It’s the 80’s in South Armagh, and we’re in the height of the Troubles. The IRA is a vocation, and paramilitaries make house calls, but they’re not exactly interested in cups of tea. It’s said that time heals all wounds, but in Crocodile Fever the only way to put the past to bed is to get legless with a strong spirit and a dose of black humour.
You are about to enter a world of hatchbacks, tracksuits, graffiti, and bad hairstyles, because the year is 1994 and the city is Glasgow, where the only good system is a sound system, and ecstasy is more than just a feeling. This coming of age story marches to the beat of its own drum machine, and even though it may follow a familiar rhythm, it still takes enough deviations to make it fresh for jaded ears.
Frances is a girl with aspirations larger than her family, and a temper hotter than the fires that they warm themselves around in the evenings, entertaining each other by singing haunting renditions of traditional Irish songs. Her universe is small, contained, and safe, until one fateful afternoon when local law enforcement delivers a sharp uppercut to her childhood, shaking Frances’ life to the core.
In a time when there is a strong desire to erect partitions, Ali Abbasi’s adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s (Let the Right One In) Border is a bizarre but necessary tonic. Abbasi employs a disparate combination of themes, but they conjoin to demand the audience to reflect upon what it means to be human, as well as the interweaving issues of racism and discrimination in this dark fairytale, yet Border is as much a romance as it is a grim version of an Aesop’s fable.
It’s difficult to think of a country more entrenched in history, magic, and legends, than Ireland. Add to that a population with more than it’s fair share of literary horror talent, and it is frankly amazing that we don’t have more of a horror film lineage. So with the impending release of Irish horror; The Hole in the Ground, I waited with baited, but cynical breath.
Not unlike the infamous elevator scene in The Shining, the streaming service Shudder has opened the floodgates to watch as much gore as you like, but is it quantity over quality? While I’ve regained control of central nervous system, but am still feeling lucky enough to have survived, here are my reviews of three of their hidden gems.
(P.S.A; I’m not paid to promote Shudder, but I really recommend that people watch these films; if you want to check them out, then you can get a free 7 day trial. Also, if you’re a listener to Horror Movie Podcast, then you can get a 30 day free trial with code HMP. *Also not affiliated with Horror Movie Podcast, just a fan!* What do you stand to lose…..but your sanity?!!)
When you dance a dance of another, you make yourself in the image of its creator.
Words of guidance uttered by Madame Blanc to Suzie Bannon, which I hope Luca Guadagnino intentionally included as the perfect tongue-in-cheek nod in his homage to Dario Argento’s (1977) Suspiria. Guadagnino made his stab at the cult horror classic after his Oscar winning triumph; Call Me By Your Name, so not only did he make quite a surprising shift of genre, but he took a risk in his choice of film to “remake”; Argento’s Suspiria is synonymous with 1970’s Italian Horror and quickly became a cult classic for any cinephile worth their salt. If someone were to mention to me that they had not seen it, I would gleefully take the chance to scathingly inform said individual that they should of course watch it, while adopting the appropriately patronising tone. But having said that, if you actually haven’t seen the original, cancel tonight’s plans, close the blinds, screw in the red lightbulb, get into that taxi, and prepare for a surreal journey like no other. I give away no spoilers in this review, so it’s safe to read on….