• Antlers



    Muddy and abrasive, Antlers points at several themes without ever fully committing to explore any of them. There are hints and strokes of child abuse, familial disputes, drug addiction, poverty and the destruction of indigenous lands - all loosely tied together by a corrupting and vengeful spirit. A reap-what-you-sow kind of narrative, but one that isn't entirely sure what exactly was sowed.

    The problem with making nods to such a wide array of ideas and themes is that there is…

  • Amsterdamned



    Somewhere between Giallo and slasher, but what differentiates this from other such hybrid ventures is its unique setting. Of course many other slasher films have been set within modern cities, but few have the architecture of a city such as Amsterdam. Whilst the film is formulaic, predictable and familiar in terms of plot and story the distinct design of Amsterdam ensures the film has a different and sometimes unusual ambience.

    The decision to lean closer to the conventions of Giallo…

  • God's Lonely Man

    God's Lonely Man


    Cheap and coarse re-purposing of Taxi Driver. A wandering man, plagued with dark thoughts and desires (which seem to stem from some sickly undercurrent of society) falls further and further from the path of righteousness that he believes himself to be on. Each selfless act that he engages with only leads to more violence and damage to himself and those around him. The unstoppable force of nihilism, leaving good will nothing but a trembling memory.

    It's unclear how much the…

  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II

    Hellbound: Hellraiser II


    A sequel that, at times, is more than capable of standing alongside the original. Building upon ideas, themes and characters previously established and also finding time and space to explore new ideas. Whilst it falls fall of some unfortunate cliches at several junctions, the backbone of the narrative is interesting enough to support its uneven weight.

    Whereas the first film is riddled with metaphors and symbols of a sexual nature, the spilling of blood and ripping of flesh so objectified…

  • The Burning Moon

    The Burning Moon


    One of the better known shot-on-video films. It's sticky and disturbing special effects affording it a reputation that is otherwise at odds with its amateur production levels. Performance and cinematography seem to take second billing to a a constant flow of bloody grit. With its flickery aesthetic and over indulgence in splatter it seems to exist somewhere outside of our understandings of what a film should be and feel like. Compared to most other shot-on-video films, it's surprisingly clean but…

  • They Eat Scum

    They Eat Scum


    Anarchic and abrasive. Hostile and antagonistic whilst feeling comedic and sarcastic. Its cheap, no budget, filmmaking that revels in its rough edges and embraces a sleazy and damaged aesthetic. Had this film operated with a highly polished look and feel, it wouldn't really work. The disregard and unwillingness to follow any kind of cinematic code of conduct is just as much the core of the film as is the maddening narrative.

    In that regard, it's a difficult and challenging film,…

  • Alien Beasts

    Alien Beasts

    This is a very bad film. On every level it fails. It's so bad that goes beyond being boring and becomes confusing, almost disturbing at times. The way in which characters speak, the repetition within the narration, the stilted movements in fight scenes, the peculiar framing of every scene... It's all at odds with what we expect a piece of narrative film to function. The more it attempts to explain whats what and whos who, the less it makes sense,…

  • Deathgasm



    A bloody mess that strives for laughs over scares, pouring a trough of guttural porridge over the screen as the characters make jokes about erections. It's a fantastical reimagining of the typical high-school/college movie. With a band of outsiders reluctantly finding themselves becoming heroes, whilst simultaneously receiving waves of abuse from the "popular kids". What Deathgasm does differently is that it in no way takes itself, or any of its characters seriously. So, what could have quickly become tired and…

  • Old



    High concept monster-of-the-week vibes. It feels as if it could have been an episode of The Twilight Zone, or that Mulder and Scully might have turned up to get to the bottom of everything. At least it sounds like that on paper, a beach that makes you go all old all quick. But it turns out to be at times a somewhat elegantly composed expression of ageing, at least in regard to its form anyway. It's an odd feeling, to…

  • People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan

    People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan


    Frustratingly formulaic. The passage from television screen to cinema so often calls upon a tried and tested blueprint; put characters in a foreign environment and watch them wrestle with unfamiliar concepts as they unconsciously work on their own shortcomings. These films make this deliberate move away from the comforts of the original series, towards an idea of what is 'cinematic'. Which in the context of these television series-turned-films, seems to be to do everything much bigger and louder.

    The original…

  • Joker



    Joker doesn't do anything that hasn't been done before. It's standing upon the shoulders of giants and doing so without any shame or discomfort whatsoever. In fact, rather than disguising its influences it proudly places them front and centre, at times it feels less an exploration of DC Comic mythology than a celebration of the gritty wave of anti-hero films of the 1970s. A celebration so loud and unabashed that it harbours not an ounce of nuance or subtlety.


  • The Slayer

    The Slayer


    A film that looks as if it should be positioned alongside all of the other early 80s slasher films, but really doesn't quite belong alongside them. Rather than going for cheap thrills at every opportunity, it attempts to be carefully paced narrative, choosing a steady build and release of tension. Which, despite rarely being effective, is a welcome change within the slasher sub-genre.

    It's not really doing anything that different, in terms of narrative at least, to every other slasher…