Anna Biller – The Love Witch (2016)

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Quote:
Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism. Continue reading

William Friedkin – The Exorcist [Director’s Cut] (1973)

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Plot summary
A movie actress taking up temporary residence in Washington D.C. has her troubles. The script for the movie she’s filming seems inadequate. Her ex, who is also the father of her adolescent daughter, Regan, neglects to call the girl on her birthday. And the attic has rats. Meanwhile, Father Karras, a priest and a psychiatrist, is losing his faith; and he’s dealing with a sick mother who needs medical care he hasn’t the money to provide. Another priest, the old and ailing Father Merrin, has just returned from Iraq with forebodings of evil. These three persons meet when the sweet and cheerful Regan turns foul-mouthed and violent. But her sickness is beyond the reach of a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. What Regan needs is an exorcist Continue reading

Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza – [Rec] (2007)

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While covering the night shift at a small-town fire department, an ambitious young television reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman follow the crew on a call to rescue an elderly woman unable to escape the inferno that is consuming her home. Upon their arrival at the scene, the calm midnight air is pierced by the sound of horrific screams, and the television report takes an unexpectedly dark turn. Continue reading

Iván Zulueta – Arrebato AKA Rapture (1979)

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Synopsis:
Madrid,1980. Jose Sirgado, a labouring bohemian b-movie filmmaker finishes editing the sequel to a previous film. Visibly displeased he journeys home to his girlfriend strung out on heroin. After attempting to tidy his home and taking some heroin himself he opens a mail package from an old acquaintance Pedro P. containing a reel of super-8 film, a cassette tape and a key to his apartment. Watching the film and listening to the accompanying tape on which Pedro talks through the pair’s first meeting, their ensuing friendship and how he developed an addiction to filmmaking, notably recording himself in bed as he reached a state of rapture induced by the camera manifested in a series of flashbacks. As Pedro’s gravelly voice over wears on it becomes clear that his camera has taken on a vampiric life of its own absorbing its subjects and ultimately erasing them from the real world. Pedro’s final recording informs Jose of his suspected fate and informs him to visit his apartment where he too is absorbed by the camera. Continue reading

Maurice Tourneur – La Main du Diable aka Carnival of Sinners (1943)

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A man arrives at an isolated mountain inn clutching a small box. The man is panic-struck when, during a sudden blackout, the box disappears. To the assembled guests at the inn he tells his tragic story. The man, Roland Brissot, was once a penniless artist who, one day, bought a talisman from the owner of a restaurant for one franc. The talisman, a severed hand in a box, immediately transformed Brissot’s life and he became a hugely successful artist. Then, one day, he receives a visit from a small man in a suit who tells him that in buying the talisman, he has sold his soul to the Devil… Continue reading

Noboru Tanaka – Edogawa Ranpo ryôki-kan: Yaneura no sanposha AKA Watcher in the Attic (1976)

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Watcher in the Attic is a 1976 Japanese film in Nikkatsu’s Roman porno series, directed by Noboru Tanaka and starring Junko Miyashita.

In 1923 Tokyo Lady Minako is the owner of a shabby boarding house with a collection of bizarre characters for tenants. Gōda, one of her tenants, spends most of his time in the attic spying on the other tenants through holes he has drilled into the ceiling. During one of his peeping sessions, Gōda witnesses the murder of one of the tenants at the hand of Lady Minako. Gōda becomes obsessed with Lady Minako, and determines to commit a grotesque murder in order to prove to her that he is her soul mate. He kills another tenant – a priest – by dripping poison into his mouth through the ceiling. A series of grotesque murders follow. The film ends apocalyptically with the Great Kantō earthquake which kills both of them during their intercourse. Continue reading

Babak Anvari – Under the Shadow (2016)

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As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980s, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home.
Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her family live amid the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war, a period known as The War of the Cities. Accused of subversion by the post-Revolution government and blacklisted from medical college, she falls into a state of malaise. With Tehran under the constant threat of aerial bombardment, her husband (Bobby Naderi) is drafted and sent to the frontlines by the army, leaving Shideh all alone to protect their young daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi). Soon after he leaves, a missile hits their apartment building and while failing to explode, a neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances and Dorsa’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic. Shideh finds herself slowly drawn into the ensuing turmoil, struggling to cling onto what is real and what is not. Searching for answers, she learns from a superstitious neighbor that the cursed missile might have brought with it Djinn – malevolent Middle-Eastern spirits that travel on the wind.
Convinced that a supernatural force within the building is attempting to possess Dorsa, Shideh has no choice but to confront these forces if she is to save her. Continue reading