The Improbable Opening of Night Of The Demon

Year: 1957 Director: Jacques Tourneur Stars: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis With Halloween fast approaching I, like many others, have upped the horror quota in my viewing habits, revisiting prominent titles as well as exploring far-flung classics. It's taken too long for me to reach back to Jacques Tourneur's Night Of The Demon (aka Curse Of … Continue reading The Improbable Opening of Night Of The Demon

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Me

Year: 1974 Director: Tobe Hooper Stars: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Paul A. Partian A boy walks into a house. It's not his house. He's intruding. But its an intrusion out of both curiosity and necessity. The house looks wrong. Just plain wrong. Dark, dank and grimly decorated. A set of dark stairs press on the … Continue reading The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Me

180: The Tenacity of mother!

Spurred by the release of Francis Lawrence's tone-deaf spy thriller Red Sparrow, which numbly deploys sexual abuse and exploitation as just-another-plot-mechanic, it felt like time to revisit one of last year's more divisive titles, one I increasingly feel I didn't give a fair shake. A little under six months ago I gave mother! a dismissive two star … Continue reading 180: The Tenacity of mother!

Out 1: A Personal Cinematic Landmark

I feel a mix of things writing this, predominantly fear that I am acting prematurely, attempting to organise thoughts that have yet to settle and find coherence. Yet I'm also emboldened by the kind of obsessive enthusiasm that comes with discovery; that sense of having 'found' something that seems culturally vital but that also speaks directly … Continue reading Out 1: A Personal Cinematic Landmark

Some Kind Of Dream Place: Mulholland Drive In The Cinema

"Now its dark," Frank Booth sinisterly intones more than once in Blue Velvet as his evil deeds transfix both Jeffrey Beaumount and the audience watching. It's a line of dialogue that - The Straight Story and possibly Dune aside - could act as generic tagline to most of David Lynch's feature work. But for Lynch this takes on … Continue reading Some Kind Of Dream Place: Mulholland Drive In The Cinema

Why Has Nostalgia Become Such Big Business?

Each summer there's usually a sleeper hit; a mid-to-big budgeted contender for cinematic supremacy that breaks free of the pack and becomes the event of the season. Hollywood invests millions of dollars in increasingly hedged bets to secure their audience's fickle attention. But this year, as the silly summer season draws close to its end, … Continue reading Why Has Nostalgia Become Such Big Business?

Willython: All Free Willy, All The Time (Part 2)

Back for more? Outstanding. With this level of fine, highbrow journalistic content, I've no idea why I'm still doing this for free. If you've arrived at this page randomly, well done, you're reading the crazed ramblings of a man spending his day watching all four Free Willy films. Two to go. This page will cover my exploits with Free … Continue reading Willython: All Free Willy, All The Time (Part 2)

Willython: All Free Willy, All The Time (Part 1)

Hi. Welcome to another one of these things I said I'd never do again. My usual stance of credit-where-credit's-due and looking for the loftier intentions in all things cinema are temporarily suspended while I marathon an improbable or just plain idiotic franchise to see exactly how steep the downward curve of watchablity is. Because it … Continue reading Willython: All Free Willy, All The Time (Part 1)

The Strange Magic of Purple Rain

Prince died last week and I, like many others I would imagine, watched Purple Rain. A little personal context if you'll permit me. I always respected but never particularly pursued the man's music (shamefully I count myself among those now moved to make up for this past neglect). His loss didn't feel as strangely significant to me … Continue reading The Strange Magic of Purple Rain

180: The Durability Of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Back when it was released around this time in 2014, I was perhaps unduly harsh on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, largely citing it as a movie designed to rearrange the pieces on the board for Joss Whedon's second Avengers film Age Of Ultron and therefore something of a stop-gap instead of a satisfying experience in its … Continue reading 180: The Durability Of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Lost Highway Hotel Awards 2016

I live in two minds about award ceremonies. On the one hand picking the best anything is an act of futility. Taste has so much to do with it. So because of that they seem indulgent and overblown, at worst self-congratulatory acts of excess when so many more vital things warrant the cost and attention. … Continue reading The Lost Highway Hotel Awards 2016

List: 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far (25-1)

And so onto the top 25. My favourite films to have appeared this decade so far. A couple of these might require justification. Mostly though they ought to speak for themselves. If anything compiling this list has made me very hopeful for the five-or-so years ahead. If they provide us with this many gems we'll … Continue reading List: 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far (25-1)

List: 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far (50-26)

I try not to do lists too often on here, as I'm almost constantly making them in my personal life (it's an issue I'm comfortable with). They can seem like filler material, and too many posts of that ilk render all of them pointless. Last year, at my most indulgent, I attempted to compile a list of … Continue reading List: 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far (50-26)

Pretty Vacancy: Bringitonathon Part 2

Aaaaaand we're back. I'm making good time on this today (I have evening plans, believe it or not). At this rate the aforementioned oven foods may not be needed at all. And despite Bring It On Again, I'm still optimistic that there's some fun to be had here. We've got a lot more ground to cover … Continue reading Pretty Vacancy: Bringitonathon Part 2

Pretty Vacancy: Bringitonathon Part 1

It's April 5th 2015. I've been woken up by church bells calling the faithful to celebrate(?) Easter. I'm not a religious person, so instead I'm sat in a room, alone, with all five Bring It On films for the latest in my often-masochistic occasional series of franchise marathons. I'm about to watch all five in a … Continue reading Pretty Vacancy: Bringitonathon Part 1