Director: Ti West
Starring: Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Aduley .USA. 1h 39m
Without any official admission this dramatic found footage movie is obviously based on Jim Jones and the mass suicide that he orchestrated at Jonestown. In all fairness the film gives a fairly accurate playback of the terrible events which occurred in Guyana, it does have a touch of cinematic license but for me, the kick in the gut wasn’t the shocking deaths but instead the failure to really show any respect to the dead. It was never the aim to reiterate the story blow by blow, that’s what documentaries and books are for, instead the movie dives in from a found footage aspect trying to give a fly on the wall view into the largest mass suicides in living memory. Continue reading The Sacrament (2013)
Director: Bharat Jain
Starring:Darshan Apoorva, Krishna Prakash, Vijay Chendoor, Pallavi, Tanuja, Mruthyunjaya . India. 1h 44m
Without wanting to sound like a broken record, this monotonous found footage romp in the forest is very much like Blair Witch (1999), with hints of Paranormal Activity (2007), but at this stage in the game after so many films that end up mimicking the Maryland thriller, what would it take for a lost in the woods found footage, horror to not be like Blair Witch? Sadly this Indian scareless horror doesn’t offer any answers to this puzzling conundrum. Continue reading 6-5=2 (2014)
Director: Albert Serra
Starring: Eliseu Huertas, Lluís Serrat Massanellas, Vicenç Altaió . UK. 2h 28m
Albert Serra, the Catalan trailblazer, always fascinates with his interpretations and adaptations of withering classic figures. Through a dusty lense he creates lavish cultured tapestries for them to play in, sometimes seeming alive now and again they seem as fragile and shaggy relics they have left behind.
His baroque mix up of pleasure meets desire in the guise of Cassanova meets Dracula combines fantasy and fiction in a flight of fancy style, at times it’s pretty grotesque while bolsters by lots of risque blush and tickles, a truly great adventure set against an unusual Transylvanian setting. Continue reading Història de la meva mort / The Story of my Death (2013)
Director: Barry W Levy.
Starring.Ayanna Berkshire, Dani Lennon, Deborah Lee Smith, Madeline Merritt, Leah Ann Cevoli, Helenna Santos. USA. 1h 14m.
In a world filled with strange new realms of astrophysics, mechanics and conspiracy theories, Barry W Levy has strung together a bunch of entry level ideas together, probably after binge watching a year of Gaia TV and he seems to have constructed an acceptable spare time filler of a movie.
A woman returns to her childhood home to investigate the disappearance of her father by using his encrypted notebook but there’s an urgency to her mission as the area is subject to a deafening bombing sound and strange, almost paranormal activity in a certain spot found via lay lines and dowsing, although it’s just called “using the rods” in the movie. Continue reading Shasta Triangle (2019)
Director: Thomas Carter
Starring: Robert Sean leonard, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Noah Wyle, Martin Clunes, Christian Bale, Kenneth Brannah . USA. 1h 54m
In Thomas Carter‘s bold coming of age melodrama, three friends find themselves having to become men in a world being ripped apart by hitler’s iron hand, when all they want to do is dance the night away to Harlem jazz. Sadly they are children of a world that they didn’t make, but the free spirits find themselves in trouble and soon swinging to the mantras of a fascist regime.
Carter seems to have this habit of working on lots of TV shows then cracking out a startling film usually entangled into a taboo or some kind of controversy like his later hit Coach Carter (2005). Continue reading Swing Kids (1993)
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Starring:Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Elias Toufexi, Sebastian Knapp, Chris Jarman. Canada. 1h 30m
Like a strange warped version of Monsters: Dark Continent (2014), blended with Jarhead (2005)and Tremors (1990), Sand Serpents doesn’t really feature a nest of deadly vipers as I expected instead the foes are more like miniature versions of the adorable Dune (1984) like sand worms but with a blood thirsty taste for human flesh.
A small group of US Army Soldiers become stranded in the remote Afghan desert, but against all odds and while teaming up with a father and daughter team from the local region they battle the Taliban and the epic worm like creatures from an unknown source, not something covered in basic training. Continue reading Sand Serpents (2009)
Director: Guy Nattiv.
Starring. Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, USA. 2h.
Redemption is the painful process etched out in Guy Nattiv’s gortty violent drama that sees a neo nazi break away from his mythical white only family in order to be a better person with the help of someone who he would normally happily attack for no reason other than the colour of his skin. Continue reading Skin (2018)
Director: Juraj Herz
Starring: Rudolf Hrusinsky, Vlasta Chramostova, Jane Stehnova. Czechoslovakia. 1h 47m
Based on : The Cremator by Ladislav Fuks
A darkly comedic gothic misadventure into the psyche of a brilliant deranged lunatic. After being lost for several years, Cremator has been resurrected by the Brothers Quay, who painstakingly sourced the film and worked on its resurrection, this extraordinary intense meditation of the political horrors of 1930’s Europe are fantastically chilling in this early Czech New Wave film. Continue reading Spalovac Mrtvol / Cremator (1969)
Director: Simon Fellows Writer: Brendan Higgins
Starring.Andrew Scott, Bronagh Waugh, Denise Gough, J.D. Evermore. Canada. 1h 29m.
Irish stud, Andrew Scott stars in this muted drama that hinges on a community that is constantly turning a blind eye to some of the most horrific events that could happen behind closed doors.
When a young boy, Tyler Zeigler, goes missing in a sleepy fictional backwoods town of Harburgh, Pennsylvania, a former steel town that has seen brighter days. A local garbage truck driver and single father, Donny (Scott), plays detective, embarking on a precarious and obsessive investigation. Donald Devlin isn’t like all the other people in his town, and it’s kinda hard to pin point exactly what his ailment is, autism is top of my list but I’ve never quite seen a detective like him, Monk (2004-2009) had OCD along with a range of fears and phobias, Poirot was also OCD and it seems these afflictions help the perception of these amazing individuals, Donald is a special Samaritan, for the most part it’s easy to understand his concerns but every now and again he comes swinging from left field and does something really random as he attempts to grasp the world around him. Continue reading A Dark Place / Steel Country (2018)
Director: Toby Wilkins:
Starring: Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner, Rachel Kerbs. USA. 1h 28m.
Seemingly inspired by The Thing (1982) on a heavy dose of meth, Splinter brings the horror a little closer to home, you don’t have to visit the arctic to encounter a viral creature, there could be one out back right now. Along with the threat of this insane and unforgiving monster we also have to deal with two very different couples one of them being a redneck version of Bonny and Clyde, yet surprisingly the two story lines do work.
The beginning of this is great, there is a petrol attendant attacked by what looks like a rabid animal in the toilets of a station. Then; after some creepy credits showing lots of dead and mutilated animals we’re introduced to a preppy couple who get carjacked by the redneck Bonny and Clyde,she’s missing her fix and he’s just trying to get to the border. When they stop for gas, everything changes, the characters, atmosphere and just everything. The addict goes to shoot up in the toilet and finds the attendant who’s begging for death as he’s being taken over by the virus the spiny creature has given him, she’s soon attacked and taken out and the jail bird and preppy kids are now locked in the service station trying to figure out what is attacking them and how to fight back. Continue reading Splinter (2008)