Luàna Bajrami’s terrific debut feature at the age of just 20 is a tremendous look at young women trapped in their small Kosovo town. With naturalistic performances and observational direction, we have an empowering film in The Hill Where Lionesses Roar. In a small remote village in Kosovo, three young
Apart from Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance, The Power of the Dog never rises above serviceable. Unable to delve deeper into its own story and rather unforgivably keeping its audience at arm’s length throughout.
An ambitious film that struggles under its own weight. The French Dispatch becomes unwieldy and, as such, loses the energy that it had opened with. Yet it remains a wonderful love letter t o print journalism.
Titane is bold and visceral, but actually works best when it focuses itself on the main themes of the story. Instead Ducournau’s film gets too wrapped up in the lure of shocking it’s audience that it leaves behind the story.
An intimate and enthralling documentary that makes excellent use of some gorgeous animation to tell this deeply personal story. While centered on Amin’s fight to get to a safe country, it quickly becomes a film about far more than that. Flee is an incredibly moving film.
Natalie Morales’ Language Lessons is an assured film that is unafraid to play with your heart. Aided by the fantastic Mark Duplass we are left with a relatable and emotional film that is simply faultless.
The Wolf Suit is a cathartic film by Sam Firth. Not only is it that for her, but also audiences who have experienced something similar. A deeply personal and utterly fascinating documentary.
Uneasy yet endlessly hopeful, Bantu Mama refreshingly tells us a story through Afro-European and Afro-Caribbean eyes. From start to finish, we have an excellent film that pulls you in and astounds you.
Adrián Silvestre’s Sediment is an empathetic and, at times, a joyful film that allows a group of six transexual women to be themselves in a most welcoming environment. An important film that should have as wide an audience as possible.
Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest is a documentary that showcases the importance of finding kindred spirits. While it takes detours along the way, it is still a wonderfully heartwarming film.
Mothers of the Revolution is a moving and riveting documentary that showcases the power of dedication and how no matter the cause, it is worth fighting for. Briar March’s film is an important documentary to watch.
A pointed satire that does the small things very well, yet when it reaches beyond itself it begins to plod. However, there is still an awful lot to enjoy here in Money Has Four Legs. Due to money-stricken producers, strict censorship, and an unreliable crew, Wai Bhone’s first feature is
A video essay style documentary that looks at the importance of the stunning Monument Valley on not only cinema and beyond. An interesting documentary that allows the visuals to do the talking.
Brother’s Keeper has you in a state of ever-increasing frustration as you watch the obstacles young Yusef goes through as he tries to help his friend. A film that does its best to crush your spirit. Make no mistake; this is an assured and effective film from Ferit Karahan. In
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Memory Box is far more complex and layered than you would expect and hits all the right emotional notes as it asks its audience how they view their own memories and past. A wonderfully satisfying film.
A disjointed film that is perhaps overly ambitious with its intent. Like A Dirty French Novel takes a unique and at times welcome approach of being set during the pandemic, but not at all about it. Sadly it throws away what works with some unfathomable narrative choices and a continual
What should be a standard revenge thriller takes a hard turn into the schlock, and it is all the better for it. While not perfect, The Retaliators blunt approach, coupled with Michael Lombardi’s performance, makes it an entertaining horror An upstanding pastor John Bishop (Michael Lombardi), uncovers a dark and
A bleak tale of a family keeping too close to Christian doctrine. While The Last Thing Mary Saw doesn’t bring any new ideas to the table, it has an effective atmosphere that grows darker by the minute.
A slow burn narrative allows for eco-horror Gaia to come into its own by taking advantage of stunning visual storytelling. Jaco Bouwer’s film entrances you and does so much right and makes you pay attention to it.
Somewhere deep within Behemoth, there lives a great thriller. It is just a shame it never realises it and tries to become something it shouldn’t. As a result, this film made for literal pennies overstretches itself. A true shame.
Ten fantastic films from seven countries, we are spoilt for choice in a collection that allows each film to bring something different to the audience. All of these filmmakers have a very bright future.
An exciting action thriller that ticks all the right boxes by bringing in heavy intrigue and mystery, Yakuza Princess eases us into this world before going gung-ho into the action. Quite the entertaining movie.
