All posts by Jim Reader

Jim is a London-based journalist who has worked for a number of titles, including Bizarre, Loaded, Vogue, Boxing News and the Daily Sport. He graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2009 and became a Master of Research in American Literature in 2010.

Prisoners of the Ghostland

The world Sono builds is engrossing and overwhelming, but the narrative never appears to shift out of first gear.

/ September 18, 2021

Jakob’s Wife

Hallmarks of the vampire genre coupled with a small-town America backdrop challenge patriarchal institutions.

/ August 19, 2021

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To

Incredible performances drive an emotional weight that oozes a transcendent power guaranteed to haunt you.

/ June 28, 2021

Initiation

Despite some shortcomings, Initiation, particularly in the wake of #MeToo, should be applauded for tackling these issues with gravity.

/ May 24, 2021

Willy’s Wonderland

An unapologetically ridiculous, trippy ride that will satisfy ardent fans of carefree horrors and, of course, Nicolas Cage himself.

/ April 12, 2021

Little Nightmares II

With a strangeness equalled by its unambiguity, Little Nightmares II has a fearless simplicity that allows the eerie, ethereal beauty of its visuals, music and sound effects to shine.

/ February 10, 2021
Peninsula

Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula

Scratches the surface of what the genre is capable of enunciating, but still provides the pales of gore and absurdity that make it so perpetually fascinating.

/ November 4, 2020

Maid of Sker

For gamers who can forgive certain flaws, Maid of Sker has a disturbing atmosphere and some wonderful eccentricities that are worth exploring.

/ July 28, 2020

The Inner Friend

Much like the work of Don DeLillo or David Lynch, the narrative summons more questions and mysteries than conclusions or answers.

/ May 18, 2020

Sea Fever

A terse, tight-fisted thriller possessing an inadvertent power that allows the audience to connect with the characters and their dire circumstances.

/ April 16, 2020

VFW

With its gritty cinematography, amplified violence and John Carpenter-esque soundtrack, VFW is a gruesomely entertaining bloodbath that oozes with nostalgia.

/ March 10, 2020

Itsy Bitsy

Occasionally eerie but doesn’t surprise us with any unique quirks that make it more than a one-dimensional creature feature.

/ October 14, 2019

Hail Satan?

Lane's documentary delivers a unique perspective: an inverted, transposed battle of good vs. evil that’s farcical and horrifying in equal measures.

/ August 21, 2019

Shed of the Dead

While this feature has a couple of notably gory moments, it seems to ignore the crucial cues that define and distinguish the genre.

/ May 7, 2019

Videoman

Brilliantly tragic and darkly comical performances successfully communicate the nihilistic sentiments at Videoman's core.

/ February 18, 2019

Castle Rock

A compelling plot explores Stephen King’s core themes while creating something truly unique with his mammoth bibliography.

/ December 13, 2018

American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice

In a stern test for even the most hardened splatter film fanatics, Roberto Scorza offers a powerful solo performance.

/ October 3, 2018

Habit

With nihilism and transgressional fiction at its core, Habit provides a putrid snapshot into a sordid, untold underworld.

/ June 25, 2018

Zombiology

Endlessly packed with memorable quirks and some exquisite anime sequences, this eccentric effort is essential viewing.

/ February 23, 2018

Caniba

Caniba provides a confidential, intoxicatingly claustrophobic portrait of Issei Sagawa that never fails to subtly unsettle and horrify.

/ December 16, 2017

Kuso

With the potential to become an instant cult classic, Kuso is a 90-minute assault on the senses which begs repeated viewing.

/ July 21, 2017

Lake Bodom

Masterfully blends suspense with breakneck violence to produce what is perhaps one of the best teen slashers of the 21st century.

/ May 18, 2017

Penny Dreadful: The Awakening #1

A huge deviation in tone from the derelict moodiness captured by director J. A. Bayona, despite some wonderful artwork.

