ANALYSIS: The Power of the Losers in IT (1990)

Spoilers Much like Pennywise’s cyclical slumber, there was a 27 year gap between the original TV adaptation of IT in 1990 and Andy Muschietti’s big screen iteration. But what did the mini-series have to say about its central septych of characters, the Losers Club? Kim Morrison heads back to Derry to find out… The mini-series […]

REVIEW: The Feast (2021)

dir. Lee Haven Jones An incredibly tense Welsh language folk horror, The Feast follows the traditional trope of city-folk-versus-rural-countryside but with more guts than your average The Wicker Man clone. Written by producer Roger Williams, director Haven Jones’ feature debut takes place mainly in a large, modern house that’s completely at odds with the surrounding […]

ANALYSIS: Green is the Future – examining relationships in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) and THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017)

Kim Morrison dives into two creature features to explore how sub-aquatic relationships might offer a way of decoding real-world romances… Monsters falling in love with human women is something that pops up in the horror genre quite often. From King Kong climbing the Empire State Building with Ann clasped in his hand or Dracula romancing […]

REVIEW: Ghosts of the Ozarks (2021)

dir. Matt Glass & Jordan Wayne Long America’s history has often proved fertile ground for horror, with the wrenching, destabilising energy it took to claim the country proving rich soil for creatives. As such there is real potential with this feature debut from co-directors Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long, based on their 2016 short: […]

REVIEW: A Pure Place (2021)

dir. Nikias Chryssos On a remote, post-apocalyptic Greek island a cult run by enigmatic leader Fust (Sam Louwyck). This is a society where cleanliness is close to godliness and children are abducted, forced into slavery to produce soap emblazoned with the creepy boss’ name. In Fust’s world dirt – or the lack of – is […]

REVIEW: The Family (2021)

dir. Dan Slater In a nondescript time and place, a family unit – headed by a pair of brutal parental figures – closely resembles a cult, complete with a religious belief system. As the children of this ‘family’ seek to please their ‘parents’ it begins to tear apart the very fabric of their clan. From […]

REVIEW: Ego (2021)

dir. Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas What would you do if, whilst scrolling through a dating app, you found yourself? Would you report it, or try and deal with it alone? This is what Paloma (María Pedraza) does when met with her identical self, and whilst it seems like a fun coincidence at first things soon turn sinister […]

REVIEW: Woodland Grey (2021)

dir. Adam Rider When lone forest dweller William (Ryan Blakely) discovers injured hiker Emily (Jenny Raven) the pair are forced to coexist. Tensions rise however when Emily discovers a terrible secret William has locked up in the shed next to his campervan, and she unknowingly unleashes a horror into the woods that neither of them […]

REVIEW: Cross the Line (2020)

dir. David Victori Boasting the aesthetic of Gaspar Noé without actually being a Noé film director David Victori’s sophomore outing focuses on Dani (Mario Casas), a young man whose father has just died and who’s challenged by his sister Laura (Elisabeth Larena) to step out of his comfort zone and travel the world. The result […]

INTERVIEW: writer/director Timothy Covell and producer Christina Behnke, BLOOD CONSCIOUS (2021)

In a special interview, Jeremiah Kipp (writer/director, Slapface) speaks with real-life couple writer/director Timothy Covell and producer Christina Behnke to discuss their feature Blood Conscious, which has just landed on Shudder US…   What starts out as a family vacation for Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje), his sister Brittney (DeShawn White) and her boyfriend Tony (Lenny Thomas) as […]

REVIEW: The Last Rite (2021)

dir. Leroy Kincaide Medical student Lucy (Bethan Waller) is having a rough time: stressed out by her dissertation and borderline abusive boyfriend, she begins to suffer from sleep paralysis and is soon haunted by a shadowy figure that starts to pursue her in her waking life. After struggling to keep the unknown presence at bay […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: “Mother’s Here” – Freud, Motherhood and Feminism in VERTIGO (1958)

