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HCF Review - Graveyard Shift

MALUM (2023)

While horror movie remakes are a dime a dozen it’s more unusual for a film-maker to revisit their own work. It could be argued, somewhat unsuccessfully, that Evil Dead II is an example of this phenomenon. The budget is higher, the scope is wider, the violence is gorier, and certain scenes are recreated. At a first glance this appears to be fair comparison since Anthony DiBlasi’s Last Shift (as reviewed by HCF’s own Bat here) has this same basic premise as this new version. However, this time around the haunted police station hazmat crew have been swapped out for something less cohesive. It might be best described as Assault on Precinct 13 meets Hereditary, but I’m afraid that would be grossly overselling the whole thing. Instead this is mostly an example of why less is more when it comes to both demonic cults and problem parents.

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HCF Review - Creep

LOVE WILL TEAR US APART (2024)

Abusive parents, bullies, con artists, and creepy drunks might not seem like the most appropriate subjects for a slasher-comedy hybrid, but writer and director Ken’ichi Ugana gives it his best shot. To say the end results are uneven might be stating the obvious. This is a strange blend of plot clich├ęs you’ve probably seen elsewhere, with added black comedy violence. At just under ninety minutes it doesn’t outstay its welcome, but then it doesn’t really ever explore any potential themes very deeply either. Of course eclectic genre mash-ups are also something you’ve seen elsewhere if you’ve ever taken a trip into the Japanese realm of horror cinema. Let’s take a look at whether this particular example distinguishes itself from its contemporaries or whether it’s a mixed bag.

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HCF Review - Let's Rock

FISH STORY (2009)

Pop culture references can often be a jarring inclusion within a film, particularly when it comes to humour-laden superhero stories, but there’s also an odd charm to them when they’re used appropriately. Which is the case with Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Fish Story. It’s a yarn that asks the audience; can pop culture save the world? Specifically one forgotten punk rock song from the Seventies nobody bought, from a band without a lasting career. But more broadly it considers things like television shows, books, and even ghost stories. Do individual actions and beliefs, sometimes separated by decades, have any real impact on the world in the course of human history? Or is it all just a lot of wasted time and lost memories?

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Review Roundup - Scraps and Leftovers

2023 SCI-FI CATCH-UP

Time to take a look at a few random bits and pieces that I've either forgotten to consider at an earlier stage, or forgot were actually the big thing for fifteen minutes last year. As someone wise once said this can be catalogued under the heading 'too late nobody cares'. But there are always more expensive looking blockbusters to talk about, many filled with robots, creatures and animated wizardry. When some of them forget to include basic elements like well written stories or charming protagonists it starts to become exhausting. Do I really want to look at yet more movies based on 1980s toys? Has Gareth Edwards learned from his mistakes? Let's look what's on offer...

Review Roundup - Riders on the Storm

DUNE: PART TWO (2024)

In my retrospective for David Lynch's Dune I noted that the whole thing is oddly truncated and lacks scale. Not in the sense that the ships and sets were never large enough, but the way that the passage of time is too short and the scope of the conspiracy is too shallow. It's something that in a few ways is rectified by a fan edit of the film known as the 'spicediver' edition that you can see quite easily. It's something I recommend because, in spite of the varying film sources, it's more rewarding than the official cut. Which brings us to the Denis Villeneuve iteration which when combined is more than five hours long. Does it have the depth, the grandeur, and the cast necessary to fill so much time?