Author: Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.

First Impressions: Shudder’s Cursed Films should satisfy those that appreciate horror as both a genre and a temperament

March 27, 2020

As horrific as some things are on screen, behind the cameras can be even worse.  Supernatural forces at bay have proven to be more than just fictional fodder if the lore of horror set stories are anything to go by, and Shudder’s own Cursed Films docu-series sets out to prove whether it’s fact or fiction […]

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Film Review: Swallow is a slow-burning thriller that transcends its potentially nauseating premise

March 22, 2020

On paper, the premise for Swallow sounds almost too-grotesque to be relayed without resorting to some type of gimmick.  In reality, Carlo Mirabella-Davis‘s slow-burning thriller transcends its potentially nauseating core to deliver a deep, at times dark tale that wholly understands and respects its unique subject matter. The film surrounds the delicate Hunter (Haley Bennett), […]

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SXSW Film Review: Make Up is a self-discovery tale dressed up like a psychological thriller

March 20, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Perhaps diving a little too heavily into the metaphorical stance on storytelling, Claire Oakley‘s Make Up is a self-discovery tale dressed up like […]

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SXSW Midnight Shorts: Five short films that make us want more

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. The Midnight Shorts Competition has long been an audience favourite at SXSW.  A bite-sized marathon of twisted ideas that usually fuses gore, overt […]

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SXSW Film Review: The Surrogate is a realistic drama unafraid to be uncomfortable

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Detailing a tragic situation with a sobering, uncomfortable realism that has the potential to test even the most patient of viewers, The Surrogate […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: Single is a biting commentary on living with a physical disability

March 18, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. Proof that more than enough can be conveyed in a fraction of the time of a standard feature, Ashley Eakins‘ short-feature Single is […]

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SXSW Episodic Pilot Program Review: Everyone Together (Episode 1) hones a snappy, dark-leaning sense of humour

March 17, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. The description outlined for the comedy series Everyone Together sounds rather typical.  Dysfunctional families from two very different cultural backgrounds subsequently bond and […]

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SXSW Film Review: Shooting Heroin is a noble idea marred by melodramatics

March 17, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. A noble idea marred by melodramatics that often take away the importance of the film’s message, Shooting Heroin can’t help but feel like […]

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SXSW Film Review: Audiences with a penchant for the abstract are likely to enjoy The Carnivores

March 15, 2020

*The AU Review will continue with its planned SXSW 2020 coverage.  We have been in contact with the respective representatives for available films in order to give them the coverage they intended. You can love your dog, and then you can love your dog.  And whilst Caleb Michael Johnson‘s bizarre effort The Carnivores wouldn’t be […]

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5 movies not to miss at SXSW Film Festival 2020

March 4, 2020

This year’s South By Southwest is fast approaching (March 13th 2020, y’all!), and with that haste comes a schedule of cinematic treats for the masses to feast on.  Of course with 250 projects to fill the time, getting to each and every screening will be an impossible task, so we’ve compiled our look at 5 […]

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Film Review: The lavish costuming of Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears can’t compensate for its distinct lack of energy

February 27, 2020

Having never read any of Kerry Greenwood‘s historical Miss Fisher mystery novels, nor seen the television program that was birthed from them, I can only judge Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears as someone entering blindly.  And whilst I’m unfamiliar with the show, I’m aware of its structure, and I would assume that a […]

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Interview: Writer/director Leigh Whannell on his relationship with the horror genre and his unique take on The Invisible Man

February 26, 2020

As The Invisible Man prepares to be seen (or not seen) in theatres this week, The AU Review’s Peter Gray was fortunate enough to chat with the film’s writer and director, Australian talent Leigh Whannell, on his relationship with the horror genre and how a major studio like Universal Pictures left him to his own […]

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Film Review: The Invisible Man is a slick, psychological thriller that demands to be seen

February 26, 2020

Had the Tom Cruise-led revamp of The Mummy not crashed and burned at the box office upon its release in 2017 then we’d be seeing, or more correctly not seeing, a very different Invisible Man.  In an optimistic strategy from Universal Pictures – in their bid to compete with fellow juggernauts Marvel and DC – […]

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Film Review: Emma. is further proof that a fresh coat of paint can reinvigorate even the most familiar of structures

February 13, 2020

Similar to how Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women proved that we did indeed need another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s classic novel, Autumn de Wilde‘s Emma. (yes the period in the title is deliberate) is further proof that a fresh coat of paint can reinvigorate even the most familiar of structures. Arriving some 25-years after both […]

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SXSW 2020 adds Janelle Monae, Julianne Moore, and Kim Kardashian West to its final round of keynote and featured speakers

February 12, 2020

South by Southwest (Austin, Texas, March 13th-22nd 2020) has announced the last round of Keynotes and Featured Speakers to be added to the 34th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, and music industries. Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have been added to the […]

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The Academy Awards 2020: #OscarsNotSoWhiteAfterAll

February 11, 2020

When the 92nd annual Academy Award nominations were announced, it was difficult to not note the elephant in the room.  Within moments, #OscarsSoWhite was trending and more memes than you could possibly create were birthed making a mockery of the Academy’s decision to snub people of colour and women in a majority of categories; despite […]

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Film Review: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) continues DC’s self-assured story telling temperament

