Fury (2014)

Fury (2014)

A dark rider atop a white horse, a figure of nobility, mounts the horizon over an endless expanse of rutted mud. The horse trots into a landscape of wreckage and the rider – a Nazi officer, we now see – is knocked from his steed by a hitherto unseen assailant. The officer’s fate is swift…

Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger (2014)

Kill the Messenger (2014)

“You don’t know what you’re getting into.” Small-time journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner) keeps hearing variations on that statement, delivered by Washington insider Fred Weil (Michael Sheen). ‘What he’s getting into’ is a national scandal involving the CIA, Nicaragua and thousands of kilos of cocaine smuggled into the United States daily. Webb is a 1990s…

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

I’m a total sucker for films exploiting the amnesia trope, as hackneyed as it is (if it’s good enough for The Bold and the Beautiful, it’s good enough for me!). There’s something immediately engaging in the character and audience sharing the same predicament: not knowing the specifics of the events that preceded the film’s beginning,…

Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle (2014)

It’s easy to forgive horror films their sins if they’re actually scary. If Annabelle had been a genuinely frightening film, I could’ve happily forgiven its hollow Polanski references – ranging from a host of Rosemary’s Baby quotations to a Charles Manson’s appearance on television. I wouldn’t have had a problem with how it mishandles/abandons its…

Samurai Bride (featured image)

Samurai Bride (Season 2)

Samurai Bride follows the format established by its first season (titled Samurai Girls because apparently they don’t like “season two” in Japan), relying on its animation’s stylistic diversity to excuse its otherwise entirely conventional blend of harem tropes, fan-service and oversized showdowns. Interestingly, I’d argue the two approaches work at cross-purposes; viewers looking for a…

Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014)

Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014)

Is it an inevitability that horror franchises trend towards soft-core porn the longer they run? Probably not – Nightmare on Elm Street found its way to bad puns while Friday the 13th travelled to New York, Hell and, eventually, outer space. It’s certainly the case with the Wrong Turn series, which began as gory-hillbilly-survival-horror, took…

Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire is a film of many genres. These include… …a historical revisionist re-telling of the filming of F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, with John Malkovich playing “Herr Doktor” Murnau; Eddie Izzard playing Gustav von Wangenheim who plays Thomas Hutter; and Willem Dafoe playing a vampire who takes on the role of Max Schreck…