Relic (2020) – Old Creaky Horror

Released: 10th July
Seen: 2nd August

Relic Info

One of the great things about the horror genre, indeed the thing that’s probably kept it thriving for so many years, is that horror is a fantastic way to tell a story through metaphor. So many of the greatest horror films of all time have been metaphorical tales decrying certain things in culture. They Live is an anti-Reagan era film, Get Out was calling out liberals who use performative wokeness while still engaging in systemic racism, every zombie movie made since Romero has been a metaphor for something. It’s a great genre to work in when dealing with a major topic… the catch is you’re still a horror movie and you still need to scare the audience at some point.

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Follow Me (2020) – Very Good

Released: 16th July
Seen: 20th July

In the early part of 2019, I reviewed a little film called Escape Room. While it was something of a hit financially it was less so critically. I particularly didn’t like it for three main reasons. The first was that it wasn’t as smart as it liked to think it was, the second being how tame everything felt and the third was the strobe lights. I didn’t exactly give that film a high mark, but if a film came around with a similar concept that didn’t pretend it was smarter than it was and actually made things feel dangerous, maybe I’d like it more. This was my thought pattern when walking into Follow Me which I definitely enjoyed more, but I still don’t think this concept has worked out all the kinks yet.

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The Hunt (2020) – The Most Dangerous Movie

Released: 13th March
Seen: 18th April

The Hunt Info

The most controversial movie of the last decade is easily The Hunt. Easily, just based upon the reaction its trailer got alone it will go down as being one of the most controversial films in history, alongside its controversy cousin The Interview. Much like The Interview, the film became a major discussion piece throughout pop culture due to its subject matter and the trailer used to promote it. What else makes it just like The Interview? The fact that the controversy was obscenely stupid on every front and was a vast overreaction by everyone involved. Guess who gets to talk about politics in a review of a film in the year 2020? BECAUSE THIS YEAR DOESN’T SUCK ENOUGH ALREADY!

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Cursed Films – Twilight Zone: The Movie

Vic Morrow. Myca Dinh Le. Renee Shin-Yi Chen. These are the names of the people who died on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. You might not even know that film exists, you might not even remember what happened during the film but you undoubtedly heard about the helicopter crash that changed everything. On the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie a shot of a helicopter flying over a Vietnam village went horribly wrong and those three actors were killed when the helicopter crashed onto the set. It’s an accident that changed how films are shot and effectively ended the era of the 70s auteur director where we were fine with madmen in charge of film sets… and it’s the subject of the finale for Cursed Films, and what a finale it is.

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Necrologies (2018) – Lots Of Fun

Released: 7th March (DVD release)
Seen: 10th April

One thing I’m noticing about films I am being sent to review is that a lot of people want to try the Anthology film as an early work, and I totally get why. It’s a good way to get a bunch of first-time filmmakers to make little short films and string them together without needing to come up with a 90-minute long plot. You just need a good wrap around and a basic idea of the kind of film you’re making and voila, you’ve got yourself an anthology. It’s really hard to do a great anthology film though, I’d probably say Creepshow and VHS are the gold standards of the genre and over the last few weeks, we’ve stumbled upon some anthology films that would probably just barely make the Bronze ranking… well, today I have an easy Silver medalist of Anthology films, it needs a bit of work to get to gold but it’s still wildly impressive on its own merits.

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The Black Gate (2017) – It’s a very pretty gate

Released: 9th July 2019
Seen: 8th April

The Black Gate Info

I know that I’ve been a little harsh on some lower budget features and I swear it’s not intentional. Lower budget features and first-time films tend to come with some serious drawbacks in terms of just what is actually available for the filmmakers to use. Your first film isn’t going to be some grand epic where you have access to the world’s best lighting and sound equipment or an editing bay with high tech CGI to correct issues you didn’t spot on the day. Let’s be honest, your first film will probably be made with mates, shot on a weekend and edited using a pirated copy of Premiere that you’ve had since you downloaded CS2 back in the early 2000s. Sometimes your first film will not look that good and the sad truth is that it’s a little hard to look past sometimes. I promise you, my problems with these films are never about the things that can be explained away by budget because we’ve all been there. Any film student who had to put together a 5 minute short film on a budget of nothing knows how it feels to try and make that work, I’m judging these films based on things that are fixable at any budget level… which brings me to today’s offering, The Black Gate.

