1-20 of 31 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
It's All Hallows' Eve, and we begin today's roundup with the New Yorker's Richard Brody declaring that Edgar G. Ulmer's The Black Cat with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff is his "favorite Halloween movie." We're also pointing to pieces on Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, Victor Halperin's White Zombie, Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Pavel Khvaleev's III, Nicolas Roeg's The Witches and Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire. Plus interviews with Agnès Varda, David Lynch, Charles Burnett and Jenni Olson. And Spike Lee's got a warning for you. » - David Hudson »
Not with a bang but with a whisper. That's the way Hit Me With Your Best Shot season ends this year. We didn't want to let our signature craft-loving series go... so we extended by a few random spaced-out episodes but as it turns out this series needs the weekly check-list reminder to keep the party hopping. So next season we'll return to our March-August madness only.
Happily, whispering feels appropriate when it comes to our final film this season: Repulsion (1965) in which Catherine Deneuve barely speaks because there's probably no room in her brain for words what with sex filling every metaphoric or literal (if you will) crack.
What would Roman Polanski make of the virginal Final Girl trope that took over the horror genre about a dozen years after his masterful trilogy of horror flicks wherein people lose their marbles (and possibly souls) in apartment buildings? (More...)
- NATHANIEL R
Special Mention: Dead Ringers
Directed by David Cronenberg
Genre: Thriller / Drama
Dead Ringers is one of David Cronenberg’s masterpieces, and Jeremy Irons gives the most highly accomplished performance of his entire career – times two. This is the story of Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Irons), identical twins who, since birth, have been inseparable. Together, they work as gynecologists in their own clinic, and literally share everything between them, including the women they work and sleep with. Jealousy comes between the two when Beverly falls in love with a new patient and decides he no longer wants to share his lady friend with Elliot. The twins, who have always existed together as one, have trouble adapting and soon turn against one another. Unlike the director’s previous films, the biological horror in Dead Ringers is entirely conveyed through the psychological »
- Ricky Fernandes
The first thing you should notice is the three directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim. Secondly, take notice of the cast, which includes Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp, Salvo Randone, James Robertson Justice, Françoise Prévost and Marlène Alexandre. Spirits Of The Dead is an adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories, one of which demands to be seen.
The first segment of the film, Vadim’s “Metzgengerstein”, is unfortunately the least impressive, but is still great in its own right, and features a marvelous performance by Jane Fonda. Malle’s segment, which is the second of the three, turns Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 story into an engrossing study in cruelty and sadism. This episode is an engaging enough entry, »
- Ricky Fernandes
If the transformation is a character’s external change then the meltdown is the internal equivalent. Sometimes the most terrifying part of a horror film isn’t when the monster pops out, but when a character loses his or her grip on reality. The psychosis can begin gradually, exacerbated by stress, sickness, or an outside tormentor. Often the character begins a film in complete control of his or her mental faculties. But control is a relative term, and in a horror film, the illusion of control can be just as powerful as actual agency. The options: denial or embracement. The psychological break will come soon enough. The only question is, how broken will the person be once it does?
Alien (1979) – Ash malfunctions
The crew of the cargo ship Nostromo has just about had it. Awakened from a cozy hypersleep to answer the worst wrong number in interstellar history, they then »
What makes a Ghost Story scary? This classic was almost too artistic for the Japanese. Masaki Kobayashi's four stories of terror work their spells through intensely beautiful images -- weirdly painted skies, strange mists -- and a Toru Takemitsu audio track that incorporates strange sounds as spooky musical punctuation. Viewers never forget the Woman of the Snow, or the faithful Hoichi the Earless. Finally restored to its full three-hour length. Kwaidan Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 90 1964 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 183 161, 125 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 20, 2015 / 39.95 Starring Michiyo Aratama, Rentaro Mikuni; Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi; Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsurao Tanba, Takashi Shimura; Osamu Takizawa. Cinematography Yoshio Miyajima Film Editor Hisashi Sagara Art Direction Shigemasa Toda Set Decoration Dai Arakawa Costumes Masahiro Kato Original Music Toru Takemitsu Written by Yoko Mizuki from stories collected by Kiozumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn) Produced by Shigeru Wakatsuki Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
WIth Halloween just around the corner, all the industry giants are dusting off their scary movies to release in the upcoming weeks. Whether you’re more of a sucker for a slasher flick or have a fondness for the paranormal, there’s bound to be a feature that tickles your insides (or ejects you from your seat). In the style of “First and Final Frames,” the team at Plot Point Productions has put together a daunting edition of their own, featuring some of the most unforgettable opening and closing horror movie shots. Beginning with the infamous house in “Halloween” and moving to this year’s terrific “It Follows,” any fan of the genre will be instantly hooked. Read More: Review: 'It Follows' Favors Mood Over Scariness I still imagine Catherine Deneuve’s face from “Repulsion” at times, and who would forget the television static of “Poltergeist”? With obligatory sounds from Ennio Morricone, »
