Deck the halls and string up the lights, it's the festive time once again. Yet, with lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, this is likely to be a Christmas like no other. As depressing as that thought is, we can always count on the film industry to pump out a new Christmas-themed piece of escapist cinema just in time for the silly season. As fate would have it, 2020 is blessing us with a holiday movie that feels all sorts of revolutionary. An early Christmas present to enjoy at home...

In the six long years since his last feature film, Gone Girl, modern-day auteur filmmaker David Fincher has been more intently focusing on the medium of television than the big screen. Fincher helped produce and direct Netflix's masterful serial killer drama Mindhunter (which is now infuriatingly on indefinite hiatus) and dabbled in animation with Deadpool director Tim Miller on the cyberpunk anthology series Love Death + Robots. In an ironic twist of fate, it's highly likely his latest film will be seen by more people on a television...

It's been nine years of painful waiting for writer/director Sean Durkin to deliver his sophomore effort. The wait was well worth it. After dazzling with his chilling psychological drama Martha Marcy May Marlene (which introduced the world to the other Olsen sister, Elizabeth), Durkin finally returns with a mesmerising slow-burn portrait of a marriage and a family on the verge of complete collapse. Blending elegance and ugliness in captivating fashion, The Nest feels almost like a bloodless Gothic horror movie playing in slow motion, particularly with the bulk of...

With his terrific 2018 debut feature film Searching, former Google employee turned film director Aneesh Chaganty deftly announced the arrival of an exciting young talent to keep an eye on. His equally impressive sophomore effort, Run, further strengthens Chaganty's standing as a filmmaker capable of crafting tension-driven thrillers brimming with a palpable helping of anxiety and suspense. A taut little thriller that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud, Run plays like a wicked cross between Misery and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with its twist-filled cat-and-mouse game that consistently keeps...

From Woodward and Bernstein exposing the Watergate scandal in All the President's Men to The Boston Globe's damning investigation into systemic child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Spotlight, narrative cinema loves to adapt a true story centred on investigative journalism any chance it gets. While these films give audiences an intimate look at the exhaustive work undertaken by journalists to uncover a headline-grabbing story, they can't hold a candle to the raw power of a documentary seeking to do the same. Such is the case with Alexander...

From Freaky Friday to The Hot Chick, the body-swap conceit has been an occasional favourite of the comedy genre for decades now. But what if the concept of two people magically switching bodies happened to occur in the midst of an 80s slasher film? That's the refreshing premise of Freaky, the latest Blumhouse experimental film that blends a body-swap comedy and a gory slasher horror to create one of the year's most deliciously good times. While the concept is far from the most original, director/co-writer Christopher Landon delivers equal...

In recent years, the term "Oscar-bait" has become a dirty word amongst awards season pundits. And for good reason. Around this time each year, we're served up several pieces of cinema brazenly designed to attract the gaze of Academy voters. As the unprecedented Best Picture victory of an anti-Oscar-bait film like Parasite proved, the Academy isn't quite what it used to be. However, this is still the Academy who fawned over Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody just one year earlier, so it's anyone's guess how they'll respond to this...

The animated genre has been dominated by the work of Pixar and Disney for years now. All you have to do is look at the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature where these two juggernaut studios have only lost this award five times in 18 years. For just over a decade, independent Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon has quietly delivered three spectacular 2D traditional animated treasures that have each deservedly received a nomination by the Academy. With their latest offering, they just might finally snatch that elusive Oscar...

Living with repressed trauma is an unfortunate fact of life for many gay men. Whether that trauma results from experiencing homophobia, dealing with the difficult journey of accepting one’s sexuality, or, at worst, suffering sexual abuse at a young age, it’s something many queer filmmakers have frequently cathartically injected into their work. Such is the case with Matthew Fifer‘s quietly powerful feature film debut Cicada, which draws from his own experiences to craft one of the year’s finest films. On its deceptively simple surface, Cicada feels reminiscent of your...

The Dark and the Wicked A terrifying psychological nightmare with a gut-punch of an ending that will leave you breathless, The Dark and the Wicked is one of the year's best horror films. With a palpable sense of dread hovering over practically every frame, writer/director Bryan Bertino delivers a nihilistic rollercoaster of genuine terror in a rural setting drowning in utter misery. Elevated by excellent performances from Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr. and Tristan Nyby’s atmospheric cinematography, it's a brutal, yet somehow exhilarating experience you won't soon forget. The...