One of the most talked-about films on the horror and fantasy film festival circuit had its UK premiere at Film4 FrightFest in August. Fabrice du Welz's Alleluia is based on the real-life story of the 'Lonely Hearts Killers': in 1940s America, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck would find their victims through 'lonely-hearts' ads and murder them after Raymond married the victim.
The question is as old as cinema itself: what would you do for stardom? Sarah is an aspiring actress rotting in a two-bit job surrounded by dead-end pretentious hipster friends. But she is different - she knows she will make it no matter what.
In what was one of the highlights of the Discovery Screen programme at Film4 FrightFest, newly-married couple Paul and Bea arrive at her family's cabin in the woods for their honeymoon. Although she hasn't visited the cabin for years, her memories of the place are positive, and quickly the two settle into a peaceful routine: walks in the woods, pancakes for breakfast and the discovery of marital routine.
Celebrating its 8th Edition, Motelx is set to storm Lisbon next week with a plethora of screenings, events, parties, masterclasses and much, much more. Bringing genre love to the gorgeous city of Lisbon, Motelx has grown from small roots into an exciting and wonderful boutique festival which not only showcases the year's best but also snags some of the hottest films coming up.
Offering a snapshot of horror and fantasy genre over five days, the Film4 FrightFest has grown from modest beginnings to become one of the key players within the London film scene: with countless premieres, a plethora of guests and unexpected but delightful surprises.
The Battery It's not easy to explore genre films nowadays without running into the zombie apocalypse sub-genre: a popular topic for both studio and independent films, the scenario has been explored from almost every angle imaginable.
Starting off as a video artist, Jean-Charles Hue’s work has slowly evolved over the years – his quest to discover his own identity, to understand the nature of the communities living on the edges of society giving his material a narrative unexpected.
Cheap Thrills Director E. L. Katz's Cheap Thrills is an incredibly timely and unexpectedly thrilling dark comedy which goes to places that you never expect. An astute and wicked journey, it's shot with a keen eye for the absurd and the grotesque.
If you've been to a film festival before, chances are you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect – there’s a certain rush present in every major festival that will be fairly familiar. However Cannes takes that expectation and multiplies it by a 1000 – turning it into one of the densest and most intense experiences imaginable on this planet.
One of the leading figures of current European cinema, Christoffer Boe also remains one of the most mysterious and idiosyncratic figures to come out of Denmark.
One of the UK’s biggest showcases for Asian Cinema ‘Terracotta Film Festival’ continues to grow with impressing speed in its 6th brilliant year.
Blue Ruin Director Jeremy Saulnier made waves in 2007 with his debut feature Murder Party, a well-constructed, perhaps a little over-ambitious horror-comedy that was head and shoulders above most of the mainstream releases coming out that year.
Earlier this week Twitch shared the trailer for upcoming Turkish hitman thriller Panzehir ( Antidote) and we've since had the chance to speak with writer-director Alper Çağlar about his latest effort and Turkish action cinema in general. What is the genesis for Panzehir (Antidote)?
is Özcan Deniz's third attempt at becoming a filmmaker; he may have the technical credits, but his ability to write and construct a story leaves much to be desired. Aimed squarely at Deniz's fans, the film tells the impossible love story between Kemal (aka Hasmet) and Yağmur who meet on a flight to...
Orçun Benli is one of the young directors working within Turkey who has chosen to venture into horror -creating a unique film which instead of the Islamic horror which most of the genre within the country has been steadily mining turns its gaze to a classic figure within Turkish myth and literature, the Gulyabani, with the trailer for the film going live last week.
The recent debut of the trailer for Ozgur Bakar's Ammar got quite a few people excited. Looking like a combination of The Evil Dead and old-school atmosphere reliant horror film, Ammar represents one of the ever-growing new wave of horror alongside others like Can Evrenol and Orcun Benli.
If John Woo made heroic bloodshed the insane opera of violence then credit has to go Rajinikanth who practically created a new sub-genre of masala film.
Holding a place of high-esteem amidst the big European film festivals, Berlin International Film Festival remains one of the most prestigious platforms for new films appearing on the festival circuit.
