The Devil’s Dozen – Clive’s Top 13 Frightfest 2015 movies

Clive has done the blog proud this year, with a rundown of his top shocks from the 2015 Frightfest lineup. If you didn't make it, then here's your crib sheet for the best of the worst coming to the discerning horror fan over the next few months!
Continue reading The Devil’s Dozen – Clive’s Top 13 Frightfest 2015 movies


Zef Singularity

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. If you have not yet seen Neil Blomkamp's remarkable Chappie, I recommend:

a) You do so at the soonest opportunity, and

b) read this piece only after you have done so. Which chops the potential audience for it off at the knees, but hey, Readership, you know I have your best interests at mind.
Continue reading Zef Singularity

The View From the Marché

The announcement of the winning films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival left me as ever with the feeling that an opportunity had been missed. There was no sense of excitement about the event. Prizes went to delicate two-handers filmed in single rooms, or wry Scottish comedies. Where was the thrill of cinema, the transgressive, the sheer lunacy? 

Fortunately, those of us who have been to the Festival know that the big premieres at the Palais only tell a small fraction of the whole story, and the underbelly of the Festival is ripe with oddities. 

In the first of our exclusive Cannes reports for Excuses And Half Truths, Stuart Wright shows us his picks for the films that will be lighting up the Croisette this time next year. 

Continue reading The View From the Marché

Gods And Monsters – X&HT Saw Avengers Assemble

Superheroes are mythology. They stand above us, their concerns otherworldly, epic. The fate of worlds rests on their shoulders. They have little time for us, the people they pledge to protect. We get in the way. We’re cannon fodder. However much they claim to care, superheroes pledge their fealty to larger concepts than we can embody. They owe allegiance (and often claim ownership) to flags, cities, whole worlds. The people that give life to those ideals are messy little details, and boy does it ever get annoying just when you’re about to deliver the coup de grace to Dr. Villain and all of a sudden there’s a bus full of schoolkids that’s about to drop off a cliff.

And heaven help any mortal that a superhero chooses as a companion. A life of peril and an early, messy death awaits. The flimsy protection of a secret identity is no help once the mask inevitably comes off. I could reel off a loooong list of companions, wives and lovers that have lost their lives while their super-powered paramours have wept a single, perfect tear and moved on to the next battle.

And goddamit, Avengers Assemble does nothing to break that poisonous cycle.


(Are there spoilers after the cut? Are there EVER, True Believer!)

Continue reading Gods And Monsters – X&HT Saw Avengers Assemble

Out Of The Woods: X&HT Saw The Cabin In The Woods

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck then you have a fair idea of what you have in your pond. But, as any horror fan knows, appearances can be deceptive. And when it comes to the latest from Joss Whedon, who knows a thing or two about messing with your expectations, it’s best to keep your eyes and mind open. Because The Cabin In The Woods may look an awful lot like a horror film, but it’s no duck.

Oh, baby, are there ever spoilers after the jump. Spoilers the like of which you have never seen. Unless you’ve seen the film. In which case, on you go.

Continue reading Out Of The Woods: X&HT Saw The Cabin In The Woods

Short Film News

A couple of updates for you on current film projects. Finally, finally, a working drive with the full cut for Out Of Hours has landed in my grading suite. That’s the job for this afternoon, although to be frank there’s not a great deal to be done. Simon and Andy have done an astonishing job with their brace of GH2s and their secret blend of antique fast lenses and hidden menu-fu. In fact, the film already looks good enough that Clive has sent out screening copies to the Cannes judging panel before I’ve had a chance to get my mitts on it. From what I’ve seen, this could be a bit special.


Speaking of Simon and indeed a certain French film festival, if you’d like to see the film that Cannes refused to show and you’re in North London on Wednesday night, your luck’s in. Without Subtitles is screening as part of the Feast On Film event, at the Moors Bar in Crouch End. With a strong lineup that includes contributions from Out Of Hours alumni Xav Rodruguez and Keith Eyles, it should be a great night. Simon will be there to answer questions, and hey, I believe I’ll be around as well. Things kick off at 8, doors at 7.