International Reviews

Sort By

Fantasia 2019 Review: SWALLOW is a Gorgeously Composed Film About Pica and Personal Empowerment

We are introduced to young house-wife, Hunter, in a pastel Christian Dior outfit. Surveying the picturesque Hudson River in Upstate New York, from the raised terrace of her expensive home, she is the kept woman of a wealthy family and...

Fantasia Review 2019: ODE TO NOTHING Tells a Curious Ghost Story of Death and Minimalism

In deep focus photography and an olive-pewter colour palette that is nearly monochrome comes a crafted and curious film out of the Philippines.   We first meet Sonya winding up the innards of a cassette tape so she can keep...

Review: LUZ, A Stylish Experiment in Seduction and Possession

A demon or some kind of evil entity travels from a Chilean boarding school to a German Police station to ensnare the woman it desires to possess. The simplicity of this basic story kernel belies the stylish and convoluted manner...

Fantasia 2019 Review: Kimo Staboel's DREADOUT, Yet Another Solid Solo Debut From The Former Mo Brothers

In an amazing coincidence that I presume will become more and more common as time goes along, Fantasia 2019 boasts not just one, but two films that utilize people entering buildings wherein deadly tragedies have occurred as a method of...

Fantasia 2019 Shorts Review: LILI Provides A Quick Punch

Reviewing a short can be a difficult endeavour, especially one which is only nine minutes long. At that length, it's hard to tell people what a film is about without spoiling it almost entirely. So rest assured I will keep...

Fantasia 2019 Review: MYSTERY OF THE NIGHT, A Woman's Scorn Awakens A Dark Spirit In The Phillipine Forest

Played out against a backdrop of political strife and religious domination, director Adolfo Alix, Jr.'s Mystery of the Night is a gripping tale of love and loss in the early 20th century Spanish-occupied Phillippines. An island nation under the thumb...

Fantasia 2019 Review: DREAMLAND Plays Free Jazz With Genre Conventions

In Dreamland, the ubiquitous Stephen McHattie plays a weary, nameless, assassin, who does the dirty work for a mid level gangster named Hercules. Disgusted to find out that his boss is getting into the human trafficking of young children involving...

Notes on Streaming: Repellent KIDNAPPING STELLA Removes Reason for Existence

Max von der Groeben, Jella Haase and Clemens Schick star in Thomas Sieben's repugnant, would-be thriller.

Fantasia 2019 Review: CHIWAWA Warms Up An Old Formula With Mediocre Results

A tale as old as time, director Ninomiya Ken attempts to revitalize the story of a woman driven into the arms of madness in the search for acceptance in Chiwawa, his follow up to the festival hit, The Limit of...

Fantasia 2019 Review: COME TO DADDY Delights in Putting Elijah Wood Through The Ringer

I am drawn to father-son stories like a moth to flame. The difficult communication barriers, awkward processing of emotion. The silence and the rage. In the movies, these stories often culminate in the father expressing a deep pride or love...

Fantasia 2019 Review: JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY Will Smash Your Brain To Pieces

Truly original artistic voices are few and far between. When it comes to contemporary genre cinema, a few innovators come to mind when one thinks about the 21st century. Filmmakers like Khavn from the Phillippines, Q from India, Sono Sion...

Fantasia 2019 Review: VIVARIUM Is An Abstract Suburban Gothic

“The strawberries have no taste.” This might be my favourite line of dialogue from this high-concept science fiction satire, an Irish-Danish-Belgian co-production that has a go at the American dream. For decades now, the gargantuan frankenberries are picked and shipped...

Fantasia 2019 Review: SADAKO Goes Back to the RING Well, Brings Up Fresh Ideas

For thew opening night of Fantasia 2019, the festival goes back to the well - and its roots - with the North American premiere of Nakata Hideo's Sadako. A return to the iconic Ring (Ringu) series Nakata kicked off back...

London Indian 2019 Review: GHOST OF THE GOLDEN GROVES

An avant garde ditych set in the jungles of West Bengal, Ghost of the Golden Groves is a trippy Indian sci-fi fantasy sure to engage more adventurous viewers. Made in two parts by directors Roshni Sen and Aniket Dutta, known...

Review: TOO LATE TO DIE YOUNG, Hazy, Coming-Of-Age Mood Piece of a 90s Chilean Summer

Dominga Sotomayor’s Too Late To Die Young is a coming-of-age drama that takes place during the halcyon summer of 1990 in Chile, a time when the nation was slowly emerging from the shadows of a violent military regime. Against a...

BiFan 2019 Review: THE 12TH SUSPECT, Stagey Mystery Explores Oppressive History

This year's BiFan came to a close with a trip back to the Japanese Occupation Era in the whodunnit The 12th Suspect. Kim Sang-kyung leads a cast filled with indie cinema stalwarts in a tense single location murder mystery that...

BiFan 2019 Review: FILM ADVENTURE, Well-Performed Drama Less Exciting Than Its Title Suggests

The accomplished young actor Cho Hyun-chul returns to screens as a neurotic actor who embarks on a pensive journey peppered by unusual encounters after a row with his girlfriend in Film Adventure, the second feature film by Lee Sang-deok, following...

Blu-ray Review: MIA AND THE WHITE LION, Born in Captivity

A young woman becomes friends with a lion in an animal-powered drama.

BiFan 2019 Review: ALL ABOUT MY RIVAL IN LOVE, Style and Kooky Lead Jazz Up Familiar Story

Five years after bursting onto to the scene with his kinetic debut Alice in Earnestland, a feature graduation project from the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) which earned the top Korean film prize at the Jeonju International Film Festival...

Karlovy Vary 2019 Review: SICK SICK SICK, Love, Grief, Madness in New Cinema

Coming-of-age, madness and macabre in new aesthetics.