Tag Archives: serial killer

Snowtown Murders (2011)

Director: Justin Kurzel
Starring: Lucak Pittaway, Daniel Henshallm Lousie Harris, Frank Ćwiertniak, Anthony Groves .Australia. 1h 59m

This brutal Australian serial killer movie is a slightly overbearing,  a nearly unwatchable portrait of a gruesome man and a blighted community with his smug smile and ability to sweet talk a community into assisting his plot to torture and kill.

Justin Kurzel’s cold nightmarish story based on the timeline of killing of Australia’s most notorious serial killer focuses more on the town and folk surrounding him, in particular a young teenage boy forced into his grisly covert operations. The title reflects the wintry name of the south Australian Townsend in which all the murders were carried out. Kurzel’s camera hovers around the dated dinner tables and community halls sneaking a social eye over these events where a cunning jackal like predator twists and turns the perceptions of “innocent” folk to help him track and pin down people who he doesn’t believe should exit anymore.

Continue reading Snowtown Murders (2011)

The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm (2011)

Director: Dan T. Hall
Starring: Tracy Bacon, Myrna Cooke, Alex Hall .USA. 1h 7m

It wasn’t really clear if this was a documentary or some kind of found footage mash up of footage melded together like a music video detailing a surreal investigation into the home of a serial killer.
The director Dan T Hall has a range of spooky titles under his belt including Ghost stories, faces of Darkness, Ghost Stories: Unmasking the dead. But this, for me, really tipped the scale into absurdity. There’s no real clear direction into what’s trying to be achieved, no real detail of Herb and his antics, and flicking between women clapping their hands in the woods to imaginary tracing the steps of a killer every 40 seconds just doesn’t work for me. Continue reading The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm (2011)

Se7en (1995)

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Director: David Fincher
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt . USA. 2h 6m

Only one year after The Crow (1994) darkened cinema screens with a midnight gothic punk industrial wild decent into grief, loss and revenge, David Fincher hit back and an equally hard hitting film which was often likened to the Crow in the early headlines as popular cinema tried to refocus on what was happening, somehow subvergent underground ideas from comics and madmen were becoming popular and adjustments had to be made. These dark worlds filled with grimy stress, rain and a heavy oppressive atmosphere often mimic the inner depression and rage of one or more of their characters. Eric Draven’s depression at losing the love of his life is mimicked by the dark night and rain, his tears, but what is creating the dark dirty polluted rain filled world within Fincher’s, unnamed metropolis it’s certainly not from lost love. Continue reading Se7en (1995)

The Barber (2014)

Director: Basel Owies.
Starring. Scott Glenn, Chris Coy, Stephen Tobolowsky, Kristen Hager, Max Arciniega. USA. 1h 35m.

A debut feature from elusive director Basel Owies, is a slow burner that attempts to demonstrate just how you can never judge a book by it’s cover and appearances are everything, so brush up and read on.

Budding cop played by Chris Coy, loses his father to suicide when he couldn’t put a psychopathic criminal behind bars, eventually the suspect is released due to little or no evidence, the ashamed officer commits suicide. 20 years later his son begins to follow the same path, believing he’s located the psycho now living under a new identity, but is Eugene Van Wingerdt (Scott Glenn) the innocent small town barber or is it a criminal mastermind? Continue reading The Barber (2014)

8213: Gacy House (2010)

Director: Anthony Fankhauser
Starring: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Michael Gaglio, Brett A. Newton, Diana Terranova, Sylvia Panacione, Rachel Riley .USA. 1h 32m

You have to love a bad setup for a found footage movie?! Not only has John Wayne Gacy’s house been demolished and rebuilt but as he was executed in a prison, shouldn’t his ghost be residing there and it would be the victims ghosts still in the house or the land where they were killed?

Without much fanfare the movie begins with the team arriving at the house to set their equipment up, a mass of cameras are placed in every room, and once they are pointing to where no action will be caught clearly the investigation really starts. It has a slightly different setup up to a lot of the other paranormal researcher inspired movies, most teams usually have quite a lot of enthusiasm but this one is is filled with scathing skeptics and some crazed hippy wiccan woman who believes some rhyming spells will be able to protect them from some kind of evil entity or poltergeist. In all my years of armchair occultist I’ve never known of anyone asking the goddess to help in some kind of seance before I’m sure there’s some eyebrows raised to offering a t shirt of a friends young son (what? why?) to the spirit of a serial killer!!? Continue reading 8213: Gacy House (2010)

The Collector (2009)

Director: Marcus Dunstan.
Starring. Josh Stewart, Andrew Roth, Juan Fernandez, William Prael, USA. 1h 30m.

