Probably the only movie I’ve seen this year that has really made me smile and get excited about film again…in terms of what a film can provoke within us.
Frances Ha is a charming coming of age tale about a 27 year-old dance student living in New York, trying to find her place in the world. What makes this common story stand out is its immeasurable charm and wit. It is really bloody funny, and sweet and completely believable. On top of this is great cinematography (every frame is stunning) which reminded me of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and not just in the way it looks, also the way the characters interact is very reminiscent of Allen’s work. All of this coupled with a soundtrack that will make you wanna dance in the aisle, David Bowie and Hot Chocolate are just a couple of the stand out tracks.
What Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have created in Frances Ha is a relatable, loveable character. Try and see it if you can!
It has just been announced that The ‘Burbs will be the next screening for Rue Morgue’s Cinemacabre, it shall play as part their annual Festival of Fear and Joe Dante will also be in attendance as he is this year’s GUEST OF HONOUR!
I really love The ‘Burbs, I love it so much a while back I did a retrospective of it for Den of Geek, any chance to pimp out my writing- I’m ON IT. Click here to read why I love it so much.
The ‘Burbs will be screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 9.30 on Thursday 22nd August. Be there!
To check out all the guests so far confirmed for The Festival of Fear check out this link.
Love him or hate him, the latest Michael Cera film Magic Magic will certainly intrigue you. Staying away from his awkward comedy niche, Cera stars in this psychological thriller about a young girl (Juno Temple) who travels to South America with her friend and the strange family she stays with.
The movie is out on DVD & Blu Ray August 6th and I think the trailer looks great! I’m glad to see Cera do something different, if it works it will be refreshing, admittedly however if it doesn’t it could ruin what looks like a creepy, suspenseful film. Juno Temple has been a rising star and really impressed me in Killer Joe which was one of my favourite films last year, so I would really like to see more of her work and see how versatile she can be.
Check out the trailer and let me know what you think!
…I’ve only just seen this insane video on YouTube. It’s been sitting there on the internet for three years yet I, a lover of all things creepy and weird, have only just been informed about it. If you like to be freaked out then you need to watch this video and believe me, you will not be disappointed. “How could a lip syncing contest be any weirder than the name would suggest?” is probably what you’re thinking, well I don’t want to ruin a thing, feast your eyes on this:
Of course there’s no reason to go into all the MANY FREAKING REASONS this is off the chain creepy, but I do feel it is the shaky, handheld camera that gives it that little edge. Like this chick really is going to EAT YOUR SOUL! How do you even begin to come up with this idea?
Mind. Blown. Won’t sleep ever again…
Anything similar you want to send my way, go right ahead.
The latest issue of Rue Morgue is on stands now and it’s as gorgeous as ever. Be sure to pick up a copy as this issue includes my Dreadlines piece on Alexandra Holzer on reviving her father’s Ghost Hunter legacy and my monthly Entrails. And the cover story is all about Maniac, which is currently my favourite horror film of the year!
On stands today is the brand new issue of Rue Morgue and I could not be happier. It is a celebration of British horror and it has two of my first features, so you can understand why this means so much!
First up is my feature on A Fantastic Fear of Everything, one of my favourite films of last year. I talk to the director Crispian Mills about this extraordinarily quirky film and I can assure you, if you haven’t seen it, you MUST.
Next is the feature on one of my favourite British horrors to come out recently, a small independent film that needs attention: Harold’s Going Stiff. I chat to the director Keith Wright about how this small film has done so well at recent film festivals.
I’ve also got my monthly Entrails and there’s also a damn cool review of Cockney’s vs. Zombies which *spoiler alert* I loved.
That’s pretty awesome stuff, and that’s just the stuff I’VE written. There’s an incredible feature on The Wicker Man and Sightseers, just to name a couple. Not only is it jam PACKED with awesome, it also boasts their best cover in a long time. Don’t miss out!
The new issue of Rue Morgue is out and has excellent coverage of the new Evil Dead film. I wrote about the intriguing story of how Toy Story 3 director, Lee Unkrich, came to find the famous lost ending of The Shining. I also talk about the return of Toronto-based lecture series The Black Museum, not to mention my monthly Entrails to boot.
