I’m thinking it’s maybe time to hang up Made-for-TV March.
Obviously I’m not serious, but when I read the synopsis for No Place to Hide, I had major déjà vu. A young artist is stalked and hardly believed? That’s the plot to Are You in the House Alone? I was even more perplexed when I realised this also starred Kathleen Beller!
Alas, despite the surface similarities, the two films are hardly alike at all. Where Are You in the House Alone is quite a serious look at assault and the suffering of victims, No Place to Hide is campier with more of the hallmarks of light-hearted TV thrillers. The villains are more cartoonish and the story is sillier.
And I liked it.
Art student Amy has been dealing with a stalker for a while. She keeps seeing a man following her, but the police don’t believe her. In the opening scene, she sees a man in the back of her car. The man tells her, “Soon, Amy. Soon.” But when someone checks the car for her, it’s empty. The police chalk it up to her imagination again.
To help with Amy’s credibility, her stepmother Adele suggests Amy see a psychiatrist to get the all-clear. Amy reluctantly agrees and meets with the young Dr Letterman. Shortly after their first meeting, Amy receives a funeral wreath with a note that says, “Soon, Amy. Soon.”
When Amy and Adele go to the florist to question him, he insists that it was Amy who ordered the wreath. Amy becomes perplexed and uncertain of her own sanity, but she still feels convinced something else is going on. She’s right, though, and that night at school, she’s pursued by the shadowing man again.
Following a discussion with Dr Letterman, Amy decides to go to the cabin where her father died the year before. Though initially planning to go on her own, Adele joins. They have a nice time until Adele is called away. Lo and behold: while Amy is away, strange things begin to happen again.
Amy is eventually attacked and left to die on the river. But is she dead? Will her attackers ever be found guilty for their crimes?
That’s what the last thirty minutes or so of this film make you wonder. And this is when the momentum comes to a screeching halt. Without Amy, the story kind of meander. It really slows the pace and kills any sort of suspense. It definitely feels like they padded the wrong parts out. Let our villains get their comeuppance in 15 minutes or less, please.
However, I really did like this one. Beller is so magnetic on screen. While her character wasn’t as fleshed out ashers in Are You in the House Alone?, you still want to root for her. Some of the early gags (the car, the wreath, the chase sequence) are really good. Shame there wasn’t a bit more of that. You could question Amy’s sanity, but it’s almost too clear that it isn’t her minus the one incident with the wreath.
Kathleen Beller is a hero. Everyone else is just a bully.
What makes a bond between sisters? Is it blood? Family? A sense of belonging? Horror movies love to explore the bond of sisterhood in sorority-set stories. Well… in only a way a TV movie directed by a man and mostly written by men can do. (Shout out to soap writer Carol Saraceno who gets her name in the credits here!)
Sisters Sarah and Patty are off to college together for their freshman year. Patty is the social type, determined to join their mother’s former sorority (or is it the “once your sorority, always your sorority” sort of deal?). Sarah is adopted and lacks her sister’s charms – a much more unlikely fit got Alpha Nu Sigma. But the two are determined to stick together in their new world.
When they head to Alpha Nu Sigma’s rush week party, Patty is immediately taken under the wings of Jennifer, one of the sorority’s sisters. Sarah is left to her own devices, watching from the sidelines. As a cruel joke, the sorority sisters recommend that Sarah rush for Phi Epsilon Delta (which they lovingly refer to as Pigs, Elephants and Dogs).
When Sarah and Patty arrive at Phi Epsilon Delta, they quickly realise that the place is much less popular. The girls are bored and disinterested in new members. But after rush week, Patty gets her dream of making Alpha Nu Sigma while Sarah gets into Phi Epsilon Delta.
The sisters are separated. Though they try to console themselves, evil queen Jennifer forces them apart. If Sarah wants to join her new sisterhood, she must leave her real sister behind.
But no one knows that Sarah has a secret: she has telekinetic powers. She can cause things to happen with her mind. Angry with Patty, she causes a piano to fall, but she decides to save her sister in time. They try their best to make amends, but the relationship remains strained.
At Phi Epsilon Delta, Sarah meets her new sorority sisters and her house mother, Mrs Hunter (played by the DELIGHTFUL Shelley Winters). The house mother quickly lets on that she knows Sarah’s powers, as she seemingly knows who Sarah’s birth mother is.