As co-writer of the Hitchcockian Broadcast Signal Intrusion, Phil Drinkwater knows a thing or two about layered, cyclic mysteries. Here in a special guest essay for our Hitchcock’s Women series he tumbles through the dizzying dualism of gender in Hitch’s Vertigo… Many of the filmmakers of the 40s and 50s might be described as Freudians, […]

INTERVIEW: Phil Drinkwater, writer BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION (2021)

“We have a history of self-sabotage that I’m kind of proud of. The work always comes first.” After tearing up the festival circuit last year, Broadcast Signal Intrusion is finally coming home on Blu-ray. Here we sit down with co-writer Phil Drinkwater to discuss his labyrinthine world of neo-noir and physical media… You’ve got a […]

ANALYSIS: Mommy’s Little Monsters – Motherhood in Horror

This Mother’s Day, Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana unpacks the darker side of motherhood… There is very little else in the entirety of a person’s life that is as frightening as reproducing, giving birth to and raising a tiny human whose survival instinct – unlike that of most animals – doesn’t kick in properly until their late teens. […]

ANALYSIS: “So many pretty parts, no pretty wholes” – MAY (2002), Twenty Years On

Spoilers Ariel Powers-Schaub examines the lasting legacy of Lucky McKee’s incendiary directorial debut… Despite being twenty years old May (2002) remains painfully incisive today, containing themes which still feel relevant for 2022. Focused on the eponymous May (Angela Bettis), the film follows her as she works at an animal hospital, sews her own clothing and makes […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: A Woman in Danger – Eve Kendall in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) – PART II

Rebecca McCallum concludes her analysis of North By Northwest, part of her Hitchcock’s Women series. Degrees of Deception Themes of reality and pretence pervade North by Northwest with Eve (Eva Marie Sant) herself leading multiple lives of the secret agent, a kept woman of Vandamm (James Mason) and the love interest to Roger (Cary Grant). Both Eve and Roger have […]

REVIEW: The Cellar (2022)

dir. Brendan Muldowney When advertising execs Kiera (Elisha Cuthbert) and Brian (Eoin Macken) move their family into a gothic mansion in the Irish countryside, they’re hoping to build a better life for their two kids – particularly teen Ellie (Abby Fitz) who seems moody and disconnected. Their new home is anything but a safe space […]

REVIEW: Freaks Out (2021)

dir. Gabriele Mainetti Early on in Freaks Out, director Gabriele Mainetti’s fascinating sophomore effort, we witness a circus in full swing, the camera dancing between each act exhibiting their ‘powers’. Mainetti takes time to show the awe and wonder these performers inspire: all of which is interrupted by the reality of war as the circus […]

REVIEW: Some Like It Rare (2021)

dir. Fabrice Éboué Everyone enjoys a good love story. But when affections begin to fade, are there any lengths too extreme to reignite that forgotten spark? For Vincent (director Fabrice Éboué) and Sophie Pascal (Marina Foïs), the answer is a deranged no. The owners of a failing butcher shop, the couple stumble upon a stroke […]

REVIEW: The Ledge (2022)

dir. Howard J. Ford Kelly (Brittany Ashworth) captures the murder of her best friend Sophie (Anaïs Parello) on her camcorder after one of the male members of their rock climbing group attempts to sexually assault her. Attempting to flee, Kelly soon realises that the only escape route is up, and begins to scale a gigantic […]

REVIEW: Mandrake (2022)

dir. Lynne Davison Parole officer Cathy (Deirdre Mullins) has a troubled family life, but soon finds her problems worsen when she’s allocated the case of released killer ‘Bloody’ Mary Laidlaw (Derbhle Crotty). Despite having been in prison for twenty years Mary soon returns to certain practices, and so when two children go missing nearby Cathy’s […]

