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.
With such a strongly characterising title as Satan’s Slaves you would be forgiven for assuming that Joko Anwar’s film is just another generic horror at the bottom of the bargain bin, but instead it possesses both subtle and effective scares more in line with the likes of It Follows, and House of the Devil, than any Rob Zombie gore-fest.
Embodying traditional detective drama with existential reflection, Carol Morley’s Out Of Blue truly is a combination of contrasts, red and blue, right and wrong, sober and drunk, because what may be perceived to be reality might not actually be the case in this multiverse.
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….
The Assassination of Gianni Versace is American Crime Story’s follow up to their successful first season; The People vs. OJ Simpson. Season Two was perhaps destined to pale in comparison to the world-renowned sensationalism that was Season One, but it progresses through the stranger-than-fiction true events with gripping aplomb, dissecting the facets of Andrew Cunanan’s demise to provide a well-timed and dispersed storyline. Prior to watching this, I knew little about the murder of Gianni Versace, except for the fact that he was famously gunned down on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion. Granted, many of the finer details of the story are speculation due to circumstances, but the writers claim to have stuck as closely to the facts as possible.
A couple of hours spent at the theatre are always a treat; sometimes even regardless of the play, especially when you’re at the Lyric theatre, Belfast. I often aim to arrive slightly early to enjoy the view of the Lagan with a glass of Tempranillo and the pared back décor. And although the play cannot affect the enjoyment of the experience of the Lyric to a certain extent, at times it is a definite enhancement, and this was certainly the case with Tryst.
After the sensory explosion of December, I found myself, without the appropriate mental preparation, in January. The month of Mondays. I could no longer face round the clock eating and drinking sessions, and over the Christmas season I exhausted most of the viable avenues of watchable entertainment. And so, cue the January blues. Then, like a savior of my sanity, Facebook announced the impending arrival of a new Netflix Original series; Sex Education.