Sarah is encouraged to use her powers, and she does. The powers begin to make her new sorority a better place. The girls are friendlier not only to each other but to themselves. She finds new confidence in her new role as a leader, being (mostly) unphased by Jennifer’s bullying antics.
It isn’t until initiation night that Sarah realises her powers won’t always be used for good. She must make a decision: reach full success or save her loved ones.
The Initiation of Sarah is one of the best TV movies I’ve seen. It has the classic tropes (sororities, telekinetic powers, crappy moms), but it still makes for an enjoyable watch. The cast is very good. Morgan Fairchild as Jennifer is the queen bitch! She’s a delight to watch. Though I do think it’s hilarious that for the first half of the movie, we’re meant to agree that Kay Lenz is an ugly duckling.
It does veer a little too much into Carrie territory and could do with being a touch more original, but I think it’s easily glossed over if you’re looking for something cheesy and fun. The ending is thoroughly worth it. One of the better TV movie one-two punches!
There is a 2006 remake with Fairchild in it as well as Jennifer Tilly. You absolutely know that’s going to be next week’s pick.
Stranger danger. Apparently not a big deal in the 70s.
You hear lots of stories of hitchhikers and latchkey kids back in the “good ol’ days”. Seemingly a world where we could all just trust each other more. But if All the Kind Strangers (or any story featured on Unsolved Mysteries) is anything to go by, you should probably not trust anyone ever. ESPECIALLY children.
Jimmy Wheeler is a photojournalist on his way to a job when he spots a lone child in the road. Young Gilbert is in the middle of nowhere, struggling with a bag of groceries. Feeling for the young kiddo, who has many miles to walk, Jimmy offers the kid a ride down the road.
Gilbert gives Jimmy directions. Down the road for a few miles. This lone dirt path? Just down a few more miles. Just keep going even when you run out of road and need to drive through a wide stream.
Despite his increasing unease, Jimmy keeps driving the child. Personally, I’d never help a child, let alone drive my new luxury convertible through a gross brook, but this is why I’m not the main character in a horror TV movie. Eventually, however, the car arrives at an old farmhouse.
Jimmy goes inside and meets Gilber’s siblings – all six of them. They’re clearly a rough bunch without a smile to spare for anyone. Jimmy’s bad feelings grow and are completely justified. Things are not well in the household.
When he asks to meet the children’s mother, he is introduced to the young English woman Carol Ann. She’s quite clearly not the children’s mother (well, Jimmy knows this right away. Coulda fooled me.). He sees the locks are on the outside of the kitchen she’s working in, not the inside. There are boards over the doors as well.
As the two adults speak, Carol Ann writes “HELP ME” in the flour. Before Jimmy can ask any questions, they are pulled into dinner with the children.
At dinner, Jimmy learns that the children’s mother died in childbirth years earlier. Their bootlegging father died falling from a roof or something. They’ve been auditioning people to be their replacement parents so they can all stay together.
Carol Ann and Jimmy know they have to escape. The fate of the other potential parents is not clear, but it’s obviously not a happy ending for anyone. Jimmy finds a bunch of initialled belongings in his room. He sees a bunch of sunken cars in the stream, including his own. But with doors locked and hungry dogs waiting in the yard… escape isn’t as easy as just walking out the door.
Eventually, though, All the Kind Strangers takes the easy way out. The kids learn their lesson and the adults get their freedom. If it weren’t for pesky cable television restrictions getting in the way, this could have taken a darker turn. So the movie has some pretty good moments, but it ultimately falls a bit flat.
But there was a good atmosphere, lightening and thunder. Really all I want out of a quick 70-minute TV movie.
It’s difficult not to compare this story to Children of the Corn, but this TV movie actually predates King’s by three years. I think all these creepy kid stories are onto something, though. Why trust any of these little ones? Jimmy would have been happy and free if he would have just let Gilbert walk! The kid said he was fine, leave him!
You really never know what you’re going to pick up when you open your (car) doors to strangers.
I’m a little bit late out the gate, but here we are! Made-for-TV March is back, baby!
And what better way to begin the month than with the star-studded soapy drama: Death at Love House.
In the starring roles are TV icons Robert Wagner and Kate Jackson. They play young couple Joel and Donna Gregory, visiting Hollywood to write a book on an actress who had a love affair with Joel’s father. The actress, Lorna Love (played by Marianna Hill of Messiah of Evil), supposedly died young. Her body is preserved in a tomb/shrine in her backyard.
When the couple arrives, they meet agent Oscar and housekeeper Clara. They’re shown around Lorna’s house when they see a portrait of her. They both are pulled to it, but Joel much more so.