Watch this while you can, no doubt it will get taken down very, very soon. This is test footage from Edgar Wright’s Ant Man. Just imagine the fight scenes, what he did with Scott Pilgrim still blows me away he is exactly what is needed for a comic book movie!
Last night I got a chance to see Evil Dead before its release next month. This is one of the films I have been looking forward to the most this year, and after what has been such a disappointing year for movies for me, I was a little worried. Luckily though this film was all kinds of insane awesome, just the horror film I had hoped for.
An unrelenting bloody mess from start to finish, Evil Dead promises gore and it gives it by the bucket loads. The effects are phenomenal, but some of the most excruciating scenes to watch use the classic device of sound, not sight. It’s not torture porn. Yes, it’s insanely over the top but it never makes you feel nasty like a Saw or Hostel film, this is the kind of nasty that evokes a classic ’80s horror feel, it never feels completely real…but it’s close enough to scare the crap out of you.
What makes this film work is the sense that the people behind it had not only a true love for the original, but understood it completely too. There are lots of nice little nods to the original series, and I actually got the feeling this film isn’t so much a remake, as following on from the events that have happened already from Raimi’s original.
What was kind of annoying about the experience was that the entire theatre was howling, screaming, laughing together and then the minute the credits roll all I could hear was, “Yeah it was OK but….” it’s like people didn’t want to fully like this because it’s a remake. That it’s instantly never going to be more than a 3 out of 5 film. That pisses me off, fair enough if it didn’t do it for you but give it a fair chance first and mark it on its own merits, don’t even try and compare it. I’ve also heard a lot of people complaining about the lack of comedy, people forget that the first Evil Dead was a flat out horror film and it only really got slapstick in the second one. Also, if they did have an “Ash” character, it would NEVER have lived up to Bruce Campbell so I for one, am glad they didn’t try.
After the onslaught of mediocre bump-in-the night movies this year has brought us (Mama, Dark Skies etc.) it is great to see a true blood and guts movie that doesn’t hold back. Evil Dead is the film Sam Raimi would have made back in ‘81 if he’d had the money and means. And that is why this movie works.
Oh, tip: If you’re a fan of the series, make sure you stay until the end of the credits for a nice little surprise.
Keep your eyes open for the March issue of Rue Morgue, it has my news piece on the Zombie movie made by PhD Physic Students, Decay, and my monthly Entrails. As well as all that it has a super sexy front cover (as always) with great features on Arthur Machen and The Lords of Salem.
If I made a fake ’80s movie, there is no doubt it would have the best soundtrack…here’s a taster of how it’d go down (of course this only works if you listen along to the music, play along!):
Miami HorrorHolidays Starts the film, giving us the fun atmosphere of a California setting where we met the unloved underdog who longs for the girl of his dreams…
Twin Shadow5 Seconds for the inevitable motorcycle chase of the underdog and the local bully through a desert…
TennisMarathon Where we see, through a series of random events, the underdog and dream girl spend a day together in the summer sun where she realises he is not just the geek boy she always thought he was.
Kindness That’s Alright is the fierce track for the big dance off between the underdog and the bully midway through the movie, underdog reveals his mad skillz thus winning the girl of his dreams.
Blood Orange Bad Girls is the final dance at the prom where the underdog and girl of his dreams totally smooch up.
YesayerO.N.E Perfect for the closing credits, all is resolved and everyone is happy.
Digital Spy just produced this feature: “20 Movies You Never Knew Existed”. A title like that will always intrigue a cinephile like myself, and normally I wouldn’t comment but this is potentially the most pointless feature I’ve ever seen. Apart from the fact that I have indeed heard of about half of them, none of them bar TRICK ‘R TREAT are worth seeing. Surely a better idea would be, “20 Movies You Never Knew Existed…BUT SHOULD!”?? To read the original feature click here.
Recently Rue Morgue did a Top 200 Alternative Horror List which had the right idea. I thought I’d do my own 20 films you maybe never knew existed…but should! And no, they’re not all horror. Also I’m not arrogant enough to think you won’t have EVER heard of all of these, but there may be a couple.
Rubin and Ed
Crispin Glover’s best performance.
A headache of weird.
Proves new horror has still got lots to give.
Insanely cool, Irish flick.
Stuart A Life Backwards
Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbach- pure gold.
Nice Girls Don’t Explode
A girl sets things on fire when she gets amourous.
