Category: Thriller

Genre specialist Devilworks is gearing up to debut their new horror title ‘HOSTAGE’ pre-EFM.
 
From writers Laura Ashley Polisena and Eddie Augustin (also director), the film follows young cheerleader Ashley, who was adopted by her parent’s killers. Years later, during a home robbery, her crazed family reveal what they are really capable of and Ashley must decide who’s side she is on.
 
Starring Nicole Hendersen, Mike Cannz, Daryl Marks and Tina Trineer, the film was produced by ‘Anxious Eddy Inc’ – producers on the project includeTony Manolikakis, Katiuscia Pierre and Laura Ashley Polisena and Giuseppe Monticciolo, who also executive produced.
 
Devilworks will start selling the film at the EFM (March 1st-5th).

 Stan today released the brand new full trailer for the highly anticipated second season of gritty crime drama series City On A Hill. Starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Kevin Bacon and Screen Actors Guildaward winner Aldis Hodge, the brand new season will premiere 29 March, same day as the U.S., only on Stan.

Season two centres on a federal housing project in the Roxbury neighbourhood of Boston that is plagued with drug violence and a rightful distrust in local law enforcement. As coalition leader Grace Campbell (Pernell Walker) works tirelessly on behalf of the community, her efforts are undermined by gang activity happening right under her nose. Enter irreverent FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Bacon), who is here to exploit Boston’s defective criminal justice system in a desperate attempt to salvage his own career. Unfortunately for Jackie, assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge) is onto his adversary’s latest misstep. In time, the personal antagonism between these two escalates to an all-out war between the offices of the U.S. Attorney and the Suffolk DA. No one is safe from the collateral damage.

Season two also stars Lauren E. Banks, Mark O’Brien, Amanda Clayton, Matthew Del Negro and Jill Hennessy with guest stars Pernell Walker, Lucia Ryan, Kameron Kierce, Shannon Wallace, John Doman, and Michael O’Keefe.

City On A Hill is executive produced by multiple Emmy winner Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street), who also serves as showrunner. In addition, City On A Hill is executive produced by Jennifer Todd, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jorge Zamacona Barry Levinson, Chuck MacLean and Michael Cuesta. Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge and Michele Giordano serve as co-executive producers.

City On A Hill Season 2 will premiere 29 March, only on Stan – same day as the U.S.

Anthony Scott Burns’ new sci-fi thriller, Come True, will be released on Digital March 17 in Australia and New Zealand by Lightbulb Film Distribution.

Come True, which celebrated its World Premiere at Fantasia, stars Julia Sarah Stone (Honey Bee, Weirdos) and Landon Liboiron (Truth or Dare).

The film was produced by Vincenzo Natali (Splice, In The Tall Grass) and the score was composed by Canadian synth-pop duo Electric Youth and Burns (under the moniker Pilotpriest).

Plagued by nightmares, a troubled teenager signs up to a sleep disorder study. Hoping that will finally stop her sinister dreams, she unknowingly becomes the channel to a horrifying new discovery.
Commenting on the release down under, Peter Thompson, Sales & Acquisitions Director at Lightbulb Film Distribution, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing this ground-breaking feature to Australia and New Zealand audiences. Come True was the most talked about film at Fantasia last year and Anthony Scott Burns is truly a visionary director. This film doesn’t just require repeat viewings – it demands it.”

Come True will be released in on Digital March 17 in Australia and New Zealand by Lightbulb Film Distribution. Available on iTunes, Google Play and Sony Playstation.

The Flood, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre’s debut feature about a female heroine exacting revenge on an unjust Australia, will begin a theatrical release in multiple cinemas in NSW, Victoria and South Australia from January 14 after a successful series of Q&A screenings in December and positive reviews.

Originally screening as a Cinema on Demand style release in December, cinemas have invited the film to return for a theatrical release off the back of strong word of mouth.

Madman have also released the film on disc and digital platforms (including iTunes, Google Play & Telstra Movies) from today.

Cinemas screening the film are:

  • Wallis Cinema Mildura  start date Jan 21
  • Wallis Cinema Mitcham  start date Jan 21
  • Wallis Cinema Piccadilly start date Jan 21
  • Wallis Cinema Mt Barker start date Jan 21
  • Wallis Cinema Noarlunga start date Jan 21

Other cinemas taking the film (January dates tbc) include the remaining Wallis Cinemas circuit, The Ritz (Randwick), Richmond Regent , 6th Toe South West Rocks, Star Court Cinema Lismore, Peninsula Cinemas, Glenbrook Cinema and Roxy Cinema Nowra.

The Flood stars Alexis Lane, Shaka Cook (who will be seen this year in the hit musical Hamilton), Dean Kyrwood, Dalara Williams and Aaron Jeffery, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the 2020 AACTA Awards for his work on the film.  Victoria Wharfe McIntyre also won the Best Director Award and Alexis Lane won Best Actress at the recent Sydney International Women’s Film Festival.

