Director: Nicolas Pesce Writer: Ryû Murakami
Starring: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa. USA/Japan. 1h 21m
Piercing, a movie about a man who plans to kill a prostitute in his hotel room, was an instant for my to watch list, but after seeing it get run into the dirt by many reviewers I did start to question myself. A tiny bit of research renewed my passion when I realised that this thriller is based on a book by Ryû Murakami, yep, the twisted individual that wrote the novel Audition who’s film adaption comes highly rated with it’s dark surreal undertones and horrific gore scenes. Top this off with the director of The Eyes of my Mother (2016) I can’t see how this could really be so bad..
A young father, Reed (Abbott) struggles to restrain himself from stabbing his baby daughter with a skewer, the pressure forces him to find a way to get this deadly desire out of his system. He hatches an incredibly details plan to hire a hotel room, rent a hooker and play out his stabbing fantasy, once she’s dead he hopes to return to his happy normal life.Unfortunately the unhinged hooker he encounters, Jackie (Wasikowska) has her own demons to exorcise and the two of them play an destructive game of cat and mouse. Continue reading Piercing (2018)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Based on: Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Malcolm Blair, Tantoo Cardinal, Julian Black Antelope. USA. 2h 5m
With just two major titles under his belt, Saulnier’s next project, was so highly anticipated it derailed the hype train, but the resulting ambitious drama was so different from the taut thrillers, Blue Ruin (2013) and Green Room (2015) that no one could really appreciate it in the same way and it generally got panned by the fans.
This misfire isn’t a total disaster, no one can find fault with the beautiful crafting that went into the film, Saulnier is so masterful that even if you didn’t get the movie you can easily enjoy watching it, but for me it’s just a perfect shot for a different audience. I found it just as gritty and nearly as bloody as the others, but the pushing and pulling between two fundamental ideas within the movie that would either make it a thriller or fantasy doesn’t ever come to a neat conclusion, leaving a gaping open ending which is going to piss off a lot of people but for me it’s a highly alluring project which is perfect as it is. Continue reading Hold the Dark (2018)
Director: Michael R Roskam
Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Barbara Sarafian. Belgium. 2h 8m.
There is something majestically beautiful about Roskam’s savage mafia drama. That sees a man fight against his own nature using the same tools that he applies to nature for his own gains. Usually Belgium is seen as a boring country where nothing really exciting happens, but even with the crime connections in this film, they aren’t peddling class a drugs or trafficking humans, nothing that dangerous or “glamorous” instead this mafioso gang are pedding steroid laden beef, typical farmer stuff but filled with meaty treats. Continue reading Rundskop / Bullhead (2011)
Director: Shane Black.
Starring. Thomas Jane, Boyd Holbrook, Keegan Michael Key, Sterling K Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn USA. 1h 58m
For a while I had a lot of faith that after Shane Black’s death by the hands of the original Predator back in the 80’s cult classic jungle sci fi mayhem epic adventure, and his subsequent career as a director, that he could be trusted with this remake. But then I remembered he’s Shane Black and you cannot trust this man! To be fair Shane is totally okay and I still regained some faith but the writer, Fred Dekker was an odd choice. His previous classics are cult but for very different reasons, Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad (written with Shane Black) were high for their levels of comedy antics. Dekkers contributions for House (1986) gave the film a surreal and yet again comedic undercurrent, and his more recent work included Robocop 3 which ruined the trilogy by adding in some cute kids and morals… this is when I knew someone has fucked up. Continue reading The Predator (2018)
Director: Zackary Adler
Starring: Craig Fairbrass, Emily Wyatt, Emma Butt, Shaun Ryder, Larry Lamb, Jamie Foreman, Daniel Stisen,Roland Manookian . UK . 1h 39
Rise of the foot solder (2007) was such a brilliant insight into the world after football hooliganism. Coming to screen around the same time as other brilliant British movies such as Cass (2008) it crested a wave and it’s brilliance among the genre really glimmered., it was brash, ambitious and savage. Often run into the ground by critics but while it’s not acclaimed it’s bloody brilliant.
After this a range of sequels and Rise of the foot soldier II (2015) saw the return of Carlton Leach, Bonded by Blood (2010+) ran alongside the Foot soldier story. Continue reading Rise of the Foot soldier 3 :The Pat Tate Story (2017)
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy Olwen Fouere, Richard Brake, Bill Duke. USA. 2h 1m
Cosmastos seems obsessed with 1983, where his previous movie was also set, is there a parallel here? Same year with possible answers to Professor Arboria’s mystic drug… but nothing is laid out in a straightforward way, he keeps the viewer guessing about what is real and what might just be fantasy, eventually your not sure what you believe in anymore, questions are raised especially about the drugs involved and at times this film really pushes the envelope. Continue reading Mandy (2018)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Based on: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Starring:Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takeshi Kitano, Aki Maeda, , Chiaki Juriyama. Japan. 1h 54m
Battle Royale is Japan’s ultimate dystopian thriller, which follows a group of junior high schoolers who are forced to fight to the death by the Japanese government. due to the ultra violent nature of the film and the age of most of the cast it was met with widespread repulsion and band in excluded from distribution in several countries.
Veteran director fukasaku, at the tender age of 70, managed to put everything we had into this film. and while it’s often not easy to watch, stark, angsty and the incredibly unnerving it still remains an influential genre masterpiece, that takes place in a difficult near future, that we pray is an alternative universe to the one that we’re all comfortable with. Continue reading バトル・ロワイアル (Batoru Rowaiaru) Battle Royale (2000)
Director: Kim Chapiron .
Starring. Adam Butcher,Shane Kippel,Mateo Morales, Slim Twig.Canada. 1h m.
Long after a wave of brutal British films hit the screen in the late 70’s and early 80’s detailing social disturbances, punk and skinhead culture and a lot of lost souls, race relations were at a boiling point with the rise of right wing groups in English cities and this all got reflected in such institutional films as Scum (1979), Made in England (1982) and Scrubbers (1982), that era passed and there was a lot of calm, but director Kim Chapiron, who had blasted on the scene with Sheitan (2010) a creepy occult themed thriller starring Vincent Cassel. While Dog Pound doesn’t employ the macabre of the unknown it’s equally disturbing and a loose remake of Scum. Continue reading Dog Pound (2010)