Film reviews and more

Month: August 2020

#FrightFest #Martyn Conterio

FrightFest 2020: Dark Place review

★★★☆☆ Anthologies are typically a mixed bag, and so it goes with this Australian collection of horror yarns directed and mostly starring indigenous filmmakers and actors. Dark Place’s mix of post-colonialist commentary and genre storytelling lends a fascinating perspective to a people outcast in their own land.  Commissioned to promote First Australian talent, Dark Place is […]

#FrightFest #Martyn Conterio

FrightFest 2020: Aquaslash review

★★☆☆☆ Slashers have used all manner of holiday celebrations and location gimmicks in their bid to deliver greater chills and spills. Aquaslash, which unfortunately isn’t Canadian slang for peeing in the pool, unfolds in a water park with a suitably tragic heritage.  This French-Canadian production is so committed to being retrograde, so much […]

#FrightFest #Martyn Conterio

FrightFest 2020: Hall review

★★★★☆ Francesco Giannini’s chiller pits a mum and her young child in a fight for their lives after an airborne virus turns their hotel into a gauntlet of diseased, violent fellow occupants. The resulting saga delivers more on its generic-sounding scenario than meets the eye.  With Amy Seimetz’s She Dies Tomorrow and Rob Savage’s Host tapping […]

#FrightFest #Martyn Conterio

FrightFest 2020: Skull: The Mask review

★★☆☆☆ An inventive setup unfortunately cannot save Skull: The Mask from its poor attributions. Confusing editing, disjointed storytelling, too many subplots which appear to be from completely different films, only the delightfully gruesome special effects and vivid cityscape location shooting leave a positive impression.   Horror is all about execution. Aesthetics and craft as much as […]

#FrightFest #Martyn Conterio

FrightFest 2020: The Columnist review

★★★★☆ In Ivo van Aart’s timely psycho-thriller, The Columnist, a female cultural commentator subjected to an endless stream of misogynistic vitriol by online trolls decides to get her own back, showing these vile men their hateful words have consequences.   Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) has earned the wrath of right-wingers who live to ‘own the […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: Hope Gap

★★☆☆☆ Veteran scribe William Nicholson returns to the screen in his first feature directorial credit since 1997’s Firelight. Now on directing duties too, Nicholson explores the perils and heartbreak of middle-aged divorce with Hope Gap. Nicholson has form with writing later-life relationships, so it’s a shame that the real hope gap here is […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: She Dies Tomorrow

★★★★☆ In her second feature as director, American actor-producer-filmmaker Amy Seimetz explores the existential ennui of inevitable doom in this chilling, strange horror. In the age of Covid and climate change, what could possibly feel more contemporary? Having missed its premiere at the cancelled SXSW festival earlier this year, much has been made […]

#Reviews #Tom Duggins

Film Review: Tenet

★★☆☆☆ Christopher Nolan’s films are so big, so hotly anticipated, that they form their own sort of gravitational pull, and cinema chains are hoping that the draw of Tenet will irresistibly compel viewers back into theatres. For all of Tenet’s innovative, ideas-led structure, however, it lacks the sort of emotional core that elevates […]

#Guest Post

Four facts you may not know about Casino

Every casino regular has probably seen Martin Scorsese’s 1995 classic Casino, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. However, only true fans of both casinos and cinema know the following facts about the movie and its production. Casino is based on a true story that took place in Las Vegas, the […]

#Christopher Machell #Reviews

Film Review: Away

★★★★☆ Winner of the Contrechemp award at last year’s niche Annecy animated film festival, Latvian director Gints Zilbalodis’ feature debut is among the most innovative and enchanting animated films released this year. Away combines Zilbalodis’ signature minimalist style with the structure of a classic survival story. Compared with the vast conglomerate resources of […]

#Matthew Anderson #Reviews

Film Review: Perfumes

★★★☆☆ Reminiscent of the 2011 crowd-pleaser Les Intouchables, Grégory Magne’s Perfumes is a charming, unconventional, odd-couple buddy movie of sorts, which crisscrosses an autumnal France with the highly cultured nose of sourpuss recluse, Anne (Emmanuelle Devos), in search of smelly solutions to her myriad clients’ needs. And though he may be driving, her […]

#Reviews #Thomas Alexander

Film Review: King of the Cruise

★★★★☆ Baron Ronald Reisinger lives a life of indulgence, flaunting his status and dining in style on an ocean liner. Yet he is curiously solitary. King of the Cruise, the latest film from Dutch documentarian Sophie Dros, is at once a singular portrait of defanged nobility and a complex, patient exploration of loneliness. […]