Adorable and sweet.
All The Real Girls
A film to make your heart ache.
5150 Rue Des Ormes
A horrific thriller that is unrelenting.
Harold’s Going Stiff
Putting new life in the Zombie genre.
A gambler’s final hours.
The First Day of the Rest of your Life
A realistic look at a family going through changes.
Girls are Sick!
All ABout Evil
PEACHES CHRIST IS GOD.
The Station Agent
I love films about unlikely friendships
As wicked as Pink Flamingos, but easier on the eyes.
Here are a few films I’m looking forward to seeing on the big screen in this sexy new year we’ve just begun.
The World’s End
Starting with probably my most anticipated movie of the year, The World’s End is the last in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy which has so far brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The film follows a group of friends trying to finish an epic pub crawl they attempted 20 years earlier and somehow end up being the last chance for human survival. Not entirely sure how that jump is made but the less I know the better.
The To Do List
This film featured in a blog I did about films that were way off in the distant future back when it was called The Hand Job. Now it has a different, more mainstream friendly title and is set to hit the big screen this February. It has Aubrey Plaza as a girl determined to become more sexually experience before she heads off to college. It also stars Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Probably not a first date kind of movie.
Monster’s Inc is arguably, my favourite Pixar film. I’m excited to see what they’ll do in this one, I’m glad they’ve gone for a prequel angle instead of a sequel; seeing Boo all grown up or something like that would potentially ruin the first one.
Well colour me surprised. Before the teaser of Evil Dead was released I couldn’t have been less bothered about this remake, but the raw ferocity in that trailer has bumped this to the top of my must see list. I’m still a bit wounded from the awful shit storm that was the Friday the 13th remake of 2009, but I think this has real potential. I will never fully trust a remake but heck, you’ve got to give them a chance before running your mouth. Or just don’t watch it. Pretty simple really.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Why is this a must see? Two words: Benedict Cumberbatch.
I was also a big, big fan of the first one and this sequel looks badass, although the trailer is a bit paint by numbers. Cumberbatch will be a phenomenal baddie as he’s an incredibly versatile actor with a voice like gravel dipped in honey. It’s perfect really.
A Field In England
Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers) has the kind of talent that you’ll want to watch anything he makes, without even knowing what it’s about. A Field In England follows a group of deserters during the English Civil War who are captured by an alchemist and ordered to search a field for hidden treasure. The film stars my favourite, Reece Shearsmith along with Michael Smiley and Julian Barratt.
I’m hoping for a better year for horror! Last year was a bit lame, and the trailer for Mama has my creepy senses tingling. Present by Guillermo del Toro, Mama follows a couple taking on the responsibility of looking after their two nieces who have been living alone in the woods for 5 years.
I feel I’ve been very isolated in the world of music this year. But thanks to the INTERWEBS and some musical suggestions by Mon Frere, these right here have made it to my top ten songs of 2012 (in no real order). Please give them a go if you haven’t heard them before.
Grimes - Genesis
I listened to this song constantly up until I moved to another country I’d never been to before, and where I knew absolutely no one. This song bring backs that scary time, but it’s a gorgeous song.
Fiona Apple - Every Single Night
Frail little thing Fiona Apple popped up out of the blue and brought this adorable plinky plonky little ditty. Check the psychedelic video out below, full of snails and a giant octopus.
“I just want to feel everything”
St Vincent and David Bryne - Who
At first I was surprised by these two getting together to make music but then when I thought about it, I realised they are musically very similar. Then after hearing it, I couldn’t think of two people better suited. I really wish I’d been able to see them when they came to Toronto. Check out their funky moves in this mad as a bag of badgers video.
Sleigh Bells - Comeback Kid
POWERFUL STUFF! This song makes me want to go punch some STUFF…while wearing a leather jacker, yeahhh! Or maybe I’ll just listen to it and have a cup of tea, WHATEVER, this song is a relentless mess of intense fun.
Tegan and Sara- Closer
I waited all year for new Tegan and Sara material and honestly, the first time I heard Closer I wasn’t that impressed. However, I instantly hit replay as I love these girls and I needed another listen. It was a quick turn around of events and this song completely clicked with me. The volume went right up and it’s been a constant song on my ipod ever since. I can not wait for their album Heartthrob next year.
