Friday 29 March 2024

Immaculate

 

Religion and horror go hand in hand, for obvious reasons, with the most popular being Catholicism. Fire and brimstone, hell and the devil, there’s too much temptation to take this religion to it’s darker corners. Immaculate is Sydney Sweeney’s passion project, having been attached to the film for years and eventually ended up being one of the producers as well as starring. This does seem, on the surface, an unlikely role for her to take on. But as soon as Cecilia arrives on screen, as the sweet and somewhat na├»ve novice nun, it becomes very clear that this is exactly the role Sweeney should be playing. 

No sooner as Cecilia arrives at the impressive convent buried in the Italian countryside, there is an ominous atmosphere that all is not what it seems. Anyone well versed with horror films that focus on religion will recognise the story beats and settle in nicely for the bizarre events ahead. Immaculate hams up the horror to the max, with jump scares every five minutes it feels, mixed in with some disturbing dream sequences that may be real after all. But as every character Cecilia interacts with feels like an omen or doomed ally, this sense of dread is constant leaving very little mystery. 

For those who enjoy an ominous horror and the company of nuns easily manipulated by a priest (as they always seem to be) will enjoy this blood-filled holy fest. Sweeney herself is actually pretty good throughout but her shining moment is at the climax of the film, caked in blood, having a very cathartic primal scream. However, all, the film is entertaining but it doesn’t rise above others made of the same ilk. The mystery is thin and the premise intriguing but nothing that shocking when you realise what’s going on in the catacombs. The fact that this film was stuck in development for a years does show, but luckily Sweeney sticks with it to give the film that shining moment.

Friday 22 March 2024

Love Lies Bleeding

 

Love stories can appear in any genre and love coupled with revenge makes for one passionate bloodbath. Director (and co-writer) Rose Glass’ much anticipated follow up to religious horror Saint Maud (2019) has had audiences all geared up for what set to be a hot, sexually charged, bloody chaotic story. Glass absolutely delivered on the promise all the trailers and posters had set up. 

When small town gym manager Lou meets body builder drifter Jackie, there are immediate sparks. But after one violent incident threatens to tear the two apart, they are set on a path of chaotic revenge, each doing anything they can to protect the other.

Full review over at Filmhounds.

Saturday 16 March 2024

Dogman

 


The opening sequence of man in drag, bleeding, driving a huge truck with a pack of dogs in the back, sets up the film to be one hell of story, but very soon turns into a very melancholic tale that never really seems to quite fit together. Dogman, the latest film from genre director Luc Besson, is, on the surface an intriguing story, highly character driven full blood, sweat and tears. But delve deeper and the plot falls apart, with just great performances to hold it all together.

Full review over at Filmhounds.

Friday 15 March 2024

Snack Shack

 


It may feel a little early for a teen summer comedy to be making a splash, but Snack Shack is ahead of the curve. With a great cast, in particular the two leads  as AJ and  as Moose, and a fun vibe running throughout, there is more than meets the eye with this film from director Adam Rehmeier.

After being harangued into getting a job for the summer, teenage best friends AJ and Moose win a bid at their council to run the snack shack at the local swimming pool. Through their entrepreneurial spirit, they try to turn a profit and plan for future ventures. But when a new lifeguard, Brooke (Mika Abdalla), arrives on the scene, the boys' friendship and business are put to the test.

Full review over at  Filmhounds