An aesthete’s dream, The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears is a sumptuous exercise in experimental re-purposing of the giallo vocabulary – a sensory assault which never allows the audience easy access.
With Italian cinema making waves across the world, London sees the return of one of the most prestigious film events on its calendar – Cinema Made in Italy.
Odd Thomas In the tradition of Hollywood thrillers of the 80s like The Burbs, Odd Thomas is a delightful, offbeat yet mainstream film that will be sure to please those looking for some old-school thrills. Anton Yelchin plays Odd Thomas, a short-order cook with the ability to see dead people, who uses his powers to bring killers and murderers to justice.
An iconoclast in his hometown of Hong Kong, Fruit Chan is one of the brilliantly fruitful directors of his generation: his reputation as a wild, inventive director is well deserved.
on the mad, bad and dangerous world of Ozploitation
A stylish and entertaining foray into the kind of grandstanding thrillers they just don't make anymore, Eugenio Mira's Grand Piano captures the attention of its audience from the first frame and propels them on a technically dizzying funfair ride.
80'lerin ortalarında Çin sinemasında baş gösteren ve komedi - korku türlerini harmanlayan Mr. Vampire çok önemli bir yol taşı sayılır - popüler sinemada o zamana kadar daha çok CAT III olarak adlandırılan istismar filmlerinin ilk defa popüler kültüre geçiş yapması olarak nitelendirebilen bu ilk örnek filmin ana oyuncusu Si-hou Chin'i de bir anda yıldız statüsüne yükseltir.
Following our rave review from the London Film Festival, here's an alternative take on 12 Years A Slave which questions the film's celebrated bravery, deems it reductive and sees through the hype behind this Oscar hopeful.
If there is one place on Earth where film lovers can truly find solace, it has to be in Sitges during the Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, which this year celebrated its 46th birthday, presenting yet another packed programme to a hungry audience.
“Even on the festival circuit where unusual talent is easier to find, Reeder represents something exciting: a young filmmaker not afraid to take risks in favour of creating something unique.”
Sitges is a textbook Mediterranean town with lovely beaches, fresh seafood, a distinctly laissez-faire vibe and a truly fantastic festival. Regular attendee Evrim Ersoy notes this year’s highlights
On Sunday 24 November, the British Museum played host to the first Turkish Gala in its history with the screening of Özcan Deniz's new film 'Su ve Ateş'.
“To a viewer willing to invest time, these films are as rich as Leone’s mining of the myths of the Wild West. They turn time-tried concepts on their head and demand that audiences look at familiar territory with fresh eyes. It is almost guaranteed Xu Haofeng’s next effort will be.”
“The lead actresses anchor the film in honest and palpable desire. Exarchopolous – her face an incredible mirror of human emotion, desire, confusion, fear and anger – like all of love and history condensed into one teenage girl. ”
V/H/S/2 If the first V/H/S film was a tentative but flawed attempt to breathe some life into the well-worn anthology format by combining nostalgic longing and creepy storytelling, this second instalment represents a coming-of-age of the most over-the-top kind: like the unruly brother who bursts in the door at the most importunate moment, V/H/S/2 is loud, brash and brilliant.
We follow up Part 1 of our Film4 FrightFest 2013 coverage with more reviews of some of the most notable films in this year's line-up.
Representing a true return to form for the Korean maverick filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, Pieta is a relentless, brutal and brilliant exploration of the human psyche set within the cramped industrial grounds of Cheonggyecheon, a regeneration project in downtown Seoul. Gang-do works as a collector for a loan shark in the aforementioned industrial area, which is slowly turning into a slum.
“Although his storytelling is less than pitch perfect, his characters are so compelling that the audience finds itself lost within the rich, gritty world of these beautifully flawed figures.”
“The script reminded me of films like All the President’s Men, Serpico and Klute – from the golden age of American film history in the 70s.”
Recent years have seen the mediums of theatre and cinema become closer than ever before: while the two have always had crossovers, the results have been hit and miss. But as theatre tries to reach out to an even wider audience, with National Theatre Live broadcasting across cinemas in the UK, and established directors such as Danny Boyle taking charge of theatrical productions, these events are becoming more and more commonplace.