- Samantha Vacca
Special Mention: Battle Royale
Written and directed by Kinji Fukasaku
The concept of The Hunger Games owes much to Koushun Takami’s cult novel Battle Royale, adapted for the cinema in 2000 by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is set in a dystopian alternate-universe, in Japan, with the nation utterly collapsed, leaving 15 percent unemployed and 800,000 students boycotting school. The government passes something called the Millennium Educational Reform Act, which apparently provides for a class of ninth-graders to be chosen each year and pitted against one another on a remote island for 3 days. Each student is given a bag with a randomly selected weapon and a few rations of food and water, and sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred fight to the death. With 48 contestants, only one will go home alive. Yes, this has been often cited as the original Hunger Games; whether or not Suzanne Collins borrowed heavily »
- Ricky Fernandes
In the last few years, writer-director-producer Mickey Keating has established himself as a prolific genre filmmaker, and his film Pod was released just a few months ago. Darling, his latest work, is a low-key psychological thriller that draws from a number of films about isolation, most notably Roman Polanski's Repulsion. However, Darling lacks the patience of its biggest influences, and its overbearing attempts to frighten the audience end up derailing an otherwise moody and intriguing effort.Lauren Ashley Carter (also featured in The Mind's Eye) stars as the titular character, a mysterious girl employed as the caretaker of a gorgeous New York brownstone while its owner (a cagey Sean Young, appearing in just a few scenes) is on vacation. Darling brushes off the owner's warnings about...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Mickey Keating’s (Ritual, Pod) newest film Darling had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest this weekend, and it was a trip. Inspired by films such Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and The Tenant with a little bit of David Lynch’s Eraserhead thrown in, Darling tells the story of one woman’s (Lauren Ashley Carter, Jug Face, Pod) descent into total insanity during the course of its brief 78-minute […] »
- Trace Thurman
[Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "In the Name of My Daughter," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] Read More: Watch: Catherine Deneuve is Casino Royalty in Exclusive 'In The Name of My Daughter' Trailer French icon of cinema Catherine Deneuve was just thirteen when she made her big screen debut in André Hunebelle's "Les Collégiennes" alongside her actress sister Sylvie Dorléac, an auspicious start that set the Paris-born starlet up for a long and rewarding career in the movie business. The early part of Deneuve's acting career was marked by roles in such classics as "Repulsion," "Belle de Jour" and "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," though any Deneuve fan could likely tick of ten »
- Kate Erbland
The fist poster and trailer for the film have appeared prior to the film seeing its debut at Fantastic Fest 2015 which runs from September 24th to October 1st.
Directed by Mickey Keating (Pod), Darling begins as a lonely young woman moves into an old, mysterious Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, it's not long before she discovers the estate's haunted reputation and troubling past. These stories slowly transform into a backdrop for her twisted and violent descent into madness...
Edited like a nightmare and scored like a hallucination, Darling stars Lau [Continued ...] »
Four films into an impressive career, writer/director Alex Ross Perry has delivered one of 2015’s most powerful films with rattling mood piece “Queen of Earth,” which opened last week (here's Rodrigo's A- review). Ostensibly the study of a fractured friendship between two women —Catherine (Elisabeth Moss), who is reeling from a recent breakup, and her frenemy Ginny (Katherine Waterston)— Perry’s potent film is one in a long line of cinematic journeys that chart the agonizing downward spiral of a woman perched on the precipice of sanity. It's a tradition that Perry overtly embraces. Roman Polanski’s influence is particularly pronounced, in everything from the film’s swoon-y pink typeface (a tip of the hat to “Rosemary’s Baby”) to the slow rotting of a summer salad that recalls the plate of rabbit in “Repulsion.” Yet despite further nods to the theatricality and artificiality of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's melodramas, »
- Jessica Kiang
Chad Archibald has been making quiet a name for himself in genre cinema (and in my movie collection) over the past few years, whether it’s producing awesome action movies like Bounty Hunters, starring WWE’s Trish Stratus; or more horrific fare like Hellmouth and the fantastic Antisocial. More recently Archibald has also directed a number of horror hits, including last years Frightfest film The Drownsman and this years cause célèbre, Bite. Which has, if you believe the hype, been causing a furore at screenings around the world, with walkouts and vomiting amongst other audience afflictions…
Bite tells the story of bride-to-be Casey, while on her hen party getaway to exotic Costa Rica, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect while bathing in an idyllic jungle pool. »
- Phil Wheat
It’s something to be the star of one of the most beloved TV shows of any given length of time. It’s an entirely different proposition to be a star of one of TV’s greatest series during arguably its highest peak. That’s the case for former Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss. Arguably the heart and soul of what has become one of the golden properties of TV’s “Golden Age.” However, it’s been a different story when it comes to cinematic work, for Moss. Despite garnering great notices in a film like The One I Love, her career has been filled primarily with bit parts and character performances that instead of leading a picture, make use of her abilities to sink into smaller roles.
