Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Director: Sophia Takal Stars: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Cary Elwes In an early scene of Sophia Takal's unfairly derided Black Christmas, Imogen Poots' Riley is selected in her classic literature class to suppose a writer's intention. She responds that the context-free quote speaks of how men think and women feel; that because of this it is a man's … Continue reading Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Review: Doctor Sleep

Director: Mike Flanagan Stars: Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Ewan McGregor Redefining for yourself what constitutes family is a large part of Doctor Sleep. the belated follow-up to both Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Those two precursors are famously divergent. King hated Kubrick's film, which is widely regarded as one of the horror masterpieces. Kubrick altered the … Continue reading Review: Doctor Sleep

Review: Countdown

Director: Justin Dec Stars: Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman At the time of writing there's a news cycle that won't die; a stir caused by Martin Scorsese calling comic book movies 'theme park rides' instead of real cinema. It's become the question to ask anyone in the business who'll answer and, as such, objectivity when … Continue reading Review: Countdown

Review: Wounds

Director: Babak Anvari Stars: Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, Zazie Beetz It makes perfect sense that Annapurna Pictures would snap up the first English language property from Babak Anvari, the British-Iranian director responsible for the deeply effective chiller Under The Shadow. Anvari seemed fully formed right out the gate; a safe bet to deliver an indie … Continue reading Review: Wounds

Review: Ready Or Not

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell Throughout 2012's past-lives cascade Cloud Atlas, a recurring phrase bounces into the mouths of some of its many characters; "The weak are meat, and the strong do eat." It's a neat catchphrase for the theme of exploitation coursing through the intermingled narratives. Ready Or … Continue reading Review: Ready Or Not

Review: IT Chapter Two

Director: Andy Muschietti Stars: Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy Andy Muschietti's IT felt like a culmination of everything popular horror had been trying to do in the cinema for the past 10 years. It was a grandiose, nostalgia-laced funhouse of jump scares. It moved sleekly, it looked gorgeous and - as with King's doorstop source … Continue reading Review: IT Chapter Two

Review: Crawl

Director: Alexandre Aja Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Cso-Cso Genre mainstay Alexandre Aja is no stranger to pitting man against an aquatic menace. Back in 2010, it was his gleefully trashy Piranha 3D that rocked and romped into movie theatres, trashing spring break way before Harmony Korine got a chance to, and giving bespectacled viewers … Continue reading Review: Crawl

How Jaws 2 Addresses The Vietnam War

This isn't a contrary piece arguing in favour of Jaws 2 being anywhere near comparable to Steven Spielberg's original blockbuster. It's quite in vogue for certain publications to float such edgelord opinions. These articles make for juicy clickbait, but often serve little purpose beyond that. No, Jeannot Szwarc's obligatory 1978 sequel to the monster smash … Continue reading How Jaws 2 Addresses The Vietnam War

Review: In Fabric

Director: Peter Strickland Stars:  Fatma Mohamed, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires The sinister manipulations of inanimate objects have long antagonised our cinema screens, as horror filmmakers try to wring out truths about our obsessions with commodities. With things. This decade kicked off with an absurdist entry in the genre, as Quentin Dupieux used the prospect of … Continue reading Review: In Fabric

Review: Toy Story 4

Director: Josh Cooley Stars: Tom Hanks, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves The BBFC certificate card for Toy Story 4 confirms that it is rated U for universal, as expected, but it also advises that the film contains 'mild violence' and 'scary scenes'. A murmur ripples out across the packed cinema audience. 'Scary scenes'? This is a Pixar … Continue reading Review: Toy Story 4

Review: Brightburn

Director: David Yarovesky Stars: Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman With superhero movies smothering the mainstream market, there's a level of despondency that comes from realising that they're now heavily influencing the precious few 'original' ideas that make it through around the margins. For example Brightburn (exec produced by Guardians Of The Galaxy's James Gunn, and … Continue reading Review: Brightburn

Review: Ma

Director: Tate Taylor Stars: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Allison Janney There's an impulse while watching Ma - the latest Blumhouse horror picture to hit multiplexes - to simply reject its premise and let it tumble down. These movies have a tendency to go either way, and for every Get Out there's a Truth Or Dare. Initially it seems … Continue reading Review: Ma

Review: The Perfection

Director: Richard Shepard Stars: Logan Browning, Allison Williams, Steven Weber I've not been well this week, but with flashes of a renewed attention span, I have picked this title at random out of the trash bags of new content heaped onto Netflix on a weekly basis. The Perfection is a riotous misnomer for this scattershot … Continue reading Review: The Perfection

Review: Pet Sematary (2019)

Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer Stars: John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jason Clarke A few years back Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer set the horror scene temporarily ablaze with their dark and beautiful debut Starry Eyes, a lo-fi body horror transformation of the American Dream into the Hollywood Nightmare. How unfortunately prescient Starry Eyes now seems, as the filmmaking duo … Continue reading Review: Pet Sematary (2019)

Review: Us

Director: Jordan Peele Stars: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph Dating back to the 16th century, the psychomanteum was a tool used for channeling spirits from the beyond or other realms of being; a room in which the focal point is a mirror, reflecting only darkness. In modern times, in which filmed storytelling is … Continue reading Review: Us