Sometimes we just have the urge to sit back and watch people get tortured, and if that’s your bag, then this debut from budding director and gore king Marcus Dunstan is something that till tantalise as it has a fairly compelling backstory and delivers some trippy Saw like setups even if there are plot holes, the overall aesthetic and creepiness of the movie makes it a neon marvel of pain and guttural cinema for a new generation after the video nasty era slowed down to nothing all that special despite special effects and cheaper methods of film making becoming more available, it feels as if cinema got rather sensible for a while. But in the rise of gore and torture horror, for me this is own of the more wild and lavish mainstream titles. Continue reading The Collector (2009)

악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)

Director: Lee Won-Tae .
Starring. Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim, Mu-Yeol Kim. South Korea. 1h 50m.

One of my all time favourite genres in film is the South Korean Crime Thriller, They are filled with such slick plots, crazy bloody knife fights and inhuman bad guys, often thick with plots twists around organised crime, bent cops, serial killers and a strange honour code there’s a dark sharp violence in them which isn’t easily mimicked. I didn’t get too hyped about this until the second half but I have valid reasons. With a lot of Korean thrillers, there’s often an air of strangeness the crimes and methods of solving them are usually played out under sheets of rain at night, and usually the killer is really fucking derranged and hard to track, control or kill. But in this case they catch the guy but it’s not the end of the story it’s only the beginning. Continue reading 악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)

Hitch Hike To Hell (1977)

Director: Irvin Berwick.
Writer: John Buckley. Starring. Robert Gribbin, Russell Johnson, John Harmon, Randy Echols, Dorothy Bennett, Mary Ellen Christie USA. 1h 27m.

This is a strange concoction between Hitchcock’s Psycho and any generic sleazy 1970’s exploitation with hints of real life serial killer shenanigans, what a perfection mix of madness and murder! Most of the movie is as obsessed with Howard (Gribbin) as he is with his prey. For the most part Howard us a pleasant clean cut young man, he’s polite and dedicated to his mother and his job, which involves driving around picking up and dropping off people’s laundry but he’s a good Samaritan and will pick up lonely single women who are trying to hitch a ride. Depending on their reasoning for hitching, they might make it to their destination or they become the next victim of a one of his violent sexual tension and murderous rage. Continue reading Hitch Hike To Hell (1977)

Red Dragon (2002)

Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes . USA. 2h 4m

There comes a time when every movie is going to be remade, no matter how cult or classic the original is. But did we really need this remake of the near perfect Michael Mann gusty thriller Manhunter (1986), Originally Brian Cox played the flesh eating doctor, but while his take on the now iconic doctor; is different from Hopkins laid back soft talker, Cox’s interpretation is very apt for the direction of Mann’s psychological dog fighting style. Is the Hopkins trademark on the character so powerful that he gets to shoulder his way through to complete his trilogy. Well, Dino De Laurentiis, producer of both Manhunter and Red Dragon and effectively the Lecter copyright holder, has decreed it. So Anthony Hopkins returns, for the final time, because after this he vowed never to play the role again and it’s not surprising as the task was given to Brett Ratner to facilitate, a director who can handle a fast paced popcorn action flick but really struggled with this type of deep psychological and powerfully cerebral thriller. If only this was an equally horrific sentimental comedy, like The Family Man, where Ratner would feel more at home. Continue reading Red Dragon (2002)

Blue Caprice (2013)

AKA The Washington Snipers
Director: D Alexander Moors
Starring:
Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Rim Blake Nelson. USA. 1h 34m

A deeply atmospheric and emotive recount of the strange relationship between the unique pair of individuals who basically brought Washington to its knees in 2002. John (Washington)and his “adopted” Antigen son Lee (Richmond), are brought together out of love and necessity, but soon their turbulent relationship became needed and cold violence. A highly provocative insight into the killers from D Alexandre Moors, his first full length feature, shows incredible talent. Later on he was able to display further capabilities is his more appreciated project Yellow Birds (2017).

John is a highly strung individual, moving from sofa to sofa, from friend to favour as he rages at the world around him, hooking up with a protective friend he manages to tutor his new son in a military fashion, their daily lives are a mix of regimental and relaxing with friends, cook outs and sniper training. Continue reading Blue Caprice (2013)