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  • Cold Prey

    Cold Prey

    ★★★

    Cold Prey is admirably stupid in that it has no end-goal other than to have spent ninety minutes intermittently jolting the viewer with loud noises and sombre violence. Archival site history and flashbacks of abuse are only used to compound a sense of generalised feel bad-ness that is of its time when it is not completely regressive. Cold Prey is probably embarrassed to still exist so long after its release because its purpose was extinguished the moment someone jumped out…

  • The Black Cat

    The Black Cat

    ★★★★

    The twentieth century Gothic is open/Modern architecture on the muddy site of a massacre. Accordingly The Black Cat reverses the relationship between presence and absence where it counts: the spaces are off only because the disembodied voices of the dead have successfully been erased; there is somehow more bleak suggestion in Poelzig speaking to his 'collection' of dead women than there is in him stroking Karen's hair to sleep. A good deal of it is the lights, but the hapless…

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  • The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight

    I attended this really wonderful lecture on superheroes and the War on Terror, and how a number of very important comics post-9/11 became self-critical in their examination of states of emergency and exceptional politics, and the autoimmune system that leads to the violent pursuit of 'order' becoming the greatest source of chaos. Because superheroes respond to 'emergency' situations and operate within a non-legal or extra-legal capacity to inflict sovereign violence on the enemy (the enemy itself prone to slippage e.g.…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ½

    Shifts critical-fashionably between polarities of dumb. Hereditary has a secret desire to lose itself to black blooded horror, but it is restrained by Ari Aster's smothering auteurism. The twist is that it's the latter impulse which manifests in ham-fisted cries and hollow shocks, some so shrill that the film inches towards something like a satisfying genre piece. It's kind of hysterical: Collette's gravity defying agony can't steal focus from the smug master crafting callous scenarios in his very own miniature…