Their first day, Donna sees a woman in 1930s clothing in the garden. When she tries to find the woman, no one is to be found.
The couple meets with several people: a director who worked with Lorna, a former rival of hers, and the leader of her fan club. Joel and Donna begin to unpick the mysteries of Lorna’s life, soon discovering she was into the occult with hopes of staying young forever.
In the home is a hooded figure. The figure targets the director, killing him. The figure also tries to kill Donna by carbon monoxide poisoning.
While Donna becomes increasingly upset with living in the home, Joel becomes more and more obsessed. When things come to a head and she realises the truth of Lorna Love’s fate, Donna must race to save her husband or lose him to the house and Lorna forever.
This is a pretty weird one. On one hand, it’s got everything I love in a TV movie: a big beautiful home that’s a bit haunted, an unseen figure messing with people, a Sunset Boulevard rip-off plot. The calibre of the supporting cast here is just incredible (Sylvia Sidney is here along with a slew of old Hollywood icons). They easily outshine the two leads.
And yet…it’s pretty forgettable as far as TV movies go. It plots along most of the time. Loads of dialogue about Lorna Love that isn’t terribly interesting.
That being said… I LOVE the twist ending. It’s so soap opera-y. So dramatic and, technically, a bit stupid. This is what I demand of my TV movies. Give me all of the drama!
Single-location movies rule. Especially when that location is a bit out of the ordinary: a ski lift, a haunted morgue, elevators! It forces everyone involved to get a bit creative. No convenient detectives here to explain the finer details. No meeting with a priest at the church. We’re all on our own.
In the past couple weeks I watched Michael Soavi’s Stage Fright (Deliria) and Giuseppe Bennati’s giallo The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (L’assassino ha riservato nove poltrone). Both good films with the basic premise that a bunch of Italians are locked in a theatre with a killer. This is exactly my type of thing. So to celebrate: a mini list of some of my favourite single-location horror films.
I ruled out the general location of “house”. As haunted houses would open up a whole can of worms, and definitely need a list of their own. Also, it’s just too basic! Instead, these locations are all familiar to most people, but may not be places we visit every day.
While writing this list, I had to force myself to stop. But I’d also throw classics like Train to Busan and The Thing onto the list as well! This might just become my new Thing.
Dawn of the Dead (1978) dir. by George A. Romero Location: shopping mall
A class for a reason. Over forty years on, Romero’s masterpiece remains politically relevant. Sure, technically the opening bit doesn’t take place in our shopping mall. But once we’re there, the story really gets going.
When a plague causes the dead to rise from their graves, a group of survivors lock themselves up in a shopping mall. Where else would any good consumerist American go? All is well while the world collapses around them, until one day everything changes for them.
“When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk at the shopping mall.”
Intruder (1989) dir. by Scott Spiegel Location: supermarket
Written and directed by one of the Michigan Evil Dead crew, Scott Spiegel, this is a slasher with lots of imagination.
During the closing time of a supermarket, employees are picked off one-by-one. But who is doing the killer? A vindictive ex? A total unknown maniac? The standard slasher formula is given plenty of inventive twists with lots of iconic death scenes.
Chopping Mall (1986) dir. by Jim Wynorski Location: shopping mall
On the opposite side of the shopping mall spectrum from Dawn of the Dead is the delightfully strange Chopping Mall.
A group of teens stay late at a mall one night to party. Unbeknownst to them, the mall’s security robots have gone rogue, and they’re out for blood! It’s bananas and utterly 80s in every way possible. A true delight.
Popcorn (1991) dir. by Mark Herrier Location: cinema
During an all-night movie marathon at a local theatre, a group of film students are terrorised by a disguised killer. The deaths here, like in Intruder, are incredibly inventive. This movie is the product of 80s slashers and William Castle gimmicks.
The Last Matinee (Al morir la matinée) (2020) dir. by Maximiliano Contenti Location: cinema
Another cinema slasher, but this one is very giallo-inspired. On a rainy night, a man in black arrives at a cinema, but he isn’t there to watch the movie. A young student and cinema-worker must save herself when she discovers a series of brutal killings have taken place on her watch.
Speaking of Italy…
Demons (Dèmoni) dir. by Lamberto Bava Location: cinema
Sorry for the cinema-set overload, but this setting is ripe for good storytelling. Of the three, this Italian slasher goes into the supernatural realm. At the screening of a new horror film, a woman cuts her hand on a demonic mask. Thus a demonic outbreak begins.
