Jake, here again, watched another horror film this week so without further interruption lets get cracking… PSYCHE, HONOURABLE MENTION BITCH!
Brawl In Cell Block 99
This is an honourable mention because it’s not a horror but it IS an incredibly good film. “Brawl…” Stars Vince Vaughn as an ex-boxer turned drug runner who ends up in the jail after a shootout with the popo. Aye… Vince Vaughn is the main star of this brutal, pulpy, 70s inspired grindhouse-like film and let me tell you something ladies and gentlefolk, he absolutely fucking KILLS IT. He is SO good at being an absolute nutter. An absolute revelation of a performance.
As for the film itself, it’s an absolute corker. Quite straightforward in it’s writing and direction (like writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s first feature film, the excellent Bone Tomahawk) but it doesn’t need to be complex. The action is choreographed and directed flawlessly, with Zahler choosing to keep the camera static throughout the occasionally disgusting action sequences. You’ll find no shaky cam here, and it’s better for it. Even when the violence borderlines on cartoonish, they fight scenes seem far more real without the camera freaking the fuck out constantly. Can we get #LetsStopShakyCam trending please? Cheers guys.
The supporting guest are nothing to sniff at either, everyone hamming it up to fuck (in keeping with the films hammier/grindhouse aesthetics). Don Johnson is in particular scene chewing form as the cunty as they come Warden Tuggs. But as I mentioned before, this is very much Vaughn’s film, giving a surprisingly subdued (for the most part) and emotional performance as Bradley Thomas.
S. Craig Zahler is two for two then. This is an often brutal but always brilliant character study of a man who will do anything for his family, and you’ll be hard pressed find a more upset Korean abortionist in any other film you see this year.
I didn’t really get a chance to see a lot of horror films this week, sadly. However, I did catch The Ghoul starring Tom Meeten, probably best known for portraying Andy Warhol in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and Dan Renton Skinner (or Angelos Epithemiou from Shooting Stars). It was pretty darn good: I’m here for this new wave of modern, smart British horror that was more or less kickstarted by Ben Wheatley (who exec. produces this film) with 2011’s brilliant Kill List (in which The Ghoul director Gareth Tunley has a small role. THE MORE YOU KNOW!). The Ghoul, whilst not belonging to the same sub-genre of horror as Kill List, continues the trend that Wheatley started – that trend being horror THAT MAKES YA GO “HMMMMM”.
Meeten plays homicide detective Chris, who’s given an absolutely bizarre case. A couple were shot a total of 5 times by an unknown perp, and they didn’t go down. What follows is a man losing his fucking mind. Chris goes undercover, posing as a mentally ill man and begins therapy with a very suspect pair of “mental health experts” (played expertly by Niamh Cusack and the absolutely bloody wonderful Geoffrey McGivern). He basically goes absolutely bloody mental and falls into a world of satanisim and the occult. Also Alice Lowe is there, and it’s just nice to see Alice Lowe in things isn’t it? She’s well good.
This is becoming a theme with my horror reviews, but I suppose it comes with the territory. There’s not much more I can say about this film without ruining some tasty twists and turns. Just know that this film is a bloody cracking slice of surrealist horror, and that this is an absolutely star making performance by Tom Meeten. God almighty he’s good in this, i’ve already started a petition to get him roles in every film that ever gets made from now on. There’s only 3 signatures though and the other two are from my mum and dad .
On the real though, Meeten is absolutely different class in this film. Portraying the potentially mentally ill Chris with grace and aplomb. Having been mostly known for his comedic roles in the past you’d be forgiven for being apprehensive of him taking a stab at a serious role, but he knocks it out of the park.
In short, this is a lovely wee film and is well worth checking out. And you can! It’s being shown on Film4 on Monday the 30th of October as part of their FilmFear series. So you’ve no bloody excuse not to seek this wee number out!
That’s all from me this week. I’ll be back before halloween with a comprehensive horror viewing guide if my editor allows me to ever write again. Toodle-pip!