An unusual setting gives this low-key horror some added interest, stirring a whiff of issue-based drama into the otherwise under-developed plot. It's also photographed with considerable skill, generating its scary moments with careful filmmaking rather than cheap gimmicks, although there isn't a moment that doesn't feel familiar. Yes, Spanish director Lluis Quilez never saw a scary-movie cliche that he didn't like.
It's set in rural Colombia, where Sarah and Paul (Julia Stiles and Scott Speedman) have just arrived in Santa Clara, on the edge of the jungle, with their young daughter Hannah (Pixie Davies). Sarah has a new job at the paper factory owned by her father (Stephen Rea), while Paul works from home as an illustrator. And as they settle into their gorgeous new house in a lush neighbourhood, the community is preparing for its annual Saint Children Festival, commemorating a tragic event from the conquistador era. But it's something much more recent that seems to have sparked a malevolent force in the town, as everyone catches glimpses of swarms of face-covered children emerging from the rainforest. And it seems to be Hannah that they want.
Quilez indulges in all the usual atmospherics, including sudden thunderstorms and power cuts, a sinister dumbwaiter and even a ball bouncing ominously down the stairs. Even so, he resists ramping up the horror too much, making the film feel more like a mystery as Sarah and Paul investigate the strange goings on, learning dark secrets about the town's past. When someone mentions the "old paper mill" it's clearly going to feature later on. And this gives the movie an intriguing sense that perhaps not everything that's happening is supernatural. That said, the plot is so thin that it barely exists, held together by a hint of subtext and the grounded performances.
Continue reading: Out Of The Dark Review
Feast your eyes on the delightful 'Tasting Menu' trailer.
Tasting Menu is preparing to open in America after having premiered in Spain last year to acclaim. The Spanish-set, bilingual movie pushes the boundaries of international cinema with a unique premise and sumptuous shots of the coast and of course, food.
Vicenta N'Dongo Plays A Chef Preparing To Close The Doors Of The World's Best Restaurant.
Food-lovers won't fail to be entranced by the romance of the restaurant scenes - and we're not just talking about the many couples who dine each night in the best restaurant in the world. We mean the lovingly shot scenes of kitchen commotion, pain-staking food perfection and the gorgeous Costa Brava setting. Vicenta N'Dongo plays head chef Mar, who tells her team that the restaurant will soon close its doors and that they should make preparations for the last day of service.
Marc and Rachel haven't seen each other for a whole year since their relationship ended, but they are now forced to re-unite once again to fulfil a date they have been waiting for for a very long time. Whilst still happily together, they had been lucky enough to reserve a table at what is widely known as the best restaurant in the world in Costa Brava. In usual circumstances, they would cancel the booking and make separate reservations for themselves in the future to enjoy the globe's finest culinary experience. However, their date happens to be the last night of opening for the restaurant which has made a regrettable decision to finally close its doors. There's no chance this former couple are going to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity; will they find themselves re-connecting, or will their differences ruin it for both of them?
Continue: Tasting Menu Trailer
It turns out that Butch Cassidy didn't die in a hail of gunfire in 1908 Bolivia after all. Now calling himself James Blackthorn (Shepard), he's still living there 20 years later with his girlfriend Yana (Solier). But after he decides to return home, he's waylaid by Eduardo (Noriega), a city-slicker who has embezzled thousands from a brutal businessman. Their ensuing adventures spark memories of Blackthorn's days as a young outlaw (Coster-Waldau in flashbacks) with the Sundance Kid (Delaney) and Etta Place (McElligott), chased to South America by the dogged lawman McKinley (Rea).
Continue reading: Blackthorn Review
Tom Hickey, Martin Sheen, Stephen Rea and Dublin International Film Festival - Tom Hickey, Martin Sheen, Derbhle Crotty and Stephen Rea Thursday 23rd February 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - 'Stella Days' premiere at Cineworld Dublin - Arrivals
Moya Brennan and Stephen Rea - Moya Brennan, Stephen Rea, Maighread Ni Dhomhniall Dublin, Ireland - Launching of the Temple Bar Tradfest 2009 in Oliver St. John Gogarty's Pub Tuesday 13th January 2009
You'll need more than faith to accept the film's ridiculous premise, cooked up by sibling screenwriters Carey and Chad Hayes. These two can't distinguish between horrifying and horrible. They last collaborated on the dreadful House of Wax remake starring Paris Hilton. Enough said.
Continue reading: The Reaping Review
This film by aspiring assistant director/producer Lewin Webb is straight out of episodic TV. Think your lesser episode of, oh, Law & Order. A priest (Von Flores) is discovered red-handed with one of his flock, dead and covered with blood. The priest says he was just giving him the last rites, and that he knows what happened, but he can't divulge this due to confession's rules of confidentiality. Immediately on the case is Daniel Clemens (Slater), who's better known for his fundraising abilities and PR schmoozing. What he uncovers is a sort-of half-baked counterculture of gay Catholics (of which Flores may or may not have been a member)... and a murder plot that has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.
Continue reading: The Confessor Review
Continue reading: In Dreams Review
FearDotCom is easily in the running for worst film of the year. The whole mess is a painfully dull ripoff of much better films - namely Poltergeist, Videodrome, and 8MM (okay, so that one's not much better). Full of grotesque imagery of sadistic tortures and killings and a plethora of asinine characters and pathetic attempts at acting, FearDotCom is a prime example of just how bad a bad movie can be.
Continue reading: Feardotcom Review
Based on a true story that took place in the 1950s, Brosnan plays Desmond Doyle, a father of three young children who is left to care for the kids when his wife leaves him for another man the day after Christmas. This happens to coincide with another unsettling loss for Doyle - he's recently lost his job. Since he is unable to find work, the courts have taken his two sons and only daughter Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) and placed them in church run orphanages. When he finds suitable employment and tries to re-unite with his children, he finds his troubles have only just begun.
Continue reading: Evelyn Review
Even if "The End of the Affair" didn't invite comparisons to "The English Patient" with Ralph Fiennes' auto-pilot performance as another reflective World War II-era Englishman immersed heart and soul in an adulterous love affair, this Neil Jordan adaptation of Graham Greene's novel would still be an ambitious misfire.
Beset by the oversimplification of abstract and heavy concepts of heart, mind and religion, the film looks beautiful with its foggy and well-heeled London society appointments, and it's nothing if not emotional, what with the likes of Fiennes and Julianne Moore as the (naturally!) doomed lovers and Jordan staple Stephen Rea as the betrayed, milquetoast husband/best friend.
But while Jordan's talent for screenwriting and direction are evidenced in dialogue ("I'm jealous of these shoes because they take you away from me. I'm jealous of this stocking because it kisses your entire leg...") and structure (Fiennes' point of view transitions into Moore's as he reads her stolen diary), the director's use of other stale and banal plot devices betray the pedestrian underpinnings of this seemingly complex film.
Continue reading: The End Of The Affair Review
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