Review: mother! (2017)

Two words of warning before you watch mother!

  1. Don’t watch it if you’re pregnant.
  2. Don’t watch it if you’re easily shocked or offended.

Now we have that cleared up, where to start without giving mother! away? It’s best to go into this film knowing absolutely nothing as when you realise what this is about, it’s absolutely astounding. Darren Aronofsky has made one of the films of the year, a film of our times, and we can’t stop thinking about it. It’s so rich, so vile, so emotional, so beautiful. Just see it now.

Jennifer Lawrence puts in the performance of her career as the young wife only known as ‘mother’. Her existence is attending to her house and her older poet husband Him (Javier Bardem). She never stops,  cleaning, cooking and renovating the house – Him’s former home – which was burned to the ground. Some uninvited strangers turn up one night – man (Ed Harris) and woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) – who start to cause havoc, mess up the kitchen and block the toilet with strange things. Him takes them in as guests and…well…

mother! is controversial for a reason. We wouldn’t expect nothing less in the final act from the director of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. He’s messed us up before. We’ve sat through Martyrs (the original, naturally) and hardly flinched but this…this is…something else. But for what it portrays and what it’s all about, it’s a sombre reflection on our own existence and where we’re heading. Plus Kristen Wiig plays an absolute blinder in a chilling scene.

You may laugh. You may want to walk out. You will walk out. Whilst all around us were balking, we wanted to stand up and cheer. A truly amazing piece of filmmaking, innovation and art. Plus that Best Actress Oscar is really deserved by Ms Lawrence.




RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: The entire bloody experience. Glorious

Watch out for: We can’t talk about it just yet. Keep the secret 


Review: Personal Shopper (2016)

When a movie is booed at Cannes, we usually take that as a seal of approval. That’s what happened to Oliver Assayas’ Personal Shopper at the festival in 2016, a haunting and beautiful film that gets under your skin. It’s not a horror but there are ghosts. Kristen Stewart’s Maureen is a personal shopper to the stars in Paris, but she’s also a medium and wants to make contact with her dead brother Lewis. They both share the same genetic heart condition, from which Lewis died.

Mourning oozes from every pore of Maureen and Stewart is captivating throughout the 110 minutes. You can’t take your eyes off her. Some will find the film VERY slow but there is that special something that hooks you. It’s delivered with style and a sense of otherworldliness. As Maureen glides sullenly (and we know Stewart does sullen well) from Paris to London to pick up exquisite clothes and jewels for her rich client, it’s juxtaposed against the darkness of the ‘haunted’ house of her late brother where she is desperately trying to make contact with him. And things do go bump in the night, in the style of a Japanese horror movie.

The dénouement takes us to Oman and leaves everything a bit open to interpretation but this is a strange little film that is definitely worth checking out for Stewart’s performance alone. It’s daft, spellbinding couture. 




RATING: 6/10

Watch it for: Kristen Stewart

Watch out for: The apparition in the house 

Review: Raw (2016)

From the ‘shock! horror! people fainted!’ reviews from the mainstream press, we wouldn’t blame you for going into cannibal movie Raw feeling a little worried about what’s to come. Can you stomach it? Is this going to the grossest film ever? It’s really tame for horror pros actually, but don’t let that put you off what is a brilliant flick about a veggie veterinary student who develops a taste for human flesh after an initiation ceremony. It’s smart, cool and has some beautiful shots…and is even quite funny.

Garance Marillier plays first year student Justine, who has the unfortunate pleasure of going to the same veterinary school as her intimidating older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf). This is a coming of age tale as Justine struggles to find her own identity at the school, underneath the bold supervision of Alexia. That her identity ends up with her being a cannibal isn’t the point really – this is also about Justine’s sexual awakening and hunger of all sorts.

The leads are brilliant and this isn’t a gore fest. There are some truly haunting shots that stay with you for a long time – making cars crash to feast on the victims, Justine’s hunger when Alexia accidentally amputates a finger, a morning after scene that reveals a shock under the sheets – but Raw is an intelligent watch that will have you thinking about it for days after.




RATING: 7/10

Watch it for: Lead Garance Marillier is captivating       

Watch out for: Your sister’s finger