ActionAdventureFantasyFilmReviewsSci-Fi

Kong: Skull Island (2017, USA)

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Coming into this movie I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I absolutely love monster movies, I always have. Kong: Skull Island is a total throwback to the fun, action adventure movies we got throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. There’s so much to like here and it’s hard not to enjoy, so even though it’s had respectable reviews, it certainly hasn’t taken the world by storm. Don’t get me wrong it’s not going to win any awards, but it’s clear that wasn’t it’s aim. It’s main purpose is to give the audience a nostalgic, happy time and to entertain.

“All hail the King.”

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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?”

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ComedyFilmHorrorThe Tomb

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell Official UK Trailer from Terror Cotta

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2009)

The cellar door has been opened and the official UK trailer for Shinichi Fukazawa’s splatter masterpiece Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell has escaped!

Trapped inside an old haunted property, a body builder (Shinichi Fukazawa) finds himself tormented by a relentless ghost with a 30 year grudge in Shinichi Fukazawa’s tongue-in-cheek splatter comedy.

“…Shinichi Fukazawa’s splatter masterpiece…”

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ComedyFilmThe Tomb

Troma Happily Gives the World “THE MIDDLE FINGER”

The Middle Finger (2016)

Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Entertainment and creator of The Toxic Avenger, has announced that Troma, the longest running truly independent film company in American history, have crossed the atlantic ocean in order to acquire Irish filmmaker Séamus Hanly’s hilarious superhero/comedy, The Middle Finger.

“He’s our only hope… Sorry about that.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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!”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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