Film reviews and more

Martyn Conterio

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. […]

Film Review: Censor

★★★★★ David Cronenberg once said: “Censors tend to do what psychotics only do: they confuse reality with illusion.” Censor takes Dave Deprave’s theory for a creative spin, in doing so sending its lead, a female film examiner […]

Film Review: Deerskin

★★★★☆ Absurdity and surrealism played with a straight face is Quentin Dupieux’s stock in trade. His latest gonzo reverie Deerskin finds the filmmaker working with major stars Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel. The result is predictably crackpot […]

Film Review: Carmilla

★★☆☆☆ Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla is among the most influential horror stories ever written. Director Emily Harris’ de-fanged adaptation follows plenty of other versions of the novella, zeroing in on the ‘lesbian vampire’ aspect, but the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]