Monthly Archives August 2019

A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life

Director: Staten Cousins-Roe

Writer: Staten Cousins-Roe

Cast: Katie Brayben, Poppy Roe, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Sinead Matthews, Sarah Ball, Tomiwa Edun

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 81mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: Lonely, bullied wallflower Lou (Brayben) goes on a soul-searching road trip with life-coach Val, who also happens to be a serial killer.

What’s the verdict: Go Nuts in May would be another title for Staten Cousins-Roe’s feature debut.

The director’s primary target is the army of self-help gurus, pushing mishmash philosophies and empty platitude on the lonely...

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Death of a Vlogger

Director: Graham Hughes

Writer: Graham Hughes

Cast: Graham Hughes, Annabel Logan, Paddy Kondracki, Joma West

Producer: Graham Hughes

Music: Cullah

Cinematography: Kevin Walls

Editor: Graham Hughes

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: A documentary entitled Death of a Vlogger investigates the strange story surrounding a YouTube filmmaker, whose flat is seemingly haunted by a poltergeist.  

What’s the verdict: Ironic for a film about the paranormal, Graham Hughes’ third directorial outing breathes fresh life into the mockumentary format. Wrapped in this initially standard looking horror mock-doc is an effective chiller and a blackly comic spin on social media stardom.

Graham (Hughes) is a likeabl...

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Kindred Spirits (2019)

Director: Lucky McKee

Writers: Chris Sivertson

Cast: Thora Birch, Caitlin Stasey, Sasha Frolova, Macon Blair, Isai Torres

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: Single-mother Chloe (Birch) has a testy relationship with her high school daughter Nicole (Frolova). Things change for better and worse following the arrival of Chloe’s sister, Sadie (Stasey)

What’s the verdict: A paper could be written on the role of woods in Lucky McKee movies (he even made a film titled The Woods back in 2006). He has a knack of shooting them in fairytale fashion as repositories of wonder or menace. The only certainty is, when characters enters the woods, nothing will be the same when they step out.

Kindred Spirits opens with cha...

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Knives and Skin

Director: Jennifer Reeder

Writer: Jennifer Reeder

Cast: Grace Smith, Marika Engelhardt, Kate Arrington, Raven Whitely, Audrey Francis, Ty Olwin, Tim Hopper

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 111mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: In a small midwestern town, the disappearance of a high school girl plays as the backdrop for the lives and intrigues of the townsfolk.

What’s the verdict: Lyrical, engrossing and infuriating, Jennifer Reeder’s magical realist take on teen angst is sometimes too pointed for comfort, but the end result gets under the skin.

Early on, band majorette Carolyn (Whitely) is seen rebuffing the advances of boorish boyfriend Andy (Olwin) during a nocturnal, lakeside tryst...

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The Wind (2018)

Director: Emma Tammi

Writer: Teresa Sutherland

Cast: Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Ashley Zukerman, Dylan McTee, Miles Anderson

Cert: 15

Running time: 86mins

Year: 2018


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What’s the story: When Isaac (Zukerman) is forced to leave his home to tend to a recent tragedy, his wife Lizzie (Gerard) is left alone on the vast expanse of frontier America with only the wind for company. And what that brings with it…

What’s the verdict: A magnificently assured feature debut from director Emma Tammi and writer Teresa Sutherland, The Wind is a five-star announcement of major new talents.

A Gothic Western, over 86-breathless-minutes it unleashes a tornado of psychological and supernatural batterings, leaving you stunned and exhilarated as th...

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Come to Daddy

Director: Ant Timpson

Writer: Toby Harvard

Cast: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Michael Smiley, Martin Donovan

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: Norval (Wood) returns home to reunite with his estranged father. But, he soon discovers the old man (McHattie) is less than pleased to see him.

What’s the verdict: Since making his Lord of the Rings millions, Elijah Wood has explored interesting characters in some particularly off-the-wall movies. Come to Daddy is as left-of-centre as the weirdest of his previous films, from Open Windows to that Maniac remake.

He plays Norval Greenwood, a thirtysomething recovering alcoholic with hair courtesy of Gareth from The Office and a moustache nicked from John Waters...

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Crawl (2019)

Director: Alexandre Aja

Writers: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen

Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper

Cert: 15

Running time: 87mins

Year: 2019



What’s the story: Haley (Scodelario) returns home in a Category 5 storm to reunite with her father (Pepper). She soon finds herself in a flooding house, battling two alligators.

What’s the verdict: Crawl is a perfectly evolved creature feature. A high-concept survival thriller, it keeps low to the ground and shows that all you need to ratchet tension is a confined space, a ticking clock, and maybe a couple of alligators.

With a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on Florida and a widescale evacuation in progress, swim student Haley makes a trip to the old family home, seeking out her estranged ...

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Ghosts in the Machine: Graham Hughes Talks Death of a Vlogger

One of the brightest gems playing the 2019 Arrow Video FrightFest is Graham Hughes’ Death of a Vlogger.

Cannily spinning fresh ideas into the mockumentary and found footage genres, it tells the story of Graham (Hughes himself), a prolific vlogger who accidentally captures on camera an apparently supernatural event. When this and subsequent spooky occurrences go viral, Graham and his pal Erin (Annabel Logan) hire in brash YouTube ghost chaser Steve (Paddy Kondracki) to help them solve the mystery.

As events unfold, reality begins to wobble and characters question if they can really trust anything on the internet.

A smart skewering of online toxicity and a genuinely unnerving ghost story, Death of a Vlogger should be on the watchlist of anyone who likes their horror served w...

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Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writers: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Margaret Qualley, Julia Butters, Al Pacino, Bruce Dern

Cert: 18

Running time: 161mins

Year: 2019


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What’s the story: Los Angeles, August 1969. Has-been actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) grinds out a living guest starring on production line TV shows, backed up by his stuntman Cliff Booth (Pitt). Living next door to Rick is Roman Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate (Robbie).

What’s the verdict: Quentin Tarantino’s 9th movie (if you include Four Rooms and Grindhouse, this is actually the twelfth QT movie we’ve paid to see) sees him use a familiar title gimmick for a movie that dazzles and defies expectations.

His most relaxed movie since Jackie Brown, this ...

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Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood – The Electric Shadows Podcast


Once upon a time in Middlesex, Robs Daniel and Wallis took a good, long look at Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. What better way to tackle an expansive, rambling tapestry of a movie than by having a rambling, discursive chat of their own.

Over 70 minutes the two Robs look at everything from old Hollywood and the rise of the new Hollywood to how Tarantino seems to be making his own statement on women in Hollywood, the troubles of weaving real life tragedy into a wonderland fantasy, how the film treats real life figures Sharon Tate and Bruce Lee, and so much more. Including Burt Reynolds sad passing before he could appear in the film and the unblinking ferocity of Dakota Fanning.

Rob Daniel also muses on the usefulness of Instagram...

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