Set during WWII, the film is the story of Jarah’s (Alexis Lane) coming-of-age in a brutal and lawless land – growing from a sweet child to a strong, independent and ferocious woman taking on Australia’s corrupt and bigoted system one bad guy at a time. In the best tradition of the gunslinging outlaw, when the enigmatic Jarah is pushed to the limit she explodes in a fury of retribution. But for a revenge western there is a surprising series of twists and turns that hint towards redemption and reconciliation.

Writer/director Victoria Wharfe McIntyre says:  “It’s such an honour to be approached by cinemas who have heard the feedback from our screenings and we’re very grateful to all the people who are keen and asking to see it on the big screen.”

Filmed in Victoria’s hometown of Kangaroo Valley, in what Victoria describes as a “wonderful creative collaboration with the local Yuin Nation community, utilising our land and that of friends and neighbours”, The Flood has poignantly become a visual archive of the Valley’s pristine subtropical rainforests and unique bushland which were destroyed by the 2020 firestorm that devastated the east coast of Australia.
https://www.madmanfilms.com.au/the-flood/

Stan today announced the highly anticipated brand new drama series Clarice will premiere 12 February, same day as the U.S. – only on Stan.

Starring Australia’s ownRebecca Breeds (The Originals, Pretty Little Liars) in the title rolethe series will deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs. 

To watch and share the first-look teaser, click here: https://youtu.be/mg1kV90QnCo

Brilliant and vulnerable, Clarice’s bravery gives her an inner light that draws monsters and madmen to her. However, her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man’s world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.

Created by Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, Breeds starsin the title role as Clarice Starling and is joined by Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Kal Penn (House), Lucca de Oliveira (SEAL Team), Nick Sandow (Orange Is the New Black), Jayne Atkinson (Criminal Minds), Devyn Tyler (The Purge) and newcomer Marnee Carpenter.

Clarice premieres 12 February, same day as the U.S. – only on Stan.

Summary: A man discovers that his wife was living a secret life after she is killed in an accident. He thinks that finding answers about her life will be easy given they live in a small coastal town… he soon finds out though that isn’t the case.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 9th July 2020 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 3rd July 2020 (UK), 17th April 2020 (USA)

Country: Iceland, Denmark, Sweden

Director: Hlynur Palmason

Screenwriter: Hlynur Palmason

Cast: Elmir Stefania Agustsdottir (Elin),  Arnmundur Ernst Bjornsson (Hrafn), Laufey Eliasdottir (Ingipjorg), Hilmir Snaer Gudnason (Olgeir), Bjorn Ingi Hilarsson (Trausti), Ida Mekkin Hynsdottir (Salka), Ingvar Sigurdsson (Ingimundar), Siguraur Sigurjonsson (Bjossi), Haraldur Stefansson (Stefan), Sverrir Por Sverrisson (Sveppi), Pour Tulinius (Georg)

Running Time: 109 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK)

OUR A WHITE, WHITE DAY REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ A White, White Day Review:

There is just something about Scandinavian cinema that to me makes it stand out from what the rest of the world is producing at the moment. For some reason Scandinavian filmmakers are constantly making movies that are usually gritty, normally on the alternative side and always well written and engrossing. That is certainly the case with director Hlynur Palmason’s (Winter Brothers)brand new film A White, White Day – a film that has an artistic edge but packs such an almighty emotional punch that it should be in consideration when Award’s season swings around.

The film centres around an older Police Officer in a remote Icelandic village named Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson – Everest) who is currently in a deep emotional slump caused by the recent death of his wife in a car accident. Ingimundur now spends his days casually playing soccer with the local men and looking after his Grand-daughter Salka (newcomer Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir) who seems to frequently be in the way of her mother’s new life.

Despite seemingly being estranged from his own daughter Ingimundur is always there for Salka and is happily spending his time renovating a run-down home in the hope that it can give Salka a new, more comfortable life. Things start to turn sour though when Ingimundur starts to believe that his wife was having an affair with a local man before her death.

I’ll admit that I felt strange while watching A White, White Day. I could feel that I was loving this film for the reason that people around me were hating it. As a director Palmason uses long-lingering, and sometimes time-lapse, shots as a way to show that nothing really changes in the quiet Icelandic town that the film is set in other than time and the seasons. And while I sat there engrossed in the beauty of these shots by the movement in seats, the crinkling of chocolate wrappers and the frequent rest-room visits around me I could sense that others were not sharing the same view of things that I was.

For me though A White, White Day is one of the most harshly beautiful and engaging movies that you will see in 2020. While at times slow the film does have a strong narrative and there is no way an audience member will find themselves ‘lost’ and unable to work out what is happening despite Palmason’s frequent side journeys into artistic cinema.As I mentioned the film is slow at times but the suspense level is lifted immensely once Ingimundur starts to piece together the supposed truth about his wife and the ‘perhaps’ guilty local, especially when you realise that a confrontation between the two is inevitable.

While I give a lot of credit to Palmason for the way the film looks and plays out I also have to give credit to Ingvar Sigurdsson for his performance as Ingimundar. He puts in a natural and dramatic performance throughout the film but it is the scenes where Ingimundar brutality clashes with his uniformed colleagues that show why Sigurdsson should be considered for ever major acting Award going around. These sequences are going to stay with me for a long time and are right up there as some of the most powerful scenes I have experienced on the big screen.

