Category Reviews

Mother!

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domnhall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson

Cert: 18

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: A young woman is renovating her older husband’s childhood home after a catastrophic fire. But, when strangers appear at the door, events become increasingly unsettling.

What’s the verdict: Mother! is a film for anyone who hates having the family over for Christmas. Or throwing a large party in their home. Because Hell is definitely, defiantly other people in Darren Aronofsky’s extraordinary new movie.

A movie shrouded in secrecy before the emergence of a close-to-release-date trailer that seemed to give away the entire story...

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IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Cary Fukunaga, Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman

Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacbos, Bill Skarsgård, Jackson Robert Scott

Cert: 15

Running time: 135mins

Year: 2017 



What’s the story: In the summer of 1989, almost a year after young Georgie Denbrough is murdered by an evil force, Georgie’s brother Bill and his gang of self-styled Losers vow to defeat whatever is plaguing their town of Derry.

What’s the verdict: After years languishing in the sewers of Development Hell, IT finally reaches cinema screens. And the reaction is one of relief.

Relief that the characters and tone of Stephen King’s macabre magnum opus have survived the transition.

Relief that the decision to mess around with the book’s fla...

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The Villainess

Director: Jung Byung-gil

Writer: Jung Byung-gil, Jung Byeong-sik

Cast: Kim Ok-bin, Sung Jun, Kim Seo-hyeong, Shin Ha-kyun

Cert: 18

Running time: 123mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: After murdering the men who killed her husband, criminal enforcer Sook-hee is recruited by a shadowy agency to become an assassin. But, the past never forgets.

What’s the verdict: Forget Atomic Blonde. The Villainess is 2017’s queen of extreme. And strong contender for the year’s best action flick (yep, it out-firepowers John Wick: Chapter 2).

Jung Byung-gil’s sophomore feature, after 2012’s Confession of Murder, also reminds us how well-orchestrated mayhem can elevate the most standard plot.

The Villainess is thrilling, exciting, even moving, but it’s not original...

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FrightFest 2017 Round-Up

Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 has come and gone. Like any good horror icon, it will be back. But, let us take time to reflect upon a suitably wild eighteenth year for the festival. For the first time we have decided to round-up FrightFest with a series of awards. Awards which we hope will provide a flavour of what FF 2017 was like. So, until FrightFest 2018…


BEST “INTRO & Q&A” AWARD– Jennifer Tilly, Cult of Chucky

“I’m here now, bitches!” If we learnt one thing at FrightFest 2017, it’s that an intro to a movie and said movie’s Q&A will go insane if Jennifer Tilly is in the room. A force of nature, when director Don Mancini was late announcing her she burst onstage with, “I have a thing about people starting without me. But, I’m here now, so continue Don, I would love ...

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Victor Crowley

Director: Adam Green

Writer: Adam Green

Cast: Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz, Kane Hodder, Dave Sheridan, Katie Booth, Felissa Rose, Krystal Joy Brown, Chase Williamson

Cert: 18 (tbc)

Running time: 87mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: The sole survivor of the Hatchet trilogy finds himself facing resurrected monster Victor Crowley, together with a film crew and student filmmakers.

What’s the verdict: Victor Crowley, Hatchet’s disfigured, ‘roided up bogeyman, was thoroughly dead by the end credits of instalment #3.

But, at the request of no less a personage than the late, esteemed George A. Romero, Adam Green has revived Victor for the fans.

All done in that Blair Witch surprise announcement way, with Green’s purported recut of 2006’s Hatchet actually being a brand new movie unveiled a...

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The Terror of Hallow’s Eve

Director: Todd Tucker

Writer: Zack Ward

Cast: Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read, JT Neal, Doug Jones, Eric Roberts, Juliet Landau, Peter Jason

Cert: 15 (tbc)

Running time: 80mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: After being beaten up by local thugs, 15-year-old horror fan Tim inadvertently conjures up an evil spirt to exact revenge.

What’s the verdict: Along with a healthy quotient of thrills and chills, there is a warm glow of nostalgia radiating from The Terror of Hallow’s Eve.

Director Tucker (whose day job is make-up work on everything from Pirates of the Caribbean and Watchmen to Ouija: Origin of Evil and The Smurfs) and writer Ward clearly love their 80s fantasy movies. With this film they have made a love letter to The Thing, Halloween, Funhouse and Alien...

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Criterion Collection: Lord of the Flies (1963)

Director: Peter Brook

Writer: None credited

Cast: Jack Aubrey, Hugh Edwards, Tom Chapin, Tom Gaman

Cert: PG

Running time: 92mins

Year: 1963


Film: medium_5
Extras:
medium_5


What’s the story: Young schoolboys, stranded on a tropical island after a plane crash, degenerate into warring beasts. Ralph (Aubrey) and Piggy (Edwards) attempt to maintain order. But, the other boys are more drawn to the violent choirboy Jack (Chapin).

What’s the verdict: Always depressing to declare a film about man’s innate barbarism is as relevant today as when released almost 55-years ago. But, Peter Brook’s Lord of the Flies, adapted from William Golding’s novel published almost 65-years ago, remains a cautionary fable.

The irresistible premise was borne of Golding’s musing to his wife, how would the child characters...

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Imitation Girl

Director: Natasha Kermani

Writer: Natasha Kerman

Cast: Lauren Ashley Carter, Neimah Djourabchi, Sanam Erfani, Catherine Mary Stewart, Adam David Thompson, Lewis Black

Cert: 15 (tbc)

Running time: 84mins

Year: 2017




What’s the story: In New Mexico, an alien being falls to earth and adopts the form of young New York porn actress, Julianna Fox. Taken in by an Iranian man and his sister, the alien begins assimilating with humankind. In New York, Julianna is having greater difficulty doing the same.

What’s the verdict: Natasha Kermani’s Imitation Girl is one 2017’s real discoveries. As exciting as fellow Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was when it wowed audiences in 2014.

A mumblecore take on The Man Who Fell to Earth and Under the ...

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It Stains the Sands Red

Director: Colin Minihan

Writer: Colin Minihan, Stuart Ortiz

Cast: Brittany Allen, Juan Riedinger, Merwin Mondesir

Cert: (18 tbc)

Running time: 92mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: A woman is forced to flee across the Nevada desert when she attracts the unwanted attention of a doggedly persistent zombie.

What’s the verdict: The zombie apocalypse has happened and the undead won. They’ve conquered movies, TV, books, comics, games, charity events, and the happiest day of your life.

And devoured any scrap of originality left on the picked clean carcass of George A. Romero’s classic, The Night of the Living Dead.

Meaning Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz’s It Stains the Sands Red is cause for celebration. Seemingly having ditched their previous nom de cinema, The Vicious Brothers, the ...

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Cult of Chucky

Director: Don Mancini

Writer: Don Mancini

Cast: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, Elisabeth Rosen, Adam Hurtig, Michael Therriault, Grace Lynn Kung

Cert: 18

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: After being wrongly convicted of the murders in Curse of Chucky, Nica Pierce resides in a remote mental institution. When Chucky reappears, courtesy of psychotic vamp Tiffany, Nica attempts to prevent the killing restarting. Andy, Chucky’s original object of torment, has a plan to help her.

What’s the verdict: Despite this being his seventh movie outing, Chucky has always been a second-tier 80s horror icon when placed beside Freddy, Jason and Michael.

Maybe it’s because a snotty brat gets up people’s noses...

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