1993, Dubrovnik after the siege. The city is still shaken and wounded by the horrors of war and the traces of that agonizing past-present are still visible on the walls of houses but above all in the minds and hearts of its inhabitants. One day Linda and her best friend Eta get lost in mountains of Dubrovnik. The two girls sink into an ambiguous and sexually-charged game of switching roles and identities which culminates in a fatal fall. Alone, in a country that she no longer fully understands, Linda loses herself; her personality splits in two: on the one hand her inner self and on the other the far away and persistent echo of her deceased friend… Continue reading
There are, in the movies, few places creepier to spend time than in David Lynch’s head. It is a head where the wild things grow, twisting and spreading like vines, like fingers, and taking us in their captive embrace. Over the last three decades these wild things have laid siege to us even as they have mutated: the deformed baby of “Eraserhead” evolving into the anguished distortions of “The Elephant Man,” the Reagan-era surrealism of “Blue Velvet,” the serial home invasion in “Twin Peaks” and the meta-cinematic masterpiece “Mulholland Drive,” a dispatch from that smog-choked boulevard of broken dreams called Hollywood. Continue reading
An actress in a travelling theatre group is murdered and Diana Baring, another member of the group is found suffering from amnesia standing by the body. Diana is tried and convicted of the murder, but Sir John Menier a famous actor on the jury is convinced of her innocence. Sir John sets out to find the real murderer before Diana’s death sentence is carried out. Continue reading
This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain. In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost. It is bitterly cold weather – without snow. It is twenty degrees below zero. Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent, which is put up in the main square, to see – as the outcome of their wait – the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale. The people are coming from everywhere. From the neighbouring settlings, from different holes of the Plain, even from quite far away parts of the country. They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd. This strange state of affairs – the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost – disturbs the order of the small town. The human connections are overturning, the ambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation, while the people who are condemned anyway to passivity fall into an even deeper uncertainty. The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness and is lying low behind the whale. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose the destroying emotions. The apocalypse that sweeps away everything spares nothing. I does not spare the outsiders wrapped up in scientificness, does not spare the teenage enthusiasts, the people who have philistine fears for ease, the family – nothing that the European culture preserved as from of attitude in the last centuries. Continue reading
Three talented screenwriters collaborated in adapting Evadne Price and Joan Roy Byford’s play The Haunted Light to the screen as Phantom Light. This British chiller-diller-thriller begins with the mysterious murder of a lighthouse keeper. After his death, the region is plagued by shipwrecks, each heralded by a “phantom light” beaming from the lighthouse. Female detective Binnie Hale teams with new keeper Gordon Harker and navy officer Ian Hunter to solve the mystery. Directed with a sure and steady hand by Michael Powell, The Phantom Light is infinitely superior to the quota-quickie melodramas then flooding the British film market.- Hal Erickson
When the young would-be artist Tino arrives in Venice to live at the house of his uncle while he studies art, he soon discovers that his Austrian/Venetian uncle’s house is packed with mystery — there are abandoned rooms from which strange sounds emanate. Eventually, he is told that his uncle’s insane brother is being kept in rooms on the top floor, and only Uncle Fabio (who is seldom home) is permitted to visit them. However, youth and curiosity impel him onward to even more discoveries. Continue reading
Black Christmas (also released under the titles Silent Night, Evil Night, and Stranger in the House) is a 1974 Canadian independent horror film directed by Bob Clark and written by A. Roy Moore. The story follows a group of sorority sisters who are stalked and murdered over Christmas vacation by a killer hiding in their sorority house. It was inspired by the urban legend of “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”, but was also largely based on a series of murders that took place in Quebec, Canada around Christmas time.
Black Christmas is generally considered to be one of the first slasher films. A remake of the same name, produced by Clark, was released in December 2006. Continue reading