horror

Mother!

September 21, 2017
Mother! The poster says everything & nothing

For want of a better term one would have to call Darren Aronofsky’s bizarre, polarising Mother! a ‘horror movie’, but he has really invented a new kind of film that offers several strong lines of interpretation under the umbrella of a grandiose cosmic vision. Most horror flicks have a pretty basic structure: those who offend … More


The Mummy & Wonder Woman

June 6, 2017
Gal Gadot, real-life Amazon

Wonder Woman and The Mummy will almost certainly be the highest grossing films in Australia this winter, although I hope I’m wrong. Both are big-budget studio concoctions with everything we have come to expect from this kind of movie. The Mummy arrived with one of my pet hates – the red carpet preview. I don’t … More


A Cure for Wellness

March 29, 2017
Dane DeHaan in A Cure of Wellness (2016)

For the first hour of Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness, one feels dazzled by the stylishness of a New Age horror flick in which the world of high finance seems scarier than anything a mad doctor could dream up. But as this over-long story puffs its way to the finish line one pictures Verbinksi … More


The Witch

March 23, 2016
Anya Taylor-Joy in 'The Witch' (2015)

Robert Eggers’s directorial debut, The Witch, is a horror movie that will appeal more strongly to arthouse types than to viewers weaned on a diet of ‘shock and gore’. It’s undeniably creepy but most of the director’s energy has gone into the creation of atmosphere and period detail. The entire film seems to have been … More


10 Cloverfield Lane

March 17, 2016
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in '10 Cloverfield Lane' (2016)

Would you like to wake up and find yourself locked in a bunker with John Goodman? In 10 Cloverfield Lane this is exactly what happens to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Michelle, a young woman who leaves her fiancée and heads off on a road trip. After a car accident she regains consciousness chained to … More


Unfriended

May 15, 2015
Shelley Hennig &  Moses Storm in 'Unfriended (2014)

Don’t answer text messages and emails from dead people. They’ll only force you to kill yourself, which is really tiresome. This is the important lesson to be learned from Unfriended, an ingenious new take on the teenage slasher film. It may be the cheapest movie you’ll see this year, clocking in at no more than … More


Deliver Us From Evil

August 2, 2014
Eric Bana in Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

Scott Derrickson, director of Deliver Us From Evil is obviously a film buff, as there is barely a scene in his hybrid horror/cop movie that won’t remind cinema-literate viewers of another scene in another film. The primary reference in this anthology of every fear and fancy that has taken up residence in the American psyche, … More


Only Lovers Left Alive

April 26, 2014
Tilda Swinton in 'Only Lovers Left Alive' (2013)

Last time we saw Tilda Swinton on screen, in The Grand Budapest Hotel, she was playing a corpse. In Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, she is a vampire. This may be considered a form of progress. Since the days of Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932) there have been thousands of vampire films … More


Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

February 1, 2014
Andrew Jacobs in 'Paranormal Activity: The Markes Ones', 2014

Paranormal Activity has become one of those franchises that seems destined to drag on forever, with each new installment introducing a few small innovations to keep the fans interested. The original Paranormal Activity of 2007 was a low budget sensation. Reputedly made at a cost of US$15,000, it has grossed more than US$100 million since … More


The Darkside

December 7, 2013
Warwick Thorton's 'The Darkside' 2013

Warwick Thornton’s The Darkside is one of those rare films that defies categorisation. It is being called a “documentary” for want of a better word, but it’s also a drama and a horror movie at one remove. A succession of wellknown actors tell us stories about ghosts and supernatural occurrences. These stories are word-for-word renditions … More