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A wide range of the best of various genres

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THE PASS – THE BEST OF STAGE-TO-SCREEN

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Whether it’s a classic musical or a ground-breaking play, works written for the stage don’t always successfully translate to the big screen. Those that do, however, shine with such potential that makes for some of the most well adapted stage-to-screen films of all time, and in time, fundamentally earn the title of being classics in their own right.

To celebrate the release of one the most beautifully transitioned plays to film, The Pass, coming to DVD April 10th, we are taking a look at an array of the most thought-provoking and attention-grabbing plays which were resuited for the big screen.

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Gerard Butler’s Most Bad-Ass Films

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After an unconventional start into acting (he was fired as a lawyer in Edinburgh due to his partying antics and moved to London), Gerard Butler has appeared in rom-coms, animations and even musicals, but the Scottish actor has emerged as an unashamed Hollywood bad-ass in some of the most iconic action films of recent times.

From an early role starring alongside James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) to returning as one-man-army, Mike Banning, in London Has Fallen (in cinemas March 3), there is no end to the tough-guy roles that Butler can impress in.

The sequel to the worldwide smash hit Olympus Has Fallen sees Butler in his latest action-packed role, as the relentless bodyguard to the US president, Mike Banning. Upon the discovery of a plot to assassinate the world leaders attending the Prime Minister’s funeral, he makes it his mission to stand firm against the relentless violence that awaits him. To celebrate the film’s release we take a look at Butler’s most violent performances.

 

300-movie-angry300 (2006)

Based on the 1998 comic series, 300 places Butler straight into to the Battle of Thermopylae in the centre of a truly epic war. Standing at the heart of the action, Butler is King Leonidas, head of 300 Spartans who he leads to fight against Persian “god-King” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Outnumbered against more than 300,000 soldiers, fear is not an option as the Spartans put their extreme fighting skills to the test, refusing to part ways with their lethal weapons.Filled with anger, blood and brutality, 300 sees Butler in the goriest of violence and makes it one of his most iconic roles.

Gerard_Butler_in_Rocknrolla_Wallpaper_4_1280RocknRolla (2008)

A British crime comedy written and directed by expert crime filmmaker Guy Ritchie, RocknRolla sees Butler as an ambitious but small-time crook. Taking control as the leader against British mob boss Tom Wilkinson, he’s in control of the “Wild Bunch”, made up of an awesome threesome including Idris Elba and Tom Hardy. Money is the root of all evil in this battle of ego, filling scenes with robberies, beatings and all the cockney violence you would expect. Unlike the snarling beast we see in 300, Butler feels more at home in this gritty role, gracing our screens with action just as aggressive, but much more controlled.

360_law_abiding_1015Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Law Abiding Citizen places revenge at the cause of the action, as Butler takes on the duty of fighting against a corrupt criminal justice system. Being forced to witness the death of his wife and daughter, prosecutor Jamie Foxx is unable to secure Butler the justice he so desperately needs. Taking the fight into his own hands it’s not just the killer that he’s after, but the district attorney too. With a grim determination Butler is relentless in his efforts, showcasing his expected brutal fist and a mind just as strong to go with it.

Machine-Gun-Preacher-Main-ReviewMachine Gun Preacher (2011)

As the ultimate tough-guy, Machine Gun Preacher sees Butler as Sam Childers, a former drug dealing biker. A biographical action drama based on children’s book Another Man’s War; Machine Gun Preacher forces Butler to put his threatening demeanor to use for the good of the children of South Sudan. A far cry from his usual violence,motivated by intentions of defeating crime and seeking revenge, protection is the heart of this obligation. From an alcoholic drunk to a converted Christian, this action-packed role sees him as a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children, forced to become soldiers by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

london_has_fallenLondon Has Fallen (2016)

The sequel to the intense hit Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen sees an explosive series of events after London becomes the setting for the Prime Minister’s funeral. With most world leaders in attendance, the event intends to stand as the most protected on earth. Instead, the intense security is infiltrated, and it emerges that the event is a deadly plot to kill each of the leaders, devastating every known London landmark in the process.With a sworn duty to protect the US president, the playing field is expanded from the claustrophobic White House to the streets of London and the stakes are higher as Mike Banning (Butler) fights to bring the people responsible to a violent end.

LONDON HAS FALLEN COMES TO CINEMAS MARCH 3

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The Best Roles of Antonio Banderas

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A man of many talents, Antonio Banderas is best known for his suave Hispanic charm. From his early collaborations with acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Banderas then broke into Hollywood in the early 1990s, despite at first having to learn his lines phonetically. After a string of small but strong performances in the likes of Philadelphia and Interview With A Vampire, he began to be cast in starring roles that demonstrated his incredible skill set and made him one of the most unique actors in the world.

The gripping, real-life survival story of the Chilean mining disaster sees him in his latest role playing “SuperMario,” the leading face of the trapped men in upcoming powerful drama The 33 – coming to cinemas January 29. To celebrate the release, we take a look at some of Antonio Banderas’ best roles.

assassins-1995-01-gAssassins (1995)

When assassin Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone) is beaten to a target by younger hitman Miguel Bain (Banderas), he’s determined to complete one last job before retiring. When he finds that Miguel is also on the trial of his next target, a ruthless race begins with both parties prepared to go to the edge to succeed. A non-stop game of cat and mouse, with enough twists to keep thriller fans happy, Assassins is an early example of Banderas’ action chops – seen since in the likes of Spy Kids and The Expendables 3.

evita-1996-11-gEvita (1996)

Based on the 1978 musical, Evita saw Banderas surprise audiences with his impressive vocal skills playing narrator Ché. Following the news of the death of Argentinian First Lady Eva Perón (Madonna), Ché assumes multiple guises to showcase her rise from an illegitimate child of the lower classes to the Spiritual Leader of Argentina using both inspirational and much-criticised methods. The film demonstrated Banderas’ extraordinary diversity and earned the actor his first Golden Globe nomination.

antonio-banderasThe Mask of Zorro (1998)

When an aged Zorro (Antony Hopkins) escapes from prison, his main aim is to seek revenge on a corrupt governor who killed his wife, stole his baby daughter and sent him to jail 20 years previously. Running into Alejandro Murrieta (Banderas), who as a boy helped the masked swordsman in his younger days, Zorro sees this as fate and vows to train the thief as the next Zorro whilst enlisting him to help in his vendetta.  The family favourite received positive reviews and cemented Banderas in the A-list.