A film that may seem slow & repetitive, but that is exactly the point; this is a film about the frustrations of staying at home during the pandemic & finding connections any way possible
A film that subverts your expectations. While a little rough around the edges at times, Pauric Brennan’s Don’t Sell Me A Dog has plenty going for it to keep you invested in the story. A solid film that surprises thanks to some great direction, a strong script and solid performances.
An entertaining film that feels like a love letter to all the writers out there, struggling or best selling. Scare Me takes some bold decisions with its confined setting; taking advantage of a smart script & two great performances.
Phil Tippett has created a nightmare, a wonderful, gloriously gruesome and relentlessly horrifying nightmare that leaves you with your jaw firmly on the ground. Simply put, you will have never seen anything like Mad God.
Shannon Walsh takes a straight aim at the businesses benefiting from using lowly paid gig workers. The Gig is Up holds no punches as it paints a rather bleak picture of exploitation that many will have not realised existed.
Racked in pent up grief, “Martyrs Lane” is a beautiful yet heartbreaking ghost story that at times takes your breath away, paced to perfection. Told through the eyes of the brilliant Kiera Thompson, this is a film that you cannot miss out on.
A genuine surprise of a picture, Michael Sarnoski’s feature debut “Pig” is a slow but careful gaze at the devastation of loss. Nicolas Cage’s restrained performance startles with its effectiveness, as he portrays a deeply broken man just trying to get by.
A confident coming of age horror that focuses more on the ever-changing dynamic between parent and child. The Adams family has made a very surprisingly effective film in Hellbender. One that does so much right and very little wrong – a fantastically refreshing film. Teenager Izzy (Zelda Adams) lives a
With Glasshouse, Kelsey Egan has conjured a beautifully haunting film. This dystopian fairytale weaves quite a tragic tale highlighted by the excellent performances and strong use of storytelling. Egan marks herself out as a filmmaker to watch out for. A dementia induced toxin known as the Shred has enveloped the
Despite having interesting ideas, Mosquito State is never able to grab its audience’s attention fully. Its unsubtle story hinders this flawed body horror from being something as memorable as it really should be.
A horror that very much keeps with an entertaining 80s vibe #JakobsWife has its bloody cake and eats it. Successfully toeing the line of keeping true to its core story while having a blast. As entertaining as you can imagine.
Wearing its influences on its sleeves, Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s lo-fi fantasy film Strawberry Mansion is a gloriously offbeat but sweet film that unexpectedly touches you, full of whimsy originality.
Takahide Hori’s painstaking stop motion film has take over a decade to get to this point and despite a wayward narrative, this is an awe-inspiring piece of work that should be celebrated as widely as possible. Unforgettable.
Richard Bates Jr’s film King Knight is full of ridiculousness, from the characters to the situations, yet it never forgets the message of finding acceptance in ones past – a comedy that hits all of the right notes.
A joyous & dreamy look at a young person taking that big step into independence & finding oneself, April Story is as relatable now as it was in 1998. Engaging as it is poignant, its simple story gracefully guides you along.
An absurdist comedy for the ages, Masashi Yamamoto’s Wonderful Paradise escalates almost to the point of being overstuffed. Yet it is wildly entertaining as it has a blast, and why not, we need films like this.
Alice Lenay’s documentary is an entertaining and compelling look at humanity’s relationship with technology, be it emotionally or spiritually. Sadly it hinders itself by not fully expanding on the topics raised to connect.
Carrying on from the excellent Climate of the Hunter, filmmaker Mickey Reece brings us a film full of mood and isolation. Reece is ambitious here with Agnes, and he manages to pull it off with a great film that is a must-watch.
Everything you want it to be and more, Alien on Stage is a love letter to those who always dreamed of making the unlikely happen. A wonderful triumph that will have you grinning for its entire runtime.
On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky is fine as a documentary that looks into the UFO phenomenon occurring in West Virginia, with personable subjects it should be a home run. Yet, towards the back end of the piece, it sadly loses itself.
This quiet & bleak chamber piece works very well during its engaging opening act, & tension racked finale. However, #Settlers middle act frustrates due to the lack of answers to the questions posed, regardless, this is an impressive debut.