REVIEW: Wyrmwood: Apocalypse (2021)

dir. Kiah Roache-Turner Indie darlings Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner made a name for themselves in the horror community thanks to their 2014 festival favourite Wyrmwood (which is perhaps as loved for the underdog story that marked that film’s journey to the screen – shot on weekends for years – as for anything in the work […]

REVIEW: You Are Not My Mother (2021)

dir. Kate Dolan According to lore, a “changeling” is where sinister faerie folk swap a human child for a fae baby. But what if it wasn’t a child that was switched, but the mother? Despite being a country rich in folkloric traditions, Ireland’s contribution to folk horror cinema has rather paled in comparison to her British […]

REVIEW: Homebound (2021)

dir. Sebastian Godwin There’s something intrinsically ominous about arriving at a house where you expect someone to be, and them not being there. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself that something just came up and they’ll be back any moment, there’s often a niggling feeling that they’re dead in a ditch or […]

REVIEW: A Cloud So High (2022)

dir. Christopher Lee Parson Utilizing psychedelic visuals, recurring echoes and a whole slew of differing – and at times clashing – themes, Christopher Lee Parson’s feature debut attempts to capture the mental breakdown of a young man recently discharged from the military as he returns to a dysfunctional home, and a society that doesn’t know […]

REVIEW: Let The Wrong One In (2021)

dir. Conor McMahon What if your brother showed up on your doorstep and asked for your help? How about if you didn’t really get along, and on top of that, he’d turned into a vampire? That’s the situation Matt (Karl Rice) is faced with when his irresponsible big bro Deco (Eoin Duffy) appears one morning […]

REVIEW: Night’s End (2022)

dir. Jennifer Reeder Shut-in movies have – for obvious reasons – become more common post-COVID, and the horror genre is a natural home for them; they can be particularly effective when characters feel unable to leave their safe space, even after it has been invaded by a hostile entity. Delving into ‘lockdown horror’, the new […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: A Woman in Danger – Eve Kendall in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) – PART I

Conflict, control and coolness: Rebecca McCallum continues her regular series examining gender in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, focusing this month on his seminal spy thriller… A secret agent, an accomplice to a gang of kidnappers, or a woman falling in love with an advertising executive? Throughout what is often referred to as the most […]

INTERVIEW: Jeremiah Kipp, writer / director SLAPFACE (2021)

Trigger warning for bullying and child abuse After opening to critical acclaim on the festival circuit last year, Jeremiah Kipp’s Slapface has just dropped on Shudder. Here Tim Coleman sits down with the writer / director to talk about bullying, parents and making friends with monsters… Slapface is based on your 2018 short film of […]

ANALYSIS: “You’ve got to live in the now, girls” – Past, present and the paranormal in LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (2021)

Spoilers Marking director Edgar Wright’s return to horror, Last Night in Soho threw the audience several curveballs. With the film out this week on DVD and Blu-ray, Melissa Cox untangles the threads of time, space, mental health and hauntings… When I watched the trailers for Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho, I didn’t expect that […]

ANALYSIS: The 90’s Slasher Cycle

In 1996, Scream changed everything. But what came next? Becky Darke breaks it down… The state of slasher films in the 1990s is notorious among horror fans, following a period of over-saturation from juggernaut franchises and, later, the subgenre’s rejuvenation through director Wes Craven’s and writer/producer Kevin Williamson’s spearheading of teen slashers 2.0.  A new […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: A Marked Woman – Alicia Huberman in NOTORIOUS (1946) – PART II

Rebecca McCallum concludes her analysis of Notorious, part of her Hitchcock’s Women series. A Pawn In A Game of Chess Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) is constantly shown as an instrument used under the instruction of – and for the purpose of – men, be it her father, Devlin (Cary Grant), the intelligence agency, the Commodore (Charles Mendl) or Sebastian (Claude Rains). […]

TOP 10: Supernatural Slashers

Sometimes, they come back. Kim Morrison aims for the head as she counts down the Top 10 times that slashers went supernatural… Slasher movies often follow a formula so simple that Randy had a whole rant about it in Scream (1996). There’s a killer, often in a memorable mask and/or costume, who likes stalking and […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: A Marked Woman – Alicia Huberman in NOTORIOUS (1946) – PART I