This wasn’t Baby Bava’s first time directing, but it’s possibly his best-known film and for a good reason. The demons look incredible, the people act incredibly stupid, and the gore arrives by the bucket full. Its sequel, Demons 2, also takes place in one primary location, a block of flats, but it just isn’t as good. No motorcycle riding through an auditorium!
Terror Train (1980) dir. by Roger Spottiswoode Location: train
This movie’s plot is a bit hard to sell: So Jamie Lee Curtis is on a train with former classmates and David Copperfield is there performing magic. Who am I kidding? It’s not hard to sell at all. This movie is odd in all the right ways.
JLC is great in this, like she is in every slasher she graces her presence with. But in addition to good actors, we get a creepy-looking killer in a Groucho Marx mask. It’s up there with best Canadian slasher mask of the 80s along with Curtains‘ granny.
Slaughter High (1986) dir. by George Dugdale, Mark Ezra, Peter Litten Location: high school
There are a lot of slasher movies that take place in high schools: Student Bodies, The Faculty, Return to Horror High, and Graduation Day but this one still sticks with me.
A group of friends return to their old school for a class reunion. When they arrive, however, they learn they are the only ones to have been invited. They’re all linked by one thing: a prank gone wrong years earlier.
Like Terror Train, we have a killer in an excellent get-up: a jester’s hat and a mask of an old man.
The setting is wonderfully desolate. Scenes are still etched in my mind, and it’s been years since I last watched it.
Night of the Demons (1988) dir. by Kevin S. Tenney Location: funeral parlour
Considering how much death we see in horror movies, very few of them involve a funeral home. Sure we have a couple with scenes in cemeteries or mausoleums, but not very many that have a crematorium.
Like most movies on this list, apparently, the story revolves around a group of friends doing something stupid. On Halloween night, this gang decide to party in an abandoned mortuary. When one of them holds a seance, they are in for a lot more than anticipated.
Found footage as a subgenre gets a lot of hate…and rightfully so. I adore it, and there are a lot of classics that fall under this umbrella. But for every Lake Mungo and Rec there are 800 Lost Vlog of Ruby Real.
I get it. It’s a style of filmmaking that can be done on a budget, so that makes it appeal to a lot of young filmmakers for that very reason (our pal Kane Parsons got a feature-length version of his short greenlit this week). But while seemingly easy and accessible on the surface, making a good and convincing found-footage story is really hard!
In this not-quite-feature-length feature, a group of vloggers get together to make a video. At the heart of it is Ruby Real. She’s working to prove different myths as just that. The one that has recently taken her interest is “The Tree Game”. According to the myth, if someone walks around this tree, they end up in a different dimension.
Great set-up. Got me sold. But the trio arrive at the tree pretty quickly and with only a mild “we’re lost!” subplot that immediately gets resolved. The three walk around the tree and seemingly nothing has changed. Only it has. Apparently. There’s nothing really for the audience to see or understand that they are in a different dimension. They just keep walking down this nice path and saying, “We’re going in circles!” Now, that doesn’t say different dimension to me. That just says kids these days need to learn how to use maps and compasses.
Of course a lot of this will sound exactly like another very familiar plot. The Blair Witch Project changed found-footage movies forever. But its success has made a lot of storytellers a bit lazy. Not every found-footage movie needs to hit the same beats: we’re in the woods, creepy objects are found in the woods, we’re lost, we panic.
Eventually, Cali (another one of the vloggers) walks around the tree and vanishes. It’s obvious from the get-go that she’s gone around the other way, and YET – this stumps the last two creators FOR AGES! I spotted it right away and my brain had been checked out for ages at that point.
And yet, we still keep spiralling and end up with a rather baffling ending. It’s a bit otherworldly (finally), but with so little of that throughout the film it just doesn’t make any sense. There weren’t very many hints that they were in another world. Show people going backwards! Little things the vloggers left behind that are not “quite right”. Get creative with no budget!
There is definitely a seed of a good idea here. I think if developed more, it might be something more. But creative lore doesn’t necessarily make things interesting to watch.
I rarely get this annoyed by films (I usually allow myself to turn off something I don’t like), but I just wasn’t having it this week. It probably didn’t help that Plex’s constant barrage of ads made me want to pull my hair out. Nothing makes a slow movie feel slower like having to watch the same moneylending ad four times in a row.
