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 ►

HorrorMusicReviewsSci-Fi

Dance With the Dead – B​​-Sides: Volume 1 (2017)

Dance with the Dead – B​-​Sides: Volume 1 (2017)

If you don’t know who Dance With the Dead are, I suggest you wake yourself up now. The musical duo from Orange County, California have been raising the dead since 2013, with the release of their debut album, Out of Body. Since then their unique blend of dark synthwave and thrash metal has been tearing up dance floors/graveyards worldwide.

“They only come out at night!”

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 ►

DramaFilmReviewsSci-Fi

The White King (2016, UK / Hungary)

The White King (2016)

In The White King, directors Alex Helfrecht and Jorg Tittel cleverly introduce the viewer to the world in which their tale is set by means of a beautiful animated exposition during the beginning credits. We then enter the film with some background knowledge of what we are dealing with – a harsh, rural, dystopian society, created by a mythical ‘hero’…

The White King is adapted from a series of short stories by the Romanian novelist György Dragomán.

“We make sacrifices today, for a greater tomorrow.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ComedyFilmHorrorReviews

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2009, 2014, Japan)

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2009)

Directed by Shinichi Fukazawa, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell is a Japanese splatter film that pays tribute to the enduring spirit of director Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987).

Known as the ‘Japanese Evil Dead’ to those few that have actually managed to get their hands on this no-budget horror flick outside of Japan, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell meshes the SFX style of Hausu (1977) with the comedy and splatter associated with The Evil Dead series.

“Groovy!”

PRESS PLAY ►

EroticaFilmHorrorReviewsThriller

The Neon Demon (2016, USA / Denmark / France)

The Neon Demon (2016)

Of all of the films released in 2016, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is one that I have thought about most. The reviews of the film are polarizing. Some people loved it, others hated it. Films like this are exactly the kind that I love to watch, films that really bore into your brain; films that you can’t quite pin down into a genre or a simple one dimensional theme. I could feel the director’s narcissism through the screen… I am still not sure how to feel about The Neon Demon, but since viewing it some time ago, I still can’t seem to get it out of my head.

“Beauty isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ActionFilmReviewsSci-Fi

Avengers Assemble (2012, USA)

Avengers Assemble (2012)

So who would take on such a hot potato and risk everything to bring The Avengers to the big screen? Who has the expertise of pulling together a group of miss-matched characters and forming them into a fighting force? Who has the support and the knowledge of these fanboys and girls, to keep them happy? None other than the geek god himself, Joss Whedon. However, with great power, come great responsibility; so does he pull it off and bring the culmination of these 5 films together and bring a movie that the fans deserve and want?

“Superheroes? In New York? Give me a break!”

PRESS PLAY ►