/ April 5, 2017

Blind Sun

Explores uncomfortable humanitarian and environmental issues, but these themes fail to harmonise with supernatural elements.

/ February 9, 2017

Under the Shadow

A triumphant debut effort which offers unique tension and poignancy and isn’t afraid to confront uncomfortable cultural realities.

/ January 23, 2017

Train to Busan

Sardonic elements balance with emphatic characters and sharp camerawork to ensure the film's anxious torsion maintains its focus.

/ October 24, 2016

The Girl with All the Gifts

Uses all the hallmarks of Britain’s distinctive post-apocalyptic zombie cannon to make for powerfully relatable, bleak scenes.

/ September 21, 2016

Cell

Stephen King cultists will find the humour and originality of the author firmly intact, but perhaps only in fragments and flashes.

/ August 24, 2016

Prime Cuts: Vol. 2

A sardonic and entertaining chapter in an ambitious and bizarre adaptation, but disappointingly lacks allegorical meat.

/ July 20, 2016

Limbo

Ambitious and bizarre, Limbo is a hallucinogenic rollercoaster that takes giddy pride in disintegrating reality and reliability.

/ May 23, 2016

Estranged

Could have been so much more, but still an alluring watch which bursts with style and vengeful violence.

/ April 6, 2016

Prime Cuts: Vol. 1

Rawly sketched artwork complements the abstract plot line, which will please the exploitation and pulp fiction aficionado.

/ January 18, 2016

Wake Up, Maggie

An audacious effort that should be given praise for its unrepentant Maggie, portrayed with fearless honesty and confidence.

/ May 29, 2015

Dead Funny

Dead Funny as a collective emphasises the quality, depth and audacity of British comedy, with an enormous amount of surprises.

/ November 2, 2014

The Motherless Oven

A cleverly-layered effort packed with satirical humour, with a universe so outlandishly odd it is frighteningly similar to our own.

/ October 11, 2014

FrightFest: All Cheerleaders Die

Not a bad parody of 90s high-school horror, but its deliberate clichés fall short.

/ August 23, 2014

Blackout

An incredible amount of humour, and the weird-for-the-sake-of-weird mentality is not just ballsy, but also highly entertaining.

/ February 24, 2014

All Roads Lead to Hell

Buchan excels at short and twisted love stories, but it’s Simmonds’ graphic artwork that makes the author's prose shine.

/ February 16, 2014

Sharknado

Fearless in its idea, but disappointingly lacks the direction and acting needed to pull off its own wacky intellections.

/ September 29, 2013

Insidious: Chapter 2

Although the plot loses some of its intrigue, Wan superbly distracts us with his talent to make the audience feel constantly unsettled.

/ September 10, 2013

FrightFest: Hansel and Gretel – The 420 Witch

Incredibly fun with some fantastic gore, but falls just short of its own expectations.

/ August 23, 2013

The Shadow Out of Time

A smooth read, especially if you’re a well-versed Lovecraft fan. If you’re not, Culbard might be able to convince you.

/ June 24, 2013

La Belle Dame sans Merci

A read with huge amounts of intrigue; there are enough unanswered questions to leave the reader looking forward to part two.

/ May 15, 2013

London Falling

An interesting slab of urban fantasy, but while Cornell is incredibly talented at setting the scene, he isn’t as gifted in capturing dialect.

/ February 4, 2013

Deadbeats

An incredible amount of humour, some memorable characters, and contextualisation that adds extra depth.

/ December 7, 2012

Devil Bat Diary

As an independent piece of literature, it’s fun, original, and can stand on its own two legs aside from the movie.

/ October 16, 2012

Zombies At Tiffany’s

Fun, quirky and dark; this is a brilliantly authored piece of steampunk literature, and then some.

/ September 25, 2012

Brain Damage

A delightful piece of fan faction that packs some extra surprises; you can tell Martin enjoyed every second of writing.

/ June 12, 2012