The Devil’s Candy (2016)

A good horror flick is metal-as-fuck. Tasmanian director, Sean Byrne, embraces this sentiment with a twisted, electric-guitar-infused follow-up to his debut feature, The Loved Ones. With Devil’s Candy, Byrne once again demonstrates uncommon cinematic focus, but the end product is not without its off-key moments. The film immerses itself in alternative artistry from the hard…

Girl Asleep (2015)

Girl Asleep, screening in this year’s Sydney Film Festival, has a lot in common with a pair of teen-oriented films that screened in the festival last year. Like the impressive Diary of a Teenage Girl and the not-so-impressive Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Rosemary Dyer’s directorial debut uses the “Sundance aesthetic” – twee…

Kate, Christine and Sonita: Documentary Dilemmas

One of the best things about attending film festivals – such as this year’s Sydney Film Festival – is the opportunity to explore the breadth of documentaries on display. It’s a stark contrast to the genre’s sparse representation in mainstream cinemas. The conventional critical wisdom would be to suggest that multiplex audiences tend to avoid…

Goat’s Facile Take on Toxic Frat Culture

I’ll give Goat this – it’s at least well-intentioned. So, fraternities are bad, right? The hazing they do is kinda gross and maybe dangerous, yeah? This is essentially the gist of Goat, which offers an unflinching criticism of frat culture but fails to find anything interesting to say along the way. The first fifteen minutes…

Tickled (2016)

Tickled presents a dilemma to those reviewing it. Specifically, how do you talk about the film without getting into spoilers, without tipping your hand to its many surprises? You can discuss the documentary’s premise – a continuation of Kiwi journalist David Farrier’s investigation into the mysterious world of “competitive tickling” – but to get into…