Director: Johannes Roberts Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine .USA/UK. 1h 25m
There seems to be a modern push to make a shark film that’s more frightening than Jaws (1975) and 47 Meters Down attempts to put a couple of holidaying party girls in the driving seat against a deadly toothy beast resulting in a laughable popcorn “thriller”. Initially there’s no real build up as with the classic Jaws so really the connection should stop being made? It seems that after being jilted by her lover for being boring, a young girl is talked into going on an adventure swimming with sharks. “Think of the pictures’ ‘ It’s never clear if this is supposed to win her ex back or just make him jealous but think about all the other health implications too Karen!?
Continue reading 47 Meters Down (2017)
Director: Neasa Hardiman
Starring: Hermione Corfield, Dag Malmberg,Jack Hickey, Olwen Fouéré, Dougray Scott, Sonnie Nielsen, Ardalan Esmaili, Elie Couakaze. UK/Ireland. 1h 25m
Sea fever, much like cabin fever strikes when everyone least’s expects it, sometimes it can be contained and only affects one person, other times it turns into group hysteria and it can be a struggle to figure out what’s real and not., but in Hardiman’s offbeat body horror, with ties to Celtic mythology, emerges a story that becomes a deep dive into our small part in the ecology of this watery planet.
Continue reading Sea Fever (2019)
Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Starring: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou. Greece. 1h 44m
Suntan is a movie that’s as slow burning as it’s lead characters’ heavily protected skin. An epic adventure into the darker races of the human condition that follows a middle aged man, who embarks to a remote Greek island to be the only doctor, but instead he thrust into a hedonistic paradise and once the holiday season beings, he finds himself shunted further into an unfamiliar world of casual free love and a dangerous obsession. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, a Greek filmmaker whose work is totally unknown to me but after watching this shocking and incredibly sad story of sexual obsession. His outlandish style,ability to capture and develop hyper real character and throw some absurd black comedy into such a serious drama, he deserves to be recognised alongside contemporaries such as Yorgos Lanthimos.
Continue reading Suntan (2016)
Director: Simon West
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Austin Stowell, Gemma Chan, Connie Nielsen, Thomas Kretschmann, Tom Felton, Derek Jacobi. UK. 1h 34m
British director Simon West has a huge action highlight reel consisting of succulent titles such as Con Air, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, and even the mega blockbusters, The Expendables 2. But his latest addition, a smaller scaled Brit Espionage Thriller, Stratton, seem to have all the right components of a big budget action flick but just no heart and soul, which is bound to leave many viewers feeling cheated.
Continue reading Stratton (2017)
Director: Olly Blackburn Starring: Tom Burke, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley. UK. 1h 39m
This might just be one of the most marmite movies of the year. Donkey Punch really plays with some exceptional ideas but squanders all the good intentions of a nasty thriller, instead of building up to something more palatable it just gets under the skin for all the wrong reasons.
The first half of the movie, everything is set up perfectly. A group of twentysomethings are on holiday in the sun desperately seeking a good time with all the sex, booze, drugs and tunes that any young person could desire. Taking their party on board a luxury yacht anchored off the coast on an unnamed Spanish island, the film turns into an episode of The Only Way is Essex meets Knife In the Water directed by Larry Clark.
Continue reading Donkey punch (2008)
Director: Mark Jenkin
Starring: Edward Rowe, Giels King, Chloe Endean, Simon Shepherd .UK. 1h 29m
You’ve probably heard about this being the best film of the decade, of 2019, the most arresting modern movie ever made, a total game changer and a host of other praises, along with a list of wins and nominations in various film festivals but what’s all the craic about? Simply put it’s a movie about the gentrification of a seaside town filmed by a vintage hand-cranked Bolex camera using 16mm monochromatic hand processed film. This labor of love is a total game changer in the aesthetic of this blistering movie. Continue reading Bait (2019)
Director: Konstantin Lopushansky
Starring: Viktor Mikhaylov, Vera Mayorova,Vadim Lobanov, Irina Rakshina, Aleksandr Rasinsky, Iosif Ryklin, Yu. Sobolev, Vladimir Firsov. Russia/Soviet Union/West Germany/Switzerland. 2h 16m
The jaw dropping, mind bending and highly disjointed follow on to Dead Man’s Letters (1986), shows that Lopushansky has lost none of this amazing vision of the world after an apocalyptic disaster. Usually history is written by the victors but who really comes out on top when the entire planet sinks into a nuclear winter?
From it’s dark crimson opening, it’s clear that the world is a very different place in this complicated post-apocalyptic future, that carries on from living memories of Chernobyl. The world attempts to keep things moving as a tourist attempts to traverse the barren landscape to visit a museum buried deep below the ocean. Clothed in a long black coat and carrying a single suitcase he stumbles through massive piles of waste, fights through clouds of dangerous dust and catches the saddest looking train I’ve ever seen limp down a track. Eventually he makes it to his “hotel” a house run by rich elites that looks out onto a vibrant shore that leads to a hidden fabled Museum.
Continue reading Posetitel Muzeya / A Visitor to a Museum (1989)
Director: J.D Dillard
Starring: Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen, Hanna Mangan Lawrene, Benedict Samuel, Andrew Crawford .USA. 1h 22m
I love the quote that goes something like, “you have to lose yourself to find yourself” and while it’s not the associated quote of this gripping horror, it seems to apply to the lead, Jenn a girl who doesn’t show much fear in her unusual castaway situation, but one who grows with the movie into something much stronger in this somewhat subtle new take to being stranded on an pewny island.
At first glance and in the opening, there’s not a huge amount going on in J D Dillards stomach churning thriller, but in reflection there’s a lot of social criticism a brilliant new monster and new heroine that with her faults is brilliant, brave and with some work could easily be the new Vasquez (Aliens). Dillard manages to make a lot happen on a really tiny island and with a minimal cast, but there isn’t a dull moment and he keeps a steady methodical pace. Continue reading Sweetheart (2019)
Director: William Eubank
Starring: Kristen Stewrd, Vincent Cassel, Mamoduou Athie, TJ Miller, John Gallagher Jr, Jessica Henwick. USA/Canada. 1h 35m
It was only a matter of time where the connection between the isolation of outer space was going to be matched by that of a deep dark space closer to the earth was going to be matched up and Cthulhu chucked in for good measure. The last milestone year for underwater horrors was 1989 which saw the release of three masterworks DeepStar Six (1989), Leviathan (1989), and The Abyss (1989) which saw fearless deep sea adventurers encountering different unknown vicious beasts and sometimes aliens while often digging deep into the earth’s crust. So why not knock it up a notch now that we have access to a lot more.. technology and green screens.
William Eubank is obsessed with a flighty spacey sci fi adventures filled with twists and turns from the epic loneliness of Love (2011) and his attempt to make a viable sci fi mystery in The Signal (2014) which looked stunning but employed too much slow mo action , he’s certainly built up an amiable arsenal of techniques and the ability to build gorgeous sets and to create a realistic other world atmosphere, nevertheless he keeps most of this new epic Underwater fairly grounded under the final act where all hell quite literally breaks lose.
Continue reading Underwater (2020)
Director: Ant Timpson.
Starring: Elijiah Wood, Michael Smiley, Martin Donovan, Stephen McHattie .USA. 1h 33m
There comes a time in anyone’s life when they get a pang of nostalgia and have to find their roots, discover what kind of stock they have come from. Sometimes it’s just to determine medical symptoms and at other times it’s to find out where we are down the big line of success or fuck ups. Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy is such a journey but one that no one could have predicted. Continue reading Come to Daddy (2019)