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The Platform (2020) – We Eat In A Society

Released: 20th March
Seen: 1st April

So… how’s everyone enjoying the apocalypse? I have to admit that I was expecting something more like a Mad Max apocalypse or even something like the TV series Blood Drive (which is very fun and you should check out) but nope, no our apocalypse has to be boring and require all of us to stay at home all the time. Naturally, this means that we have a whole lot more time to sit and watch Netflix movies, which are going to have to replace going to the actual cinema for the foreseeable future. I have now got no excuse and have to actually get through these (and through a few older films and some that’ve been emailed to me, I have a list of films that’s rapidly building) and normally a Netflix original film, especially this early in the year, would make me nervous about its quality. Fortunately for me, I picked The Platform and it feels weirdly appropriate for this period in time.

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Tales From Six Feet Under (2020) – Visiting A Little Indie Short

Released: 15th April
Seen: 24th March (Screener)

Tales From Six Feet Under Info

Well, looks like the worldwide coronavirus lockdown extravaganza has finally hit Australian shores, shutting down the cinemas meaning I’m no longer going to be heading out to see films to review until they open again. Obviously, that’s going to mean some mild adjustments, I’m going to be reviewing a lot more Netflix things than I have been so far and might even bring back some reviews of classic films. I literally have a giant pile of recently bought classics nearby I can work through and hopefully, that’ll keep this blog going until they finally do that “releasing films that just came out in cinemas onto digital platforms” thing in Australia since it clearly is working well over in America. I also get to review things people send me, either short films or smaller studios that hit up my contact form and offer me screeners and we’re going to get to one of those today. As with a lot of screeners I tend to get, this is an independent film made on a limited budget. In fact, today we’re dealing with a 45-minute short film called Tales from Six Feet Under.

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In Search Of Darkness (2019) – Finding The Light

Released: 13th October 2019
Seen: 10th March

In Search Of Darkness Horror Doc Info

I may have mentioned it once or twice (or as many times as I am legally permitted) but I love a good horror documentary. Give me a documentary on how a horror film came to be and I’m a happy boy. The Crystal Lake Memories documentary, all 6+ hours of it, remains my favourite film documentary of all time and a recent film Memory: The Origins of Alien was a great look at one of the greatest horror films of all time. The problem with this kind of documentary though is that it only ever seems to talk about just one film and some days you just want to talk about an entire genre of film… enter In Search Of Darkness, a crowdfunded documentary celebrating one of the greatest decades for horror. 

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Brahms: The Boy II (2020) – Brahms Dull-uh-bye!

Released: 20th February
Seen: 25th February

Brahms: The Boy 2 Info

So, most paints you buy at a hardware store are made up of four ingredients. The pigment is what gives it the colour and comes in several forms, such as organic and inorganic which work differently depending on where you’re using it and have different kinds of colour. There’s also extender pigments which include things like clay, silica, diatomaceous silica and zinc oxide to name a few. After pigments, there are binders which basically is what holds everything together (hence the term binder, it’s very self-explanatory in that way) and the binder is what gives pain it’s gloss retention, makes it washable and helps with fade resistance. There’s a lot of binder types, like latex and water and oil so that’s probably what gives them their names, I’m not a paint expert. After that there are solvents, basically the thing that makes paint into a liquid so it’s usable. Lastly, there are additives, things that change the viscosity of the paint or keeps it from separating. Now you know this, it might help you understand why it takes so very long for paint to dry. Hell, go out, buy a 5 dollar tin of paint (I suggest a nice hickory brown) and a large piece of wall and just paint a single line so the paint can drip down as it dries. Congratulations, I just offered you a cheaper and more exciting experience than Brahms: The Boy 2.

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