500full-once-upon-a-time-in-mexico-screenshotOnce Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

The third film in director Robert Rodriguez’ ‘Mexico’ trilogy, Once Upon A Time In Mexico sees Banderas reprising his role as hitman El Mariachi in the successful series.

Recruited by a CIA agent (Johnny Depp), he is faced with juggling a mission to kill a Mexican drug lord whilst also hell-bent on seeking revenge of his own. Once again showing his ability to portray violence with convincing emotions, Banderas was celebrated in the cult favourite.

12495208_892750740843858_811818707505103103_nThe 33 (2016)

Based on the miraculous rescue mission that gripped the world, Banderas is the heart of the story as the dynamic leader of the trapped Chilean miners in The 33. Dubbed“Super Mario” by the media, his character took responsibility for keeping the miners hopeful for their rescue, whilst ensuring that rations lasted as long as possible. The film looks at the untold stories of the men underground and their families demanding action, and Banderas expertly handles the tense action sequences and inspirational human story.

THE 33 COMES TO CINEMAS JANUARY 29

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Greatest Female Comedy Duos

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Get ready for lots of laughs when Hot Pursuit comes out on Blu-rayTM and DVD November 23rd. Duo Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara star alongside each other in this hilarious comedy as they go on the run. To celebrate the release of the film we take a look at some of the greatest female comedy duos.

Bride Wars (2009) – Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson

bride-wars-bride-wars-12005644-1280-10241Everyone knows how stressful planning a wedding can be, whether it’s you own or someone else’s but these best friends became next level Bridezilla’s when they found out they had accidentally booked the same venue on the same day!

Hilarity ensues when they declare war and attempt to sabotage each other’s weddings. This includes Emma (Hathaway) tampering with Liv’s (Hudson) hair dye so her hair turns a shocking blue colour, and Liv meddling with Emma’s pre-wedding spray tan so that she is a luminous orange colour.

 

Freaky Friday (2003) – Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis

8179_headingThe phrase ‘like mother like daughter’ could not apply more to this duo when they eat fortune cookies that contain a switching spell, and end up in each other’s bodies!

Anna (Lohan) is a typical rebellious teenager who thinks her mum Tess’s (Curtis) only purpose in life is to embarrass her, while Tess thinks Anna’s music band is just noise. When they first realise what has happened it involves a lot of screaming, and they even run full charge in to each other in the hope of switching back – ouch!

 

The Heat (2013) – Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy

The_Heat_37990Two FBI agents are forced to work with each other in order to complete a job – which they are not happy about! Sarah (Bullock) prefers working alone, and Shannon (McCarthy) is impatient with a hot temper – not a good match!

Their attempt at playing ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’ is hilarious as it doesn’t go to plan. Nonetheless, after a night out of drinking and dancing in front of an on looking pub, the pair soon start to work together.

 

 

Bridesmaids (2011) – Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph

maya-rudolph-kristen-wiig-bridesmaids-portable-bridesmaids-a74ae2df23172aace37f2e70f908dfc8-image-140818Here come the girls! With a female cast this great, the film was always going to be hilarious. But it’s Wiig and Rudolph who stand out as they play best friends Anna (Wiig) and Lillian (Rudolph).

Their funniest scene has to be when Annie takes the bridal party to a Brazilian restaurant with a dress fitting lined up afterwards. Everyone gets food poisoning so Lillian ends up going to the toilet in the middle of the street, in a white wedding dress, while Annie looks on in horror. Ew!

 

 

Hot Pursuit (2015) – Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara

11659385_490362394459547_3770412933220684888_nGet ready to laugh so much your cheeks hurt, when these two have to go on the run. Rose Cooper (Witherspoon) is a cop who is assigned to protect Daniella (Vergara) and wants to redeem herself to the police department. They end up racing through Texas in order to escape crooked cops and dangerous gunmen, which involves sticky situations and a lot of laughs.

HOT PURSUIT IS OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD NOVEMBER 23 and is available here.

 

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Movie Lists

The Best Post-Apocalyptic Films – Own Mad Max: Fury Road on Digital HD September 21st

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Following the huge theatrical success of Mad Max: Fury Road, and to celebrate the film’s release on Digital HD September 21, we take a look at some of the best post-apocalyptic films.

I-Am-LegendI Am Legend

With the spread of a man-made, incurable virus that wiped out the population, Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last human survivor left in New York. Desperate to find any other human survivors, Neville sets out to use his immune blood to reverse the effects of the virus, but while he may be the only human; he’s not alone.

 

 

the roadThe Road

With nothing but a pistol to defend themselves, a father and son walk alone through an un-recognisable America. It’s cold, dark and the snowfall is grey, making their desired destination the warmer south. Civilisation has collapsed , scavenging and cannibalism surrounds them and the struggle for survival involves pure desperation.

 

 

28_Days_Later28 Days Later

When animal activists release chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation, infected with a virus that causes rage, London becomes deserted 28 days later. Torn apart and inhabited with zombie like humans, the savage nature of mankind creates the challenge of survival for protagonist Jim.

 

 

snowpiercer-2-hpSnowpiercer

Its 2017, the entire world is frozen over and only those travelling the globe aboard the Snowpiercer train are safe. Both a class system and economy emerge, but leader of the lower-class citizen group Curtis is determined to get to the front of the train and spread the class evenly. Facing a revolution, a new battle is to emerge in each section of the train.

 

 

childrenChildren of Men

London is facing extinction of humankind in 2017, in a world where women have become infertile. When a woman unexpectedly discovers she is pregnant it becomes her mission to protect her unborn child, and make it through the desperate violence that stands in the way of her reaching safety.

 

 

Brad-Pitt-en-12-monos12 Monkeys

By 2035, only 1% of the population has survived an unknown, lethal virus. In a bid to solve the mystery, a volunteer is sent back to 1996 to locate the virus before it mutates, but the plan doesn’t go as expected. Sent back six years earlier, investigating an event yet to happen, the convict is arrested and locked up in a mental institution.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

In a desert land where humanity is broken, the fight for necessities is on. When two rebels on the run collide there is potential for the order to be restored. A group of female prisoners and their worshipper Furiosa enlist the help of drifter Max, and together they pursue the rebels in the Road War that follows.

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Own Mad Max first on digital HD from September 21st: http://po.st/YourRedeemer

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Marvelguy’s Favourite Horror Films of 2014

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With Christmas only a few days away now is the perfect time to look back on what has been an interesting year for horror. Now I say interesting because this years calibre has been a bit of a mixed bag. There have been some incredible titles released this year that were shown in cinemas and on the festival circuit but there have been others like Ouija, Annabelle and Devil’s Due which all fell short and deserved to have gone straight to video sentenced to life in the deepest darkest corner of hell and forgotten about (if they haven’t been already).

