THE WAILING

2016; written and directed by Na Hong-jin; 156 mins

[Mild spoilers]

Ho-ly Jesus – this is good! Na Hong-jin’s previous films, The Chaser and The Yellow Sea, were quite something. He was compared to Michael Mann which was a justified appraisal from the off. His films were flawed but pretty damn near that mark. It was obvious, though, that Na had a great film in him and this is it! Us fans have had to wait six years but The Wailing was well worth the wait! Continue reading

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THE LURE

2015; directed by Agnieszka SmoczyƄska; written by Robert Bolesto; 92 mins

Polish cannibal mermaid musical. If nothing about those four words is exciting to you then piss off and don’t come back. As is almost inevitable these days, this film came nowhere near cinemas in NZ (well, near me anyway) so I bought the Criterion DVD instead. So glad I finally did because, alongside films such as Embrace of the Serpent and the works of Roy Andersson, this shows that there are still brilliant, intelligent and – crucially – original movies out there. Continue reading

I SURVIVED A ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST

2014; written and directed by Guy Pigden; 94 mins

An Otago zombie movie. In most NZ movies nowadays, I’ll know one or two of the crew but to actually watch a film that features people I knew from Film school, people I do stand-up with and people I know from the pub… is quite a different thing entirely. Just putting that on the table. Any review where you know the people involved is compromised but thankfully I can say that, on the whole, I liked it. Continue reading

FREAKS

1932; directed by Tod Browning; written by Willis Goldbeck and Leon Gordon; 64 mins

[SPOILERS]

“We call you: the Not-Yet-Disabled” – Anon

One of the earliest examples of a director being pilloried for his uncompromising work, only to be rehabilitated years later. Freaks is one of the all-time horror classics that I have been remiss in catching up with so time to sort that out! Continue reading

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT

1968; directed by Terence Fisher; adapted by Richard Matheson; 86 mins

Possibly the most frightfully English horror film I’ve ever seen, presented by the iconic Hammer, adapted by American genre legend Richard Matheson from the novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley, stamped up front with the good old ‘X’ certificate and featuring not one but two Bond villains in the shape of Charles Gray and Christopher Lee! Suffice to say, it was promising going in and it delivers – providing that you’re willing to leave your cynicism at the door… Continue reading