Fantasia International Film Festival is almost upon us and as we here at Upcoming On Screen are getting the opportunity to cover it this year, I felt it was a good idea to let you have an idea of what is on offer. Roaring into its 25th year, the Montreal
A muddling action film that doesn’t quite know what it is trying to be. There are glimpses of a good film living underneath Out of Death, but with such a terrible script, the only saving grace the film has is the strong turn by Jamie King,
Distant direction choices almost overshadow the Offerings dense narrative and strong cast performances. This cynical but intriguing film takes its time at fully getting to its point but remains effective in its execution.
The Most Beautiful Boy In The World is at times an uncomfortable but remains a fascinating piece that shows how the scars of the earliest years of one life carry with you to adulthood. A finely crafted documentary that haunts you.
Some films never make it to DVD, Blu-Ray or digital or if they did, their prints are long gone. This series wants to look back at those films, that almost slipped through our B-Movie grubby little fingers.
Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is a masterful horror film, that takes advantage of its human story to scare the life out of you. An unmissable film in an unmissable package and out from Monday 26th
An impressive horror from Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury utilises many well-used horror tropes and can bring something fresh to the table. Rife with tension and some gruesome scares, Kandisha demands your time.
Rife with nail-biting tension, Lonnie Chavis & Ezra Dewey are phenomenal in The Boy Behind The Door. With a simple story done exceptionally well, directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell have created a wonderful thriller.
The Fear Street trilogy misses the opportunity to be something special, instead, bogged down with too much worldbuilding, overbearing scores and mere moments of nostalgia. Disappointing with how forgettable it becomes.
Flippo Meneghetti’s feature debut Two of Us is a heartbreaking look at the battle to keep love together during the most trying of times. A drama that tenderly and carefully carries you along, and like Nina, makes sure never to let you go.
Laura Samani’s hauntingly beautiful Piccolo Corpo is a triumph. This is a voyage of uncompromising love and sacrifice, utterly unmissable with enduring and memorable performances from Celeste Cescutti and Ondina Quadri.
Jill Gebargizian’s The Stylist began as a short film and last month to honour that, the good folks at Arrow decided to run a contest of for female filmmakers working on both sides of the camera to make and send their films in.
Andi Matichak shines in Ivan Kavanagh’s effective and surprising chiller Son. Filled with confidence, this is a film that makes sure to get the little things right and, by its finale, has you gripped.
A psychological drama that never connects in the way that it thinks it does. A Perfect Enemy misses more than it hits, but when those hits flash before us, they do work well though the lead up to the finale is what costs the film. Successful architect Jeremiasz Angust is approached on
Love Happens, the debut from Liza Rafael is a solid little comedy about the romantic and career pressures put on someone. Yet, by needlessly pushing the narrative during a perplexing final act, we are left frustrated.
At times Mosley: It’s Complicated is an engaging look at a man trying to form a legacy of safety when shrouded in a complex history. We have a film with such a significant story to tell that it can never provide us with enough time to do so Chronicling the life and
presents its audience with as bleak a picture as you can imagine for the children & families of Juárez. Yet hope and determined optimism shine in this thought provoking and emotional documentary
Rife with atmosphere & doom, this is a film that sticks to its deliberate pacing to show us the struggles of sacrificing everything for family. But it keeps its cards far too close to its chest narratively.
Lust Life Love is an open & honest look at the sex-positive community. An immersive & intimate film that takes us on a journey less travelled, and thank goodness it does. Not a film to be missed.
An engaging debut from Evgeny Yablokov, has a vigilante get too caught up in his nightly excursions and struggle to keep it all together. A film that satisfies and stays true to itself.
Yaniv Raz’s adaption of Dr Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets shows how it was a book made for the big screen. This offbeat look at mental health in teenagers occasionally stumbles but is able to stay on its feet to be an entertaining film. Enter the whimsical world of James
Imagine a plot along the lines of Final Destination without getting to see the deaths and played out by a cast who forgot to emote. Don’t Look Back is a woefully sloppy film that has few bright sparks to speak of.
The filmed performance of Ian Rickson’s production of Uncle Vanya astounds. A beautiful yet utterly heartbreaking piece with faultless performances. It will live long in the memory. An unmissable experience
As you go further into Akos Armont’s Brabham, the more confused the film appears to get what it wanted to be. While it can be a solid introduction to the life of multi-time Formula 1 champion Jack Brabham
Natalia Garayalde’s intimate documentary is as much a love letter to family members as about
what befell her community of Río Tercero in 1995. Deftly crafted, we are left with an enthralling yet painstakingly honest film
While the doc stalls at times due to its slightly repetitive nature, it remains an important film highlighting an urgent issue for indigenous communities like this throughout the world.