Occasionally I like breaking free of the feature-length shackles to watch something that can pack a punch in just a few short minutes. I did a mini short-film marathon the other night and happened to see a link between the three: all of them manage to create a very unsettling feeling by not doing much at all.
Other Side of the Box (2018) dir. by Caleb J. Phillips
So…what’s in the basket box?
Couple Rachel and Ben are enjoying a night in before Christmas when an unwelcome visitor arrives. Their not-quite-friend Shawn is invited in, and he gives a wrapped gift to Ben. Not wanting to be rude, Ben accepts the gift but is told not to read the card until after opening the box. Shawn skedaddles quickly after he’s sure the box has been opened.
In a similar vein to It Follows, Ben and Rachel realise that they’ve been saddled with a curse. The curse? A creepy man peering at them from over the side of the box. Shawn’s card warns them not to look away from the man at any point.
The man is a very simple visual, but it really made my skin crawl. No offence to the actor playing him, of course! It’s the hidden face and unblinking eyes that really set me on edge. Something about a Peeping Tom really unsettles me.
The Backrooms (Found Footage) (2022) dir. by Kane Parsons
Kids these days… I’m glad they’ll be running things when I’m old because these little ones know what they’re doing. They’re more competent than I’ve ever been!
Director Parsons was only 16 when he made this short. This is an impressive film without that fact, but it’s definitely worth noting because this kid accomplished a lot (with presumably little other than a phone and a computer programme…yes I’m aware of how old that makes me sound).
The Backrooms is a relatively new urban legend that is about an endless maze of empty rooms and liminal spaces. A person can find themselves in the Backrooms by accident and it’s never known how to escape. It’s all seemingly random, which adds to the uncomfortable atmosphere.
In The Backrooms (Found Footage) a cameraman is making a movie when he noclips into an empty office with an abandoned 1980s style. He wanders for ages trying to find a way out when he soon realises he isn’t alone.
This would have been my literal nightmare as a kid. What Parsons managed to do is incredible. He sets feels genuinely isolated and sad. A lot like my real office, come to think of it…
Atman (1975) dir. by Toshio Matsumoto
The final film of the evening was Atman by experimental director Toshio Matsumoto. It’s not strictly a horror short, but for some reason, there’s a sense of dread that permeates throughout.
A person in a hannya (a Japanese demon representing jealousy) mask sits in a chair while the camera revolves around them. The images are presented in a frame-by-frame manner, slowing speeding up while zooming in and out.
As the shots get faster, the shrill sounds become more and more intense. There’s really nothing else “happening”, but I do know that I would never like to be in this world or come across this person anywhere, let alone the seemingly isolated countryside where it was filmed.
Last Sunday, my friend and I went to the cinema to watch Skinamarink. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed going to movies without any knowledge or expectation of them. There were two things I knew about this movie going into it: it’s an indie horror, and people can’t stop talking about it.
And wow. I’m glad I went into this with zero expectations because I would have never in a million years expected what I saw.
Skinamarink takes an experimental approach. For all but one shot, we barely see the characters’ faces. Instead, the viewer is subjected to long shots of the interior of a house where things keep disappearing. We mostly follow a pair of siblings as they navigate the horrors unfolding in their home.
The long shots without any action are definitely going to test most audiences. In an era where things are so fast-paced, it’s definitely an adjustment to just sit and breathe with the image.
At times the movie’s stillness becomes almost unbearable, but it’s clearly intentional. The sense of dread that director Kyle Edward Ball creates feels massive. There are a couple of jump scares that gave me genuine chills, but it’s the lack of things happening that can feel the eeriest.
This is probably the only film where I saw people walk out. One man left pretty early. One woman got up in a huff and angrily pushed through her row to exit with about 45 minutes to go. It definitely was making people react.
When the house lights went up, a few vocal audience members had a lot to say about why the movie was a waste of time. I’m not even sure how my friend felt about it. But I felt like I had experienced something that I’d never forget. Did I like it? Well…not sure if I was meant to enjoy it.
Sure. I had no idea what was going on most of the time. I couldn’t explain most of what was happening. All of that, though, added to the nightmarish feel. It was exactly like when you are having a bad dream that you can’t wake up from (in a good way mind, though I’m sure some people will take it both ways!).
When I saw the notice that the PCC had extended its showings, my gut immediately told me I needed to see it again. Proof that it clearly left its mark.
Going out and supporting unusual horror projects is so important. Not everything will be our cup of tea, but horror needs to exist in all its forms and push us beyond our limits. No other genre can do the same thing.
