7 items from 2016
December 25th is internationally marketed as a day of cheer, togetherness, and bright lights during one of the darkest nights of the year. But, there are those of us who want to indulge in that darkness. There is a wealth of terror to be found in winter nights, and the following stories are perfect fodder for that breed of dread. Curl up by the fire, turn the lights off, and read... if you dare.
"The Wendigo" by Algernon Blackwood: A group of hunters in snowbound Montana encounter a windy, wintry forest spirit in one of Algernon Blackwood’s scariest tales. By taking an ancient, metaphorical legend and bringing it face-to-face with research and authentic characters, Blackwood forms an account of elemental terror that freezes the soul. Nothing is creepier—or more fun—on a windy December night.
"The Yattering and Jack" by Clive Barker: A family, tormented by »
- Ben Larned
As a champion of emerging film-makers, Relph’s passion was crucial to the growth of independent British cinema and helped transform Bafta’s profile
I was shocked when I heard that Simon Relph had died unexpectedly at the weekend. He was a colossal influence on many of us breaking through in the British film industry in the 1980s and 90s. He was also a terrific man who supported young writers, directors and producers throughout his career. I first met Simon when I was buying films for my distribution company Palace; having just finished making The Company of Wolves I had ambitions to produce more films. Simon was a big bear of a man with a huge ornamental chain around his neck and a booming voice to match: old-fashioned and posh but with a twinkling eye, like a benign lord mayor from the free state of Pimlico. (It’s entirely typical »
- Stephen Woolley
As a kid perusing the shelves of my local mom-and-pop video store every weekend, there were two VHS covers that scared me every time I looked at them. I made sure to avoid the box art for Neil Jordan’s horror fantasy film The Company of Wolves; something about the wolf’s snout protruding from a person’s mouth was too disturbing for my eight-year-old brain to comprehend. The second box, however, was one that I always made a point to walk past because while I found it gross and scary, I was weirdly drawn to it. I had no real desire to see the movie—if the cover was that nasty, the film itself had to be ten times more sick—but I was forever daring myself to sneak one more look at the video box. That movie was the 1983 horror comedy Microwave Massacre.
It wasn’t until Arrow Video »
- Patrick Bromley
Nicolas Winding Refn’s provocative modern fable follows a young model into the dark, dangerous woods of the La fashion world
“Am I staring…?” This neon-noir fantasia from Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danish director of Drive, Bronson and the Pusher trilogy, is a modern fairytale of beauty as a beast, a horror-inflected, high-fashion fable replete with wicked witches and big bad wolves ready to devour a flaxen-haired youth in the wild woods of Los Angeles. Less Prêt-à-Porter with teeth than The Company of Wolves from hell and in heels, it offers a bloody chamber of symbolic provocations (lunar cycles, occultist trappings) cooked up by a film-maker taking weekly tarot readings from the Chilean surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky and driven by an intoxication with the superficiality of the photographic image.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Stars: Ethan Peck, India Eisley, Natalie Hall, Bruce Davison, James Adam Lim, Scott Alan Smith, Zack Ward, Mim Drew, Dallas Hart, Madelaine Petsch, Anna Harr | Written by Pearry Teo, Josh Nadler | Based on the comic by Everette Hartsoe | Directed by Pearry Teo
If there’s one director whose films I will watch without hesitation or question, it’s Pearry Teo. In fact his filmic career is actually one that is key to mine. His second film, the 2009 fear flick Necromentia (which I still think out-Hellraiser’d Hellraiser itself), was one of the first films I ever reviewed professionally; and I’ve reviewed each and every one of his films since. Why? Because of the impact his twisted vision in Necromentia had on me and because no matter the story, no matter the budget, Teo always finds something interesting, admittedly often dark, to do with the subject matter.
- Phil Wheat
On the centennial of the Easter Uprising and just a few days past St. Patrick's Day, Whv present's Neil Jordan's biopic epic of Ireland's most beloved patriotic hero -- a militant who stood up to the English occupiers. It's the role that should have cemented Liam Neeson's stardom. Michael Collins Blu-ray The Warner Archive Collection 1996 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 132 min. / Street Date March 22, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman, Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson, Charles Dance, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Ian McElhinney. Cinematography Chris Menges Film Editors J. Patrick Duffner, Tony Lawson Original Music Elliott Goldenthal Produced by Stephen Wooley Written and Directed by Neil Jordan
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Irish politics must be in ascendance, as this St. Patrick's Day Warner Bros. has bumped its Irish patriot biopic up to Blu-ray status. A DVD of it came out only a year before. It's »
- Glenn Erickson
Irish actor Stephen Rea remembers his skin-shedding role in Neil Jordan’s The Company Of Wolves. Some months back, we had a discussion about Neil Jordan’s 1984 fairy tale horror masterpiece The Company Of Wolves. In one of that rapturous film’s most alarming sequences, a new bride lies in the marriage bed at night waiting for…
- Chris Alexander
7 items from 2016
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