In Climax, a troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Following an unforgettable opening performance lit by virtuoso cinematographer Benoît Debie and shot by Noé himself, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD. Tracking their journey from jubilation to chaos and full-fledged anarchy, Noé observes crushes, rivalries, and violence amid a collective psychedelic meltdown.
Tommy dos Santos wasn’t born a psychopath, nor was he made into a sociopath; he’s walking his own path – a path that will run red with the blood of the foulest most fiendishly frightening creatures ever conceived by man: Clowns! No longer do they have the starring role in our nightmares, it is now the clowns who are the prey, running for their lives from a killer who won’t stop until every single one of them is dead. As the body count rises, Tommy finds himself getting closer to what he thought was a ghost, the clown king known as “Giggles”…
“If laughter can’t die, how about Giggles?”
Joe Ahearne is a British writer and director whose TV miniseries The Replacement was shown on the BBC in 2017 to a warm reception. I caught up with him to chat about this and his other project, the horror/thriller film called B&B.
“This was the first time I’d written something where I was determined that the gay guys were absolutely going to be the stars, and it was sort of a genre piece as well. I was definitely interesting in doing something that had some kind of fantasy or horror.”
Killer Friends features a spectacularly god-awful human being and his best friends’ attempts to put him out of their misery. These attempts, being amateurish and unplanned, backfire in various slapstick ways and the viewer is invited both to sympathise with the frustrated would-be homicides and wonder when they’re going to get their cackhanded act together and put the little shit down. It becomes apparent, however, that their potential victim knows more than he is letting on… Even now, thinking about him, I can feel my blood pressure rising.
“I’m here to love and support my girlfriend… and kill Scott!”
B&B takes as its inspiration a court case that received quite widespread publicity about six years ago for being the sort of thing that makes you go, “seriously, in this day and age?” The set-up is that a homosexual couple have fought and won a court case against a bed and breakfast that discriminated against them by refusing them a double room – a legal battle which really did take place and which was eventually decided in the Supreme Court, because there seems to be a disappointing abundance of legal funding for bigoted wankers.
“They made their bed… Now they have to die in it.”
The official Super7 collaboration with heavy metal legends Slayer continues! This special version of the Show No Mercy 3.75-inch ReAction Figure was inspired by Track 6 of the band’s 1983 debut album.
“Cursed… Black Magic Night…”
The new official poster for A24’s Midsommar, from Ari Aster – director of Hereditary – has been released and I’m psyched up for when it arrives in cinemas 3 July. Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn…
“Let the festivities begin.”
The word ‘Epic’ has recently been devalued and just used to mean something that is striking or enjoyable, but the correct meaning of the word indicated narratives in the ‘Epic’ mould – those which surpass the ordinary in scale and reach heroic proportions – this applies to films too. I’m taking a look at some of the truly Epic movies from the early 1980s that showed extraordinary ambition in their story and spectacle.
“Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.”
On 22 July, Indicator delves into the darkest recesses of British horror cinema of the 1970s and 80s in order to unleash six terrifying tales on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. First out of the shadows is Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J Warren, 1976-1987. Next up is Richard Marquand’s 1979 bloody chiller The Legacy; a horrifying tale of supernatural revenge.
“Conceived in violence, carried in terror, born to devastate and brutalize a universe!”
I needed to know for myself how far Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House had diverged from the 1959 book and if it had actually improved on it. So I read the book first and then watched the 1963 film, The Haunting, which I’d heard was a classic. I must admit I enjoyed both of them – and found them very different from one another – so I decided that so I decided that all three needed to be compared.
“You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror!”
The more our technology improves, the harder it is to make some classic horror tropes believable. The main culprit here is the cell phone. Everyone has one, and they are constantly in use. For those of us with smart phones, we are able to control almost every aspect of our lives through this little device. As our technology evolves, so must the horror genre evolve to incorporate its use. With smart phones giving us easy access to the internet and a seemingly unending number of apps to choose from, it’s no wonder that dating apps have become so popular.
“It’s a killer app.”
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that The Matrix is a great science-fiction movie, but there is more to it than that. For its 20th anniversary I’m going to take a look at all the elements that made The Wachowski’s movie such a cinematic milestone and how it raised the bar for all subsequent genre movies. When The Matrix was released in 1999 it opened up new vistas of imagination in screen science-fiction – a domain of cyber existence that no film had yet explored. It was a sci-fi movie that changed the genre. It was, in fact, a movie that changed film-making in general.