Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

The challenge of the Nightmare on Elm Street films is that they need to create fear in an environment where the normal rules don’t apply, which makes scares that would be shocking in a realistic context less effective. The second sequel answers this challenge by not trying to be a horror film; it’s more of…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s power stems from its verisimilitude, how it feels like a gritty documentary. The remake largely abandons any attempt at this and makes a host of baffling choices:           The film seems compelled to make its leads as unlikable as possible, setting them up as crass, unsympathetic drug traffickers –…

Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall opens in classic Bond fashion with an extended action sequence involving countless vehicles, composed with enthralling kineticism. As an opening it’s perfect; as a representation of the film’s style it’s misleading. The next half hour or so drags, aside from some impressive visual styling, before the film reveals its true nature with the introduction…

The Colours of Skyfall

Sam Mendes is interested in colour and light; the red door of American Beauty, the flaming oil wells of Jarhead. Skyfall is no different. The film opens with an out of focus Bond and an important early shot, viewed through a mirror, shows him disappearing into shadows (a recurring motif). The interplay of colour and…

The Ring (2002)

For a self-professed “movie geek,” there’s some significant holes in my film knowledge, but the largest are certainly in the horror genre, a genre I’ve only recently embraced. One such hole is J-Horror – I’ve only seen Pulse (and thoroughly disliked it), and have yet to see the original Ringu. This means that I can…

Fuck Buttons, Harvest Festival (18 November 2012)

Fuck Buttons’ sound seems to channel the essence of currents. It’s the torrential flow of a raging river; it’s the crackling effervescence of raw electricity. It’s also immense, celestial – like the fierce blood flow of some ancient god. Undercurrent, though, there’s a natural fragility to their music, an organic pulse. That pulse, excited and…

Liars, Harvest Festival (18 November 2012)

Liars made it clear that they wouldn’t be performing “standard festival fare ” at Harvest, which is what I’d expected – they’re a band known for their experimentation, their refusal to stick with an approach for longer than album. So I was looking forward to something left of centre from their hour long performance. They…