03rd Sep2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Over Your Dead Body’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Ko Shibasaki, Hideaki Ito, Hitomi Katayama, Ebizo Ichikawa, Maiko, Toshie Negishi, Miho Nakanishi, Hiroshi Katsuno, Ikko Furuya | Written by Kikumi Yamagishi | Directed by Takashi Miike Time to fess up: I don’t know all that much about Japanese folklore. Knowing the source material for an artwork that leans heavily on popular cultural institutions isn’t a requirement when viewing […]

31st Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Awaiting’ Review

by Mark Allen

Starring: Tony Curran, Diana Vickers, Rupert Hill, Sophie Lovell Anderson, Peter Woodward, Adrian Bouchet, Charley McDougal | Written and Directed by Mark Murphy   It’s grim up north. Or so many British horror films would have you believe. If you’re travelling across the Yorkshire Moors you damn well better not be travelling alone or – heaven forbid […]

30th Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Jeruzalem’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Danielle Jadelyn, Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Tom Graziani, Fares Hananya, Steven Hilder | Written and Directed by Doron Paz, Yoav Paz Falling firmly in the goofy camp of horror gimmicks is Jeruzalem, an Israel-set shocker that uses the holy city as its canvas and Google Glass as its brush. We’ve seen POV films before (REC 2, Enter the Void), […]

28th Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Aaaaaaaah!’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Steve Oram, Lucy Honigman, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Alice Lowe, Holli Dempsey, Julian Barratt, Toyah Wilcox, Noel Fielding, Tom Meeten | Written and Directed by Steve Oram Two men step over a fallen branch in a damp, overgrown wood. The larger of the two  stops to examine a framed picture of a woman in a wedding dress before the […]

27th Aug2015

‘No Escape’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Thanawut Kasro, Chatchawai Kamonsakpitak | Written by John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle | Directed by John Erick Dowdle Owen Wilson might seem like an unlikely action hero, but there was a time when he looked primed to become America’s next golden-haired champion of good and kicking ass. Roles in films like Behind Enemy Lines […]

05th Aug2015

‘Pixels’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Adam Sandler, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Jane Krakowski, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Ashley Benson | Written by Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling | Based on the short film by Patrick Jean | Directed by Chris Columbus During my bathroom trip following a screening of Pixels, a group of what I can only term lads yelled across […]

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25th Jul2015

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris | Story by Christopher McQuarrie, Drew Pearce | Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie | Directed by Christopher McQuarrie If there’s anything that connects the Mission: Impossible films in my head, it’s that I consistently come out of each new instalment wondering what the hell happened. The plots are […]

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15th Jul2015

‘The Gallows’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Gifford, Travis Cluff | Written and Directed by Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing You know the old saying less is more? Yeah, well, sometimes less is just…less. Such is the way with The Gallows, the new film from lo-fi horror producers Blumhouse (Paranormal Activity, The Purge), which managed the astounding feat of both dragging […]

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08th Jul2015

‘Ant-Man’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Wood Harris | Written by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd | Directed by Peyton Reed Dammit, Marvel. I was all ready to give up on you after Age of Ultron, a great stinking technicolour […]

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28th Jun2015

‘Jupiter Ascending’ Blu-ray Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton, Douglas Booth | Written and Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski   A rich science-fiction world, full of weird and colourful characters who still ring true despite having massive animal ears or wings, with well-defined politics, an ancient conflict and a lead couple who […]

19th Jun2015

‘Blackhat’ Blu-ray Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Leehom Wang, Wei Tang, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany | Written by Morgan Davis Foehl | Directed by Michael Mann About an hour into my viewing of Blackhat I was struggling to remain conscious from boredom. About an hour later I was glued to my seat, my eyes and ears on full alert for whatever the film was going to throw […]

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11th Jun2015

Sci-Fi London 2015: ‘Movement + Location’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Bodine Boling, Catherine Missal, Brendan Griffin, David Andrew Macdonald, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Haile Owusu, Casey Robinson, Johnny Dapolito | Written and Directed by Alexis Boling New Yorker Kim is a bit of an oddball. She barely talks to her roommate (and when she does repeats phrases that she says), has zero social life and […]

