6 items from 2013
★★★☆☆ A low-concept, micro-budget British horror may not be the most enticing of premises, but thanks to two standout performances from rising stars Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa) and Iain De Caestecker (most recently seen in Scott Graham's feature debut Shell) Jeremy Lovering's In Fear (2013) is a far more rewarding experience than its disconcerting production notes would suggest. With the majority of modern horrors praying on the fears and anxieties of modern life with a series of gore-heavy, bloodcurdling frights, In Fear takes a far more restrained, yet psychologically penetrating approach to unsettling its audience.
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- CineVue UK
Beyond The Hills (12A)
Romanian patriarchy had a lot to answer for in Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, and it's even more to blame in this powerful convent drama. It starts with a young woman coming to visit her former girlfriend, who's now a nun, but events increasingly spiral out of control, to the extent that romantic frustration is diagnosed as demonic possession… and duly treated.
Doing for Vegas-style magic what Blades Of Glory did for figure skating, Carell and co conjure just enough comedy out of a sitting-duck premise, as their cheesy stage act is threatened by Carrey's Blaine-style endurance stunts.
The Paperboy (15)
(Lee Daniels, »
- Steve Rose
Scott Graham's debut feature casts a spell with its portrait of cramped lives on a Scottish petrol-station forecourt
Scott Graham's debut feature is a hushed and haunting coming-of-age drama, pungently played out in the remote Scottish highlands, where the wind boings off the microphone and passing lorries set the crockery rattling. Chloe Pirrie plays the teenaged Shell, "like the petrol station", who tends to her jittery, reclusive father (Joseph Mawle) and the various lonesome drifters who pull into their forecourt. Along the way, Graham paints a sharp portrait of cramped lives in wide-open spaces and sexual desires that threaten to lose their bearings, bounding off in dangerous directions, surely destined to run aground. He keeps the tale on a steady simmer right through to the closing moments, when it spits and sputters into melodrama. Until then, Shell casts a spell.
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News »
- Xan Brooks
Scott Graham's feature debut Shell - which takes a very different direction from his short film of the same name - tells the story of a 17-year-old girl on the cusp of womanhood, who lives in the bleak isolation of a remote Scottish Highlands garage with her father (Game Of Thrones star Joseph Mawle). With her mum long out of the picture, Shell (newcomer Chloe Pirrie, who I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more of in future) tries to fill the gap, leading their relationship to become increasingly troubled. I caught up with Scott just after the film's premiere at San Sebastian Film Festival last year to talk about the challenges of making the film (read more about what he said here.
How did you pick where you shot the film and how did it develop from the short?
Sg: The idea for the »
- Amber Wilkinson
★★★★☆ Eschewing the type of gritty social realism commonly associated with regional British cinema in favour of an aesthetically heightened approach, Scott Graham's directorial debut Shell (2012) wouldn't look out of place in competition at any of the major European film festivals. Settling instead for a premiere screening at last year's BFI London Film Festival - where it garnered significant praise - Graham's first feature is a supremely streamlined exploration of both familial symbiosis and suffocating isolation, playing out within a lonely petrol station set against the majestic backdrop of the remote Scottish Highlands.
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- CineVue UK
Thursday morning at the Glasgow Film Festival offered the chance to catch up on some of the best films screened there so far, plus some strong new ones, including the thoughtful drama about assisted dying A Few Hours Of Spring. A young women's boyfriend falling for another man called for a re-examination of contemporary relationships in The Sex Of The Angels, sexual tension turned domesticity upside down in In The House, and there was tense drama in A Hijacking (review coming soon), Andrew Robertson's favourite of the festival so far.
Things took a fantasy twist later in the day with a special event at the Cca including a chance to see popular game Dark Souls on the big screen, with action by its most celebrated players, introduced by Robert Florence and followed by a screening of Solomon Kane. »
- Jennie Kermode
6 items from 2013
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