Horror

Film Review: Old is an embarrassing retreat in quality for M. Night Shyamalan

July 22, 2021

There’s really no other way to say it – M. Night Shyamalan‘s¬†Old is bad. ¬†It’s very bad. ¬†In fact, in some instances it’s downright awful! ¬†Mirroring the same career slump he experienced after the 1-3 punch of The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000) and Signs (2002) with such misfires as The Lady in the Water […]

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Film Review: The Resort is a small-scale horror film that’s surprisingly gory

July 20, 2021

There’s nothing particularly original about The Resort. ¬†In some manner hoping to be a type of The Shining-in-Hawaii set-up, Taylor Chien‘s supernatural scarer at least doesn’t tread on the expected genre trope of the found footage angle – something that this type of narrative could easily have adopted. A film that unfortunately lets itself down […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Ultrasound is a deliberately off-kilter horror/sci-fi hybrid

June 16, 2021

To claim nothing is as it seems in Rob Schroder‘s Ultrasound would be a vast understatement. ¬†Requiring significant patience and understanding of its components, this horror/science-fiction hybrid begins on one disturbing note before unravelling into something far more psychologically mysterious. It all opens rather straightforward, however off-kilter, with Glen (Vincent Kartheiser) driving home one night […]

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Tribeca Film Festival Review: Agnes is far too uneven to earn complete forgiveness

June 14, 2021

Starting on a blackly comic note and ending on a vastly different one of dramatic grit, Mickey Reece‘s Agnes is a truly confounding piece. ¬†Inserting a narrative and tonal shift half-way through its proceedings, Reece has created a unique film without question, but it’s one that is likely to irk viewers who could respond so […]

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Film Review: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It relies on cheap scares instead of shadowy suspense

June 2, 2021

Having essentially built itself around the “based on a true story” hook, the Conjuring universe of films have been served well by a selling point that’s either something you buy into or simply accept as neat marketing. Whilst there’s no denying that Ed and Lorraine Warren did exist and built a name for themselves as […]

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Interview: Spiral director Darren Lynn Bousman on returning to the Saw franchise

May 13, 2021

After over a decade of vacating the director’s seat on the Saw franchise, Darren Lynn Bousman has returned to the series that gave birth to his career as a staple within the horror genre. ¬†As the latest instalment releases in cinemas across the country, Spiral: From the Book of Saw (read our review here), our […]

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Film Review: Spiral: From the Book of Saw is politically minded and incredibly grisly

May 13, 2021

Defying the critical odds in 2004 and spanning an unlikely 8-film-strong series in the process, the original Saw became much more of a phenomenon than expected, and, arguably, than originally intended. ¬†Often synonymous with the horror sub-genre of “torture porn”, James Wan‘s grimy, low budget affair delighted in its gory aesthetics, but tried its best […]

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Film Review: The Resort is an unoriginal horror offering saved by its gory finale

May 1, 2021

There’s nothing particularly original about The Resort. ¬†In some manner hoping to be a type of The Shining-in-Hawaii set-up, Taylor Chien‘s supernatural scarer at least doesn’t tread on the expected genre trope of the found footage angle – something that this type of narrative could easily have adopted. A film that unfortunately lets itself down […]

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Film Review: Hunter Hunter is an emotionally rousing and gut-wrenching horror experience

April 6, 2021

It goes without saying that the ending of a film is as crucial to its success as any other major component. ¬†And in horror films especially, the satisfaction element of its climax is one the genre often lives or dies by. ¬†Hunter Hunter, from writer/director Shawn Linden, is such a film that almost relies entirely […]

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SXSW Film Review: Sound of Violence is a cathartic yet violent expression of how to overcome grief

March 19, 2021

Grief is often something that runs throughout the core of the horror narrative. ¬†And depending how it is structured, it can act in a nature that’s either cathartic or repressive. ¬†In Alex Noyer‘s Sound of Violence it’s a mixture of both psychological expressions, with the additive intricacy of music production – another key element to […]

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SXSW Short Film Review: The Thing That Ate The Birds holds up a mirror to one’s own conscience in a more fantastical manner

March 18, 2021

Written and directed by Sophie Mair and Dan Gitsham, The Thing That Ate The Birds is an atmospheric short that teases a darker universe we can only hope could be expanded on. Abel (Eoin Slattery) and Grace (Rebecca Palmer) are on the verge of separation, but the tragic circumstances surrounding their farmland have pushed their […]

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SXSW Film Review: The Feast delights in both metaphorical and mythical terror

March 18, 2021

One of those films that has a log line that feels all too familiar, Lee Haven Jones‘s The Feast presents itself as a supernaturally inclined horror film on the surface, only to gradually morph into an allegory of sorts that runs deeper than the film’s initial mentality would have you believe. Set in a secluded, […]

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SXSW Film Review: Here Before utilises its supernatural premise and twists it when we least expect

March 18, 2021

Creepy children are always good fodder for horror-leaning films, and Here Before, whilst more psychological thriller than all-out horror, is no exception with writer/director Stacey Gregg utilising the premise and twisting it just so. Andrea Riseborough leads the charge as Laura in this small, gradual thriller that focuses on young Megan, a seemingly friendly school […]

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Film Review: Come True is ambiguous, menacing material undone by an unearned climax

March 12, 2021

The type of indie horror flick that has a lot of promising-enough elements for it to earn audience investment, Come True may ultimately culminate in disappointment – in fact, it’s downright frustrating – but an atmospheric dread and hauntingly effective score keep Anthony Scott Burns‘s intense feature on a more upward trajectory overall. At the […]