Happy 2023! Always a shock to the system when you realise you’re already this many days into the new year and have done nothing, let alone attempted to make yourself “better” in any way.
Let me tell you, the brain has been like sludge. After a long visit back to the States over Christmas, I have lost most of my ambition of watching movies. And most of them that I have seen are comedies and not horror. My heart isn’t in it!
But I knew it was time to get my ass in gear and start writing again. If watching comedy felt easier than horror, why not try a horror comedy. The comedy should make the pill easier to swallow, right?
Well. Let’s just say that wasn’t the case. Comedy must be one of the most difficult genres to write. What one person finds funny might be really unfunny to someone else. Unfortunately for me, Full Moon High was 0% funny to me, but instead it felt like a painful journey that just wouldn’t end.
This 80s horror comedy was written and directed by the iconic Larry Cohen. This is a funny guy. I’m really not sure why this one didn’t work for me.
In the 1950s (or what only half-heartedly attempts to be the 50s), football star Tony Walker is dragged to Romania by his father. This isn’t Tony’s idea of a great time, especially as the trip means that he will miss the Big Game. While his dad has a great time with his lady friends, Tony is forced to wander Romania by himself.
One night, Tony is dining alone when a woman offers to read his palm. She tells him that he will live forever and has the pentagram, a sign of the werewolf, on him. He gets lost on his way back home when he is attacked by a werewolf and becomes one himself.
Tony is now cursed to live forever in his high school body. After his dad’s accidental death back in America, Tony decides to leave Full Moon. He travels the world on his own for decades, terrorising people wherever he does.
When he returns to Full Moon High in the 80s, he finds it in much worse shape than before. The football team, for one, is atrocious. He quickly gains the attention of three women: his former high school sweetheart, his teacher and the class hottie. (Though the classmate and teacher looked so similar, I thought they were the same character for most of this movie…)
Tony believes that his only way of breaking his curse is by scoring a touchdown in the Big Game. Unfortunately for him, Full Moon High’s football team stinks. He still gets the touchdown, is shot, lives, and remains a werewolf.
There’s more to it like a transformation video he makes with his classmate that everyone thinks is a porno. Umm…a hijacking? I don’t know. It tires me out just thinking about it all again.
Thankfully, lead actor Adam Arkin is pretty good in this. He’s charismatic enough to help you understand why everyone is so attracted to him. His father even makes an appearance as a psychiatrist. I would have enjoyed Alan’s part more if I understood why the hell he was there.
I really wish the movie had done more in the way of plot or even scene setting. Make the 50s BIG. Make Tony’s adjustment to the changing world more apparent. Write some plot! I don’t know! Anything! Help!
Full Moon High didn’t get one single laugh from me. But I think even if it does manage to make you laugh, there isn’t much here that will be worth remembering the next day.
4. Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. dir. by Adamma Ebo
3. RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) dir. by S.S. Rajamouli
2. Everything Everywhere All at Once dir. by the Daniels
1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery dir. by Rian Johnson
Honourable mention: Rosaline dir. by Karen Maine. A sucker for a historically incorrect rom com. Bullet Train dir. by David Leitch because I have no taste in action films.
Favourite new-to-me horror (non-2022 releases)
5. The Night House (2020) dir. by David Bruckner
4. The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (1968) dir. by Noriaki Yuasa
3. The Queen of Black Magic (1981) dir. by Lilik Sudjio
2. Messiah of Evil (1973) dir. by Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
1. Pulse (2001) dir. by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Favourite new-to-me movies (non-2022 releases)
5. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) dir. by Robert Altman
4. In the Mood for Love (2000) dir. by Wong Kar-wai
3. Mannequin (1987) dir. by Michael Gottlieb
2. Perfect Blue (1997) dir. by Satoshi Kon
(Arguably, this one is horror, but I’m being sneaky here.)
1. Mother (2009) dir. by Bong Joon-ho
Favourite show: Minx (HBO – USA/Paramount – UK)
Things I regret most missing out on: The Woman King, watching Nope in a theatre where half the crowd wasn’t FaceTiming, The Menu, seeing Whatever Happened to Baby Jane on the big screen because the Prince Charles Cinema got an Italian print by accident.
Best theatre experience: Seeing Perfect Blue at the PCC. The crowd was stunned and in utter silence the entire time only to erupt as the credits rolled. Good kids, all of them.
Favourite books: The Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones and The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher