Film Review: Thelma

★★★★☆ Joachim Trier’s unexpected foray into genre territory recalls the films of M. Night Shyamalan and Brian De Palma’s Carrie, giving the tale of a girl with weird powers an icy Scandinavian mood and a slow-going pace which feels like a walk in deep snow. Thelma is a genre-bending mystery drama running the gamut between…

Film Review: 78/52

★★★★☆ Alexandre O. Philippe’s 78/52 tells us everything we wanted to know about Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, but were afraid to ask. It’s 90 minutes of riveting analysis and forensic insight into a film which truly can boast the distinction of changing genre cinema.1960 was a seminal year for horror. Along with Hitchcock’s Psycho, audiences and…

Interview: S. Craig Zahler, Brawl in Cell Block 99

  American genre director S. Craig Zahler came to the attention of audiences and critics alike with his stunning 2015 horror western hybrid Bone Tomahawk. Zahler is back with another supremo slice of glorious B-movie pulp, in the form of Brawl in Cell Block 99. Martyn Conterio: How detailed are your scripts? I ask because you’re…

Film Review: Brawl in Cell Block 99

★★★★☆ The second feature from S. Craig Zahler, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a grisly saga about a brick shithouse mechanic turned drugs courier fighting for the lives of his wife and unborn child. Sent down after a deal goes wrong, Bradley’s troubles are just beginning.If 2015’s Bone Tomahawk, a Howard Hawks-type western spliced…

#LFF 2017: The Endless review

★★★★☆ Since their debut feature, 2012’s Resolution, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have emerged as two of the American indie’s most inventive genre filmmakers, doing things on very modest budgets that Hollywood typically spends millions on.H.P. Lovecraft, as past movies have so thoroughly demonstrated, is a hard nut to crack when it comes to the…

Film Review: Strangled

★★★☆☆ There’s a killer on the loose in smalltown Hungary. The sicko is abducting young women, strangling them and having it off with their corpses. Árpád Sopsits’ psycho-thriller Strangled is flawed, but still a gripping film with handsome production values. The theme of monstrous deviancy in a time of socialist conformity is a fascinating one….

#LFF 2017: Let the Corpses Tan review

★★★★☆ Moving away from the febrile world of 1970s Italian horror to that decade’s Euro crime dramas, Belgium-based duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani have crafted yet another deliriously frenetic, blood-soaked homage to cult cinema of yesteryear.Working from a pulp fiction novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid, Let the Corpses Tan drops the audience…

#LFF 2017: Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse review

★★★★☆ The hills are alive with the sound of Satan in Lukas Feigelfeld’s outstanding debut feature. Set in 15th century Austria, high in the Alps, the film details the mental disintegration of a twentysomething milkmaid who lives alone in a cabin in the woods.Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse will most likely be pegged as this year’s…

#LFF 2017: Ghost Stories review

★★★★☆ Premiering at the London Film Festival, The League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman rework their Olivier-nominated Ghost Stories for the screen, delivering an insidiously spooky homage to Hammer horror, Tigon terror and the portmanteaus of Amicus.Professor Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman) is a ghostbuster working for a television show called Psychic Cheats. He’s a…

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, goaded by the girl, who questions his masculinity.Soon enough, his young face meets a masked…

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) and the criminally underrated Jessabelle.Set in the 1980s and supposedly based on a true story,…

FrightFest 2017: Attack of the Adult Babies review

★★★☆☆ Dominic Brunt’s third directorial feature is a political satire intent on causing a stink. A tale of human greed and demented obsession with money, Attack of the Adult Babies has a lot to get off its chest and it’s abundantly clear which political parties it’s targeting.Somewhere in Yorkshire, a cabal of white middle-aged, porcine…