A fascinating documentary of determination, Srđan Kovačević keeps a neutral gaze on his subjects as they battle through thick and thin to make an impossible task succeed. In Croatia in 2005, a machine tools factory was occupied by its workers. Since then, they have operated collectively, becoming the only successful
Robin Petré’s From the Wild Sea is a glorious showcase of cinematic imagery and impeccable sound design. A documentary that presents the ever-increasing devastation that humans and climate change have on marine life.
A sprawling and engrossing documentary that leaves no stone unturned in the victim’s crusade for justice. This documentary leaves you angry at the bureaucratic system yet in awe of those who kept going.
Mayye Zayed’s fantastic observational doc may focus on challenging gender stereotypes in sport. Yet it becomes so much more by being a film that wears its heart on its sleeve with two wonderful subjects.
Sing, Freetown is a captivating look at two men trying to reclaim the identity of their country and show generations, young and old, the importance of their culture. A very personal documentary that racks up the tension to the hopeful opening night. Raised in Sierra Leone and now a Londoner, Sorious
A thought-provoking and intimate look at the damages of insufficient mental health support. Nira Burstein’s feature documentary debut manages to find joy and hope deep within the chaos up a tumultuous upbringing.
Rosine Mbakam’s intimate yet challenging Delphine’s Prayers is the most intense therapy session you can imagine. An emotional whirlwind of a documentary that has you riveted with its subject’s life.
Cruella has it’s faults, but in the end it is a rather enjoyable film with two great performances wrapped around some dazzling production design. An entertaining film that shouldn’t be as good as it is considering it’s stretched runtime.
Alex Noyer’s film utilises its horror graphically well. Yet it shines most when it explores what is under the pools blood left behind with a story full of tragedy, desperation wrapped around PTSD and addiction – A must-see film.
With brutal action, The Swordsman becomes a film that capably mixes itself as an entertaining martial arts action film inside a compelling historical drama. A confident and well-executed film that does everything right.
Chino Moya’s hauntingly bleak debut feature Undergods is an ambitious trio of tales expertly interwoven film. A vision that makes him a filmmaker to look out for. A very impressive movie. A collection of darkly humorous, fantasy tales about ill-fated characters and doomed fortune: in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic Europe, K
Powell Robinson & Robert-Patrick Young’s Threshold works best when it focuses on its two siblings simply trying to reconnect. Despite the painfully rushed ending, it shows moments of beauty and allows the viewer to enjoy the overall journey
An interesting & satisfying documentary that doesn’t quite delve into our subjects as much as you would want it to. Yet, you are invested to the piece thanks to some wonderful visual choices from Vreeland.
Danny Madden’s fantastic feature debut Beast Beast is bold with its perfectly built tension and a final act that hits you like a train, becoming an unmissable and urgent film for young adults in a modern world.
As The Oak Room begins, you never expect it to be as thoroughly engaging as it eventually becomes. Cody Calahan’s film is assumedly effective in a lo-fi movie that strikes you with its simple premise and striking visuals.
Gillian Wallace Horvat’s wonderfully uncomfortable yet sharp debut feature I Blame Society, is a film that gets under your skin and once it gets going takes zero prisoners. We have a film that is as fantastic as it is creative.
Lost in what direction and story it wants to tell, a film that could have so much promise as a drama or a horror. Instead, this mishmash doesn’t go far enough with either subplot to make itself felt.
Anthony Scott Burns moody and lo-fi science fiction film has echoes of Cronenberg as it stylishly engrosses yet at the same time unsettles. A terrific movie that is a gem ready to be discovered by audiences.
Jill Gevargizian continues her upward trajectory as a filmmaker with her strong feature debut The Stylist. Led by the empathetic yet murderous Najarra Townsend, we are given a film that expands upon her 2016 short tremendously.
A decent homage to the well worn hill billy films. Butchers has the potential to be far more better than it ends up being floundering by being just too predictable with its story and plentiful clichés.
Laurence Gough’s second feature is a film that you cannot predict, and from the tense and harrowing opening, the audience will not be able to peel their eyes away from the screen. A true gem of a picture.