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Sundance Film Festival Review: Coming Home in the Dark is a menacing feature that doesn’t take full advantage of its eerie potential

January 31, 2021

It doesn’t take much for director James Ashcroft to create the most horrific of situations from the simplest of ingredients laid bare in the early stages of the eerie Coming Home in the Dark. ¬†A loving family, an idyllic New Zealand locale, and a duo of passing strangers provide all that is needed for Ashcroft’s […]

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Film Review: Freaky is a crowd-pleasing horror/comedy that’s deeper and funnier than it has any right to be

November 12, 2020

Coming off of such aggressive roles in features as Dragged Across Concrete and Brawl In Cell Block 99, the thought of Vince Vaughn flailing his arms and strutting with the poise of a flustered teenage girl is one that’s all the more appealing when you view it in its actuality. ¬†And it’s the hulking 6’5 […]

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Interview: Director Christopher Landon on his Freaky new film, the Happy Death Day franchise, and injecting humanity into the horror genre

September 11, 2020

  As the trailer for Christopher Landon‘s body-swap horror-comedy Freaky premieres across the globe, The AU Review’s Peter Gray was fortunate enough to chat with the director, touching on the casting of Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, his love of the horror genre, and if we can expect a third Happy Death Day. After seeing […]

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Is Stan Original Relic worth watching?

July 13, 2020

Prior to watching Natalie Erika James’ Relic, I’d read constant comparisons to Hereditary and The Babadook. The former has too strong a grasp on literal malevolence to align in any way with James’ debut feature, but The Babadook certainly shares a great deal with this Australian-made indie-horror, given both are rooted in German expressionism and […]

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Come To Daddy

Film Review: Come To Daddy is a pitch black comedic thriller bathed in gory oddity

March 30, 2020

If we have learnt anything throughout cinema’s depictions of estranged families, it’s that the more alienated you are from one another, the more unpredictable your journey will be. This proves especially true in Come To Daddy, a pitch black comedic thriller that director Ant Timpson bathes in gory oddity. There’s an unease immediately present from […]

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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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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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Emily Blunt returns in the first official trailer for A Quiet Place Part II

January 1, 2020

John Krasinski returns to direct the follow-up to his 2018 box office monster A Quiet Place, although he won’t actually be taking any screen time on this outing. That will be left to his wife Emily Blunt, who is once again on the run from noise-sensitive aliens with her two kids in tow. The highly […]

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Fantastic Fest Review: Koko-di Koko-da should satisfy enthusiasts of surreal horror films

September 24, 2019

What a strange little arthouse horror flick Koko-di Koko-da is. ¬†What starts out as a relatively straight-forward tale of a once-happy family trying to maintain a sense of worth before breaking down entirely, quickly descends into an experiment of madness, one that is often repetitive and unlikeable but no less inherently fascinating. The aforementioned once-happy […]

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It Chapter Two Review: Terrifying and touching – a masterful sequel

September 4, 2019

There is good reason Stephen King’s story of It has endured for decades. Amongst his best work, the famed horror author has always been strongest when he’s sketching elegant parallels between fight and flight. Sure, that’s been done to death in modern cinema, and the dynamic between the two states has been mined by horror […]

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Film Review: Happy Death Day 2U (USA, 2019) is just as much of a surprise as the delightfully twisted original

February 13, 2019

Just as much of a surprise as the delightfully twisted original – 2017’s Happy Death Day¬†–¬†Happy Death Day 2U is revelatory not because it improves on its predecessor’s horror temperament, but because it completely bypasses the slasher genre trope and cements itself firmly within the grounds of science-fiction. Given how much fun writer and director […]

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Film Review: Anna and the Apocalypse (UK, 2017) is funny, romantic, appropriately gory and deliriously catchy

November 29, 2018

When you think of zombie comedies, it’s difficult to look beyond the witty brilliance that is Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead (2004). ¬†Whilst we’ve had our share of interesting takes on the walking dead in the years since, the arrival of Anna and the Apocalypse stands as the choreographed high-kick the genre needed. ¬†Not […]

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Film Review: Halloween (USA, 2018) truly captures the atmosphere of John Carpenter’s seminal classic

October 24, 2018

Trick: The 2018 incarnation of Halloween acts as a direct continuation of the 1978 original, essentially wiping out all seven sequels (and the two Rob Zombie-helmed revisions) that succeeded in the years since. Treat: It’s good.¬† Like really f***ing good! After surviving the maniacal clutches of psychotic killer Michael Myers forty years prior, Laurie Strode […]

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Film Review: Truth Or Dare (USA, 2018) is a cinematic game best left unplayed

April 12, 2018

Before¬†Truth or Dare¬†even begins, you know exactly what kind of movie you‚Äôre about to see.¬† Hoping to be some sort of new-era¬†Final Destination, but failing miserably in the process,¬†Truth or Dare¬†follows every beat you expect it to, and it‚Äôs in this predictability that the film succeeds in being a massively entertaining ride for all the […]

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Film Review: A Quiet Place (USA, 2018) is masterful genre filmmaking that soars leaps and bounds above expectation

April 4, 2018

Even when working off a plot device that doesn‚Äôt exactly test the limits of originality, a clever script and utter dedication from its workers can transform the familiar to something beyond our expectations.¬† Such is the case with A Quiet Place, an impossibly eerie chiller that presents civilisation as a fallen project, and those who […]

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