Wisconsin Death Trip (1999, James Marsh)

Sometimes one can’t see what is under their nose. Peruse the reviews of Wisconsin Death Trip from the time of its release and the film is described variously, in positive and negative terms, as a document of one particularly crazed and cursed town, as a fever dream and as the equivalent of a couple of … Continue reading Wisconsin Death Trip (1999, James Marsh)


Ju-On: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)

This is the J-Horror at its most methodical, although it’s not necessarily always grimly methodical. Shimizu is careful and intelligent, constructing a non-linear narrative that at first seems sloppy but reveals itself as quite tight and able to branch out into further unsettling territory with a number of unexplained, inexplicable visions of the future on … Continue reading Ju-On: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)

The Spiral Staircase (1945, Robert Siodmak)

A thriller directed by the underrated Robert Siodmak and derived from the overrated David O Selznick’s company. Siodmak revels in silence in The Spiral Staircase, for it is when the dialogue, the cosy literariness familiar from the films Hitchcock made under Selznick’s eagle eye and controlling grasp, slips away that he can exercise himself. In … Continue reading The Spiral Staircase (1945, Robert Siodmak)

Always Watching, Always Afraid: Le Horla, Guy De Maupassant, Jean-Daniel Pollet

Being a fan of the cinema today occasionally leaves you feeling like a character in a Jacques Rivette film, part of some underground conspiracy that seems at one moment vast, the next small and insignificant, concrete and yet dissoluble at any moment. Film maudits and the work of cult directors (and here I speak of … Continue reading Always Watching, Always Afraid: Le Horla, Guy De Maupassant, Jean-Daniel Pollet