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.

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