ComedyFilmReviewsThriller

Something Wild (1986, USA)

Something Wild (1986)

The best movies of the eighties either celebrated frivolity and gave us great entertainment, or rejected norms and pushed the boundaries towards broader innovations. Eighties indie movies were especially bold in this regard, and few directors tackled social and personal shape-shifting as deftly or entertainingly as Jonathan Demme.

The aptly titled, Something Wild gives us everything the eighties were famous for: laughs, sex, craziness, danger, secret lives, violence, drugs, nasty things in small towns and a great pop music soundtrack.

“Something Different. Something Daring. Something Dangerous.”

PRESS PLAY ►

AdventureComedyDramaFantasyFilmReviews

Swiss Army Man (2016, USA / Sweden)

Swiss Army Man (2016)

In Swiss Army Man, first-time directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (the Daniels) genuinely present you with things you’re unlikely to have seen before – and that, in the current cinematic climate, is a feat in itself.

One can certainly see why Swiss Army Man was a movie that was inevitably going to polarise opinions. In a time when moviegoers are subjected to a constant barrage of remakes, reboots or sequels, I for one am not going to turn my nose up at any movie which places almost all of its bets on being singular and unique.

“We all need some body to lean on.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ComedyFilmHorrorReviews

Get Out (2017, USA)

Get Out (2017)

Get Out concerns Chris, who is invited by his girlfriend of five months, Rose to travel upstate for the weekend to meet her parents. Chris is concerned about how Rose’s privileged white family’s might react to him, as she hasn’t told them that her boyfriend is black. Meeting the parents is a frightening prospect at the best of times, but Get Out offers a vision of a black guy’s unnerving entrance into a particularly unorthodox white world.

Chris’s girlfriend brushes off his concerns, assuring him that her parents are liberals and that he has nothing to worry about…

“Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you’re welcome.”

PRESS PLAY ►

FilmHorrorReviews

The Void (2016, Canada)

The Void (2016)

Canadian writer-director team Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie are part of the Astron-6 collective, whose work includes the playful retro horrors The Editor and Manborg.

In their feature The Void, they tone down the humour and opt for suspense and full-on Lovecraftian horror. They draw their influences from a number of sources, including Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Anderson’s Event Horizon, Cronenberg’s The Fly, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond and Carpenter’s The Thing and Prince of Darkness.

“There is a hell. This is worse.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaReviewsSci-FiThriller

Donnie Darko (2001, 2016, USA) 15th Anniversary (4K Restoration)

Donnie Darko (2001) 15th Anniversary

I emerge from the darkness of a doorway, blinking into the daylight of a Soho street. I look up at the sliver of wintry sky between the tops of the buildings, hoping that a random wormhole into a time portal might somehow open up.

Admittedly, this is almost a daily occurrence with me, but [at the time of writing] it is particularly significant as it is October 2nd [2016], and I have just come out of a special 15th anniversary screening of Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly’s much beloved and oft debated cult movie.

“What would you do if you knew the future?”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFantasyFilmHorrorReviewsThriller

The Wailing (2016, South Korea)

The Wailing (2016)

The Wailing offers images that appear in many a horror films: disembowelled livestock; creepy candlelit shrines plastered with odd photographs; curtains of blindingly heavy rain; a foul-mouthed, possessed child; blackened, rabid zombies lunging at stunned victims and blood-splattered murder scenes.

It’s unlikely however, that any horror aficionado has seen all these tropes thrown with such bravado into the same melting pot, producing such a rich and unsettling brew.

“You awoke something recently that you weren’t supposed to. You disturbed it.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFilmHorrorReviewsThriller

A Cure for Wellness (2016, USA / Germany)

A Cure for Wellness (2016)

What a delightful coincidence that the young actress in Gore Verbinski’s latest feature A Cure for Wellness should be named Mia Goth. Never has an appellation been more appropriate.

A Cure for Wellness proves to be an audacious, intoxicating, feverish piece of cinema – administering copious doses of Freudian symbolism and classic Gothicism. If you’re not a fan of things Gothic, or if you suffer from ichthyophobia, this may not be the film for you…

“Do you know what the cure for the human condition is? Disease. Because that’s the only way one could hope for a cure.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFilmHorrorReviews

The Eyes of My Mother (2016, USA)

The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

In The Eyes of My Mother director and writer Nicolas Pesce offers a disturbing examination of serious emotional dysfunction and disorientation.

We meet a little girl named Francisca (Olivia Bond) who lives on an isolated farm with her mother and father. She is unfazed by death from this early age because her mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, is educating her in a dispassionate and thorough understanding of human anatomy.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ActionFilmReviewsThriller

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017, USA)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a ride into hell, or, a hell of a ride – either way it’s going to drag you along with it, maybe gasping, maybe kicking and screaming, but either way, it’s an adrenalin rush. The John Wick movies are all about the momentum of action, with Wick moving so precisely, so speedily and yet so gracefully that it all becomes a mesmerising ballet of Grand Guignol.

A pre-credits action set-piece starts the movie as it means to go on, and cripes, if it isn’t an absolute corker!

“John Wick, you’re not very good at retiring.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ActionDramaFilmHorrorReviewsThriller

Train to Busan (2016, South Korea)

Train to Busan (2016)

I usually have a bit of a problem with zombie movies – I find them dull. Yes, I know zombie fans will be throwing their Walking Dead box sets at my head (and those are some hefty tomes) but I find that, although they may be a popular horror monster, zombies are forced to rely heavily on the cheap, gross-out factor in order to distract from the fact that they have scanty horror mileage, no rich mythos to draw on and offer little scope for variation, tension or development. I am left to suppose that zombie fans are in it for the fashion statement. I am however, an Asian horror enthusiast.

“Life-or-death survival begins.”

PRESS PLAY ►

FilmHorrorReviews

Rings (2017, USA)

Rings (2017)

In Rings we have the [second] long anticipated sequel to The Ring, the English language remake of the hugely successful Japanese horror Ringu. We also have a kind of Samara origin story, but this storyline seems to be less a labour of love, and instead, rather laboured.

Ringu, the celebrated Japanese horror movie that started it all, was released in 1998. We should remember that in the dark ages of the nineties, VHS tapes and creepy death-threat calls through landlines were not as yet, a form of ancient technology.

“First you watch it. Then you die.”

PRESS PLAY ►

FilmHorrorReviewsThriller

Split (2016, USA)

Split (2016)

Few directors have experienced quite as public a fall from grace as M. Night Shyamalan. After his hugely popular debut The Sixth Sense, the director’s subsequent features appeared to be a series of close misses or shots that veered way off target.

I can’t say I have always wholeheartedly embraced his movies, but I have found that Mr. Shyamalan’s singular imagination usually comes up with an interesting and unusual premise.

“Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.”

PRESS PLAY ►