Most Recent. In Christopher Machell.

Christopher Machell

Film Review: Watcher

★★★★☆ Julia (It Follows’ Maika Monroe) has moved with husband Francis (Karl Glusman) from New York City for a new marketing job in Bucharest. Spending her days alone and struggling with the language barrier, Julia starts to feel that she is being spied on from the apartment opposite theirs.

Film Review: Barbarian

★★★☆☆ Director Zach Cregger’s third feature is a tight, claustrophobic horror that starts strongly but descends into schlock and regrettable cliché in its final third. With surprises, compelling performances and strong visuals across the board, Barbarian warrants recommendation but with serious caveats.

Film Review: Vesper

★★★☆☆ In the post-climate apocalypse, society has reverted to a form of feudalism where most people eke out survival in the wasteland while elites, living in Citadels, control the food supply. Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper’s fourth collaboration is a sci-fi fairytale whose aesthetics and performances aren’t quite matched by a run-of-the mill story.

Film Review: Halloween Ends

★★★★☆ David Gordon Green rounds out his trilogy with a definitive ending for the long-running horror series. An absurd, baroque, and jaw-droppingly ambitious capper to a franchise that has been defined by wild variations in quality, Halloween Ends’ reach may well exceed its grasp, but nevertheless offers a fearless and deranged vision in horror.

Film Review: Lost Cos

★★☆☆☆ Dutch theatre and television producer Robin de Levita turns his hand to feature filmmaking with Lost Cos. Sadly, despite some cultish potential this aptly-titled debut feature is indeed a lost cause: an incoherent, undisciplined and tedious mess with little about it to truly recommend.

Film Review: Vengeance

★★☆☆☆ Best-known as Ryan from The Office: An American Workplace, B.J. Novak makes his feature directorial debut with this passable comedy thriller. Tinged with late-90s neo-noir vibes, Vengeance is an entertaining enough 100 minutes or so that more or less meet their modest if uninspiring ambitions.

Film Review: Fingers in the Wind

★★★☆☆ In his debut feature, director Chad Murdock explores the ways that memory and selfhood intersect in this enigmatic, personal drama. In its surreal rendering of space and character, Fingers in the Wind offers enough ambition, intelligence and unvarnished authenticity to warrant recommendation.

Film Review: Flux Gourmet

★★★☆☆ British director Peter Strickland returns to screens with his fifth feature, a typically bizarre black comedy. Strickland’s signature dish of fetishism, Argento-esque horror, and British idiosyncrasy is served piping hot, even though Flux Gourmet sadly lacks something of the bite of his previous work.

Film Review: In Front of Your Face

★★★★★ After debuting at Cannes last year, celebrated Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s In Front of Your Face arrives on UK screens. A typically minimalist outing, director Hong’s film is a devastating drama whose affect creeps up on the audience so quietly that it is barely noticeable until after the final blow has landed.

Film Review: Funny Pages

★★★★☆ Aspiring comic artist Robert (Daniel Zolghadri) has just graduated from high school with long-suffering friend Miles (Miles Emanuel). After witnessing the death of his esteemed, unconventional art teacher, Robert leaves home, gets a job and sets out to make his name as an artist in this idiosyncratic, unsettling and very funny coming-of-age story.

Film Review: See How They Run

★★☆☆☆ Television director Tom George makes the leap to big screen features with quirky 1950s-set whodunnit See How They Run. Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell head a cast of international stars and British TV alumni, but sadly charismatic turns from the likeable leads rarely detract from a shallow archness to proceedings.

Film Review: Beast

★★☆☆☆ Have you ever wondered who would win in a fight between Idris Elba and an enraged African lion? Well wonder no more, dear reader, as Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur is here to answer one of the question of the ages with Beast, an entertaining-enough survival romp that at only 90 minutes long feels oddly slack.

Film Review: Nope

★★★★☆ Jordan Peele reunites with Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya for his third film, Nope, a typically tense, frightening and frequently funny reinvention of the flying saucer B-movie. While its social satire is perhaps not as sharp as Get Out, nor its scares as creepy as Us, Nope is nevertheless another triumph from Peele.

Film Review: Prey

★★☆☆☆ Four years on from the last attempt at a reboot courtesy of Shane Black, 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg arrives to do what no other director has managed and rejuvenate the Predator franchise. Sadly, though the attempt is admirable, the direct-to-Disney+ Prey is an oddly blunted affair.