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03rd Jun2015

Sci-Fi London 2015: ‘Man Vs.’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Chris Diamantopoulos, Michael Cram, Drew Nelson, Alex Karzis, Kelly Fanson, Sam Kalilieh, Kate Ziegler, Constantine Meglis, Chloe Bradt | Written by Adam Massey, Thomas Michael | Directed by Adam Massey Doug Woods may be a semi-successful media presenter and outdoorsman (at least on the web) but he’s hardly Bear Grylls in real life. He’s […]

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02nd Jun2015

Sci-Fi London 2015: ‘El Incidente (The Incident)’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Raúl Méndez, Humberto Busto, Erick Trinidad Camacho, Magda Brugengheim, Santiago Mendoza Cortes, Nailea Norvind | Written and Directed by Isaac Ezban My initiation into Sci-Fi London looked like it was going to tick all the boxes for me: time-twisting premise; Primer-esque allusions to a complex (and possibly unsolvable) narrative; and, best of all, the fact that El Incidente was an original, mid-budget science-fiction […]

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28th May2015

Preview: Sci-Fi London Film Festival 2015

by Mark Allen

What does the future (or perhaps, an alternate reality) hold for us? Well, if you live in London and have some free time over the next week and a half, then “science fiction movies” would be a pretty good bet. Running from Friday 29th May – Sunday 7th June, the 14th annual Sci-Fi London Film […]

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25th May2015

‘Whiplash’ DVD Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton, Suanne Spoke, Charlie Ian, Jayson Blair | Written and Directed by Damian Chazelle I’m not going to tell you anything you haven’t already heard; Whiplash is great, even (perhaps especially) if you’re not particularly into jazz drumming. J.K. Simmons ought […]

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21st May2015

‘The Scopia Effect’ VOD Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Joanna Ignaczewska, Louis Labovitch, Akira Koieyama, Genevieve Sibayan, Jessica Jay, Haruka Abe, Morgan Ackermann, Bookie Anifowose | Written and Directed by Christopher Butler When watching a low-budget genre movie it’s always a little disheartening to discover that the film’s execution doesn’t quite live up to its ambitions. Sadly, such was the case with The […]

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14th May2015

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton | Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris | Directed by George Miller Come on: you don’t need me to tell you that Fury Road is the best thing since sliced bread, surely? You’ve seen all the five-star reviews […]

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01st Apr2015

‘Diamond Heist’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, Jamelia, Tamer Hassan, Simon Szabó, Nikolett Barabas, Mark Phelan | Story by Csaba Pindroch & Zoltan Furedi | Screenplay by Ivo Marloh, Dénes Orosz, Róbert Koltai | Directed by Róbert Koltai, Éva Gárdos I’m not sure which title is worse: Diamond Heist, the name of the film I was tasked with reviewing; or Magic Boys, the name given to the streamed movie I […]

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18th Mar2015

‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Travis Tope, Joshua Leonard, Andy Abele, Gary Cole, Edward Herrmann, Ed Lauter, Arabella Field, Denis O’Hare | Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Earl E. Smith | Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon When you think about it, John Carpenter and Wes Craven are to blame. Without them we wouldn’t have the […]

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28th Feb2015

‘The Boy Next Door’ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Lexi Atkins, Hill Harper | Written by Barbara Curry | Directed by Rob Cohen If I tell you that The Boy Next Door has more in common with The Room and Troll 2 than the work of Alfred Hitchcock, would you consider that a good thing? Don’t bother answering […]

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26th Feb2015

Frightfest Glasgow 2015: ’88′ Review

by Mark Allen

Stars: Katherine Isabelle, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Ironside, Tim Doiron, Kyle Schmidt, Jesse McCartney, April Mullen | Written by Tim Doiron,April Mullen | Directed by April Mullen Gwen (Katharine Isabelle) is just having one of those days. The kind where not only did she just shoot a diner waitress in front of a bunch of cops, she’s also missing a finger […]

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