directorial debut tagged posts

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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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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Cop This! Mike Mort Talks Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

Mike Mort’s infectiously fun mash-up of 80s action clichés and horror tropes has been a pet-project years in the making. Chuck Steel himself (imagine Dirty Harry without the sensitivity training) has been percolating with the writer/director since his teens.

The 14-minute short Chuck Steel: Raging Balls of Steel Justice played the festival circuit in 2013 and set the template for Steel’s feature debut. Lovingly detailed Claymation style stop-motion animation, violent splatter, unabashedly un-PC jokes broad enough that no-one should take to Twitter…!

We sat down with Mort to discuss the making of his glorious mash-up of Wallace and Gromit and Stallone’s Cobra. 


Rob Daniel: I had a blast with Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires...

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The Ranger

Director: Jenn Wexler

Writer: Giaco Furino, Jenn Wexler

Cast: Chloe Levine, Jeremy Holm, Granit Lahu, Amanda Grace Benitez

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 77mins

Year: 2018


 


What’s the story: A gang of punks flee to the woods in upstate New York after a violent run-in with law enforcement. But, Chelsea (Levine) has history with the park’s ranger (Holm), a man with a rigid attitude to enforcing the rules.

What’s the verdict: Jenn Wexler scores a horror home run with her confident directorial debut. Equal parts Green Room, Friday the 13th and The Blair Witch Project, The Ranger rises above empty pastiche due to Wexler’s deft shuffling of tones and Chloe Levine’s nuanced lead performance.

A disquieting pre-credits prologue opens in a vast national park...

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Dark Alchemy – Sam Ashurst Talks Frankenstein’s Creature

 

Perhaps the most unusual film playing at FrightFest 2018 is Sam Ashurst’s singular directorial debut, Frankenstein’s Creature. Based on a one-man play by the film’s star James Swanton, it is a breathtaking experience.

Set in the ruins of an unnamed house and shot in a single, fixed take, this is the Frankenstein story as told exclusively from the Creature’s point of view.

Ashurst was good enough to give up a chunk of one Saturday afternoon to discuss his memorable creation. Being a working film critic, this meant a conversation steeped in movie knowledge. And if you like the below, we recommend you check out the Arrow Video podcast the director co-hosts with special effects artist Dan Martin.

It was a lengthy, rewarding conversation, ranging from the practicalities of shooting l...

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Beast (2017)

Director: Michael Pearce

Writer: Michael Pearce

Cast: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Trystan Gravelle, Shannon Tarbet

Cert: 15

Running Time: 107 minutes

Year 2018



What’s the story: On a remote island, twenty-something Moll Huntford (Buckley) is haunted by a past random act of violence that puts her at odds with her family. The answer to Moll’s woes may be sun-bleached handyman and part-time poacher Pascal (Flynn). The only snag is, he may be responsible for a spate of sex murders in their isolated community.

What’s the verdict: It’s D.H Lawrence with serial killers as Moll, the ingénue with more than a touch of the vapours, is seduced by bohemian bit-of-rough Pascal...

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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Girl-Walks-Home-Alone-At-Night---posterDirector: Ana Lily Amirpour

Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour

Cast: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Dominic Rains, Mozhan Marno, Marshall Manesh, Milad Eghbali

Cert: 15

Running time: 101mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Striking and seductive vampire tale from debut feature director Ana Lily Amirpour. A mash-up of David Lynch weirdness, Jim Jarmusch monochrome cool and Sergio Leone’s exaggerated framing, it’s bold and inventive in its use of vampirism as a metaphor for female empowerment. Made in the US, but set in Iran and shot in Farsi, as debuts go it recalls the intoxicating weirdness of Rian Johnson’s Brick.

Girl-Walks-Home-Alone-At-Night--Sheila-Vand,-streetGirl-Walks-Home-Alone-At-Night---Sheila-Vand

The full verdict: Always nice to see a movie that does something out of the ordinary with horror’s most suave monster...

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Don Jon

Don Jon - Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, quad posterDirector: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Writer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson

Cert: 18

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Aw-shucks grin hot property Joseph Gordon Levitt once more whips out his outrageously large talent with this knockout directorial debut… that he also wrote… and stars in. As uber-confident swordsman Jon Martello (“Don” Jon to his awed friends), a hit with the ladies but more interested in online porn, he offers a bare-naked depiction of the modern male. But with Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore co-starring as two very different women in his life, you know Jon’s road to enlightenment is going to have quite a few ups and downs.

Don Jon - Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, nightclubDon Jon - Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Julianne Moore

The full verdict: Sex is everywher...

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