I will say one thing though and 2014 has been a wonder for independent horror especially on the festival circuit as there have been some horror films that not only met expectations but exceeded them leaving me wishing that one day modern horror films will once again become scary and original again. The reason I say this is that thanks to franchises like Paranormal Activity and Saw which famously churned out sequels and their lesser somewhat cheaper imitations since have tainted the minds mainstream audiences making them forget what a scary movie actually is.

Call me a horror snob or not but I can’t stand it when a film tries to be scary by throwing a shedload of jump scares accompanied with a loud blast of music. This is not scary, it’s just annoying! As a genre fan I want to be creeped out, to have my level of acceptability challenged and have icy cold chills down my spine. Or I want to enjoy a solidly crafted slasher film or creative monster movie. I don’t however want to watch the same studio produced horror-by-numbers which is something I’ve seen a hundred time before. So reading this it should come as no surprise that the majority of titles in this list were seen during the UK festival circuit.

So which 2014 horror films ticked the boxes for me. Which ones stood out from the crowd and cemented their place in my black heart? You’re about to find out but before I start to list the ten films that I think deserve the title of Best Horror Films of 2014, here are three honourable mentions that are certainly worth checking out (when you get the chance to).

2014_wolfcopWOLFCOP
Director: Lowell Dean
Starring: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind, Jonathan Cherry
Seen at: Grimmfest 2014

One part dirty harry one part wolfman, Wolfcop is directed by Lowell Dean and stars Leo Fafard in the title role. The film follows an alcoholic cop who is called to investigate a disturbance in the nearby woods only to be caught up in a ritual sacrifice and is cursed to become a werewolf. A definite crowd pleaser, the film features some truly hilarious moments and a werewolf transformation that begins in a place you will never have imagined. It’s a Troma-esque film with a much bigger budget where every bit is enjoyable and inventive.

2014_marrowDIGGING UP THE MARROW
Director: Adam Green
Starring: Adam Green, Ray Wise
Seen at: Film4 Frightfest

He took us to the swamp to battle the villainous Victor Crawley in his Hatchet trilogy, he had us pinned to our seats when Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell were stuck on a chair lift in Frozen but in his latest project Digging Up The Marrow, Director Adam Green will have us pondering one question… do monsters exist? I refuse to reveal anything further about this film and with good reason as I believe without doubt that this is Adam Green‘s best film to date. It’s fun, It’s scary and is a must see for any self respecting horror fan. Look no further for spoilers online, just seek out the film, sit back and enjoy every minute of this gem that I am certain will become a cult classic.

2014_ExistsEXISTS
Director: Eduardo Sánchez
Starring: Samuel Davis, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards
Seen at: Film4 Frightfest

The Grandad of found footage, Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project) returns to the genre once more for his latest effort Exists. The film follows five friends who are on their way to a remote cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun. But, on their arrival they quickly discover that the cabin is located inside the lair of the legendary Bigfoot. Featuring outstanding special effects and a monster that seemingly has a sense of intelligence and rationality about it, Exists is thoroughly entertaining and twice as scary as last years Willow Creek. It also has one of the most effective jump scares i’ve seen all year round.

Now before we get to the films that I think deserve to be hailed as the best horror films of this year I want to remind our readers that this is based on my own personal taste and will most probably differ from others. That said, I would like to bring to your attention my favourites which I believe are the Best Horror Films of 2014 (in no order).

2014_whatweWHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh
Seen at: Grimmfest

This mockumentary from the team behind the popular TV series Flight of the Chonchords is best thought of as the Spinal Tap of vampire films. Not only does it stand neck and shoulders above other vampire films but does so with respect to the very material it plays homage to. There’s a killer Lost Boys reference that will have you howling like a werewolf at the moon and a joke that will change the way you think about a sandwich. But what is very pleasing about this film is that it possesses the ability to keep its flow of jokes consistent. That said, when you have Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement in front of and behind the camera you simply can’t go wrong. So if you like your horror with a double serving of comedy then What We Do In The Shadows is fangtastic and just for you.

2014_sacramentTHE SACRAMENT
Director: Ti West
Starring: AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Gene Jones
Seen at: Glasgow Frightfest

Inspired by the shocking events of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, Director/Writer Ti West teams up with Eli Roth for his stab at the found footage sub genre. With a solid script and superb direction, West commands attention from his audience quickly and holds it firmly in a vice-tight grip thanks in part to the sense of isolation and heightened anxiety that gradually develop into a terrifying sense of dread. It’s cast are equally as good. AJ Bowen delivers a solid performance but it is Gene Jone’s performance as the compound’s leader that steals the spotlight. He creates a villain with the ability to literally draw you in to his way of thinking as his motives come from a place of reason. Intriguing and harrowing, The Sacrament still holds its power on repeated viewings and it is for that reason I recommend you to check it out.

2014_latephasesLATE PHASES
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Starring: Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest
Seen at: Film4 Frightfest

When you discuss a werewolf film inevitably comparisons are made with such classics like An American Werewolf in London however very few manage to fully capture its sense of creativity or ferocity. Well in this case Adrian Garcia Bogliano comes incredibly close to doing so with Late Phases, a geriatric werewolf horror. Telling the story of Nick Damici (Stake Land) as a war veteran who moves into a gated retirement community only to survive an attack by a large wolf like beast. With his neighbours concerned over his sanity Ambrose (Damici) must figure out a plan to stop the monster from attacking again. Both Damici and Ethan Embry (Cheap Thrills) do a fantastic job to sell the realism of the film but the true star is its special effects. The wolf transformations are fantastic and are done mostly practically which I thought was amazing.

2014_afflictedAFFLICTED
Directors: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse
Starring: Clif Prowse, Derek Lee, Michael Gill
Seen at: Glasgow Frightfest

Winner of Best Special Effects Award at the Sitges Fantasy Festival, Afflicted is the lovechild of Canadian filmmakers Clif Prowse and Derek Lee and sees the the duo play best friends that find their one in a lifetime trip thrown up in air when one is struck by a mysterious illness. In desperation to find the source, the duo must come to terms with what has happened before things spiral out of control and the chaos consumes them both. Utilising the conventions of the found-footage sub genre this film puts the audience right into the middle of the fray making the experience thrilling and that much more enjoyable. For example, a chase sequence on a rooftop perfectly blends CGI effects with filmed footage to create an unforgettable sequence that will leave your jaw on the floor. Simply put, Afflicted does for horror what Chronicle did for superheroes.

