supernatural horror flick. Like “The Babadook” and “Hereditary”, Ruth Platt’s latest film, “Martyrs Lane” also explores the themes of grief and loss. Released via Shudder, this supernatural film is very much like a macabre fairy-tale for adults, with the main premise being a young girl becoming friends with a ghostly child who sends her on a treasure hunt to discover her true identity. This is the third film from actress-turned-director Ruth Platt (following the 2015 horror “The Lesson” and the 2019 comedy-drama “Black Forest”) is based on a short film, also titled “Martyrs Lane”. With her latest feature film, Platt demonstrates that she has adapted to the role of director quite easily and that she is very capable of being in the director’s chair. Continue reading Martyrs Lane Review
Tell me if this sounds familiar: a group of four lowlifes want to make some easy money. A mansion owned by an elderly couple; a doctor and his wife is the only thing that stands in the way of the promise of mountains of cash and a secure future. So, the band of wankers break into the house while gram and gramps are out, only to discover that their nonexistent plan has backfired–one thing leads to another, and the tables have turned. Continue reading Review: The Owners
What would you do if I told you that today was your last day on this planet? Would your galvanized restlessness motivate you to spend every waking moment with the most accessible loved one? Would you, in a state of fear, find the closest possible place to go skydiving? Would you suddenly become religious and confess all your sins to a priest–or would you do the alternative and regurgitate every mistake you’ve ever made with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in hand? Continue reading Review: She Dies Tomorrow
Fresh off the giddiness of the superhero film “Gundala” (2019), Indonesian writer/director Joko Anwar strikes again with another genre entry “Impetigore” (2020); where he goes back to his horror roots after “Satan’s Slaves” (2017). When it premiered at Sundance earlier this year, it had received a positive reception and this reviewer hopes it will live up to the stellar standards of his filmography. Continue reading Review: Impetigore
Luke (Henry Thomas), a widower and his new girlfriend, Gail (who happens to be a child psychologist), retreat to a–pause for groans–cabin in the woods! They’re accompanied by his traumatized son, Josh. A cabin which, by the way, was the final resting place of his late wife, Becky (Jules Willcox)–whose murder he has hidden from both Gail and Josh. As far as they’re concerned, she had drowned in the lake; the film, however, opens up with her being brutally axed to death. What could possibly go wrong?
Despite her profession, Gail (Radha Mitchell) is surprised to learn that Josh, a child, has a mind of his own! He loiters out and steals a talisman from the resident kook of a neighbour, Ruth (the always-fantastic Lin Shaye). The scariest thing about this preposterous film is, perhaps, that brilliant women like Radha Mitchell and horror legend Lin Shaye serve as its executive producers. Continue reading Review: Dreamkatcher
To say that “Black Christmas” is the movie society needs to take note of is a massive understatement. Directed by Sopia Takal and written by herself and April Wolfe, “Black Christmas” is a modern updating of the 1974 classic. Whereas most remakes and reboots take the safe and give us what we as an audience expect, this 2019 update is at once a loving tribute to the original but also pushes it into scary and very real directions.
Lead by a standout performance by Imogen Poots as Riley Stone, “Black Christmas” has themes that are sure to resonate with young women. Riley, herself a victim of a sexual assault, is forced throughout to constantly face her abuser and the ramifications of her speaking out against him. Continue reading Review: Black Christmas (2019)
The fact that writer-director Ana Lily Armipour’s genre-hopping A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) ranks so highly in ITOL’s top 50 films by women of the decade list is a testament to its originality, cult appeal, and fang-sharp social commentary.
Billed as an Iranian Vampire Western, and set in the fictional Bad City, it nods to a myriad of influences from classic horror and film noir, to Tarantino, comic books and David Lynch- clanking industrial images and sounds loom large and fever-dream music-sequences are woven throughout. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.12: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
“Body at Brighton Rock” is a horror film. However, it’s not a very well executed one. There are a lot of jump scares in all the right places: a hand on the shoulder, a loud noise, someone jumps out from the bushes. When well-executed, the jump scare can be very effective. A prime example is in “Jaws”, or in “The Shining”. However, for the case of Body at Brighton Rock, the jump scare is used as a lazy way to keep the viewer awake, rather than actually scaring them. As a result, you walk away from this film feeling deeply unsatisfied. Continue reading 31 Days of Horror, Day 30: Body At Brighton Rock
Okay, frankly I didn’t really know how to start this review other than saying: This movie’s weird. Not weird in a bad way or anything like that, but Lucile Hadzilhalilovic’s “Evolution” constantly had me scratching my head and looking away with how graphically creepy and oddly confusing it can be.
The film’s premise is actually pretty intriguing and relatively simple as we follow Nicolas (Max Brebant), a sickly young boy living in a sea-side town where young boys and women are its only residents. However, when Nicolas discovers the body of a boy in the ocean, he begins to question everything around him. He questions how why they’re actually on the island if his mother is who she claims she is, and why he and the other boys must be hospitalized. This questioning is what makes him dangerous to the women, whose motives aren’t so clear, and what makes him look for a way off of the island. Continue reading 31 Days of Horror, Day 22: Evolution
“Wounds” is Babak Anvari’s latest film–he is a British-Iranian filmmaker best known for his directorial debut in 2017 with the brilliant “Under the Shadow”. Here, he takes the same cultural critique approach of that film and uses that framework to critique millennials. “Wounds” is based on Nathan Ballingrud’s novella, “The Visible Filth”–which I haven’t read, but if the conclusions this film draws are similar to those of the source material, then by god, I want it on my kindle NOW. Continue reading “Wounds” Analysis: Attempting to Find Meaning in Filth