Spoilers In the latest instalment of her Hitchcock’s Women series, Rebecca McCallum goes undercover with a tale of sex, spies and second chances… Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is the daughter of a Nazi spy who, in the film’s opening, finds himself facing a life sentence for being an American traitor. Juggling coming to terms with her […]

ANALYSIS: The Final Girl of Our Dreams

Spoilers Rebecca McCallum assesses the journey of Nancy and Heather across the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise… Fearless and tenacious, with an inner fight that will not be quashed, Nancy Thompson is one of horror’s most adored and memorable final girls, brought to life by the incomparable Heather Langenkamp, who – as director Wes Craven […]

ANALYSIS: Complicated Views on Family in MALIGNANT (2021)

Spoilers Horror fans always have a lot to say, something especially true regarding James Wan’s latest, Malignant. I loved it, from the campy beginning to bonkers ending, and immediately knew it would become part of my regular rotation. In particular I adored how Malignant tackled a topic I haven’t seen much in horror lately: family […]

INTERVIEW: Damian Mc Carthy, director CAVEAT (2020)

Spoilers As part of our end of year review, we sat down with director Damian Mc Carthy to talk all things Caveat, one of the scariest – and best – films of the year…  I understand Caveat had a troubled journey to the screen. What happened? In 2016 we tried to raise a small amount […]

TOP 10: Films of 2021

It’s been another tough year across the board, but horror cinema has continued to thrive, showcasing a veritable smorgasbord of incredible films. Here we polled our contributors to come up with our Top 10 of 2021… 10. Come True Anthony Scott Burns’ film is a cracking combination of Carpenter and Craven, a nightmarish journey with […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: Murder in Mind – Lina Asygarth in SUSPICION (1941) – PART II

Spoilers Rebecca McCallum concludes her analysis of Suspicion, part of her Hitchcock’s Women series exclusively for Moving Pictures Film Club. The Spell of Murder Is Cast    Whilst out driving one afternoon, Johnnie asks Lina if she has any regrets marrying him, a question she adroitly turns around on him, possibly because she is worried she […]

REVIEW: Slumber Party Massacre (2021)

dir. Danishka Esterhazy In a cabin in the woods a group of college-aged girlfriends party in their PJs, eat pizza and talk about their sex lives, blissfully unaware of a shadow at the window. Perhaps it’s a skeezy ex-boyfriend; perhaps it’s someone else. Either way, before long a killer with a phallic shaped weapon will […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: Murder in Mind – Lina Asygarth in SUSPICION (1941) – PART I

Spoilers Darkness, doubt and the art of compromise: Rebecca McCallum continues her Hitchcock’s Women series with another deep dive into a tale of gender and intrigue… Suspicion offers a portrait of one of Hitchcock’s most unlikely couples. Lina (Joan Fontaine) is bookish, prim and respectable. By contrast, her love interest Johnnie (Cary Grant) is a […]

TOP 10: Winter Horror Reads

Looking for something spooky to keep you warm these winter months? Mark Goddard – host of the Bloody Good Reads podcast – has got you covered… As a book podcaster I’ve had the pleasure of delving into some amazing titles over the years. From boys and their monsters to backwoods creatures and a final race […]

REVIEW: Shepherd (2021)

dir. Russell Owen Following the death of his pregnant wife, Eric Black (Tom Hughes) takes a job on a remote Scottish island as a shepherd. Maybe some breathing room will help him heal, but as the ferrywoman (Kate Dickie) who facilitates his crossing remarks, he’s either escaping or running. Which of these it is – […]

REVIEW: Link (1986)

dir. Richard Franklin When one thinks of horror and apes conversation invariably turns to King Kong, that towering beast who climbs buildings and fights dinosaurs. But in 1986 director Richard Franklin – off the back of Psycho II, Roadgames and Patrick – brought a new type of simian-based fear to the screen in the form […]

