Film reviews and more

FrightFest 2020: Av: The Hunt review

★★★★☆ Emre Akay’s powerful social thriller pits a woman against not only her immediate family, but an entire country’s cultural attitudes, its conservative values, and misogynistic impulses. Av (The Hunt) is a depiction of modern Turkey likely to rile those who adore the […]

FrightFest 2020: Don’t Click review

★★★★☆ In Kim G-hey’s debut, two college students who access an extreme BDSM/snuff site are tormented by the spirit of a dead woman, an avenging conscience intent on teaching them a lesson. Don’t Click will prove to be divisive, but […]

FrightFest 2020: The Swerve review

★★★★☆ In Dean Kapsalis’ impressive psychological drama The Swerve a suburbanite loses her grip on reality, the catalyst for the descent into madness is a bite from a rodent and a recurring nightmare involving a car crash, which may or may […]

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 […]

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 […]

FrightFest 2020: A Ghost Waits review

★★★★☆ In Adam Stovall’s necromantic horror film, a lonely blue-collar worker at the end of his tether meets and falls in love with a ghost haunting a property he’s overseeing for renovation. A Ghost Waits is an unexpectedly heartfelt gem […]

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 […]

FrightFest 2020: The Clapboard Jungle review

★★★☆☆ Justin McConnell’s The Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business is an eye-opening and informative documentary all about the rough road countless artists travel on to get films made and seen by audiences. For making a movie is just half the […]

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 […]

FrightFest 2020: 12 Hour Shift review

★★★★☆ In Brea Grant’s ghoulish US healthcare farce, 12 Hour Shift, a junkie nurse and her accomplices run a body parts scam for the local mob, only for their secretive operation to come crashing down, when an unreliable courier enters the […]

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 […]

FrightFest 2020: There’s No Such Thing as Vampires review

★★☆☆☆ Brought together at random by a car crash in the middle of the night, twentysomething Ariel (Emma Holzer) is thrown headfirst into a nightmare as she helps a mysterious man named Joshua (Josh Plasse) escape the attentions of a […]

FrightFest 2020: Programme highlights

With Covid-19 still a global threat, festival organisers have been pushed to making crucial decisions: Cancel or opt for an online edition? While a few hardy festivals, such as Venice, have announced the show must go on, at least in […]

FrightFest 2018: What Keeps You Alive review

★★★★☆ What Keeps You Alive is not just a edge-of-your-seat style thriller, but a searing portrait into relationships, and the horror of intimacy, or of not even really knowing who it is you’re sleeping next to. Cozy idyll gives way […]

FrightFest 2018: Summer of 84 review

★★★☆☆ A joint directorial effort between François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, Summer of 84 is a somewhat disappointing entry into the hallowed halls of nostalgia, following in the footsteps of Andy Muschietti’s IT update and Netflix’s Stranger Things. […]

FrightFest 2017: Tragedy Girls review

★★★☆☆ You know the slasher-movie drill. Two high-school students are parked on a country lane at night. The windows have steamed up. Busy necking, the boy and girl suddenly hear a noise outside. The boy gets out of the car, […]

FrightFest 2017: Jackals review

★★☆☆☆ Kevin Greutert’s latest thriller sees a family up against a deranged cult. Set over the course of a few hours on a dark night, Jackals is an atmospheric horror movie from the director of the best Saw series (XI) […]