Features Live Action Movies


Director – Natalie Kennedy – 2023 – UK – Cert. 15 – 94m


Struggling with writer’s block, a successful author checks in to an AI-controlled retreat facility only for a virus to wreak havoc on the software which runs it, turning her into a prisoner – out on UK digital download from Monday, January 8th

Successful writer of pulp horror fiction Claire Rivers (Rachel Shelley) has writer’s block. And a deadline. And is being hassled on the phone by her agent, Alice (voice: Tamsin Jeffrey). She has a month, and Alice can’t keep fobbing off her publisher. Claire needs to get round whatever the problem is. So Claire accepts that invitation to a writer’s retreat she’s been avoiding.

Now, this is now ordinary retreat – it’s run by AI. Once there, her hand is scanned to open the door. She’s met by a charming man (Wayne Brady) – or rather, a holographic projection of a charming man, who informs her that her personal concierge is being set up as he speaks. So Claire meets Rita (Heida Reid), an android who unpacks her things for her. And who almost – but not quite – interacts with her. There’s some something quite odd about Rita.… Read the rest

Animation Features Movies

No Tojimari,
lit. Suzume’s
Locking Up)

Director – Makoto Shinkai – 2022 – Japan – Cert. PG – 122m


Aided by a man turned into a mobile, talking, three-legged chair, a schoolgirl must prevent giant, freak weather ‘worms’ from devastating Japan with earthquakes – anime feature is out in UK and Irish cinemas on Friday, April 14th

Prompted by a question from a man she meets on a road in her hometown, 17-year-old schoolgirl Suzume visits an abandoned hot springs facility in which is situated a door in a free standing door frame. She opens it only to find she can’t enter. Shortly after this, in school, she notices smoke in a gigantic, red and black worm-like form rising from the hot springs facility.

At the same time, everyone around her receives earthquake warnings on their smartphones, but no-one else can see the rising form. She goes back to the facility to find the man she met trying to close the door and cut off the incoming smoke, something she helps him to do. They do not close the door in time to prevent the red and black form falling onto the land and an earthquake resulting. The man locks the door using a key on his person.… Read the rest

Features Live Action Movies


Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa – 2001 – Japan – Cert. 15 – 119m


Plays in the BFI Japan 2021 season October / November at BFI Southbank. Also, currently streaming on BFI Player as part of the BFI Japan 2021 programme

Pulse aka Kairo (2001) has long been considered one of the key J-Horror films of the late 1990s and early 2000s alongside Ring (1998) and The Grudge (2002). It remains one of the two films for which director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is most highly regarded, the other being his earlier Cure (1997).

In a fascinating forty minute-odd interview on Arrow’s new, extras-stuffed release Kurosawa describes Pulse as a rehash of Ring. That observation doesn’t spring immediately to mind. Ring is about a VHS videotape, a death threat by phone and a deadly ghost named Sadako who crawls creepily out of a TV set. Pulse is about internet and mobile phone images before present day smartphones with their image-sending capabilities became commonplace. People seeing these images slowly lose their grip on reality and vanish into thin air by for example turning into a stain which then falls off the wall as little particles to be blown away on an air current.… Read the rest