Cripes! It looks like the Australian government is trying to cover up a bonzer story! Grab your camera and your torch and let’s head down into some dank tunnels to investigate…and die… That is the premise behind this latest offering to the found footage genre by Australian filmmaker Carlos Ledesma. Found footage? Straight to DVD? Now I know what you are all thinking but stop it right now, as this is actually quite a good film. The acting is strong and the locations are brilliant. Is it groundbreaking cinema? No. But hey, two out of three ain’t bad.
A Tarantino-style Spanish romp which veers wildly between harrowing violence and hilarious gutter-humour, Neon Flesh is by no means a comfortable viewing experience. With a shining cast and a cracking soundtrack, this totally classless 100-minute bloodbath, against the odds, manages to strike just the right note; Neon Flesh is an unusual portrayal of poverty, parenthood and perversion that affects you far more by the end than you thought it would in the beginning.
“Come here,” moans one of the female characters. “I have something I could show you”. Take it from me, what she has to show you is worse than what comes out of the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones. Shield your eyes, Best For Film followers! Before your face melts off your skull! Please can someone pass me something sharp so I can poke my eyes out? I think I saw a flash of flange…
A genuinely disturbing, if slightly hokey psychological horror from the new iFeatures digital filmmaking scheme, In The Dark Half beats the odds predicted by its micro-budget to produce a sensitive and finely detailed exploration of a particularly toxic grief, the claustrophobia of small-town life and the sheer scope of the power of denial.
In 1986, one of the reactors at the Soviet nuclear power station near Chernobyl failed, resulting in the worst nuclear disaster of all time. In 2012, a director so phenomenally irrelevant he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page made a film which not only trivialised the Chernobyl catastrophe but also had the gall to be trite, poorly made and awe-inspiringly boring. By the end of Chernobyl Diaries you will be begging for the sweet, scabby embrace of a radioactive mutant Ukrainian. And it’s not often we say that.
A stunning performance from newcomer Gretchen Lodge saves the occasionally misjudged but undeniably disturbing Lovely Molly ; a tale of one woman’s descent into madness at the hands of demons past and – unfortunately for our Mol – very much present. The scares may be patchy, but when they hit, they fester.
Piranha 3D was the surprise hit of 2010, blending knowing references to its glorious B-movie heritage with a truly unfeasible supply of boobs, blood, boobs, fish, boobs, Christopher Lloyd and boobs. Can its long-awaited sequel work the same schlocky magic? …No, no it can’t. Piranha 3DD is exactly as bad as we expected its predecessor to be.
Do you remember that bit in The Woman in Black where Daniel Radcliffe inches his way along a darkened corridor, holding onto an axe and kerosene light for dearest life? Well, Silent House is that scene, only spliced to a hundred more like it. Whether you have seen the original film or not, this is one of the most effective frighteners you will see this year, elevated by a fantastic central performance and a gimmick that essentially serves the traditional found footage format its marching orders. It’s just a shame about the ending.
James Huth’s French language Western is big, colourful and deeply silly. Sitting somewhere between Blazing Saddles and the Milky Bar adverts, Lucky Luke has all the right ingredients but none of the structure or depth to support itself as anything other than a cartoonish comedy. But with a cast boasting the likes of Jean Dujardin (in the days before he was George Valentin), and a whole lot of silly gags, you might find Lucky Luke a fun way to spend a couple of hours.