are considered bottom feeders who have very little rights and are generally only entrusted with meanal jobs, looking after livestock etc. But one woman stands out among them, Eve (Lariah) a technical officer despite her exclusion from the higher class. Continue reading 5th Passenger (2018)→
Director: Paul Schrader. Starring. Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Gaston, Victoria Hill, Philip Ettinger. USA. 1h 48m.
It hasn’t been that long since we saw Ethan Hawke play a slightly different priest in the terrifying horror Regression (2015), alongside the talented Emma Watson. In First Reformed he returns, not as the same character, but a totally different priest, a broken man who’s suffering from stress, loss of his son and the drastic effects of alcoholism while facing the void he experiences a spiritual and psychological crisis, one that he can only deal with slowly and in his own stunning and slightly confusing way.
The film opens with Reverend Toller (Hawke) writing down his thoughts in a journal, declaring that he’s going to keep the journal for 1 year then destroy it. He’s the head of First Reformed, a 250 year old Dutch Reformed Church in Snowbridge New York. Like many churches in the area it faces dwindling attendances but receives support from a nearby “megachurch” who own and care for the historical landmark which has a special place in history as it was a stop on the Underground Railroad.Continue reading First Reformed (2017)→
Director: Alice lowe Starring: Alice Lowe,Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie,Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Kayvan Novak. UK. 1h 28m
Alice Lowe returns after the brilliant collaboration with cult director Ben Wheatley in their darkly entertaining Sightseers (2012). She returns as an equally unusual character but this one is on a course of revenge with her unborn baby. Lowe might just have backed herself into a typecasted corner and to be truthful it’s okay, as she does this disturbing comedy thing way to well and we honestly need a lot more of her thing in the unpredictable British market where we like to be on the edge of wrongness.Continue reading Prevenge (2016)→