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Four Kim Newman Books from Titan …

Four Kim Newman Books from Titan …

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On the web

  • My notes on the new horror film Truth or Dare  (more…)
  • My notes on the found footage horror film #Screamers, in US cinemas now and on digital platforms soon. (more…)
  • I'm appearing with Fiona Sampson and Nick Harkaway at a Frankenstein-themed event for London Book and Screen Week.  Book here.
  • My notes on Wildling,which hits US theatres and digital platforms April 13. (more…)
  • My notes on the low-budget horror film Apartment 212. (more…)
  • My notes on celeb-obsessed black comedies Killing Hasselhoff and Killing Gunther, both around non-theatrically now. (more…)
  • My notes on the Chinese horror comedy Gam man da song si (Zombiology: or Enjoy Yourself Tonight) (more…)
  • (more…)
  • My notes on Acts of Violence, out on UK DVD this week.   Your basic direct-to-DVD/download watchable macho action movie, with Bruce Willis big on the poster but not in that many scenes in one of his endless procession of world-weary thug-cop roles while simmering Cole Hauser – son of the great Wings Hauser – takes the actual lead as Deklan MacGregor, the PTSD-suffering eldest of three Cleveland Irish brothers, who corrals the other two into strapping on armour and picking up guns when his youngest bro’s affianced Mia (Melissa Bolona) sasses the wrong assholes during her hen night and gets abducted by goons in the employ of sleazy mastermind Max Livingston (Mike Epps).  Willis pops up to tell the guys not to take the law into their own hands, though he’s already disenchanted with his own desk-sitting boss, and has a few decent chat scenes with his partner (Sophia Bush) … plus one okay rooftop fight that leads to a Dirty Harryish death plunge.  Though Hauser simmers as Deklan, whose poetry-writing perturbs his social worker, the film is let down slightly by Shawn Ashmore (of the X-Men films) and Ashton Holmes as the tagalong bros … which might even be deliberate since writer Nicolas Aaron Messanatto takes an unusually ruthless approach to showing that Deklan might actually be haring off suicidally on a crusade that’ll get his loved ones imperilled or killed when he really ought to listen to the cops.  Sean Brosnan, director-star of My Father Die, has a flamboyant supporting role as an idiot girl-snatcher who keeps killing the ‘product’ with full-strength roofies or attracting the sort of attention the smooth Max doesn’t want.  Directed by Brett Donowho (5 Souls, A Haunting at Silver Falls).    
  • My Sight & Sound review of Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs is online.
  • My notes on Female Fight Club (aka Female Fight Squad), out on UK DVD March 26. (more…)
  • My Sight & Sound review of Pacific Rim Uprising is online.
  • My notes on Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One. (more…)
  • My notes on I Kill Giants, due out in the US March 23 and the UK April 6. (more…)
  • My notes on Steven Soderbergh's horror film Unsane, out in the UK March 23. (more…)
  • My Empire review of the new monster movie A Quiet Place is online.
  • My notes on the documentary Demon House, in US theatres and on homevideo platforms March 16. (more…)
  • My notes on two recent zombie outbreak films, Z-O-M-B-I-E-S and The Cured. (more…)
  • My notes on the film All I See is You (more…)
  • Now out on DVD under the new title Fever ...
  • My notes on Sixty Minutes to Midnight. (more…)
  • My notes on the thriller O Animal Cordial (The Friendly Beast) (more…)
  • An effective, small-scale supernatural-psychological drama rooted in credible, uncaricatured teen angst and a sense of ancient woodland evil.  After the death of her father, protagonist Leah Reyes (Nicole Munoz) is drawn to what her mother (Laurie Holden) dismisses as ‘occult crap’.  When Mrs Reyes summarily sells the family home and moves ‘North’ to a house in the woods, Leah is infuriated to be torn away from her small circle of sort-of  goth friends.   A particularly upsetting argument leads to Leah storming into the woods, wishing her mother dead  She performs a ritual summoning – with blood, hair and red wool – of the demon Pyewacket, but instantly regrets it when the shock of seeing her daughter bleeding jolts the bipolar Mrs Reyes into revealing her real concern.  