2014_creepCREEP
Director: Patrick Brice
Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Seen at: Celluloid Screams

If you were low on cash and came across this little ad in the paper offering $1,000 for a days filming would you do it? Director Patrick Brice does in his claustrophobic chiller Creep. Without using foul language, excessive gore or constant threat of violence to shock its audience, Creep instead builds its scares naturally through solid acting and some very out there moments that are simply unnerving. Speaking of acting both Brice and Mark Duplass show amazing chemistry on-screen demonstrating their true acting ability. As a typical Blumhouse film you can expect quite a few jump scares but fear not these only serve to heighten your vulnerability as its vice-tight grip on you never dissipates. Just keep an eye out for PEACHFUZZ.

2014_springSPRING
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Vanessa Bednar
Seen at: BFI London Film Festival

No one can ever accuse Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead of never delivering something different to your average horror film because they certainly do. Their previous effort Resolution was a real genre-bender and nothing changes with their latest effort Spring. Effectively combining the sweet romance of Before Sunrise with horror elements inspired by An American Werewolf In London, Benson and Moorhead have delivered a truly unique love story that you will remember for years to come. Benson’s script is intelligently written and his co-direction with Moorhead is superb. Together the duo show plenty of artistic flare that is difficult to resist as a genre fan. Overall, I absolutely fell in love with this film and I’m confident you will too.

2014_theeditorTHE EDITOR
Directors: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy
Starring: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney
Seen at: Celluloid Screams

Inspired by such Italian Giallos as The Beyond, Opera and Tenabrae, The Editor is the latest project for the Canadian film collective Astron-6 who have written, directed and starred in this thoroughly enjoyable homage. Also starring Paz de la Huerta, Laurence R. Harvey, Tristan Risk and genre legend Udo Kier, the film utilises vivid colours, bizarre angels and throws in black-gloved killers and gruesome death scenes to perfectly capture the spirit and feel of the Giallo. Admittedly I am not a fan of the Giallo but it says something when a film as fun as this has made me want to return to the sub-genre to revisit a few more titles. Overall, The Editor is a satisfyingly fun film and truly deserves more viewers so check it out when you can.

2014_dersamuraiDER SAMURAI
Director: Till Kleinert
Starring: Michel Diercks, Pit Bukowski, Uew Preuss
Seen at: Film4 Frightfest

Till Kleinert‘s impressive German horror Der Samurai has been hailed as a gay liberation piece and features a fantastic performance from from Pit Bukowski as a sword wielding menace and from Michel Diercks as Jakob, the young police officer with the task of bringing him down. Packed with mystery and blood thirsty carnage, Der Samurai is expertly directed by Kleinhert and looks beautiful on screen. This film may have some very graphic visuals that might affect those of a nervous disposition but for me this film is a compelling thriller and it is for this reason that I recommend checking it out.

2014_oculusOCULUS
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Karen Gillan, Katee Sackoff, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane
Released: 13th June

Mike Flanagan‘s flair as a director and screenwriter is remarkable. With Oculus he has constructed a strong concept at its core which he executes masterfully catapulting his audience on a roller-coaster ride that is not easily forgotten. Yes there are a few jump scares scattered throughout the film but the intricacies of its interweaving timelines in the last hour make Oculus truly compelling viewing. The cast are fantastic. Karen Gillan is effective in the lead and it is great to see her in something other than Dr. Who. The real star of the film is Katee Sackoff as she delivers a solid performance and as such, I would love to see more of her on the big screen in future. Creepy and unsettling, Oculus for me was one of this years most strongest horror films.

2014_canalTHE CANAL
Director: Ivan Kevanagh
Starring: Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Rupert Evans, Steve Oram
Seen at: Grimmfest

If you haven’t heard about this one yet then you will soon. Director Ivan Kevanagh‘s The Canal is one of very few films that truly managed to scare me. Following a film archivist whose life is turned upside down when his wife goes missing, The Canal is incredibly tense and unbelievably scary. Flawlessly directed and superbly acted by Rupert Evans and Steve Oram, this film is a whole package. Containing some of the most horrific imagery that still sticks to me to this day, I guarantee you that it will send icy cold chills down your spine as a result. The Canal is a highly engaging and incredibly tense horror and it is for this reason that it makes this list.

So there you have it ten of my favourite horror films of 2014. I would like to thank you for reading and before you go, I would also like to recommend that you to check out Chad Archibald‘s Splasher The DrownsmanZack Parkers shocking Proxy, Tommy Wirkola‘s excellent undead sequel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead and Jennifer Kent‘s The Babadook which has a phenomenal performance from Essie Davis that can only be described as outstanding.

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Mockingjay Part 1: 5 Fiery Females to Celebrate With

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With the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, beginning the end of our journey with Katniss Everdeen and co., Cinema Chords thought it would be suitable to take a look at some previous fiery females. Katniss may be holding the current torch for the strong, independent young woman, but who else is a worthy candidate? Take a look at our list below.

 

 

 

Lucy (Lucy)

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Luc Besson’s recent, mind-boggling action thriller Lucy features Scarlett Johansson in the title role. She unwittingly unlocks fantastic abilities in her brain and is transformed in to a super intelligent and physically strong woman. She can pause time, control minds and untangle her way out of any situation. Lucy may not be the symbol of revolution or have her own film franchise, but she is definitely one fiery lady.

 

 

Evey  (V For Vendetta)

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Natalie Portman, next in 2006’s dystopian thriller V For Vendetta. Evey’s life is changed forever when she encounters V, a masked freedom fighter intent on taking down the tyrannous government. Sound familiar? Katniss and Evey are fighting for similar causes; the freedom of the people and a leadership that is fair and righteous.

 

 

 

Elsa (Frozen)

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Frozen may be set in a land that is far from hot, but Elsa is a scorching leading lady. Her powers may be cool, but her heart burns with fearlessness and bravery when she leaves her old life behind. Frozen is about fighting for what you believe in, even when you have to go it alone. Elsa is a brilliant icon for a strong, modern woman and the film depicts a great representation of sisterly love, showing that you don’t need a Prince or Knight in shining armour to find true happiness.