We have a film striving to take a big step away from its predecessors, and it is all the better for doing so. Wrong Turn is an intense, well-written horror that puts its solid stamp on the genre.
Braden R. Duemmler’s What Lies Below is a stylish sci-fi horror driven by its three exceptional leads. With a great premise with a multitude of interesting elements, this is an atmospheric film not to let sneak under your radar.
Jennifer Harrington’s feature is a stylish horror with a great premise. It’s problematic opening half is far outweighed by its excellent second. Shook offers a scathing look at the effects of social media on today’s influencer crazed society. A film that has so much potential, but just doesn’t quite hit
Broil brings with it an interesting premise and a sprinkling of great moments. Yet struggles with this potential. In the end actually needing more runtime to flesh itself out. However, this is still a film where much reward can be found.
Lara Jean Gallagher’s feature debut takes us on a slow journey filled with mystery and questions as it has the viewer sink into its interesting mood. Sadly it leads itself astray, but not enough to lose the audience.
Director William Olssen’s Lost Girls and Love Hotels presents a bleak character study of a person trying to numb their senses to forget their past. A film about loneliness and yearning to forget.
Mark Sheridan’s Irish horror has elements that work tremendously, leads Elva Trill & Ed Murphy are particularly strong. Sadly Crone Wood just fades away by trying to do too much in the short runtime it has.
White Lie is an intricate character study that racks up the tension as we follow a character getting further backed into a corner because of her actions. Kacey Rohl is breath-taking as the complex Katie.
Writer/director Roderick MacKay brings his audience a compelling thriller in The Furnace, thanks to a stand out performance from Ahmed Malek and a landscape that shows the brutal Australia desert at its best.
Summer of ’72 is a strong showing from feature debut writer-director Philip Harder. His film tries to balance two main themes at once. Just getting away with it thanks to some stunning visuals and stand out performances from Natalia Dyer and Marchánt Davis.
[REC] is a claustrophobic horror gem that took everyone by surprise and 13 years later, it still cements itself as one of the best horror films of the 21st Century. An exhilarating 74-minute ride
Seized is a low budget action thriller that ticks all the boxes for fans. Scott Adkins and Mario Van Peebles shine in a film that brings you in for the action, but makes you stay for the fantastically ridiculous dialogue.
Synchronic is a brilliant film that takes what could be a standard drama or thriller and evolves it to become a high concept sci-fi that easily surpasses films of its ilk with far greater budgets.
Blind has the story and a lead that could have it be quite an interesting horror film. Yet it flounders in areas that it most certainly should not. A stylish looking film that offers nothing else.
Jump straight into Valhalla: Legend of Thor as blind as possible. this is an absolute treat of a film that grounds our Nordic Gods in ways that we have not seen in quite some time. This is a film that is very much worth your time.
We are in the end game now gang. We are in the penultimate film of our series and I can almost guess that if you asked people how many Hellraiser films there are, they would not get close to 10. Anyway, Here we go Hellraiser: Revelations! Two friends Steven Craven
Attila Hartungs debut feature FOMO is a scathing look at over the top masculinity and the lasting effects of abusive use of social media. Teenage friends Gergö (Yorgosz Goletsas), Patrik, Bandi and Ábris are into three things: partying, sex and their online following. One night, at a drunken house party,
We reach the tail end of our Hellraiser series with number 8 in the franchise Hellraiser: Hellworld. Released an unthinkable and almost impressive 92 DAYS after Hellraiser: Deader was released. Honestly, I can imagine people renting out Deader and then three months later going back to Blockbuster (we had an
Nothing will quite prepare you for the awkwardness and pain you will have for these characters and for women overall after viewing Force of Habit. Filmed by seven directors (Kirsikka Saari, Mila Tervo, Elli Toivoniemi, Jenni Toivoniemi, Reetta Aalto, Anna Paavilainen and Alli Haapasalo. We follow a multitude of characters
As In Search of Darkness states, the 80s was a booming time in the horror genre. There is a very good reason why the last 20 years has been rife with remakes from that period. Due to political frustrations at the time and a myriad of other fears of things
We are in the back end of our Hellraiser series and it sure as hell isn’t getting better. This time out we effectively return to the plot of Hellraiser: Hell on Earth. Being creative isn’t for everyone it seems. Welcome to Hellraiser: Deader Remember how we are left with Kirsty