“Tong’s creations are unlike Sadako in Ringu – they are portrayed mainly as lost spirits – visiting our realm for a limited time, not really able to affect what happens around them.”
Delayed nearly two years after its initial festival run, Adam Wingard’s smart take on the home-invasion movie might not re-write the rule book – however the sheer energy on screen is more than enough to ensure the film is a resounding success.
A terrific follow-up to the 2011 sleeper hit The Sound of Voice, is a stellar, subversive effort from director Zal Batmanglij, within a well-worn framework. Sarah (exquisitely played by Britt Marling, who also co-wrote the script) is an operative for a private intelligence firm who is chosen by her boss Sharon (Patricia Clarkson on top form) to infiltrate an eco-terrorist group known as 'The East'.
Black Sabbath Arrow Video has been steadily building an impressive collection of genre restorations, including maestro Mario Bava's most successful film, Baron Blood (1972), as well as his earlier anthology film Black Sabbath, which is made up of three short stories, each one showcasing a different subgenre of horror.
An impressive sophomore effort from Tobias Lindholm, A Hijacking tells the story of a Danish cargo ship taken over by Somali pirates, and the efforts to negotiate a peaceful and non-violent end to the affair by those back in Copenhagen.
The jewel in the crown of Istanbul's buzzing cultural scene, the Istanbul International Film Festival. is a unique event that acts as a crucial bridge between east and west - it's hard to deny the importance the festival plays in unearthing Asian and Middle Eastern films, screening them alongside their European counterparts.
In the Fog Based on the novel of the same name by Vasil Bykov, Sergei Loznitsa's follow up to the wonderful My Joy is a hard-hitting, brilliant experience. The year is 1942 and the place is the Western frontier of the USSR - Sushenya (Vladimir Svirskiy) is suspected of collaborating with the Germans after he is let go when three of his co-workers are hung.
“Visually Laurence Anyways is a masterpiece – choosing to shoot in 4:3, Dolan makes each frame an exquisite painting. A touch of the old masters is undeniable as both depth and tracking are used in the way a painter accentuates emotion with a brushstroke.”
Maniac Set across a dreamy and melancholic cityscape, Franck Kahlfoun's take on William Lustig's notorious 1980 shocker might well be the best genre film to be released this year. Read our Comic Strip Review of the original Maniac.
Serving as a prequel to the original Gears of War game and structured in a episodic fashion, Gears Of War: Judgement is developer People Can Fly's take on the now iconic series.
“Joko Anwar’s filmography is ripe for discovery; his intelligent, striking visual sense is consistently coupled with wellwritten scripts that could teach better established directors a thing or two.”
Stoker marks Korean director Park Chan-wook's first foray into making a Hollywood feature in English, but he has not strayed too far from his roots. Following on from the themes he explored in his previous movies, Stoker is a sexually deviant tale of lust, jealousy and the very unenviable task of coming of age, explored with much of Park's customary visual style.
V/H/S An interesting exercise in combining the portmanteau picture and the found-footage genre, V/H/S is the new offering from some of the hottest indie directors on the block (Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence).
Grabbers Grabbers is one of the most persistently entertaining and thrilling films of this year: a throwback to the B-movies of the 50s, it's a smart film that uses Irish locations and humour to create a unique spin on the genre.
Martin McDonagh is one of the most talented wordsmiths working today, as well as a very accomplished director with an uncanny sense of framing. His previous film, In Bruges, was a modern masterpiece: funny, intelligent, moving and violent, its script was of a calibre we don't see very often nowadays.
Now in its 45th year, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia once again turned a small corner of Spain's Costa Brava into a mecca for genre fans. Creating perhaps what is the most comprehensive and detailed snapshot of horror, fantasy and science fiction in 2012, the festival featured over 200 movies as well as retrospective screenings, star introductions, masterclasses and much, much more.
The game's been out for more than a month and all the reviews are in - so why now for this article? What more is there to say?I've been a Hitman fan since the first game - although the mechanics of the engine left a lot to be desired.
Turkish Exploitation relies on two factors: speed & spectacle. It has to be shot quick and it has to entertain. Unlike the Italian Films of the 70’s production values are, most of the time, lower.