Category: Film

Backtrack

With a tenuously linked story that lacks supernatural finesse, Backtrack is confused, and a tiresome experience.

/ January 29, 2016

The Messenger

A missed opportunity for exploration of the relationship between mental illness and the supernatural.

/ September 17, 2015

Bait

Burrows beneath your skin from the off, with a sly edit that ekes out the tension to unbearable levels.

/ September 7, 2015

Cub

For a first-time feature, Cub is a multi-faceted approach that proves too ambitious, let down by incomplete narrative.

/ August 1, 2015

Housebound

A well-written, well-paced screenplay gradually builds tension and intrigue, ensuring the viewer is riveted throughout.

/ July 20, 2015

100 Bloody Acres

100 Bloody Acres is an excellent example of comedy-horror that gets the balance just right, delivering a thoughtfully layered story.

/ July 13, 2015

Killer Mermaids

Coming from a confused premise, Killer Mermaids is an empty affair that lacks subplot and character arc.

/ June 28, 2015

Unhallowed Ground

A wealth of interesting ideas remain undeveloped, while rudimentary direction fails to make the most of the moody location.

/ June 25, 2015

Can’t Come Out to Play

What could have easily been melodramatic drivel is rendered surprisingly powerful with certain moments packing an emotional wallop.

/ June 21, 2015

Twisted Tales

Holland would be well advised to place the emphasis on stronger scripts and to dispense with his trifling on-screen introductions.

/ June 21, 2015

Burying the Ex

Populated by stock types, the story is backed by little in the way of characterisation, and missing a necessary campiness.

/ June 19, 2015

What’s Left of Us

Boasts edgy performances and a script which focuses on the here and now rather than excessive backstory.

/ May 7, 2015

The Sleeping Room

At times the film feels rather muddled, but atmospheric tension and taut pacing ensure it remains compelling.

/ May 5, 2015

Discopath

With its retro-sleaze appeal and synth score, it perfectly emulates the gritty atmospheres of exploitation shockers such as Maniac.

/ May 4, 2015

The Herd

Unflinchingly depicts women subjected to the same processes as the average dairy cow as it delves into the horrors ignored by society.

/ April 20, 2015

What We Do in the Shadows

Charming and oddly heart-warming, it’s testament to all involved that the film feels so fresh, energetic and cuspid-sharp.

/ April 12, 2015

Afterimages

Serves as a neat, interesting introduction to Asian folklore that allows some playing with storytelling techniques.

/ March 29, 2015

Blood Ransom

A slow-burn approach with a dreamlike quality that is at times hypnotic indicates a filmmaker to watch in director-writer Francis dela Torre.

/ March 28, 2015

Starry Eyes

A powerful rumination on the cost of fame and the monstrous things people are prepared to do in order to obtain it.

/ March 16, 2015

The Haunting of Black Wood

A carefully constructed and deliberately vague set-up that milks every ounce of tension, with twists coming thick and fast.

/ February 2, 2015

Stage Fright

A ludicrous blending of musical comedy with slasher flick that sets itself up as an over-the-top, camp romp, but sadly never quite nails it.

/ January 24, 2015

Iron Doors

Attempts to create something more thoughtful than the usual Saw-inspired torture porn, but lacks the edge to pull it off.

/ January 19, 2015

Bad Milo!

While the central concept obviously lends itself to crass humour, the film actually unfolds as a delightfully quirky comedy.

/ October 20, 2014

Shrew’s Nest

Begins as a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural story but unpredictably gives way to a wickedly funny and bloody romp.

/ October 8, 2014

The ‘Burbs

For a film not well received at the time, The 'Burbs has dated very well. There is nothing a hard-core fan could want for in this package.

/ September 15, 2014

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

An absurd, one-gag pony, but these alien clowns look incredible even now.

/ September 14, 2014

White Settlers

Pollyanna McIntosh singlehandedly carries the film, but all good work is undone with a crude final act, leading to a laughable climax.

/ September 6, 2014

The Forbidden Door

Bleak and multi-layered, the performances are solid throughout, the film benefiting enormously from stylish cinematography.

/ August 29, 2014

FrightFest: Blood Moon

While undeniably quite remarkable in overall aesthetic, Blood Moon seems to build to a climax which never fully materialises.

/ August 25, 2014

FrightFest: Doc of the Dead

A light-hearted introduction and jumping-off point for anyone new to zombies, with enough know-how to cope when the dead rise.

/ August 24, 2014

FrightFest: The Sleeping Room

A half-baked, ambitious ending, but the film is effectively creepy and satisfyingly lensed, its shocks permeated with a melancholy calm.

/ August 23, 2014

FrightFest: All Cheerleaders Die

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

/ August 23, 2014

FrightFest: Housebound

It is not just in its writing and direction that Housebound excels; the production design is a feast for the eyes.

/ August 22, 2014

FrightFest: Wolfcop

With its icky transformation scenes, lashings of blood and gore, and bizarre sense of humour, this has cult stamped all over it.

/ August 22, 2014

FrightFest: The Last Showing

With frustratingly little to sink one's teeth into, the film is just as forgettable as the formulaic films it seeks to mock.

/ August 22, 2014

FrightFest: Late Phases

The inevitable showdown is a hoot, but overall, a throwaway experience that should have spent more time in development.

/ August 22, 2014

Camp Dread

Tries to pass itself off as self-aware, but in the end it is, disappointingly, a rather vacuous and plodding mess.

/ June 23, 2014

Willow Creek

With long takes, reliance on sound and suggestion, and chilling climax, it is one of the better found-footage titles.

/ May 26, 2014

After

With its engaging themes of destiny, fate, and redemption, After emerges as a strangely touching and haunting film.

/ May 26, 2014

The Quiet Ones

A script crying for a horror backbone is frustratingly weak for the most part, its tedious jump-scares no substitute.

/ April 10, 2014

Hatchet 3

The body count is huge, the dialogue abysmal, the story perfunctory at best, yet the enthusiasm ensures it's never tiresome.

/ March 28, 2014

Devil in the Woods

Delivers a number of tired tropes amidst a bland screenplay that largely consists of tedious, drawn-out padding.

/ February 28, 2014

We Are What We Are (2013)

Carefully conceals the cannibalism at its heart in favour of the examination of familial roles, rites of passage and ritualism.

/ February 25, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive

Rich characterisation, an intriguing premise and delicately handled direction enhance this full-blooded yarn.

/ February 21, 2014

The Complex

Atmospheric and beautifully shot, it may not take any original paths, but should appeal to admirers of Japanese horror cinema.

/ January 6, 2014

Frankenstein (TV Miniseries, 2004)

A bloodless take that merely skims the surface of the story’s rich depth. Uninspiring direction further renders this dreary.

/ January 3, 2014

Shackled

A wonderful beginning to a story that promises surreal, and what follows calls to mind David Lynch in its dreamlike quality.

/ November 25, 2013

The People Under the Stairs

While it is often overlooked, it is an effective horror flick with a dark sense of unease that is still incredibly palpable.

/ October 29, 2013

My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror poses many questions, but by the film’s conclusion, very few have actually been answered.

/ October 23, 2013

Lifeforce

Unstrained and anarchic, Lifeforce may not be considered Hooper’s best work, but it’s certainly one of his most wildly entertaining.

/ October 10, 2013