Taking the lead role, Moss stars here as Catherine, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Alex Ross Perry is a more than promising young director. He courageously combines intimacy, humor and a sense for cinematic language and form. Nevertheless, his latest, Queen of Earth, is a step back for the young director in terms of maturity and individuality, especially compared to his impressive Listen Up Philip. In Queen of Earth, the director aims at the same time for greatness and modesty. The modesty comes from working with fewer people, fewer locations, and a smaller budget than in his previous film while the greatness follows in the footsteps of directors like Ingmar Bergman and Roman Polanski. To be frank, one can easily speak of a rather cheap copy/combination of Persona and Repulsion. But there is something in the faces of his characters...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Exclusive: Automatic Entertainment has closed key territories on upcoming Film4 FrightFest world premiere.
Jon Knautz’s erotic thriller stars Woody Naismith, Elizabeth Sandy and Alexis Kendra (pictured) and centres on an emotionally unstable stripper who descends into madness after her boyfriend dumps her.
The film will receive its world premiere at London FrightFest on August 31 and has also been accepted to play in the Panorama strand at Sitges which runs from October 9-18.
“I was very inspired by films like Taxi Driver and Repulsion and I became fascinated with the idea of having the audience experience a film through the eyes of »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Call a movie “Der Nachtmahr” and you’ve got your work cut out for you. At the very least, the film had better be scary — preferably enough so that audiences have disturbing dreams for days to come. But “Der Nachtmahr” isn’t scary; “Der Nachtmahr” is loud. A title card at the beginning of the film instructs theaters to crank up the volume, projecting a rebel attitude this German-language psychological thriller simply can’t sustain. Once the extreme strobing and techno thrashing of the opening reel lets up, the pic settles into a flat, fairly conventional “Twilight Zone” episode about an anxious party girl and the goblin-like creature lurking about her subconscious. The film itself feels like some sort of mad-scientist creation, more often tedious than terrifying as it grafts surreal imagery onto an otherwise generic high-school horror movie.
A project long in the works for German visual artist Akiz, »
- Peter Debruge
It’s nice to watch indie filmmakers take a leap and stick the landing. Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry went from the world of micro-indies to bigger budget indies and while that jump may not seem so big to the outsider, his astronomical growth has positioned him as an heir apparent to Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, Whit Stillman and their ilk thanks to the hyper literate world of last year’s “Listen Up Philip.” But perhaps to show that he’s got lots of tricks up his sleeve beyond just erudite and acidic characters, Perry takes a strong left turn with his latest film, “Queen of Earth.” A psychological drama with caustic humor, Perry takes a page out of the Roman Polanski playbook (think “Repulsion” and “Rosemarie’s Baby”) to create a claustrophobic, paranoid chamber drama about eroding sanity and crumbling friendship between two females mired in class and privilege issues »
- Edward Davis
His first name may translate as "cool breeze over the mountains" but it's more a case of "shitstorm in the kitchen" for Keanu Reeves in exploitation homage Knock Knock. The Eli Roth home-invasion thriller has a new trailer to watch below.Knock Knock finds Reeves as a seemingly happily married man living with his wife (Ignacia Allamand) when two beautiful young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) show up. They seduce him and end up wrecking his perfect life. With knives and guns and whatever else comes to hand. Ouch.It's another chance to see Reeves doing genre work, with John Wick's success - and planned sequel - showing there's plenty of appetite for that. On this evidence, though, he's on the receiving end of the majority of the punishment, until the tables, presumably, get turned.Roth has billed this one as a "psychosexual thriller" in the spirit »
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