Handy occult expert author Rowan Dove (James McGowan) – a familiar, useful figure in films about folk magic and demonology - explains that Leah will have to perform the ritual backwards to avert the curse – and that she is in as much danger from the demon as her mother.   The first half of the film is an understated drama about a mother and daughter locked in grief habits that put them at each other’s throats, neither appreciating how badly the other is suffering and how little they are helping, with low-key subcultural observations about Leah’s gang’s tastes in music, nail polish and arcane reading matter.  In contrast, Mrs Reyes’ interior décor heavily features owls – which seem to be her familiars the way conjured imps are her daughter’s.  Then the film escalates into sustained terror, without resorting to too much obvious horror business.  Some of the best effects come from not overexplaining – Leah has her best friend Janice (Chloe Rose) come for a stay-over to talk through her worries.  The girl see-saws between cynical and spooked, but happily beds down on the living room couch.  The next morning, the terrified Janice has locked herself in the car. She insists she be driven home and refuses to talk about what she has seen or experienced to put her in such a state.   Director-writer Adam MacDonald has Pyewacket (sometimes flexible dancer Bianca Melchior) manifest variously in shadows or the rear of the frame – or perhaps in Leah’s mind.  In the last act, Leah is told not to trust her ‘lying eyes’, and see-saws between fear for her mother and fear of her mother.  Sometimes presented with contradictory evidence (a body on the ground, a calling voice) by her eyes and ears, she reacts hysterically in a way which seems likely to lead to tragedy.  In a measured performance, Holden alternates between bewildered concern for a self-harming teenager and icy, contemptuous malice – while Munoz is impressive as a girl terrified of the consequences of her own feelings.   Here's a trailer.
  • My notes on the Basque tall tale Errementari (The Blacksmith and the Devil). (more…)
  • Just screened at FrightFest Glasgow ...
  • My notes on the Bigfoot horror movie Primal Rage. (more…)
  • My notes on the nostalgic skit Attack of the Bat Monsters. (more…)
  • My notes on Irish gothic tale The Lodgers. (more…)
  • My notes on the film of the play, due out April 13. (more…)
  • My notes on Midnighters, which opens in the US on March 2nd. (more…)
  • My original review of the 2003 remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is online at Horrorpedia.
  • My Games Workshop novel Drachenfels - which features the first incarnation of my continuing character Geneviève Dieudonné - has been reissued by Black Library.
  • My review of Three on a Meathook (1972) is on HorrorPedia.
  • My notes on the science fiction film Diverge, out on homevideo formats now. (more…)
  • My Empire review of British science fiction film Native is online. (more…)
  • My review of Las Garras de Lorelei/The Loreley's Grasp (1973) is on Horrorpedia.
  • My review of the video nasty era mummy movie Dawn of the Mummy is online at Horrorpedia.
  • My notes on the Estonian film November, due to have a London screening at the Regent Street Cinema April 12th. (more…)
  • My review of the 1964 'invisible dinosaur' movie The Sound of Horror is online at Horrorpedia.
  • My notes on the gossipy skating drama. (more…)
  • My Sight & Sound review of Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water is online.
  • My notes on the Marvel movie Black Panther. (more…)
  • My notes on Greta Gerwig's film. (more…)
  • My notes on the Irish horror film Beyond the Woods, out on DVD/VOD February 19. (more…)
  • My notes on this month's Nicolas Cage movie Looking Glass, in US theatres February 16. (more…)
  • Now out on homevideo platforms.
  • My notes on the German psychological horror movie Homesick, due out on UK DVD on February 12. (more…)
  • My Screen Daily review of The Mercy is online.  See also my review of Crowhurst.
  • My notes on the space opera The Cloverfield Paradox, now on Netflix. (more…)
  • Well, his shorts anyway. (more…)
Kim

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