• Man Bites Dog

    Man Bites Dog

    ★★★★

    #24 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Grim mockumentary satirising the relationship between our media fascination with violence. Following a shoelace DIY filmmaking team efforts to document a charismatic serial killer, the team find themselves increasingly involved in his killings.

    Avoiding easy gags and un-PC low blows, Man Bites Dog is more provocative in it’s casualness, and more prophetic in it’s observations. Talking about grizzly details with such coldness, to the point it’s grizzly bootstrap black and white world becomes a corrosive force you can’t escape from before you realise it’s too late.

  • Brightburn

    Brightburn

    ★★½

    #24 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Great premise shackled by premeditated trajectory completely wastes all potential in this sadistic superhero horror.

    Brightburn is sold as Superman gone bad, but it never really elevates beyond that. There’s no real interesting twist or insightful path for our lead to go on that could offer some form of comment on either the genre or society itself. It ultimately ends up being a hollow effort with admittedly solid production behind it making it watchable, but when it’s big operatic carnage heavy finale arrives, the whole thing just falls flat.

  • November

    November

    ★★★★½

    #23 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Wonderfully imaginative and bleakly comedic folk tale from Estonia that will cast a long spell on you well after it’s finished. 

    A tale of werewolves, witchcraft and possessed machinery caked in a tragic love story. November is able to dexterous balance dry humour, surreality and foreboding dread along with a complex yet deceptively simple tale of class division and emotional isolation. Well worth seeking out for the first three minutes alone.

  • Beanfilm

    Beanfilm

    ★★★½

    Bean around the world.

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★★

    #22 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Jones is the real villain of the film.

    (Seen on the big screen)

  • The Empty Man

    The Empty Man

    ★★★½

    #21 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Unceremoniously dumped into cinemas at the height of the Pandemic last year without even having a trailer released. You’d be forgiven for thinking The Empty Man was the latest attempt at a shallow teen-centric fantasy slasher in the same vein as the ill-advised Slender Man and The Bye Bye Man. Let alone it actually being a film with major studio clout behind it.

    Despite the odds, The Empty Man did find a…

  • Tigers Are Not Afraid

    Tigers Are Not Afraid

    ★★★★½

    #20 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Phenomenal magical realist horror film that combines the real world horror of the Mexican drug and gang violence with the imagination of a child that can only comprehend real tragedy with fairytales and twists of fate.

    The real intelligent thing around Tigers Are Not Afraid is that it always bares in mind reality as the real threat. Ensuring the blurred lines between reality and fantasy are never so clear that the fantasy of the film is simply window dressing, but everything is tinged with a realistic touch that lies just out of range of our view.

  • Amer

    Amer

    ★★★★

    #19 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Using the cinematic language of Giallo cinema to absolute maximalist effect, Amer is a horror film strictly for the senses as it’s combination of voyeristic visuals and overwrought sound design combines for an often unbearably uncomfortable effect.

    Opening with a Bava-inspired gothic fairytale before heading for a more Luci based sleazy middle act, and full Argento finale. Amer is about the strange relationship between cinemas lurid indulgences and the psychological allure of…

  • 28 Weeks Later

    28 Weeks Later

    ★★★½

    #18 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Bigger and brasher, with more bombast for your wallet. 28 Weeks Later succeeds as a follow up, providing more world building and ideas of globalisation and foreign involvement in world affairs.

    It does wind up being more interested in the splashing of guts than anything more substantial past it’s opening act (the immunity plot device feels a little hackneyed and contrived here). But even with a focus on set pieces, it remains as satisfying and creative as the original, maybe even a little more so.

  • 28 Days Later

    28 Days Later

    ★★★½

    #17 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Danny Boyle and Alex Garland gave the zombie genre a gritty facelift, and in turn inspired an entire generation of filmmakers that they were able resourceful genre films with some decent tricks of the trade.

    Admittedly showing it’s age as a cheap schlocker with it’s digital cinematography failing most modern critical eyes. The film successfully carved out a melancholic tone that paves a tragic scope that transcends it’s frame, whilst maintaining Boyle kinetic…

  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    ★★★½

    #16 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    After suffering through the slightly misguided efforts of the Fear Street trilogy earlier this week, it’s good to find something that does the nostalgia-tinged Halloween spooker right.

    Probably a little bit too scary for younger audiences and it’ll wind up a little too dorky for older audiences, there’s almost a sense of capturing that feeling of watching something you kinda shouldn’t, much like Gremlins back when you were a kid. The creatures…

  • A Classic Horror Story

    A Classic Horror Story

    ★★½

    #15 Hooptober 2021 - Death by Squeal-quels ☠️📼

    Stylish, grindhouse inspired Italian horror that attempts to combine modern day interconnected life with the voyeuristic pleasure of the video nasties if the yesteryear. However it all feels rather loosely connected, isolated to a couple visuals moments and mostly just feeling like a hollow effort.

    It’s all slick looking, but it ultimately feels like a tackier version of Midsommar.