Showing posts from April, 2021

The Power (2021)

Set in 1973, writer-director Corinna Faith’s feature debut tells of student nurse Val (Rose Williams) who is forced to work the night shift in an old Victorian hospital in London’s east end. Her first night coincides with scheduled power cuts across Britain as the result of miners’ strikes. With most of the patients and staff transferred to another hospital for the night, only a skeleton crew remains to look after two wards powered by a generator. It soon becomes apparent to Val, who harbours a deep fear of the dark stemming from abuse she suffered as a child, that they are not alone. Someone, or some thing , makes its terrifying presence felt as it stalks the young nurse through the darkened hallways of the hospital...  With its brilliantly simple yet chilling premise, The Power is an atmospheric slow-burn of a ghost story. Like all good ghost stories, this too is steeped in tragedy. Faith establishes a brooding, creepy atmosphere, initially keeping everything rather suggestive. The

Shirley (2020)

When Rose Nemser's (Odessa Young) husband attains a teaching assistant position at Bennington College, Vermont, the couple are invited to stay with Professor Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his wife, the infamous mystery and horror author Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss), whose most recent short story 'The Lottery' is causing quite a stir. Before long, tensions mount within the house and Shirley begins work on a new novel about a missing girl...  Adapted by screenwriter Sarah Gubbins from Susan Scarf Merrell’s 2014 novel of the same name, Shirley is an unusual biopic that sidesteps the conventions of the form as it is more inspired by Jackson’s work than her actual life. Merrell’s novel, equal parts dark literary thriller and enthralling love letter to Shirley Jackson and her haunting body of work, is a fictionalised account of a period in Jackson’s life. Like the novel, this adaptation takes as much artistic licence as it perfectly evokes the atmosphere of Jackson’

I Am Nancy (2011)

Actress and producer Heather Langenkamp is best known for her role as Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven’s classic chiller A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Directed by Arlene Marechal, I Am Nancy  is an exploration of Langenkamp's experience portraying the heroine and of the impact of the film and its antagonist, Freddy Krueger, on pop-culture. It follows Langenkamp as she attends horror conventions around the world and talks with fans about what attracts them to horror, specifically the A Nightmare on Elm Street films , and what the characters of Nancy and Freddy mean to them.  The film follows on from  Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy , a 2010 documentary chronicling the entire  A Nightmare on Elm Street  franchise, which was executive produced and narrated by Langenkamp, who felt a number of issues were not explored in enough depth. By questioning why heroine Nancy was eclipsed by villain Freddy Kreuger, Langenkamp’s own investigation touches upon wider issues about hero wo

Pet Sematary Two (1992)

After the death of his mother, teenager Jeff (Edward Furlong) and his veterinarian father move to her hometown to start a new life for themselves. When Jeff befriends Drew, the stepson of the local sheriff, he learns of an ancient Native American burial ground deep in the forest outside of town that, according to local legend, has the power to raise the dead. When the sheriff shoots Drew’s beloved dog, the boys decide to see if there’s any truth to the lore, with mainly schlocky consequences…  Director Mary Lambert had wanted Pet Sematary Two to pick up the story again with Ellie Creed, the young daughter from the first film, and follow her as she returned to Maine to find out what happened to her parents. Alas, the studio (Paramount) didn’t feel confident that a teenaged girl could carry the film as its protagonist, so they cast… a teenaged boy, instead. Whereas the first film addressed the tragedy of death and the overwhelming power of grief, the sequel, like many other horror title

Pet Sematary (1989)

When the Creed family move into their new home, they discover a pet cemetery in the woods behind their house. After a tragic accident, the grieving father learns through local folklore that another burial ground, much more ancient and deeper into the woods, has the power to raise the dead…  Based on the novel by Stephen King (and adapted for screen by the author) Pet Sematary is a rumination on death, grief and the darkness of the human heart when it wants something so much it doesn’t consider the consequences. King once admitted that of all his work, nothing scared him or troubled him as much as Pet Sematary . In the book’s introduction, he recounts the events that inspired it: ‘I simply took existing elements and threw in that one terrible what if . Put another way, I found myself not just thinking the unthinkable, but writing it down.’ Influenced by WW Jacobs’ short story The Monkey’s Paw , which is also about death, grief and the unspeakable horror that follows when a loved one is