February 6, 2020

Where does one start with Birds of Prey? With so much vibrancy packed into its 109 minute running time it’s probably best to follow the advice of the film’s queen bee, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and start at the beginning. And though a product like Suicide Squad (2016) shouldn’t be considered the strongest launching pad […]

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Seberg

Film Review: Kristen Stewart’s commanding performance overcomes Seberg‘s narrative flaws

January 29, 2020

Only one week after elevating the B-grade material of deep-sea thriller Underwater, Kristen Stewart further proves her innate ability of hoisting what little she has to work with on a script page to something of sublime quality in Seberg.  A biographical drama detailing a specific time period in the life of American actress Jean Seberg […]

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February 2020 Australian cinema releases: Five films you need to see

January 28, 2020

2020 is primed to be a big year for cinema, both in the realm of big-budget blockbusters and under-radar indies. Each month we’re going to be taking a look at five upcoming films that you need to see in cinemas, encouraging Aussies to get out and experience these stories on the big screen. February brings […]

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SXSW 2020 Film Festival to include movies from Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish and Judd Apatow

January 16, 2020

The SXSW Film Festival is often seen as a launching pad for major studio releases, as well as smaller independent titles and buzz-worthy TV ventures, and this year’s edition looks to be no exception with the features, episodic premieres, and opening night film announced. Running from March 13-21st this year, the 27th SXSW Film Festival […]

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Interview: Craig Robinson on the ease of voicing his character in Dolittle and if he’s actually met any of his co-stars

January 16, 2020

On the eve of the release of Robert Downey, Jr.’s passion project Dolittle (originally titled The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle) arriving in Australian cinemas, The AU Review’s Peter Gray chatted with one of the film’s multitude of voice talents, Craig Robinson, to discuss the isolating process of vocal recording and whether or not he’s actually […]

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Film Review: Dolittle; at least it’s better than Cats!

January 16, 2020

After the colossal misfire that was Cats, audiences may not be ready for another round of CGI-rendered animals.  But, despite none of us really asking for it, Dolittle is here, and we can at least be thankful that it’s not the cinematic car-crash it very easily could have been – at least in comparison to […]

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Re-Discovery: 20 films you might have missed over the last decade

December 31, 2019

The last decade of cinema has brought with it some favourites you might have missed along the way. Here are 20 films you need to discover (or re-discover) from 2010 to 2019. Submarine (UK, 2010) Richard Ayoade‘s directorial debut. Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel of the same name, Submarine follows the story of the […]

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Film Review: Jumanji: The Next Level avoids serious franchise fatigue by adopting just enough freshness

December 19, 2019

The hybrid reboot/sequel that was 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a mammoth success that I suspect not even Sony was anticipating.  Sure, they threw considerable weight behind the project but in the wake of Star Wars: the Last Jedi‘s release, a near billion dollar haul worldwide was an unprecedented outcome, to say the […]

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Film Review: 2019’s Black Christmas attempts to be more than just your straight-forward slasher

December 11, 2019

Released in 1974 and oft considered the original slasher film, Bob Clark’s Black Christmas has rightfully earned cult status over the years after initially being passed over for that other genre staple, John Carpenter’s Halloween. Clark’s film is a unique take on the stalk-and-kill mentality that the slasher subsect is known for given that it […]

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Film Review: Mirren and McKellen keep The Good Liar afloat in spite of its plot failures

December 5, 2019

As legends of both the stage and screen, the idea of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen combining their respective talents for a project is an enticing one, to say the least.  And whilst The Good Liar hands them roles that they each indulge in with an against-type glee, the film itself isn’t the first class […]

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Track of the Day: Dos Dos feat. Joey Legit “Some” (2019)

November 28, 2019

After twelve months of honing his craft and using his current base of Brisbane to test the waters on his new experimental sounds, New Zealand-born, self-produced rapper Dos Dos has signalled something of a career rebirthing with the release of his new single, “Some”. Raw, unfiltered lyrics – an ode to overcoming struggle – sit atop […]

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Film Review: Judy & Punch is a nasty, inconsistent tale aided by two strong central performances

November 20, 2019

A peculiar film aided by two strong central performances but a distinct nastiness that keeps it from maintaining consistency, Judy & Punch is a brave debut feature from Australian actress-filmmaker Mirrah Foulkes.  Unsure if it wants to be a dark comedy or something more horrific – it sadly lacks orderly humour or thrills to be […]

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Interview: Last Christmas director Paul Feig on creating his new festive classic and why he champions female-driven stories

November 7, 2019

As Last Christmas merrily makes its way to cinemas (read our review here), the film’s director, Paul Feig, brought his own cheer to Australia as he enthusiastically discussed making a new (hopeful) seasonal classic. The AU Review’s Peter Gray sat down with the filmmaker to learn about how Emma Thompson’s George Michael-inspired script came to […]

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Film Review: Last Christmas wears its tinsel-laced heart on its sleeve with an unashamed abandon

November 6, 2019

As much as Last Christmas is selling itself on the notion that it’s “inspired” by the musical catalogue of the late, great George Michael – or more specifically the Wham! festive classic that this film’s title has lifted as its own – it’s ultimately not as formidable as it wishes to be. That’s certainly not […]

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