 

Selene (Underworld)

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With talks surrounding a reboot (or sequel) of the Underworld franchise, we have to pay homage to Kate Beckinsale’s ass-kicking character Selene. Shes’s a gorgeous vampire, but her looks are deceiving because she’s deadly. Just like Katniss, she’s fighting for her people and when two guns are pulled out you know things are about to get serious.

 

 

 

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter franchise)

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Because not all fire has to be physical, we have Hermione Granger to finish off with. Her intelligence is her strength and with it came all kinds of power. She was an irreplaceable member of our unforgettable magical trio and punched Draco Malfoy. Brilliant!

 

 

 

 

There you have it. Five fiery females that prove films aren’t too short of tough ladies. Who did we miss? Who would you have chosen? Share your comments in the box below and make sure to catch Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1, in cinemas now.

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Grimmfest 2014: Best of the Fest

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GRIMMBEST

Not too long ago horror returned to Manchester’s Dancehouse theatre as Grimmfest took over between 2nd and 5th October for what was possibly the strongest line-up for the festival so far. Over the weekend there was in total of twenty-five features, eleven short films and thirteen countries were represented. There was one English Premiere fourteen Northern Premieres, and four UK premieres.

I managed to see eleven of the features and ten of the short films that were showing. These included Brian O’Malley‘s LET US PREY, Gerard Johnstone‘s HOUSEBOUND, James Ward Byrkit‘s COHERENCE, Fredrik Hana‘s AUTUMN HARVEST, Andy Stewart‘s SPLITLowell Dean‘s WOLFCOP,  and Ivan Kevanagh‘s THE CANAL.

It’s a shame that I didn’t get time to catch every film that was showing this year and I missed out again on catching Chelsey Burdon and Mark Vessey‘s short SHE and I missed out on the epic performance from the 70’s progressive rock legends CLAUDIO SIMONETTI’S GOBLIN peforming a live score to Dario Argento‘s masterpiece SUSPIRIA. However, this did not spoil my weekend as I had a blast.

Also during the weekend there was an appearance the Hollywood Prostetics and Make Up FX artist SHAUN HARRISON who talked to fesival goers about his career and watch the man in work as he did a live demonstration over the weekend of his skills. Also appearing at the festival was Pollyanna McIntosh (White Settlers), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones), Oliver Frampton (The Forgotten), Brian O’Malley (Let Us Prey) and Steve Oram (The Canal).

So it is certain that the weekend was a big success for Simeon Halligan, Rachel Richardson Jones, Greg Walker as well as the rest of Team Grimm. But looking back at the films these words bear repeating, Grimmfest 2014 had a cracking selection of films on offer for festival goers to feast on. So looking back at the line-up I have selected five features and five shorts that I am pleased to award Best of the Fest for this years festival. Enjoy.

Starting with the Shorts. I have already mentioned that there were eleven shorts played during the main run of the festival and here are four of the best shorts that were shown.

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Daniel Muñoz Caniero‘s DON’T PLAY WITH THE FOOD comes to us from Spain. Set during a family dinner, the short tells the story about a rebelious daughter who is forced to reconsider her recent love for the sake of her family. Very dark, very funny and very much outthere, I enjoyed this one as it was certainly different from the rest of the shorts that were played during the weekend.

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Offering a unique method of channeling the dead, DIrector Ben Steiner deilivers one of the strangest shorts I have seen in quite some time with THE STOMACH. In the film Frank is spirit medium who gets tangeled in an argument between a petty criminal and his dead partner. There’s not much to say about this one without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it yet so I will remain quiet and urge you to seek it out if you get the chance to do so.

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During Saturday’s Short Film Showcase there was the UK Premiere of Andy Stewart‘s stunning short SPLIT. Starring Austin Hayden and Shian DenovanSplit short tells the story of a man who awakens one day to discover that his guilt over his infidelity begins to eat him away, literally. Not only did the film balances its drama and horror elements flawlessly but it features some truly disgusting special effects from Grant Mason that will leave you stunned.

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A deeply shocking short that is not easily forgotten, Melanie Light‘s shocking ‘vegan feminist’ horror THE HERD sees a bunch of women imprisoned against their will who are enslaved, Inseminated and abused for one reason only – their milk. Starring Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman) and Charlotte Hunter (Emmerdale), the film is very powerful. It is gritty, harrowing and will certainly stay with you long after watching it and it is for that reason that it makes my list.

Moving on to the features, there were twenty-five of them shown over the course of the weekend and here are four of my favourites.

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One part dirty harry one part wolfman, WOLFCOP is directed by Lowell Dean and stars Leo Fafard in the title role. The film follows an alcoholic cop who is called to investigate a disturbance in the nearby woods only to be caught up in a ritual sacrifice and is cursed to become a werewolf. A definite crowd pleaser, the film features some truly hilarious moments and one werewolf transformation that begins in a place you will never have imagined. It’s a Troma-esque film with a much bigger budget. It’s inventive but suffers from pacing issues. If you want to see it, it’s out now on DVD.

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Gerard Johnstone‘s dark comedy HOUSEBOUND stars Morgana O’Reilly and Rima Te Wiata. Housebound is the story of Kylie Bucknell who is force to return to her parents house when she is put on home detention. When she bares witness to the unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, Kylie begins to think that the house might be possessed by a hostile spirit. Hilariously entertaining and packed with a surprising amount of tense moments, I really enjoyed this one. It made me laugh out loud, it made me jump out of my seat and it was superbly directed by Johnstone.

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Perhaps one of the most hyped up films of the 2014 festival circuit is James Ward Byrkit‘s COHERENCE. One part sci-fi thriller and one part relationship drama, the film takes place on the night of an astronomical anomaly where at the same time eight friends are enjoying a dinner party. As a comet passes above the friends are thrust into a chain of events that will leave them (and the audience) stunned. I couldn’t help but become mesmerised by Coherence it was highly effective in drawing me in with its puzzles and paradoxes and I can firmly state that it’s hype is justified.

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Jamaine Clement & Taika Waititi‘s epic mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADDOWS is fangtastic! Following the undead lives of Viago, Vladislav and Decon, What We Do In The Shaddows documents the adventures of the three flatmates whilst they try their best to balance life’s obstacles with being an immortal vampires. Imagine This Is Spinal Tap with Vampires and you’re almost there… almost. This film was hilarious. By the time the end credits began to roll my eyes were watering and sides were killing me from laughing so much.

So which feature and which short is my personal favourite? Keep reading to find out.

