Film Review: TAG

★★★★☆ – A bloody mess of a film with a message written in the entrails it leaves behind.

Described upon its initial release in 2015 as ‘arthouse meets grindhouse’, ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Tokyo Gore Police’, and probably most accurately: ‘flash-trash exploitation gorefest and punchy pro-feminist action-fantasy’, TAG is clearly a film of two worlds. Though getting technical, that would be wrong – it’s a film of three.

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Film Review: Granny of the Dead

★☆☆☆☆ – Deeper problems of a lack of character development, some truly dire acting, and a haphazard approach to stylistic content override most of the good the film does.

There’s a certain breed of films, and horror films in particular, where being absolutely atrocious works directly in their favour. There to offer nothing more than an entertaining poke at the film industry, their self-aware terribleness can be taken in good humour, transcending from awful to amazing.

Granny of the Dead is not one of those films.

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Film Review: Chicken

★★★★☆ – A truly touching portrayal of family and friendship.

Chicken is one of those films that I thought I had all figured out before I had even started watching. I believed I’d be faced with a cookie-cutter drama propped up by melodramatic plot points, working in as much emotional trauma as possible to get a reaction out of its audience. But that isn’t what I got.

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Film Review: Voice from the Stone @ FrightFest 2017

★★★★☆ – Game of Thrones’s Daenerys Targaryen, aka Emilia Clarke, stars in the brooding period horror from Eric D. Howell. 

Bringing back some classic spooks in a castle on the hill, Voice from the Stone tells the tale of young nurse Verena (Clarke) moving to Tuscany to help a young boy overcome his muteness. Since the death of his mother Malvina from a mysterious disease, Jakob (Edward Dring) hasn’t spoken a word – and a long succession of nurses have not been able to change that. His father Klaus (Marton Csokas) is at the end of his tether and a host of bizarre house helpers serve as the family’s only company, that is, if you discount the ominous voice of Malvina that speaks through the stone walls to her son.

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Film Review: It

★★★★☆ – Pennywise has awoken from his slumber once more, returning 27 years after It’s original TV-release movies.

Functioning as an adaptation of Stephen King’s cult-favourite novel from 1986, Andrés Muschietti has taken all things scary and dropped them in the middle of Derry, Maine. Staying remarkably faithful but adding in his own twisted ideas, the film reads as a modern take on the classic horror, with truly terrifying moments stipulated from beginning to end.

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Film Review: The Vault

★★★☆☆ – Dan Bush’s latest genre-bending feat both defies and adheres to stereotypes in equal measure.

Utilising the scare tactics of a horror movie and the narrative structure of a bank heist, The Vault functions as a bridge between two styles of film that have never been acquainted before. And it works, kind of, in the limited run time it allows itself.

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Film Review: Return to Ithaca

★★★☆☆ – A heart breaking journey of self-expression, though one that could have been speedier in parts.

Cantent’s sensitive exploration of ageing and friendship offers an insight into the traumas of time, looking at how five old friends’ expectations of their lives have panned out over the years. Drawing together writer Amadeo (Néstor Jiménez), the feisty Tanía (Isabel Santos), troubled painter Rafa (Fernando Hechavarria), rebellious Eddy (Jorge Perugorría), and factory worker Aldo (Pedro Julia Díaz Ferran) for a form of reunion, thoughts soon turn from glittery retrospect to their darker realities.

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