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Possum
Matthew Holness, 2018
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
DVD


From IMDb:
After returning to his childhood home, a disgraced children's puppeteer is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured his entire life.
Modest piece that I can't say started in good favour with me as I had to stop and restart with subtitles, despite it being in English and me thinking myself relatively okay with understanding regional English accents but the mumbling lead simply wasn't comprehensible to me at times. The abrasive score also wouldn't be a favourite of mine, but I must say is well suited to the material, getting under the skin and heightening the sense of discomfort throughout. Sadly though the tale itself doesn't really have a lot of depth and despite the relatively short runtime feels a little padded before reaching a conclusion that feels rather rushed.


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Comedown
Menhaj Huda, 2012
Horror
DVD


From IMDb:
Six friends who turn the deserted the tower block they lived in as kids into a pirate radio station soon learn they are not alone, as a resident psychopath begins hunting them down.
Mediocre 'slasher' fare with annoyingly 'street' characters that tbh one hopes mostly don't make it out alive ... which sadly is about the only way in which it is satisfying. It's quite ugly visually with precious little by way of originality on offer, and whilst a fair amount of of brutality might be alluded to it shies away from actually showing any leaving it akin to a wet Bank Holiday weekend.





Sulla mia pelle - [Upon My Skin]
Valerio Jalongo, 2003
Action
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From Filmbox Arthouse:
A convict gets a half-freedom state and goes to work in a dairy. At the beginning freedom appears to him as a wonderful gift but very soon he will wake up to a tough reality...
More like a poor television drama than anything cinematic, indifferent acting and script plus a lack of believable realism leave this mostly feeling rather flat and unsatisfying imo. There are a couple of moments where it appears it may actually break out into something more worthwhile but they are generally rather brief and soon quashed by the sedentary pace and lack of any real creative spark.





Hiver (Les grands chats) - [Winter (The Large Cats)]
Giles Deroo & Marianne Pistone, 2008
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse
no poster


From Filmbox Arthouse:
Michael lives in the French countryside where he leads a pretty boring life.
Somewhat dull collection of scenes some of which, despite the runtime of under an hour, have a tendency to be overly drawn out and others seemingly merely padding. I suppose the whole does manage to successfully depict a fairly inane existence but it's of quite a noxious character which makes it difficult for me to have much interest tbh.





Dark Encounter
Carl Strathie, 2019
Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
Eight-year-old Maisie went missing in 1982 and a memorial is held by her family a year later. That evening, strange lights and sounds are observed in the woods outside - and strange things start to happen.
Tale that's very much drawn-out and even though it does manage to build a little atmosphere in places it also struggles for originality, suffers somewhat from overacting and has a score that really irritates in the seemingly never-ending final minutes.


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Professional horse shoe straightener
Possum
Matthew Holness, 2018
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
DVD


From IMDb:

Modest piece that I can't say started in good favour with me as I had to stop and restart with subtitles, despite it being in English and me thinking myself relatively okay with understanding regional English accents but the mumbling lead simply wasn't comprehensible to me at times. The abrasive score also wouldn't be a favourite of mine, but I must say is well suited to the material, getting under the skin and heightening the sense of discomfort throughout. Sadly though the tale itself doesn't really have a lot of depth and despite the relatively short runtime feels a little padded before reaching a conclusion that feels rather rushed.


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I quite enjoyed Possum. But I can see your points are valid. I thought Sean Harris was good.



I quite enjoyed Possum. But I can see your points are valid. I thought Sean Harris was good.
Aside from the mumbling (I'd seriously never have got his opening line without subtitles) I thought he was pretty good and I generally have a fair bit of time for Alun Armstrong who I thought was decent too.



Upgrade
Leigh Whannell, 2018
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when the world of Grey, a self-labeled technophobe, is turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant.
Comic-book type affair that does get a little predictable in the closing stages and some of the dialogue isn't great but it has the type of concept I quite like and is entertaining enough for the most part imo.


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Padre - [Father]
Giada Colagrande, 2016
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Mourning the death of her father, Giulia is contacted by him from the other dimension.
Quite nicely made piece on loss/grief and things spiritual that employs some nice piano pieces and performance art (though tbh most of the latter come across as little more than padding) but unfortunately I'm just not really the target audience for this type of material.


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The Addiction
Abel Ferrara, 1995
Drama, Horror
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.
Nicely shot and enjoyable at times but for me the philosophical ramblings are too often tiresome which detracts from any enjoyment.


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Unsane
Steven Soderbergh, 2018
Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear - but is it real or a product of her delusion?
Nicely acted piece that manages to hold the attention and despite the plot proving crazier (not in a good way) than any of those depicted is quite enjoyable. Those plot issues do continue to nag throughout though and mute that enjoyment - a shame, the premise deserved far better writing imo.