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Fredrik Hana caused quite the stir last year with his short Angst, Piss and Drid and with his latest effort AUTUMN HARVEST the director really doesn’t disappoint. The short provides a portrait of a grief-stricken sailor turned serial killer and is shot entirely in black and white. Very moody, superbly directed and perfectly scored, there was nothing I didn’t like about this short. I can’t recommend it enough it was beautifully dark and looked superb on the big screen.

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Ivan Kavanagh’s THE CANAL stars Rupert Evans (Hellboy), Steve Oram (Sightseers) and Kelly Byrne. Tense and genuinely scary this film is the whole package. Nicely written, superbly acted and containing some of the most horrific imagery that you won’t have seen for a very long time I gaurantee you that it will send icy cold chills down your spine as a result. The Canal is highly engaging and incredibly tense and it is for this reason that it is one of the best horror films i’ve seen in a very long time.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to read my daily coverage of the festival you can do so by clicking on the relevant link.

OPENING GALA & FRIDAY, 3rd OCTOBER
Feat. Let Us Prey, The Herd, Suburban Gothic

SATURDAY, 4th OCTOBER
Feat. Short Film Showcase, Housebound, Coherence, What We Do In The Shadows, Starry Eyes, Zombeavers

SUNDAY 5th OCTOBER
Feat. Dead Snow 2, Life After Beth, Wolfcop, The Canal

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2014 Film4 Frightfest: Best of the Fest

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As you know last weekend I was in London to attend the 15th Film4 Frightfest which took place at London’s Vue West End between 21st to 25th August. With over fifty eight features shown over the course of the weekend where twelve countries were represented, there were thirty three UK Premieres, eleven World Premieres, four English Premieres and two European Premieres, so those attending the festival were truly spoilt for choice.

I managed to see twenty four of them and thankfully had the opportunity to see a couple of more prior to the festival which included THE CANAL and WOLF CREEK 2. But, one thing I would say about this festival is that the absence of short films showed with the features were very much felt. However, this isn’t to say that no shorts were shown at all but this year saw all twenty short films shown across two Short Film Showcases. The first ten were shown on Saturday 23rd at 12:45pm and the second took place on Monday 25th at 18:00pm. Both showcases were hosted in the discovery screen where many of the filmmakers were in attendance to introduce their films.

It’s a shame that I didn’t get time to catch the shorts this year but I decided to skip them to see the World Premiere of Simeon Halligan‘s WHITE SETTLERS and the UK Premiere of the third instalment of the popular found footage anthology series V/H/S VIRAL. That said, I hope to catch Jill Sixx Gervargizian‘s CALL GIRLChristian James‘s GOBLINAlex Mathieson and Damon Rickard‘s THE TOUR, and finally SHE from Chesley Burdon and Mark Vessey at some point in the near future.

As well as the films, Frightfest is famous for something else and that is celebrity guests. This year saw Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett and Maika Monroe open the festival with their remarkable film THE GUEST. They were joined at the festival by director John McNaughton (THE HARVEST), actress Essie Davis (THE BABADOOK), director Nacho Vigalondo (OPEN WINDOWS), Till Kleinert (DER SAMURAI), Kevin Kolsch (STARRY EYES), Adam Green (DIGGING UP THE MARROW), Adrian Garcia Bogliano (LATE PHASES), Jessica Cameron (TRUTH OF DARE), Simeon Halligan (WHITE SETTLERS).

Also appearing at the festival was actors Pit Bukowski and Michel Diercks (DER SAMURAI), Rupert Evans and Steve Oram (THE CANAL), Finn Jones (THE LAST SHOWING). However, the guest of honour at the festival was none other than Freddy Kreuger himself Robert Englund who was in attendance to promote his latest film THE LAST SHOWING and to take part in an exclusive Q&A after a special screening of his classic film A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

Referring back to the films, we had some amazing (and not so amazing) films presented to us. Sadly, it was not possible to watch every single film but it was handy to have a choice between the three screens just in case something did not take my fancy. With this in mind and in an attempt to battle those inevitable post-festival blues I have looked back at the films that I managed to catch during the festival to bring you this list of ten Best of the Fest films. Enjoy.

FEST10Chad Archibald crafts a dark whimsical horror with THE DROWNSMAN which explores the notions of lost, struggle and personal demons. I liked the film and although it is clumsy at certain parts I was happy with the end result. As a film it was engaging enough to hold me in my seat and I thought Ry Barrett did a fantastic job as the title character. Overall, the film had more positives than negatives and that fact alone deserves the thumbs up from me.

FEST09Simeon Halligan does a great job in the directors seat with WHITE SETTLERS. What appears to be a typical home invasion thriller on the surface, the film borrows elements from such films as Straw Dogs and Eden Lake to deliver a film that provides just the right amount of tension to keep audiences watching without pandering to them. Based on true events this is a chilling yet enjoyable horror.

FEST08I thoroughly enjoyed this movie it is a simple yet effective thriller that is expertly directed by William Eubank. Featuring solid performances from the entire cast (and a rather amusing performance from Lin Shay), I found THE SIGNAL highly engaging and somewhat thought provoking as it throws in some spectacular visuals in the final act. I imagine this film would not be to everyone’s taste but this won’t stop me from giving the film credit where it’s due.

FEST07Possibly a modern interpretation of Rear Window, OPEN WINDOWS is a film that is both entertaining and thrilling. As director Nacho Vigalondo has crated a film that is rich of tension and looks flawless on screen. I liked this film, it does not lag and I was glad to see that the multi-screen approach never became distracting but served to heighten the overall effect of the film.

FEST06Smartly written, superbly acted and nicely directed Kevin KolschSTARRY EYES is a film that draws your attention from the get go and takes you on a journey filled with horrific imagery and shocking scenes of gore underlined by a commentary about the more grittier side of casting in LA. The effects reminded me of last year’s Discovery film Contracted about a young girl who contracts a deadly STI from a one night stand so if you have seen that you have a basic idea of just how disturbing this film can get.

FEST05Expertly directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano, LATE PHASES looks amazing on screen and boasts strong performances from Nick Damici (We Are What We Are) and Ethan Embry (Cheap Thrills). Both actors do a fantastic job to bring a sense of realism to their roles but the true star in this film is the special effects. The wolf transformations are both fun and from what I see is done entirely in practical effects and was in the same class as An American Werewolf in London. I simply couldn’t stop smiling.

FEST04At first glance Eduardo Sanchez‘s big-foot horror EXISTS was placed lower on this list but the more I thought about it I began to remember how good this film actually was. Sure the performances are less than good but overall the film does entertain with its creative monster effects and interesting deaths. As director Sanchez builds a sense of tension that never truly lets go.