”Here comes the spark before the dark, come a little closer”
Kindness - That’s Alright
Holy ’80s nostalgia Batman! Anyone who knows me knows that I love ’80s music, but I especially have a penchant for music that SOUNDS like it was made in the ’80s, but wasn’t actually made in the ’80s. If you can think of a better category for Kindness’ That’s Alright then please tell me. If you haven’t heard this, I implore you to do so RIGHT NOW.
Marilyn Manson - Slo-Mo-Tion
What with having Twiggy Ramirez back in the group, it was only a matter of time before Marilyn Manson made something that was decent again. I really, really love this one. I don’t know why. Good bass line. Weird video. It’s not groundbreaking but as a former obsessed Marilyn Manson fan, this will do NICELY. VERY NICELY.
Yeasayer - Henrietta
Yeasayer are a big, big favourite of mine and I was happy that their first single from their new album was as badass as this. A big regret this year was refunding a ticket to go see them after they had to reschedule their gig and it meant missing a night at work. They are really amazing live.
Twin Shadow - Five Seconds
When I was sent the video for this song I was transported to a time of Mad Max and The Lost Boys. I’ll be honest, I was giddy with excitement. This song sounds like the perfect backdrop to an ’80s horror/action movie and the video envokes that completely. Twin Shadow…where have you been all my life? Please watch this, it’s a little movie of it’s own. You will not regret it.
Alt-J - Breezeblocks
This is hands down my favourite song of the year. My brother said I might like it and sent me a link. I watched the video about 5 times in a row while I was at work. I NEVER get sick of hearing it, and it’s been about 6 months now. Sign of a damn good song. This is an amazing video too.
I’ve only been back in the country a few days and I’m already sick of hearing Noddy Holder screaming, “IT’S CHRISTTTTTMASSS!” So these right here are some Christmas songs that I love that you most likely won’t hear on the radio.
Sufjan Stevens- That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!
All of his Christmas stuff is amazing, this is a particular favourite.
Seasick Steve- Xmas Prison Blues
Nothing like being on the inside at Christmas…apparently
Type O Negative- Red Water (Christmas Mourning)
If this doesn’t get you in the “spirit” nothing will.
Danny Elfman- What’s This?
I keep meaning to learn all the lyrics to this song. Nightmare Before Christmas is a must see every year for me.
Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal
Not strictly a Christmas song…but a wintery tune to bring on those Christmassy feelings. (Nearly wrote “vibe” there, been in Canada too long.)
Tegan and Sara - The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
Tegan and Sara can make anything awesome. And this is proof of that.
She & Him- Sleigh Ride
Oh c’mon, this is well cute.
I’m not all scroogey though. I couldn’t NOT put a bit of Buble on here. He is a Christmas GOD. Shut up I love it :(
It’s not the end of the year just yet but it may be the end of the world this week so what the hell, here are my top ten films of the year so far.
The Dark Knight Rises was a perfect end to an excellent trilogy. I loved it. Simple as.
Goon is genuinely the only funny film I have seen this year. It was a massive surprise and I’m glad I took the time to see it, Sean William Scott did something totally different and it paid off big time.
Killer Joe is intense, funny, chilling and utterly brutal. I never thought the performance of the year would go to Matthew McConaughey but dang it did, and it’s all in this film.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything is pretty much everything I love in one film, weirdness, dark humour and serial killers. This gets the most underrated movie of the year award.
Moonrise Kingdom showed Wes Anderson can still make amazingly tender movies that have real heart, this is one I will be able to watch over and over.
Nothing about Safety Not Guaranteed was a let down, it had a great story that held up right to an amazing/surprising ending.
Cabin In The Woods is one of those great films you can use to judge people on. I don’t want to get hispter on all yo asses but simply; if you didn’t like this film, you didn’t get it. And your opinion is invalid.
I’ve never had an overwhelming to go and live in a film before, but that’s all I could think of when I watched ParaNorman. It’s is adorable beyond words but the horror nods and references are a horror geek’s dream, if you have kids and you still want to watch something cool this was made for you.
As funny as it is brutal, Ben Wheatley’s latest, Sightseers, cemented the fact he is Britain’s hottest director of the moment.
Lastly, Chronicle came out at the beginning of the year and I nearly forgot about it, but this a truly super badass, dark superhero tale that was brilliantly done.