What About… House of Wax

It seems churlish to say, but for a little while there in the '00s, Hollywood horror movies got really... mean. In spite of Kevin Williamson's injection of post-modernist humour, the '90s weren't a vintage decade for the genre, at least, not in the West. This was kind of surprising, especially considering the pre-millennial tension that … Continue reading What About… House of Wax

Review: The Grudge (2020)

Director: Nicolas Pesce Stars: Andrea Riseborough, John Cho, Frankie Faison Life and movies are filled with mysteries. One of the most puzzling movie mysteries of the 21st century is quite how Takashi Shimizu went from making such a thoroughly chilling entry in the prolific Japanese Grudge series (2002's Ju-On) only to find his brand of horror thoroughly … Continue reading Review: The Grudge (2020)

Review: Rabid (2019)

Directors: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska Stars: Laura Vandervoort, Mackenzie Gray, Hanneke Talbot To 'stan' has become part of the cultural parlance, and even a quick Google will give the uninitiated a definition: To "be an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity". In general usage its applied more casually, I've found. Why bring it … Continue reading Review: Rabid (2019)

Review: Shaft (2019)

Director: Tim Story Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Regina Hall Gordon Parks' 1971 film Shaft is probably the mainstream's flagship title from the blaxploitation run of the era, but it - and its sequels - are also outliers in the subgenre. The majority of the pictures that fall into this bracket were about vigilantes, … Continue reading Review: Shaft (2019)

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: Dumbo (2019)

Director: Tim Burton Stars: Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green "This is a disaster," exclaims Alan Arkin's character during the climactic scenes of Tim Burton's live action Dumbo remake, and given the savaging the film has received from most quarters of the UK press, one might assume that this line will live to take on a … Continue reading Review: Dumbo (2019)

Review: IT

Director: Andy Muschietti Stars: Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard The world is ready for IT. Following last year's breakthrough Netflix plagiarist pop hit Stranger Things, there's a hunger for 80's nostalgia mixed with paranormal / horror elements in a heady mix that's suited for mass consumption. This new adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller absolutely caters … Continue reading Review: IT

Review: The Beguiled

Director: Sofia Coppola Stars: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst The arrival of a new Sofia Coppola film is always cause for excitement. With the triptych of The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation and (the poorly received but enduring) Marie Antoinette she confirmed herself a major talent in American filmmaking, tapping into a thoughtful feminine ennui with her … Continue reading Review: The Beguiled

Review: Ghost In The Shell (2017)

Director:  Rupert Sanders Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano Do you ever find yourself stiff-necked only to realise with horror and contempt for yourself that it's because you've been craning to read your smartphone for too long? The Ghost In The Shell live action remake takes this mild stunting of our natural evolution and expands … Continue reading Review: Ghost In The Shell (2017)

Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Director: Antoine Fuqua Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett Denzel Washington - doggedly the least-interesting A-list actor working today - heads up the cast of this wholly unnecessary retread of John Sturges' 1960 film, itself a derivation of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai; a film which frequently finds itself in the top end of critics' polls of … Continue reading Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

I usually try to get these seen and written as close to release as possible. It's more useful for everyone, right? Yet, when it came to Jon Favreau's remix of The Jungle Book, I found that my usual get-up-and-go had got-up-and-gone. I think the reasons for this are two-fold, if you'll indulge me briefly. 1) I … Continue reading Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Tobe Hooper's 1982 film Poltergeist, while rarely a fixture at the top end of Best Horror lists, has earned itself a rightful position as a classic of its era, thanks in no small part to the considerable influence of Steven Spielberg. Thought of by many as a Spielberg film in all but name, Hooper's film slotted … Continue reading Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Review: Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus

A remake of 70's cult blaxploitation title Ganja & Hess, Spike Lee's latest joint is a Kickstarter funded horror film; his first effort in the genre and one of the precious few recent horrors from a  black creative team. One can bemoan the conspicuous absence of black voices in horror (there was a very interesting article just … Continue reading Review: Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus

Review: Godzilla (2014)

Imagine you've organised a dinner party. You've kept the menu a surprise for your guests, but you've talked up your plans for the evening. Hopefully everyone invited is expecting a really great time. You're excited. Finally the night in question arrives; what all that meticulous crafting has been leading up to. Except when it finally comes, … Continue reading Review: Godzilla (2014)

Review: Carrie (2013)

The variable quality of Stephen King adaptations should probably be kept in mind here. The popular novelist's work can hardly be said to have made it to the screen consistently. Sure, there are notable successes (Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, the efforts of Rob Reiner or Frank Darabont), but more often than not we're presented with incredibly … Continue reading Review: Carrie (2013)