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A Cure For Wellness
Gore Verbinski, 2016
Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa's treatments are not what they seem.
Visually rather appealing and the tale does manage to build both atmosphere and intrigue even if the rather pedestrian pace at times does tend to make the intrigue ebb and flow. Sadly though the tale is too elaborate for its own good and not only does it feel drawn out but the denouement also disappoints by both lacking originality and not feeling particularly fitting for that which has preceded it.





The Charge At Feather River
Gordon Douglas, 1953
Western
DVR - TCM


From IMDb:
In Colorado territory, Miles Archer is asked by the cavalry at Fort Bellows to aid in rescuing two white women abducted by the Cheyenne and to provide security for the railroad construction teams.
Reasonably enjoyable 'ra-tag outfit rescue mission' that starts off rather light-hearted but for the most part adopts a more serious tone once underway. The story holds few surprises but is well enough plotted, generally following the expected beats with moments of tension dotted throughout, and thankfully the romantic element is mostly kept to a minimum.





Mugen no jûnin - [Blade Of The Immortal]
Takashi Miike, 2017
Action, Drama, Fantasy
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
Cursed with a life of immortality, a samurai is tasked by a young girl to help avenge the death of her father. Based on the manga series by Hiroaki Samura.
Fairly entertaining swordfest that certainly has a reasonable amount of action and is littered with dead bodies and buckets of blood. Unfortunately it can get a little repetitive in places and does feel a bit drawn out even if the occasional touches of humour (which mostly worked for me) do help to an extent. The whole is nicely shot and pretty well acted though whilst the tale, perhaps unsurprisingly considering it's Manga origins, is certainly over the top enough to fit with Miike's sensibilities but surprisingly if anything would have benefitted from being presented with a little more panache imo.


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Here Comes Hell
Jack McHenry, 2019
Comedy, Horror
DVR - Film4


From IMDb:
A 1930's dinner party descends into carnage, gore and demonic possession in Here Comes Hell, a genre-clashing horror comedy.
Low-budget pastiche that's neither acted nor scripted well, though much of that may or may not be intentional. The first half is generally dull with no discernible spark and not a lot of humour to be seen. The second half does show an improvement, primarily thanks to a much needed injection of pace and a few effects that are decent enough, but it's still quite mediocre and to me the whole generally has the feel of an extended film-school project.





Vaniglia e cioccolato - [Vanilla And Chocolate]
Ciro Ippolito, 2004
Drama, Romance
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Penelope, a mother of three kids, gets tired by the infidelities of her husband and leaves him. She goes to live at her grandma's house, while he has to take care of the children.
The Italian equivalent of a Lifetime movie, but with a small sprinkling of bad language, the score is dreadful in places, some of the dialogue is rather trite and the whole, for the most part, quite remarkably flat. The use of Dutch angles and camera movement dotted throughout really doesn't help, as rather than enhance proceedings their use comes across like someone besotted with techniques that are completely new to them.





Ashani Sanket - [Distant Thunder]
Satyajit Ray, 1973
Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Gangacharan is the new Brahmin of a village, where he assumes various duties: teaching, organizing religious events, and trying to prevent epidemics. But in that year 1943, war is raging (as reminded by the planes occasionally heard flying over the countryside), and a major famine is under way.
Starts rather slowly and if I'm honest none too impressively, with a lead character that's initially rather arrogant and dislikable - but thankfully though he may be the lead, his much more enchanting wife is actually the central character in this very human depiction of trying to survive during a famine. And it's once that famine starts to impinge on their lives that this tale (with its roots in reality) really takes off and becomes quite the immersive watch. Nicely shot and acted, incorporating murder, prostitution and attempted rape .... so from what I've seen thus far just yer everyday Satyajit Ray film I guess


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The Driller Killer
Abel Ferrara, 1979
Drama, Horror, Thriller
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.
Low budget offering that really suffers at times from the poor quality of the sound recording. Also, for me, the band performing/rehearsing are actually more interesting than the lead in the first half hour, whilst the lesbian nudity serves absolutely no purpose other than to provide a little titillation. Thankfully though, once the descent into madness begins in earnest the plight of the lead does take centre-stage and makes for a far more interesting watch as that downward spiral is the real focus of proceedings. As for the kills (of bit-part characters as I like to call them) many might be somewhat cheesy in their realisation but they are at least accompanied by a degree of atmosphere and are quite suited to the overall feel of the piece.





AUN: The Beginning And End Of All Things
Edgar Honetschläger, 2011
Fantasy, Sci-Fi
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
When looking for alternative energy sources, the Japanese scientist Sekai tragically dies. Twenty years later the Brazilian mathematician Euclides continues his research.
Mystical affair that has some nice visuals sprinkled throughout, a score that's well-suited and is competently made but though the existential man/nature thematics aren't without interest it's sadly all either far too deep or fantastical for the likes of me and also incorporates aspects that I found somewhat ill-fitting or even slightly patronising.