Director: Benedict Andrews
Starring: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies .UK. 1h 34m
David Harrower (based on his play “Blackbird”)
From its moody opening juxtaposed with PJ Harverys iconic Down By the Water there’s a clear insight into how dark and difficult Benedict Andrews drama is going to be. There’s a long and complicated tale that has to be adapted from stage to screen, one that describes a relationship that too many of us couldn’t fathom and even after watching the sterling performances, it’s still a tainted pill to swallow.
Continue reading Una (2017)
Director: Ryan Phillippe
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Tig Notaro, Joyful Drake, Stephen Luis Grush. USA. 1h 38m.
Ryan Phillippe owns everything in his directorial debut, written, directed and playing the lead in this bizarre and sentimental kidnapping drama. As much as the film could be sized down to a massive ego trip, as everything revolves around Ryan, it’s also a testament to the art of one man making an independent movie, and it’s a great attempt as a debut but it does seem to drag out a pretty simple story, it still delivers something unique and different to a traditionally tough genre.
Continue reading Catch Hell (2014)
La polizia chiede aiuto, lit. ‘The police ask for help”
Director: Massimo Dallaman
Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi .Italy. 1h 30m
Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.
Continue reading What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)
Director: Amy J. Berg
Starring. Oliver O’Grady. USA. 1h 41m.
There comes a time when people just need to own up to the shit they did, however evil and intense, the humane search in the void for an unbiased look into such confessions from budding director Amy J. Berg is perfect in its direct candid approach but it only makes everything seem so much more sinister, not that it’s a easy subject to view in the first place.
Amy J. Berg conjures up a quiet and peaceful atmosphere for setting her subjects, primarily Irish priest Oliver O’Grady, with lots of shots in churches and decorative offices, the focus is entirely on the person trying to tell their story and this is totally important with docufilms. Continue reading Deliver Us From Evil (2006)
Director: Sean Cain
Starring: Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Jamie Bernadette, Bo Borroughs, Timothy Muskatell .USA. 1h 15m
I’ve been dying to call this my first zombieless zombie movie! As it has everything lined up to be just that but instead it’s an indie cabin under siege adventure, it doesn’t pack a hard punch but it’s brilliantly accomplished movie with some questionable acting but full on heart and that makes it incredibly watchable.
Sean Cain has wonderful titles under his belt including Jurassic City (2015), Eruption LA (2018) and Terror Birds (2016), but stepping away from crazy apocalyptic b movie trash with an attempt to deliver a credible thriller and he’s really worked hard on a less than convincing plot but a brilliantly entertaining cabin in the wood thriller with a few poignant messages. Continue reading Dead By Dawn (2020)
Starring.Clems Ohameze, Mike Joseph, Chinyere Nwabueze, Chioma Ifemeludike, Yemsi Obi, Cece Edeme, Golden Black. Nigeria. 1h 56m.
Not often enough, a Nollywood movie will have a poignant message, they are typically littered with high emotional drama, horrible women being taught a lesson and people learning from their mistakes and finding religion, but there are some really big issues facing Africa and I champion any Nollywood movie which takes some timeout from the average thrall and attempts to tackle these issues, especially when they aim to change archaic views and aim to give people a better quality of life and equality, but sadly this cause is such a pivotal part of the plot I can’t go into detail. Continue reading The Fallen (2019)
Director: Yayo Herrero
Starring: Alma Terzic, August Wittgenstein, Spain. 1h 30m
The Maus seems to want to be something dark and creepy with a character that is experiencing alternative timelines something like The Jacket (2005) blended with Silent Hill (2006), but with a deeper supernatural twist, but while it becomes evident as the movie progresses, it often falls short of its own thesis which is a tremendous shame as the story has a lot of prospects. Continue reading The Maus (2017)
Director : Andrea Arnold
Starring: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press . Scotland/UK/Denmark. 1h 53m.
There is a dynamic between a voyeur and the object of his or her desire, I’m in this chilling Scottish drama it’s quite easy to forget who is voyeur and who is the object. the film opens with Jackie (Dickie) who is a closed circuit television operator in Glasgow, she sits in front of a wall of screens watching some of the most impoverished areas of the city emphasising with the more quirky characters as they go about their daily lives, a cleaner silently dancing and then office blocks was she works, a shop owner taking his aged bulldog for a walk every evening come to a smile out of Jackie at her job at city icontrol division E. but all too often she catch his suspicious activities and has to report criminals to the proper authorities while scanning the worst neighbourhoods for signs of trouble and aiding victims. Continue reading Red Road (2007)
Director: Arturo Ripstein.
Starring: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Diana Bracho, Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, David Silva, María Rojo. Mexico. 1h 41m
After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation, their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.
Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play.
Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness. Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)
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)