ANALYSIS: Dinner is Served – A Tasting Menu of Mealtimes in Horror

Spoilers Family get-togethers can be hell. This Thanksgiving, Rebecca McCallum pulls up a chair at the worst dinners in horror history… Mealtimes are often seen as a communal event: a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy drinks, nourishment and good conversation. Horror cinema shines a light on such occasions, exploiting the […]

ANALYSIS: Cop killer / Killer cop – in defence of SPIRAL (2021)

Spoilers Is the latest instalment of the 00s goreno franchise actually great? Tim Coleman makes the case… When Spiral: From the Book of Saw was released earlier this year – ostensibly the 9th entry in the infamous “torture porn” saga – it was greeted with mixed reactions. Whilst some praised it as “the most political […]

HITCHCOCK’S WOMEN: Fighting the Waves of the Past – Mrs de Winter in REBECCA (1940) – PART I

Returning with the latest instalment of our Hitchcock’s Women series, Rebecca McCallum dreams of Manderley again… In his adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca, Hitchcock channels the gothic and ghostly to maximum effect. When a young (and unnamed) companion (Joan Fontaine) meets and marries the brooding, melancholic and affluent Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) […]

REVIEW: Alone With You (2021)

dir. Emily Bennett & Justin Brooks Horror can lift our spirits, bring us joy and help us escape reality: but it’s also a genre that can devastate, punch audiences in the gut and expose the darkness that exists. This is where Alone With You hits, a film opening with lightness and hope before giving way […]

REVIEW: Val (2021)

dir. Aaron Fradkin Taking a familiar set-up (an on-the-run criminal breaks into the home of a high-class escort) this latest work from director Aaron Fradkin (who co-writes with Victoria Fratz) skilfully manages to break free of predictability. For Val, both the character and film, is a breath of fresh air. Delightfully breezy without taking itself […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #31: Kevin Lehane on HALLOWEEN (1978)

Spoilers Kevin Lehane – writer of monster movie Grabbers and co-host of The Best Bits pod – closes out our #31DaysOfHorror series by talking about the first film he ever saw… Before I turned six, I wasn’t really aware of films. I was growing up in Surrey, England, and watching TV on my dad’s lap […]

REVIEW: Miracle Valley (2021)

dir. Greg Sestero A work whose reputation proceeds it, Miracle Valley draws from American cults and fashions a narrative that is initially interesting, before becoming a bit tired. Following photographer David (Greg Sestero) and his girlfriend Sarah (Angela Mariano) as they journey out to a desert holiday destination and meet up with friends, it starts […]

REVIEW: Amulet (2020)

dir. Romola Garai Bats are on the menu with this slow build debut from actress-turn-director Romola Garai: but under the great build-up and gritty set design things fall into the familiar trap of over-egging the surrealism to the detriment of the final film. Amulet follows former soldier Tomas (Alec Secareanu) who – having escaped to […]

REVIEW: Last Survivors (2021)

dir. Drew Mylrea Troy (Stephen Moyer) and his adult son Jake (Simon Lees) live off the grid in the snowy wilderness. Together they must fight for survival as Troy warns his son of the impending doom that awaits them if they venture too far outside their self-imposed boundaries, shooting any outsiders that stumble upon them. […]

REVIEW: Barbarians (2021)

dir. Charles Dorfman In an executive housing complex near a Druidic stone, two middle-class couples meet for a dinner party to eat, drink wine and – hopefully – sign papers which will secure one of the pairs owning their new home. But as the evening draws on, with New Age drumming nearby, relationships unfurl to […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #29: Tim Coleman on IT FOLLOWS (2014)

Spoilers Moving Pictures editor Tim Coleman is sure someone’s following him – and getting ever closer – in David Robert Mitchell’s 2014 neo-slasher… A woman runs, terrified, from her house. She’s dressed in silky nightwear and heels, her eyes fixed on something – as yet – invisible. A neighbour asks if she needs help: no. […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #28: Martin Gentles on ONIBABA (1964)

