Two women in South Korea who are from different times connect through a phone call which interchange their fates in an unexpected & devistating way : the horror genre in South Korea is insanely exciting, beautiful and shocking at times and THE CALL from director Lee Chung-hyun continues that trend with it’s blistering violence, originality and crazy twists that leave you breathless when the film ends and your pondering what on earth just happened? : I love the way Chung-hyun slowly builds the tension making you belive one thing and then quickly turning the screw with flashes of diabolical cruelty that has an effect on both main characters in the movie, Kim Seo-yeon played by the wonderful Park Shin-hye recently seen in #Alive and Oh Young-sook played by the tremendous Burning actress Jeon Jong-seo, both actresses are top notch with Jong-seo delivering a searing display that’s quite unforgettable in the film’s final third : the camera work around the house by Jo Young-jik is tremendous giving each & every scene a darkness, a sense of foreboding and combine this with the film’s lightening and sound The Call really is a tense, agonising watch : there are loads of haunting moments in the movie but the highlights for me are Young-sook and the strawberry guy when he discovers the bags in the freezer is utterly bone chilling, those scenes with Young-sook being whipped by her adpotive shaman mother is terrifying, Kim’s dad disintegrating whilst sat in the passenger seat of a car she’s driving is mouth wide shocking and those final ten insane minutes will blow your mind : so if you love your South Korean horror or you’ve not seen any and want a superb introduction then check out Lee Chung-hyun The Call it’s SUPERB ★★★★
A young boy battles the complexities of life with his father : I really, really enjoyed Mark Webber’s THE PLACE OF NO WORDS : it’s hard to interpret the film’s true meaning to Mark but for me it’s an exquisite, fantastical journey centered around life, death and it’s beyond : the film has touches of Labyrinth and other such fairy tales and is beautifully shot in North Wales, the rugged landscape of Snowdonia is captured in breathtaking style especially the scenes involving father and son as they battle the elements on their journey of self discovery : for one so young the film’s star Bodhi Palmer gives a magical performance and is well supported by his real life parents Teresa Palmer & director Mark Webber with Nicole Berger delivering a wonderful turn as an enchanting fairy : I love and desperately want a Grumbler, their scenes with Bodhi were beautiful and that creepy moment in the film when this creature emerged from this slushy pool is still giving me nightmares : with the lack of originality on our screens The Place of No Words is a breath of fresh air, an emotional, personal journey that’s tough to think about let alone film with a four year old child : a truly unique and quite wonderful piece of filmmaking ★★★★½
On a secluded farm, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows and a sense that something evil is taking over the family : I really LOVE scary movies and Bryan Bertino’s THE DARK AND THE WICKED does not disappoint : it’s an unsettling rather loathsome horror film that reeks of EVIL at every turn, from it’s deliberately slow start that peels back the layers to it’s grim, nightmarish finale with grisly scene’s such as the knitting needle, dad on the cealing, the slaughtered cattle and those chopped mushy fingers The Dark and the Wicked is certainly in keeping with the filmmakers twisted horror style : I really love the farmhouse at the centre of the film’s bleakness, from those bottles, horseshoes and hooks that hang from the rope ends in the cattle pen to it’s nerve jangling interior including it’s dimly lit kitchen and dad’s death surrounding bedroom Bertino manages to get under your skin early on, not everything is what it seems and the emotion pouring from it’s cast including Michael Abbot & Marin Ireland who play siblings and Lynn Andrews who plays the nurse is compelling yet disturbing to watch : the scenes when Michael returns home to his wife and kids is wickedly upsetting and Louise waking up with lipstick drawn on her face is draining : so if like me your a fan of Bertino’s work that includes The Strangers and most recently The Monster then wait till you see The Dark and the Wicked it’s a movie that mirrors it’s title and one of the BEST horror movies of the year ★★★★½
Ana Lily Amirpour’s A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT follows a lonely vampire going about her business in the Iranian ghost town of Bad City – I have now watched this movie 12 times (maybe more) and for me it sits comfortably in the bracket of essential viewing : from it’s mesmerising black & white style that sucks you in to the movie’s narrative, hypnotising and seducing you until it’s final scene, with it’s atmospheric backdrop’s of Oil Derrick’s, the deserted streets, the buildings and the Girl’s bedroom decked out with posters of pops stars of yesteryear, with Lyle Vincent’s photography descibed in two words “utterly stunning” : I also CRAVE the film’s soundtrack, it’s the GOAT with tracks from Federale, Radio Tehran, Bei Ru, White Lies and more…. that scene where White Lies “Death” is playing is one of the film’s coolest moments, I felt it had a really 80s tinge during that scene and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise like a python : Amirpour’s casting of Sheila Vand as the Girl was a masterstroke, Vand is like a magnet, her eye’s and demeanour engulf you allowing you to feel her character’s sadness but also her power, Arash Marandi’s performance as the guy who falls hard for the Girl is superb, the scene’s he shares with his onscreen dad are excellent and Mozhan Marnò gives a vulnerable & touching turn as Atti, the local prostitute : A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is one of them movies that you just have to see, it’s an acquired taste and not your conventional Vampire movie but it’s full of interesting themes, shot in gorgeous black & white, has subtitles for it’s Persian dialogue and includes a side portion of weird : Overall it’s one of them movies that I would certainly place high on my list of favourite vampire pics and would advise any film fan to BUY & WATCH this GEM on rewatch for 2,191 days : ps….. (if you like this pic then check out 2016’s The Bad Batch by the same director….. it’s sooooo goood) ★★★★½
Very Sad News – the Iconic TV and Movie star James Garner has died aged 86 – James starred in two of TV’s finest shows in The Rockford Files and Maverick and gave memorable performances in movies such as The Great Escape, Grand Prix, Victor Victoria, The Hour of the Gun, The Children’s Hour, Duel at Diablo and many more – he was nominated for an Oscar for 1985’s Murphy’s Romance and was awarded the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award in 2005 – his passing is sad news but thanks to his countless performances on screen James Garner will always be remembered & enjoyed for years to come….
