Review: Monstrous

Director: Chris Sivertson Stars: Christina Ricci, Colleen Camp, Santino Barnard Fleeing from an evidently abusive husband with her son Cody (Santino Barnard), pretty-'50s housewife Laura (Christina Ricci) takes up residence in a spacious farmhouse out in the rolling hills of California. While Cody struggles making friends at his new school, Laura starts to feel relatively …

Review: Firestarter (2022)

Director: Keith Thomas Stars: Zac Efron, Gloria Reuben, Ryan Kiera Armstrong Stephen King's Firestarter sits somewhere unassuming toward the bottom of the mid-tier of his work, and the same could be said for it's 1984 adaptation starring a young Drew Barrymore. By this yardstick the call for this remake seems relatively minor, yet here it is. …

Review: Everything Everywhere All At Once

Directors: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis Scheinert and Kwan - collectively 'Daniels' - garnered attention a few years ago with their wantonly strange and anarchic Daniel Radcliffe-is-a-corpse-with-a-boner movie Swiss Army Man; the absurdity of the project gathering the most comment. Still, this oddball calling card showed enough …

Review: Playground

Director: Laura Wandel Stars: Maya Vanderbeque, Günter Duret, Laura Verlinden School years are immensely formative in the development of the individual, and not just for the lessoned learned in the classroom. These monitored spaces are also arenas in which we learn social queues, hierarchies and boundaries. Laura Wandel's intimately-shot Playground intrudes into these spaces with sometimes …

Review: Luzifer

Director: Peter Brunner Stars: Franz Rogowski, Susanne Jensen, Monika Hinterhuber Anyone with a even a cursory eye on European cinema at present will have some understanding of what an incendiary presence Franz Rogowski has become over the past few years, with great work evidenced in collaboration with Christian Petzold (twice now) and Sebastian Meise, among …

Review: Happening

Director: Audrey Diwan Stars: Anamaria Vartolomei, Luàna Bajrami, Fabrizio Rongione  In Audrey Diwan's essential drama Happening (a.k.a. L'Événement), it's protagonist's world is the centre of everything. The fulcrum of every scene. Diwan uses handheld camerawork and deep focus to keep us within the realms of Anne's (Anamaria Vartolomei) persistent mind. Whenever she's at her most …

Review: Agnes

Director: Mickey Reece Stars: Molly C. Quinn, Jake Horowitz, Ben Hall ***Warning, this review contains spoilers, and I would recommend viewing the film with as little foreknowledge as possible*** Sick of the tropes and predictability of cheapo exorcism flicks? So is Mickey Reece. One of the rising stars of the American indie scene, Reece has …

Review: Murina

Director: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović Stars: Gracija Filipović, Danica Curcic, Cliff Curtis Rarely straying from the iridescent seas that lap at the rocky coastline, the feature debut of Croatian filmmaker Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović charts two days in the life of Julija (Gracija Filipović), a teenage girl whose life accompanying her fisherman father Ante (Leon Lucev) has …

Review: The Northman

Director: Robert Eggers Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang The cinema of Robert Eggers is hard and earthen. An arena of of myth and madness fashioned from wood, stone and mud. Three for three he has brought us visions of the past cloaked in moods of dark mysticism entwined with the most exacting period …

Review: Benedetta

Director: Paul Verhoeven Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Virginie Efira, Louise Chevillotte There are notable collisions within Paul Verhoeven's inevitably scandalous Benedetta. In the spirit of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Walerian Borowczyk and a veritable army of others, Verhoeven resurrects the beleaguered spirit of the '70s Euro nunsploitation picture. The sacred and profane assault one another. But there are …

Review: Great Freedom

Director: Sebastian Meise Stars: Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke The box. The hole. Movies and TV have given us many iterations of the darkest depths of solitary confinement in prisons, from Andy Dufresne blinking up into the warden's callous eyes in The Shawshank Redemption to the salacious torture chamber shared by Pam Grier …