Film reviews and more

FrightFest 2021: The Sadness review

★★★☆☆ The Sadness is a nasty and thoroughly unpleasant survival horror film set in Taiwan, directed by Canadian first-timer Rob Jabbaz. Warning: this movie is not for the faint-hearted and requires a strong tolerance for depictions of sexual violence on screen. Jim and Kat are a young couple living in Taipei, Taiwan. The world has been suffering a global pandemic […]

FrightFest 2021: Evie review

★★☆☆☆ Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt moonlights as a horror filmmaker. Evie, his fourth time on bullhorn duties, co-directed with Jamie Lundy, is based on the Celtic and Norse myth of the selkie, a derivative of the better-known mermaid. For Brunt, Evie is both a step up and a step back. Its gloomy beach-set scenes are atmospheric and rugged. In other words, he […]

FrightFest 2021: The Retaliators review

★★★★☆ The Retaliators is a rock ‘n’ roll ride into the freaky side of vengeance. Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr’s bloody thriller transgressively argues for violence as a rejuvenating force, a great problem-solver, and eye-for-an-eye revenge being a righteous act. Written by first-time screenwriters Darren and Jeff Allen Geare, The Retaliators deserves praise for its storytelling and plotting. For a good […]

FrightFest 2021: Knocking review

★★★★☆ A middle-aged woman, released from a psychiatric facility, moves into a block of flats. Settling in and finding her feet again, one night she begins to hear a thumping sound. Nobody else hears it. Is she going mad or is she on to something? The fictional feature debut of Swedish documentary filmmaker Frida Kempff, Knocking is a powerful statement on […]

FrightFest 2021: No Man of God review

★★★★☆ Amber Sealey’s chamber piece dramatises a series of 1980s prison interviews undertaken by pioneer FBI profiler, Bill Hagmaier, with Ted Bundy. The resulting film shines a light, as best it can, into the darkest place known to humankind: the mind of a serial killer. When we meet Ted Bundy in No Man of God, the affability, cocky bravado, the boyish charm displayed […]

FrightFest 2021: Post Mortem review

★★★★☆ Hungary, in the aftermath of the First World War. Travelling photographer Tomas (Victor Klem), is drawn into a frightening supernatural mystery, occurring in a remote peasant village. Armed with his trusty camera and primitive recording equipment, the former soldier goes hunting for ghosts. After the first globalised conflict killed millions, there came in its terrible wake an influenza […]

FrightFest 2021: Offseason review

★★★★☆ Mickey Keating’s Offseason is an atmospheric, supremely confident horror show. The director conjures an oppressive air of creeping fear and dreamlike dread, that’s as much an ode to Southern Gothic melodrama as it is the traditions of folk horror. There’s the sense watching Keating’s sixth feature that he is on the road to greatness and that his best years […]

FrightFest 2021: Night Drive review

★★★★☆ In Night Drive (2021), a former tech bro turned Uber-style chauffeur picks up a young woman with a penchant for trouble. As a long evening unfolds and Russell (AJ Bowen) begins to question how far he’s willing to go, a surprising twist develops.  Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon’s indie comedy boasts two excellent lead performances given by newcomer Sophie Dalah […]

FrightFest 2021: Demonic review

★★★☆☆ Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic sees the South African director switch things up a little bit. His brand of urban socio-political sci-fi takes a back seat, as he dips his toe into the horror genre proper. The result intrigues as much as disappoints. Made during the early months of the global pandemic, with a $1.5 million budget and a no-name cast, bar […]

FrightFest 2021: Programme highlights

Horror is back! While football never did manage to make it home, after a 2020 edition of Arrow Video FrightFest rolled out entirely online, 2021’s event returns for an in-cinema event at the Cineworld Empire Theatre, Leicester Square. Five days of world horror cinema awaits. The past 18 months have been hell for us all. And if you’re not yet comfortable […]

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 nation’s incumbent dictator. ‘This is honour! There is no escape!’ a relative tells Ayse (Billur Melis Koç), a young woman […]

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 it has serious points to make. “Take a long hard look at yourselves.” This plea for introspection, a command […]