Spoilers Martin Gentles – producer of Netflix horror sensation His House – talks about Kaneto Shindô erotic 1964 folk horror, and the impact it’s had on his own career… When I was first approached to write a piece about my favourite horror film, I found it near impossible to decide which one to pick. There […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #27: Jeremiah Kipp on CANDYMAN (1992)

Jeremiah Kipp – writer / director of recent festival hit Slapface – talks urban legends, liminal creatures and the art that lasts forever… “I am rumor. It is a blessed condition, believe me. To be whispered about at street corners. To live in other people’s dreams, but not to have to be. Do you understand?” […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #26: Becky Darke on THE OMEN (1976)

Spoilers Becky Darke – co-host of the Don’t Point That Horror At Me and Return to Eerie, Indiana podcasts – unpacks lies, consequences and the Antichrist in one of the most famous occult films of all time… Richard Donner’s The Omen. The 1976 classic occult horror movie about a satanic plot to implant the Antichrist […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #25b: Phil Drinkwater on TENEBRAE (1982)

Spoilers In our second slice of Argento-appreciation today, Phil Drinkwater – co-writer of the critically acclaimed Broadcast Signal Intrusion – peels back the layers of this one-time “video nasty”… I spent most of my youth in a perpetual search for video nasties; a hunter-gatherer focused entirely on That Which Should Not Be SeenTM. As the […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #25a: Simon Rance on TENEBRAE (1982)

Spoilers In the first of a double lashing of Argento-themed madness today, Simon Rance – part of the Cinema Under The Stairs (CUTS) team – waxes lyrical about this slice of Italian deep red… Many thought it a peculiar choice for Dario Argento to return to the giallo scene in which he made his name […]

REVIEW: Hellbender (2021)

dir. John Adams, Zelda Adams & Toby Poser A mother and her daughter Izzy (played by directors Proser and Zelda Adams respectively) live out in the woods, keeping to themselves. But as Izzy grows up she becomes aware that there is something more to her family: they have a power that is intoxicating but also, […]

REVIEW: Mad God (2021)

dir. Phil Tippett Opening with an operatic score, we cut to what appears to be the Tower of Babel, a conical structure thrust into a blood-red sky with a dark figure atop. In the biblical narrative, the tower was a sign of mankind’s rebellion against God – a collective attempt to touch heaven through human […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #23: Dan Martin on AUDITION (1999)

Spoilers From his effects work in recent genre mega-hits Host, Censor and Possessor, to co-hosting the Arrow Video Podcast, Dan Martin knows his horror. Here he unpacks his first encounter with one of the most shocking films in the genre’s history… It was the year 2000 and I’d been properly bitten by the J-Horror bug. […]

REVIEW: We Need to Do Something (2021)

dir. Sean King O’Grady There is something wonderful to be said for a simple story: a single location, a primitive struggle for survival, the complexities of family dynamics condensed into ninety-seven minutes of horror. This is the offer of director Sean King O’Grady’s mid-pandemic feature debut.  After a storm forces a family to seek shelter […]

REVIEW: Tin Can (2020)

dir. Seth A. Seth Set during a parasitic outbreak, parasitoligist Fret (Anna Hopkins) must work against the clock to make scientific breakthroughs towards a cure as the world, and those close to her, fall victim to the horrific symptoms. However, whilst out on a break, she is attacked by an unknown assailant and awakes to […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #22: Andy Stewart on SOCIETY (1989)

Spoilers Andy Stewart – filmmaker and co-host of the Strong Language & Violent Scenes podcast – mixes with high-Society in Brian Yuzna’s infamous gru-fest… A suited man looks on impassively as a blonde woman in a figure-hugging blue dress removes her face. Literally. Pulls her face off like it’s a mask. This image, on a […]