FEST03At the time I saw this film there was very little to no content avialable online and I can tell you now that this is the best way to enjoy this film. Therefore I refuse to reveal what DIGGING UP THE MARROW is about but I can assure you that it is Adam Green‘s best film to date. It’s fun, It’s scary and will hold your attention in a vice-tight grip until the end credits roll. So don’t spoil this gem by looking for spoilers online, just sit back and enjoy every minute of it (when you get the chance).

FEST02In at number two is Till Kleinert‘s impressive German horror DER SAMURAI. Featuring a phenomenal performance from Pit Bukowski as a sword wielding menace the film takes the audience on a journy thats packed of mystery and carnage. Superbly directed by Kleinhert, Der Samurai has been hailed as a gay liberation film but it looks beautiful on screen. This film may have some very graphic visuals but it still remains an engaging thriller and it is for this reason that I recommend checking it out.

FEST01I might be somewhat biased but I think Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett make a fantastic team together. They wowed me with You’re Next and they even managed to exceed my expectations with THE GUEST. Starring Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens in the leading role Wingard has crafted a thriller that is packed with many surprises, practical effects and a liquid gold sound track that was simply phenomenal. I still couldn’t stop thinking about this movie throughout the festival and it is for this reason that The Guest takes the number one spot.

That concludes my list of ten Best of the Fest films. Ivan Kavanagh‘s THE CANAL would have made this list but considering the fact that I did not see it during the festival I have chosen to omit it from my list. This said, I would like to mention the following films which certainly deserve your attention.

FEST12Bigger, Better, Bolder and Bloodier than the first, DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD is a prime example of how a sequel should be. Wirkola has exceeded all expectations and keeps up the ante on this excellent comedy horror that will have you in pain from the number of laugh-out-moments in this film. You won’t believe what Tommy Wirkola does with a tank and a sandpit, a crushed ribcage and one hell of a love scene.

FEST13Both emotional and heartwarming, Jeff Baena‘s LIFE AFTER BETH is another credible romantic zombie comedy that is really a pleasure to watch. The script is sharply written and the performances from the cast are sound but the true star in this movie is without a doubt Aubrey Plaza as her performance utilises her comedy skills that help her to steal every scene she is in.

FEST11Jessica Cameron‘s TRUTH OR DARE pushes the boundaries of acceptability. Its direct mean-spirited approach reminded me of James Cullen Bressick‘s Hate Crime which is also one of the most disturbing films i’ve ever seen. Featuring some truly twisted dares and enough gore to make Hostel look like a saturday television programme, Cameron spares nothing and no one as she crafts a thriller that accelerates in ferocity leaving her audience speechless.

So what about the rest? We’ve talked about the best films shown during the festival so it should only be fair for me to talk about the film which has become my least favourite. That film is…

FEST00This movie is awful. I sat through its 92 minute run-time in hope that it might eventually get better but it didn’t. It feels more like someone has collected a bunch of cut-scenes from a computer game and edited them all together to get this mess of a film. So if you ever get the chance to see this one make sure you approach with caution as I certainly don’t recommend it.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to read my daily coverage of the festival you can do so by clicking on the relevant link.

DAY ONE > The Guest, Sin City 2, Zombeavers

DAY TWO > The Green Inferno, Shockwave Darkside 3D, Late Phases, Exists, Dead Snow 2, The Drownsman

DAY THREE > Starry Eyes, White Settlers, The Harvest, The Babadook, Digging up the Marrow, Life After Beth

DAY FOUR > Open Windows, Stage Fright, Home, Der Samurai

DAY FIVE > Nymph, X Moor, Truth or Dare, V/H/S Viral, The Signal

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Top Wraithlike Reflections in Film

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There something about mirrors that just make them terrifying things, especially in the morning when those bags beneath the eyes and messed up hair screech at you like some kind of possessed demon. And even more disturbing is when you find out that it is you. Yikes!

In new terror film Oculus, Karen Gillian stars as Kaylie, a girl investigating the paranormal activity surrounding the horrific antique mirror that has taken the lives of her parents. As Kaylie discovers, alongside her brother Tim, some things are best left unexplored. With that in mind, let’s reflect on some of the best wraithlike reflections in cinema,

The Craft

craft1Though many will look upon this bewitching supernatural teen flick with a few groans, it actually shaped many childhoods and the women they would later become. It has grown into one of the most classic cult movies despite being panned on release and it is all based on its realistic venture into the spells and witchcraft. However, one of the many scenes that jut out is the locker room scene. Rochelle has cast a wicked spell on bully Laura. As it progresses, she finds that Laura has become completely bald and starts to feel a pang of guilt. When she turns to face herself in her mirror, her reflection turns her back on her, shadowing Rochelle’s descent into the dark arts.

25th Hour

Edward Norton and Spike Lee seem like a match made in heaven. One is an enigmatic and impeccable actor and the other is an enigmatic and impeccable director. Coming together in this phenomenal movie, Norton plays drug dealer Monty who has 24 hours before he has to serve a 7 year prison sentence. In this powerful mirror scene, Monty spits this intense monologue to the grimy mirror of a bar bathroom. Facing Monty, and subsequently Norton, this scene is viscerally intelligent and smartly impacting. As he deals with his fears of facing prison, Monty has to learn how to deal with it. It’s a potent scene.

Evil Dead 2

evil-dead-2Now from powerful to batshit insane, there is no denying that Sam Raimi’s twisted horror series is a collection of crazy images, fucked up horror and a chin so unforgettable that the world fell a little bit in love with Bruce Campbell. Lifting off from the cabin in the woods tale so horrible that it was banned, Bruce’s character Ash Williams is trapped yet again in his logged prison cell of hell. As demons torment him and impair his sanity, he must keep a level head and try not to die at the same time. In one moment, damaged, he takes a look at the injuries and then finds himself in a battle against his own reflection.


Taxi Driver

Perhaps one of the most famous mirror scenes of all time. It has prompted a gazillion people globally to turn in their own Travis Bickle performance every time they get dressed in the morning and if you say you never did then you are a big fat liar. Anyway, Robert Di Niro’s renegade taxi driver who navigates New York City in a flair of anarchy is best known for this speech to his own reflection. As though he is talking to a thug, he addresses the reflection with the immortal lines, “are you talking to me?” before shooting at the glass. I am not going to say anymore because I bet you’ve stopped reading to recite the whole thing now.

