Most Horrible Things
Fails to find the level of wit necessary, yet in spite of so much, Most Horrible Things is compelling, exciting and surprising.
Objectively superficial and messy, but that doesn’t mean it fails to entertain; The Retaliators is arguably brainless genius.
Haunting cinematography and subtle, constant terror are a perfect reflection of the patriarchy’s oppression of women.
Sick & Beautiful
A surreal psychodrama charged with urban decay and all the hopeless decadence a 21st Century audience could ever want.
A reluctance to spiral into the supernatural or grotesque prevents The Righteous from landing its message with conviction.
The Beta Test
A cautionary tale for the post-Weinstein generation that lampoons the futility of Hollywood’s facile approach to money-grubbing in all of its glory.
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.
A terse, tight-fisted thriller possessing an inadvertent power that allows the audience to connect with the characters and their dire circumstances.
A highly enjoyable, atmospheric thriller that unfortunately tails off into a mere breeze instead of building into the raging, frenzied tempest it could have been.
A compelling plot explores Stephen King’s core themes while creating something truly unique with his mammoth bibliography.
With nihilism and transgressional fiction at its core, Habit provides a putrid snapshot into a sordid, untold underworld.
Explores uncomfortable humanitarian and environmental issues, but these themes fail to harmonise with supernatural elements.
Wolf Creek (TV Series)
Australian outback killer Mick Taylor returns in Wolf Creek the series, an addictively unsettling watch that comes highly recommended.
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.
Stephen King cultists will find the humour and originality of the author firmly intact, but perhaps only in fragments and flashes.
Could have been so much more, but still an alluring watch which bursts with style and vengeful violence.
Landmine Goes Click
An almost perfect exercise in queasy tension, but would benefit from a tighter script and better characterisation.
With a tenuously linked story that lacks supernatural finesse, Backtrack is confused, and a tiresome experience.
Burrows beneath your skin from the off, with a sly edit that ekes out the tension to unbearable levels.
A slow-burn approach with a dreamlike quality that is at times hypnotic indicates a filmmaker to watch in director-writer Francis dela Torre.
Attempts to create something more thoughtful than the usual Saw-inspired torture porn, but lacks the edge to pull it off.
Begins as a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural story but unpredictably gives way to a wickedly funny and bloody romp.
Pollyanna McIntosh singlehandedly carries the film, but all good work is undone with a crude final act, leading to a laughable climax.
The Forbidden Door
Bleak and multi-layered, the performances are solid throughout, the film benefiting enormously from stylish cinematography.
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.
FrightFest: Big Bad Wolves
Deftly balancing genres, it's a remarkable script that never misses a beat, truly belying the writers' inexperience.
FrightFest: In Fear
A smart screenplay delivers an effective psychological thriller that wastes no time in initiating a tension that remains taut.
Anthony DiBlasi maintains a firm hand on the reins and ensures Missionary slow-burns its way to a satisfying and moving finale.
FrightFest: No One Lives
Ryûhei Kitamura's second US venture is a riot; revelling in its throwaway nonsense, it's fun from the get-go and knows it.
Improves on the formula established by the original film; by slim-lining the segments, and by featuring fewer, the impact is undeniable.
Compare Antisocial to projects with similar production constraints, and there is no parallel in terms of cinematic experience.
The Seasoning House
A sense of conviction and commitment to realism prevents the film from seeming an exercise in exploitation.
Flounders between drafts, as confused as its one-dimensional characters. A jarring edit does nothing to help matters.
The ABCs of Death
The real standout is "Dogfight" from Marcel Sarmiento, an unsettling piece that lingers longer than any other story here.
Two opportunities for interesting subplot that could alleviate the tedium of watching an unlikeable trio pant and bicker were missed.
Vincenzo Natali's debut holds a beauty in purity that matches the mathematical conundrum its characters find themselves in.
Really, this is average TV drama fodder at best, plodding its way to a clumsily made point that makes little sense.
More concerned with style over substance; fast and fun, there is no pretence here for anything other than a bloody ride.
The Harsh Light of Day
An arduous affair with a cringeworthy script that provides no value for the subgenres it attempts to straddle.
Naturally there is variance in quality, but overall an exhilarating experience that brings pleasure back to found footage.
Refreshing for its solid reason for found footage, with some effective moments, but let down by uncontrolled camera.
Intriguing at first with some style to be had and attention to detail, but let down by a lack of direction and poor acting.
The set piece needs more attention, but the attacks are done reasonably well, an instil of progressive tension reasonably effective.
666: The Prophecy
You would almost expect tongue planted firmly in cheek, yet this sagging clod of a movie takes itself quite seriously.
A stalk-and-slash film with very little stalking or slashing, little happens until the inevitably contrived conclusion.
An unusually restrained Vincent Cassel is a pleasure, but it's a drawn-out story that runs out of steam before a rushed conclusion.
Enough strands are left to ponder to deem writers Bruce Wood and Scott Poiley as worthy of keeping an eye on.
The Cabin in the Woods
A perfect introduction to the genre, accessible enough to reel folk in. The rest of us will go giddy counting the references.