Tag Archives: u

Una mujer fantástica / Fantastic Woman (2017)

Director: Sabastian Lelio Starring: Daniela Vega, Franxisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Amparo Noguera Chile, Spain, Germany. 1h 44m

There’s a necessary moment near the end of Sabastian Lelios eye opening movie where the lead is jogging with her dog, a carefree run as her favourite track plays and she can finally take a deep breath and attempt to just live the best life, like anyone else. It’s at this moment where we, as an audience, can also take a breath as the entire film is just filled with small minded petty people who do nothing to wind up anyone with a rational thinking mind as the film zeroes in on intolerance and unbiased love.

A Fantastic Woman is a strangely lighthearted take on a pretty deep and complex story. And there was definitely a vibe going on at the time as it almost duped with Disobedience an equally challenging love struggle but with a heavy religious setting. This thought provoking movie will drag you to places that you wouldn’t imagine a person would need to go based purely on their choice of gender.

Continue reading Una mujer fantástica / Fantastic Woman (2017)

The McPherson Tape / UFO Abduction (1989)

 

Director: Dean Alioto
Starring: Tommy Giavocchini, Patrick Kelley, Shirly McCalla, Stacey Shulman, Christine Staples, Laura Tomas, Dean Aliot .USA. 1h 6m

Largely forgotten, The McPherson Tapes film is an often overlooked early found footage sci fi movie. It’s something that you’ll find among those creepy compilation videos on YouTube, as the kids don’t have recollection of the movie or it’s creepy impact, often citing it as real found footage. If only they had seen the movie they really wouldn’t be any doubts.. But in all fairness the movie was once presented on a 1990’s paranormal investigation show as real footage, so I guess we can’t just blame the kids as the entire history of the movie has been plagued with claims of authenticity. But what makes it so realistic, that even the professionals can’t set it’s a work of fiction?

Continue reading The McPherson Tape / UFO Abduction (1989)

Maneater/Unnatural (2015)

Director: Hank Braxtan
Starring: James Remar, Sherilyn Fenn, Ron Carlson, Graham Greene, Gregory Crux .USA. 1h 29m

A year after his gross toxic adventure featuring a group of strong femme friends in Chemical Peel (2014), Hank Braxtan is back with a similar environmental disaster movie, but this time a similar uncaring tech company aren’t illegally transporting chemicals but instead they have something dangerous brewing in their icy labs.

There seems to be a drive within Braxtan to warn us of the dangers of covert labs and the dark secret organizations who are totally ruthless with their chemical waste and with arcane unrelenting needs to control nature. In the opening scene we have a gleaming smile from the cult actor Ray Wise who is the spokesman for Clobirch claiming to be an environmentally conscious company they have everyone’s interests at heart.. But no one is fooled.

Continue reading Maneater/Unnatural (2015)

Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)

Director: Jack Cardiff
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege. UK. 1h 32m

I’d just like to give a heads up, that I mean no disrespect with my terminology in this review. I am utilizing a lot of the terminology used in the movie, purely to keep it synced.

This movie feels like a mashup between Andy Mulligans insane indie horror Blood (1973) and the early cult classic The Freaks (1932) by Tod Browning. Combining newfangled science fiction ideas with unthinkable genetic splicing with animals and plants. The film is spiced up with trippy psychedelics, a touch of nudity and fascinating stop motion visuals, and it makes for a very interesting psychotropic creature feature that has to be seen to be believed, and all from acclaimed academy awarding winning director Jack Cardiff who gave us such classics as The Red Shoes (1948) and Black Narcissus (1947). Continue reading Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)

Underwater (2020)

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)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Director: Bryan Singer Writer Christopher McQuarrie.

Starring. Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, Sizy Amis, Benicio Del Toro. USA. 1h 44m.

First time I saw the Usual Suspects I was lucky enough to see it alongside a piece by Mark Kermode and the film finished with a short from writer Christopher McQuarrie about how he brainstormed the story, not that I needed any more convincing that the film is totally awesome the extra depth really cemented the film as being one of my all-time greatest and one I find myself returning to from time and time again.

Starting with a dark film noir style introduction which is slightly confusing, two silhouetted men talk, light a cigarette, one is injured and the other walks away as an explosion engulfs a ship and the wounded man..  the dark undertones shift to something more gangster as the film opens and builds in two timelines, Verbal (Spacey) has been pulled into a police office to be questioned by the sly agent Kujan (Palminteri), the shifty club footed criminal is forced to give up valuable information before he’s set free, reluctantly he begins to talk but once he gets started he lives up to his name sake and the verbal diarrhea  starts to flow. After some threats from Kujan, the past is unlocked up in audacious little chapters, almost like a 50’s crime comic, it’s slick and witty, and at times it’s on a higher level of brainy than the average movie. Continue reading The Usual Suspects (1995)

Unfriended (2014)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring. Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki. USA. 1h 23m

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your pc and bitch about your dead class mates.. think again mofos! Unfriended is a modern found footage desktop horror. A group of friends are chatting together online when their dead “friends’” account comes online and starts terrorising them both on and offline, with the threat that if they close the chat then they die, but staying in the group chat doesn’t change their fate either they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and forced to sit back and watch each others demise, but they get to view the disgusting violent ends of their BBF instead.