The beloved British Comic Actor Rik Mayall has died suddenly aged 56 – like many that grew up during the 80’s & 90’s watching shows such as The Young Ones, Black Adder, Filthy Rich & Catflap, The New Statesman and Bottom his passing will be sad but also a moment to reflect on one of the greatest and I must say underrated comics of our time – his partnership with Adrian Edmondson was a master class of violent filthy humor, a rare double act that never disappointed and one that always made me smile – whether it be the flat mates Richard Richard and Edward Hitler from the superb 90’s show Bottom or students in the 80’s Vyvyan and Rick from The Young Ones they were just so damn good together – instead of wiping a tear load that DVD player up and raise a toast to one of the funniest comics to grace our screens….
SAD NEWS the towering comic writer/director HAROLD RAMIS has passed away aged 69 – along with starring roles in the likes of Stripes & the two Ghostbusters movies (that he also co-wrote) Harold Ramis was also an accomplished filmmaker directing movies such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day that both starred his good friend Bill Murray, Analyze This & Analyze That starring Bob De Niro & Ice Harvest that starred John Cusack – the movie world has lost another giant but the memory of Harold Ramis will continue to entertain with the many film’s he either wrote, directed or starred in – thanks for the laughs Big Man and don’t forget “Don’t cross the streams”
THE BAG MAN is a taut crime thriller that follows JACK (John Cusack), a tough guy with chronic bad luck but human touches, and legendary crime boss DRAGNA (Robert De Niro). DRAGNA has summoned JACK and a host of shady characters to a remote bayou motel for unknown reasons, and over the course of a long and violently eventful night, Jack’s path crosses with the stunningly beautiful RIVKA (Rebecca Da Costa). All of their fates intertwine, and when Dragna arrives on the scene there are sudden and extreme consequences for everyone involved – David Grovic makes his directorial debut working with a cast that includes Robert De Niro, John Cusack, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell, Sticky Fingaz and Rebecca Da Costa – here’s some new character posters and the trailer…. Enjoy!
I never really knew the man Philip Seymour Hoffman – I only knew his film & stage work, his memorable scene stealing performances in the mid 90’s to his later roles that gave him some critical acclaim with four Oscar Nominations amongst which a gold statue for Best Actor in 2005’s Capote – he was quite simply one of the screen’s finest actors, a towering movie star who lit up any movie with his undoubted presence and stature – it was testament to his talent that every director wanted to film him and every actor wanted to work with him – Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
DARK TOURIST (also known as The Grief Tourist) stars Michael Cudlitz, Melanie Griffith & Pruitt Taylor Vince – Michael Cudlitz from TV’s “Southland” plays Jim a security guard who’s grim & morbid hobby is visiting places that tragedy or disaster has struck, his dark addiction takes him to Louisiana where he connects with a local mass murderer named Carl Marznap… VERDICT Suri Krishnamma’s DARK TOURIST draws obvious inspiration from the likes of as “Taxi Driver” and “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” to deliver a dark, upsetting & at times uncomfortable movie to watch – it’s lead Michael Cudlitz is utterly mesmerising, you watch with wide eyes as his character spirals into an abyss of obsession slowly loosing his grip on reality – along with Cudlitz there’s a small but effective turn by Melanie Griffith who plays Betsy a waitress who befriends Jim whilst serving him at the cafe she works – Krishnamma allows the film’s pace to be deliberately slow at times, this lends to the pictures terrifying nature, and allows the tension to build until its disturbing finale – hats off to all involved especially Cudlitz who deserves all the plaudits! ★★★★