REVIEW: The Stylist (2020)

dir. Jill Gevargizian. Working evenings at a Kansas City hair salon Claire (Najarra Townsend) is desperately lonely, her only human contact with the barista who serves her morning coffee and the clients who sit in her chair. As the opening scene shows the latter sometimes comes with a surprising level of disclosure as one womanContinue reading “REVIEW: The Stylist (2020)”

REVIEW: Embryo (2020)

dir. Patricio Valladares. Opening with a stunning time-lapse of the night sky spinning overhead, radio chatter informs us that two tourists are missing and a suspicious couple are wanted in connection with their disappearance. The scene cuts to shaky-cam found footage of a woman apparently fleeing, before cutting again to intertitles explaining that Snowdevil MountainContinue reading “REVIEW: Embryo (2020)”

REVIEW: Cyst (2020)

dir. Tyler Russell. Patricia (Eva Habermann) is having a rotten day. Working for mad skin clinician Dr Guy (George Hardy) is bad enough, as he merrily punctures pus filled boils and sends showers of discharge over her, but today’s also the day when he has the patent office in to sign off on his newContinue reading “REVIEW: Cyst (2020)”

REVIEW: The World We Knew (2020)

dir. Matthew Benjamin Jones and Luke Skinner. When a heist goes awry an eclectic band of criminals retreat to a countryside rendezvous, informed by their minder Carpenter (Finbar Lynch) they have a rat in their crew. Handing over their guns and awaiting further instructions, they drink, do coke, tell stories and relive past glories, whilstContinue reading “REVIEW: The World We Knew (2020)”

REVIEW: Woman of the Photographs (2020)

dir. Takeshi Kushida. Kai (Hideki Nagai) spends his days alone: between retouching photos for fretful female clients, attending the local all-male bath-house and evening meals for one (shared with his pet preying mantis), his is a solitary existence. But when he encounters injured influencer Kyoko (Itsuki Otaki) on a woodland walk his cloistered life isContinue reading “REVIEW: Woman of the Photographs (2020)”

REVIEW: Don’t Look Back (2020)

dir. Jeffrey Reddick. Opening with what appears to be a series of real life assaults captured on smart phones Don’t Look Back sets its stall out early: in an age of unparalleled digital recording it is perhaps more common for individuals to film acts of barbarity rather than intervene (alternative title Good Samaritan underscoring thisContinue reading “REVIEW: Don’t Look Back (2020)”

REVIEW: Dead (2020)

dir. Hayden J. Weal. Marbles (Thomas Sainsbury) is a stoner medium: with a concoction of weed and his dad’s cancer meds he can see ghosts, and though this normally allows him to bring comfort to the bereaved and score a few bucks on the side, things go awry when recently-killed cop Tagg (director Weal) tracksContinue reading “REVIEW: Dead (2020)”

REVIEW: Stranger (2019)

dir. Dmitriy Tomashpolskiy. When a team of synchronised swimmers go missing from their pool mid-performance, Inspector Gluhovsky (Anastasiya Yevtushenko) begins an investigation to try and uncover their fate. It’s a thrilling setup for Tomashpolskiy’s weirdly elliptic, genre-bending head trip which, in less ambitious hands, could have been a straight-laced procedural. Instead things unfold as ifContinue reading “REVIEW: Stranger (2019)”

REVIEW: Hail to the Deadites (2020)

dir. Steve Villeneuve. The story of how Sam Raimi – barely out of his teens – made Evil Dead (1981) a grindhouse classic is the stuff of legend. With Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992) also garnering respective cult followings a documentary about the fandom surrounding such a revered franchise had theContinue reading “REVIEW: Hail to the Deadites (2020)”

REVIEW: AV The Hunt (2020) – FrightFest 2020 Digital Edition

dir. Emre Akay. In our hellish political landscape it is often remarked upon how Hulu’s adaption of The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-) is less dystopia, more current affairs. Perhaps not surprising, as Atwood herself confirmed that her novel was based on historical real-life events such as the Salem witch trials. So too here director Akay takesContinue reading “REVIEW: AV The Hunt (2020) – FrightFest 2020 Digital Edition”