It’s the anniversary of Laura Barns suicide, a year to the day she committed suicide after a video of her passing out and crapping herself at a party went viral. On this tragic anniversary her former best friend Blaire enters a skype chat with her boyfriend and some of her close friends but when Laura’s facebook account starts sending messages they expect that someone in the group is pranking them. One by one each of the teens are outed on social media and then begin to act strange and appear to kill themselves, has Laura come back for revenge?

Well it’s so obvious what’s going on here, it’s pretty easy to work out who leaked the video and who’s back for her revenge, the only expectations are the slayings and they are pretty silly, one girl drinks some bleach, which is plausible, as she was skyping from the laundry room, another guy just happens to have a blender in his bedroom and finds a way of using that off himself. A blender? I don’t even have one to hand in my kitchen I keep it in a cupboard, is that weird?

The idea is pure gold, using social media as a tool for a found footage basis is something that really awoke the genre again and I think that’s what got a lot of bums on seats in the cinema, but the payoff was just lousy,  it’s hard to feel afraid when you’ve personally not encouraged someone to kill themselves so really the audience were routing for the dead chick, but with a year of planning she coulda come up with something a bit more elaborate, I’d wanna make em suffer bwhahaahaaa!

It’s quite a familiar scene, teen faces looking down their webcam in a group chat on Skype and/or DMing each other on facebook, but when things start to go awry usually you just turn it off and put on a movie, call an adult or something right? These teens didn’t even work out how to go live or work out a neat hashtag for their night of bloody carnage. #allmyfriendsaredying  #shoudlaneveruploadedthatvideo #godgaveusrockandroll. In terms of the movie being an experiment of a real time online horror it could have worked better as a live “game” experience, but in the terms of a movie which is limited to mobile and laptop of the main characters also limits the audience’s depth of perception and attention. It would have been cool if you could have dialled in on your mobile while the film was on to “tune in” to some of the action.. not there’s an idea!!

Let’s hope that lessons have been learnt for the upcoming sequel, and I hope that we all know that cyberbullying is bad.. ok..

Rating 3/10

RUnfriended : Dark Web (2018), Friend Request (2017), E-Demon (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Dark Summer (2015)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies, Cyber Found Footage Movies
A – How believable does horror have to be?

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Unsane (2018)

Unsane1

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring. Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple. USA. 1h 38m

Everything about the opening of this movie is just dull and unassuming, which is a risky and dangerous move from director Steven Soderbergh, luckily it doesn’t last too long. While introducing the lead, Sawyer (Foy), we learn just how mundane her life is, the faceless office worker, who suffers all the nagging and office politics as the rest of us, she eats lunch while skyping her disapproving mother and later hooks up with a (not tinder) date, but after taking him back to her place with no strings attached sex, she freaks out thinking that he’s her stalker and the film re opens with her talking to a therapist.

We start to learn that Sawyer has been running away from an unknown stalker, hiring professionals (Matt Damon) to secure her routes to work, protect her personal details etc., but simultaneously we are also privy to the idea that she might be suffering from delusions and that the stalker is a fabrication of her overactive and vivid imagination, Unfortunately at this point in the movie she accidently signs herself into a psychiatric ward for observations, and for the rest of the film we, alongside her have to try and piece together just how sane or unsane she really is. Continue reading Unsane (2018)

Un Français / French Blood (2015)

Director: Diastème .
Starring. Alban Lenoir, Samuel Jouy, Paul Hamy   France. 1h 38m.

Despite the name the film isn’t quite about being French but the tired old nationalistic ideas which make people believe that they are better for having been born in a certain country and using this as an excuse to be a general douchebag. But the magic of this familiar film is that despite the toxic nature of the mindless characters our lead manages to feel more pride in himself after he abandons his gang of violent misfits.

Marco (Lenoir) is a skinhead, a violent single track minded skinhead who feels pretty brave when he’s on the streets with his friends Braguette, Grand-Guy and Marvin. They spend their days intimidating anyone who looks foreign, damaging property and plastering up sticker and posters illustrating their neo nazi connections. At home life is more demoralizing, his father is a pathetic drunk and his mother just fumbles from one day to the other. While at work Marco gets on with everyone, he’s calm and productive and it’s unlike his street bravado, he’s just another guy. But still he feels as if he belongs with his gang and attends gathering and rallies and even falls in love with a chick who shares his ideals and they produce a darling baby girl. Continue reading Un Français / French Blood (2015)

U-571 (2000)

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi. UK. 1h 46m

Now that Dunkirk is breaking records, it’s time to look back at all the occasions where they got things terribly wrong with war movies.  There have been a few films that tried to eradicate the British efforts and triumphs during the second world war. Continue reading U-571 (2000)