Duck Soup

duck-soup-1Ok so if there were one mirror scene to rival Taxi Driver than it would be this one. And technically, we’re cheating. A joke so hilarious it has been replicated in media dozens of times since. Groucho
Marx, now strangely the star of a Lloyds Bank commercials, is utterly fantastic in this ingenious film. Pinky pretends to be Firefly inside a missing mirror. It is intensely surreal a the two men swap positions and try to stop collisions. But nothing is more famous that the twirl where one stays still and the other spins as though they both did. Hilarity.

Oculus stars Karen Gillan (TV’s Dr. Who), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent), Katy Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Rory Cochrane (At Your Door) and is destined to terrify audiences in the same way that last year’s The Conjuring did.

Do you have what it takes to face Oculus? Find out when it is released in cinemas across the UK on 13th June 2014.

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Devil’s Knot – Top Films Concerning Missing Children

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The release of Devil’s Knot is fast approaching and the film follows the trail of three teenagers accused of killing three young children. The film stars Colin Firth, Dane Dehaan and Colin Firth and is directed by Atom Egoyan (Where The Truth Lies, Adoration). To celebrate the release of Devil’s Knot, Cinema Chords thought it would be worth discussing some of the best films about missing children. Have a look at the list below and share your comments at the end.

 

 

LOPLife of Pi

First on the list is Life of Pi, the amazing story of Pi who becomes castaway after a disaster at sea. With no other human companions, Pi is left stranded on a boat with a gorilla, tiger and hyena and is put under the ultimate test of survival.

This is probably the most visually stunning film on the list. The beautiful surroundings and awe-inspiring special effects work as a great contrast to Pi’s desperate and distressing situation. We feel every second of Pi’s pain; as he becomes increasingly tired and helpless, we become more and more engrossed in the events that unfold.

It is a truly heart-wrenching tale of endurance and Ang Lee is a masterful director who wonderfully brings Pi’s journey to life. It is a unique and unpredictable viewing experience, certainly one of the best recent adaptations and a great account from the missing child’s perspective.

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Poltergeist

Horror can be the perfect genre for portraying missing children and Poltergeist depicts the most ultimately lost child. Carol-Anne’s ominous uttering of “they’re here!” is one of the most well-known lines in film and marks the beginning of the family’s plaguing by poltergeists. The poor girl gets trapped in a limbo-type state and her only means of contact is through the TV. It really is no wonder that parents are worried that their children will be swallowed by television.

Poltergeist is a top-notch horror by Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg; a great tale of family unification in the most supernatural of events. It’s a cheesy, quite scary and unforgettable – who can forget the high-pitched voice of Zelda Rubenstein as she attempts to the rid house of its supernatural invasion?

Poltergeist is probably one of the most entertaining horror films of all time. The CGI may not live up to today’s standard, but for fans of classic 80s horror and special effects, the story of lost Carol-Anne is terrific.

PRIPrisoners

Prisoners is probably one of the best crime thrillers to come out of America in a long time. It brings together themes of revenge and redemption that is reminiscent of film noir, in a way that is wholly unforgiving and truly exceptional.

I’m sure many have wondered what they would do if their child was kidnapped and, to make it worse, the police aren’t doing enough. Prisoners puts on-screen what many of us would do if we were in this situation and desperate to discover the whereabouts of our child.

Hugh Jackman portrays the father pushed over the edge to a tee; his actions are extreme, yet understandable and it’s up to the audience to decide if he’s right or wrong. Either way, it will be hard to describe Prisoners as anything but a modern-day noir masterpiece. It’s brutal and unpredictable, with an ending that will take your breath away.

ANAAnastasia

A personal favourite from this list is Anastasia; the story of a missing Russian princess teaming up with 2 con men; the confident Dimitri and loveable Vlad, to be reunited with her Grandmother in Paris.

It’s a charming and heart-warming story filled with brilliant characters and great musical numbers – something I think, is hard to come by. Voiced by Christopher Lloyd, Rasputin is a terrifying and slightly hilarious animated villain who seeks to destroy Anastasia and her family. The entire film is filled with a great voice cast, from Meg Ryan as Anastasia, to John Cusack as Dimitri and Rasputin’s sidekick Bartok the bat voiced by Hank Azaria.

The story is an original interpretation of a missing child story, because Anastasia doesn’t know she is missing, but longs to uncover the secrets of her past. She has very little recollection of her childhood and her eventual realisation of her true identity is lovely to watch. The film embodies much of what little girls secretly wish: that they are actually a Princess and, I for one, am still rather disappointed that my Duchess Grandma never managed to find me.

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The Imposter

The Imposter is probably one of the greatest films of recent years and will leave your mind feeling blown. It is an unforgettable and jaw-dropping documentary that tells the story of a Frenchman who claims to be the missing son of an American family.

This film is one of the most astounding pieces of film-making I have ever seen, hands down. The more you watch, the more unbelievable the story becomes. It’s completely unpredictable and by the time it had ended I was gob-smacked.

It’s a really interesting and exceptional depiction of deceit and mystery that unwinds perfectly. There are so many questions raised within its runtime, it’s hard to decide where you stand after the film’s closing credits. If you only ever watch one documentary in your whole life, then you will not go wrong if this is the one that you choose.

FINFinding Nemo

Everyone’s favourite lost little fish is next on the list. You didn’t think we’d just be sticking to lost human children, did you? Finding Nemo is an exciting animated adventure from Pixar which sees the capture of the curious clown fish Nemo, who must then rely on his dad and forgetful Dory to help find him.

Animated movies are great for kids and adults alike, and Finding Nemo is a great example of one that caters for the young and old. There are memorable lines and characters a-plenty and with a sequel called Finding Dory on the way, we are due even more missing fishy action.

GBGGone Baby Gone

Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone quickly set him up as a director to keep an eye on. His film about a missing child in Boston is a realistic and complicated story that will keep you on your toes throughout. Not everything is what it seems in this town and you’ll need your best thinking cap on if you want to suss out what’s going on before the end.

With a great book by Dennis Lehane as the original material, it would have been hard for this film to be adapted poorly. However, Affleck superbly creates a dark and gloomy setting for the equally as shadowy story. There is plenty of moral questions raised, which helps to make Gone Baby Gone a brilliantly complex and thrilling drama about a missing child.

There we have it, those are definitely some great films revolved around missing children, but which ones did we miss? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Be sure to catch Devil’s Knot when it is released this Friday 13th June. Check out the trailer below:

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