REVIEW: Dashcam (2021)

dir. Rob Savage If one conducted a census, there would probably be only three people left in the country who have not seen Host, the scorchingly inventive micro-budget debut co-written by director Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd, and filmed during lockdown. Expectations were, therefore, almost stratospheric for the team’s follow-up feature, this time […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #21: Mark Goddard on HUSH (2016)

Spoilers Mark Goddard – editor of Snakebite Horror and host of the Bloody Good Reads podcast – examines how Mike Flanagan’s home invasion chiller changed his relationship with horror… When I was asked to take part in this amazing 31 Days of Horror feature a few films came to mind: should I go for an […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #20: Vincent M. Gaine on BRIGHTBURN (2019)

Spoilers Film critic, academic and podcaster Dr Vincent M. Gaine grabs the cape of David Yarovesky’s superhero horror… If you’re a fan of Marvel, you may have been watching the animated series What If? on Disney+. Within these self-contained spin-offs, Marvel deliver some pretty dark stories, distinct from the generally bright and colourful tone of […]

ANALYSIS: “Evil Dies Tonight” / “Make America Great Again” – Trump, Myers and Right-Wing American Hysteria in HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)

Spoilers It’s the most divisive genre film of the year: but could David Gordon Green’s Halloween sequel be the first great post-Trump horror? The traumatic aftermath of slasher films are often glossed over: in early entries the deaths were comparatively quick and clean, and even when the subgenre edged into more sadistic territory there was […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #16: Mary Wild on EAT (2014)

Spoilers “Eat Your Heart Out”: Freudian cinephile Mary Wild – lecturer at the Freud Museum and co-host of the Projections Podcast – takes a bite out of this underseen auto-cannibal movie… Jimmy Weber’s horror film Eat (2014) opens with out-of-work actress Novella McClure (Meggie Maddock) going through the steps of her morning routine, getting ready […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #14: Prof G Neil Martin on CANARIES (2017)

Professor of Psychology G Neil Martin gives a neglected Welsh horror-comedy a thorough re-appraisal… A man, clearly in distress, lies on the ground. It’s dark; could be night. He’s wearing a yellow rain coat. Rain falls hard. His eyes are exopthalmic, lips tight against the onslaught of water. He’s prone, but around his wrists are […]

REVIEW: For Roger (2021)

dir. Aaron Bartuska Influenced by low budget hit The Blair Witch Project, Aaron Bartuska’s second feature follows the titular Roger (Michael Andrusiewicz) as he returns to his family’s remote cabin after the death of partner Clara (Jenna Gibilisco). Once there he reminisces over home videos, but as time goes by Roger realises that he and […]

REVIEW: Father of Flies (2021)

dir. Ben Charles Edwards Flecked with tinges of the American gothic, director Ben Charles Edwards’ sophomore outing is a slowly creeping, dark and tragic insight into a family who are haunted by unimaginable trauma. Young Michael (Keaton Tetlow) and his teenage sister Donna (Page Ruth) attempt to come to terms with their absent mother and […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #13: Zoë Rose Smith on BASKIN (2015)

Spoilers ‘You Carry Hell With You’: Zoë Rose Smith – Editor-in-Chief of Ghouls Magazine – explores masculinity and mental health in Can Evrenol’s Turkish shocker… The first time my therapist asked me to be open and honest with my unresolved trauma, we likened it to breaking the chains on a metaphorical latch, and simply unlocking […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #12: Mitch Bain on AFTER MIDNIGHT (2019)

Spoilers Mitch Bain – host of the Strong Language & Violent Scenes pod and composer for A Ghost Waits (2020) – writes here about the many monsters of After Midnight… While there are countless horror films across all subgenres that use a literal monster as a metaphor for a deeper, more personal conflict, few fuse […]

REVIEW: Blast a.k.a. Déflagrations (2021)

dir. Vanya Peirani-Vignes Sonia (Nora Arnezader) works for a private company that specializes in de-mining and de-rigging bombs, a line of work which comes home when she finds herself trapped in a car rigged with explosives, along with her son and her partner’s daughter. Now she and her colleagues must race against the clock before they […]

REVIEW: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021)

dir. Jane Schoebrun Director Schoebrun‘s feature debut taps into something very primal in us all: a need to belong, and find our place in the world. But what happens when the world, in all its glory and horror, is merely a click away? Late one cold night teenager Casey (Anna Cobb) decides to take the […]

REVIEW: The Guest Room a.k.a. La Stanza (2021)

dir. Stefano Lodovichi When a knock at the door prevents Stella (Camilla Filippi) from going through with her plan to kill herself, a stranger arrives who seems to know slightly too much about her. Things get even more complicated when her ex-husband, whose departure is the catalyst for her suicidal intentions, returns to the house. […]

REVIEW: The Righteous (2021)

dir. Mark O’Brien Following the death of their daughter, former priest Frederic (Henry Czerny) spends his days grieving with wife Ethel (Mimi Kuzyk), and – although both are bearing up stoically under the weight of their crushing loss – a dread claws at the edges of Frederic’s psyche: wracked with Catholic guilt, he can’t shake […]

REVIEW: Tarumama a.k.a. Llanto Maldito (2021)

dir. Andres Beltran Director Beltran’s sophomore feature follows a couple whose marriage is on rocky ground. Their solution? A family holiday with their two children to a cabin in the woods. Any horror fan can judge this to be a poor idea, and soon things are going bump in the night as they start to […]

31 DAYS OF HORROR #10: James Rodrigues on NEAR DARK (1987)

Spoilers Film critic James Rodrigues takes a desert road-trip with Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire Western… When I first stumbled across Near Dark on Film4 late one night, I was unsure what to expect. My knowledge at the time was how this vampire film starred the less-interesting Petrelli brother from TV’s Heroes, and it had received a […]

REVIEW: Shot in the Dark a.k.a. Moon Lane (2021)

dir. Keene McRae That sound you can hear is the audience catching their breath after an hour and a half in the company of this taut, chilling, purposefully unpleasant watch. Landing us in an American town gripped by fear and paranoia as a serial killer prowls the streets, Shot in the Dark focuses on a […]

REVIEW: Happy Times (2019)

dir. Michael Mayer Michael Mayer’s second feature comes from the robust subgenre of a dinner party gone wrong. A group of ‘friends’ join together for a meal in a swanky house in the middle of LA, where long standing resentments and simmering tension give way to explosive outbursts of violence. The roster of characters are […]

REVIEW: The Deep House (2021)

dir. Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury A couple of social media influencers (Camille Rowe and James Jagger) travel to abandoned buildings to film content in their never-ending pursuit of clicks and subscribers. As an early sequence shows – where they explore an old sanitorium – their footage verges on the macabre, catering to an audience […]

REVIEW: The Pizzagate Massacre (2020)

dir. John Valley Karen (Alexandria Payne) is a tenacious reporter intent on exposing a conspiracy theory that’s being pushed by a sensationalist news outlet. Having recruited a militia man named Duncan (Tinus Seaux) for security, together they fall deeper down a conspiracist rabbit hole with disastrous and violent consequences. Due to rapidly developing online technology, […]

REVIEW: The Spore (2021)

dir. D.M. Cunningham D.M. Cunningham’s feature debut is certainly timely, chronicling the devastating impact of a respiratory illness on an initially disconnected group of strangers. As these individuals go about their day-to-day lives we see more and more signs of a virus taking hold as the narrative aims to show the sprawling nature of an […]

REVIEW: Seagull (2019)

dir. Peter Blach Secrets, lies and familial trauma are at the centre of this horror-adjacent drama debut from Peter Blach. Focusing on a family in a seaside town whose past is defined by tragedy, the narrative is kick-started by a returning daughter who’s spent nearly a decade living as a recluse on a near-by beach. […]


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