A White, White Day is slow at times but it is made memorable by a gritty storyline that never lets up and a powerful performance by a leading man who brings a harsh realism to the character he is depicting. This is one bright spark is an otherwise dull 2020 cinema landscape.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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A White, White Day (2019) on IMDb

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Summary: A young boy’s life is changed forever when he meets a wanted murderer and she tells him that she was framed for the murder.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 17th December 2020 (Australia), 11th December 2020 (UK),

VOD Release Dates: 17th November 2020 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Screenwriter: Nicolaas Zwart

Cast: Joe Berryman (Sheriff Ross), Paul Blott (Hartwell), Darby Camp (Phoebe Evans), Hans Christopher (John Baker), Finn Cole (Eugene Evans), Kerry Condon (Olivia Evans), Stephen Dinh (Joe Garza), Travis Fimmel (George Evans), Garret Hedlund (Perry Montroy), Tim D. Janis (Anselm Lomax), Lola Kirke (Narrator (voice)), Margot Robbie (Allison Wells), Pab Schwendimann (Peter Tade), Jane Wilson (Laura Boyd)

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR DREAMLAND REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Dreamland Review:

When most cinema goers think about Margot Robbie and her career they think of her huge roles – playing Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad or of course playing Jane in Tarzan. What many over look is the power of her performances in some of her smaller films that she has made along the way though. Her portrayal of the ‘last female on Earth’ in Z For Zachariah and now once again she brings her A-Game to crime period piece Dreamland.

I will admit that I knew nothing about Dreamland when I was heading into the film, and I certainly was not expecting a slow-burn crime thriller that was reminiscent of the work of the talented Kelly Reichardt. So good is that film director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte has now made my ‘must see film list’ and I am currently trying to hunt down his debut feature, As You Are, for a viewing as soon as possible as well.

Set in Texas in the 1930s Dreamland follows the Evans family who are doing it tough in a town that is constantly hit by violent storms. With their farm not able to produce crops Eugene (Finn Cole – Peaky Blinders) and his mother, Olivia (Kerry Condon – Avengers: Infinity War), were further devastated when Eugene’s father suddenly took off – supposedly for Mexico.

Eugene has always fantasised about going to find his father especially seeing as he now doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his step-father – local Sheriff’s Deputy George Evans (Travis Fimmel – Vikings). It feels like the only thing keeping him in Texas is that he helps look after younger sister, Phoebe (Darby Camp – The Christmas Chronicles).

The Evans family’s life is changed forever though when Eugene suddenly meets Allison Wells (Margot Robbie – The Wolf Of Wall Street), an outlaw on the run wanted for bank robbery and murder. While George desperately gets the town to hunt her down Allison tells Eugene that she is being framed for the murder side of things and begs him to help her.

Dreamland could easily have become a film full of clichés but I felt what saved that from happening is the directing style of Joris-Peyrafitte who refrains from this becoming just another ‘crime period piece’ like Lawless by working well with cinematographer Lyle Vincent (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) and giving the film a unique visual style. Together the pair not only bring a beauty to the Texan landscape but deliver Reichardt-like scenes with two character conversing while one is frame and the other cannot be seen.

The film’s screenplay also holds steady throughout. The plot never gives away it shouldn’t too early meaning that the film maintains its suspense throughout. Screenwriter Nicolaas Zwart (Riverdale) keeps the audience guessing to whether or not Allison is telling the truth or not about framed, and as Eugene is set up in such a way that the audience likes him from the get go you find yourself constantly afraid that she is going to break his heart.

Likewise even the secondary characters are never made to appear clichéd. George Evans could easily have been portrayed as your stereo-typical tough father-like figure who has it in for his step-son. But that is never the case here, yes Eugene sees him as hard on him but the audience can easily see through the teenage angst and come to realise that George is not the character that he is portrayed to be.

That screenplay also leads to some amazing acting performances. Finn Cole announces himself as an actor who can now carry a film, his scenes with Margot Robbie are intense and the two play off each other with a natural ease. Also taking a huge step up here is Travis Fimmel who just like he did in Lean On Pete shows that he clearly has a career outside of Vikings.

This Covid 2020 keeps giving us genuine cinematic surprises and Dreamland is certainly one of them. Gritty and alternative in style this is the film that has given us one of the directional finds of the year.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Dreamland (2019) on IMDb

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Summary: A Federal Police Officer travels back to his hometown to solve a murder involving his best friend. His arrival in town wakes up old ghosts though as he himself left the town years earlier a murder suspect.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 1st January 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Australia

Director: Robert Connolly

Screenwriter: Robert Connolly, Harry Cripps, Jane Harper (novel)

Cast: Eric Bana (Aaron Falk), Eddie Baroo (McMurdo), BeBe Bettencourt (Ellie Deacon), Sam Corlett (Young Luke), Nick Farnell (Sgt. O’Connell), James Frecheville (Sullivan), Bessie Holland (Sally), Joe Klocek (Young Aaron Falk), Renee Lim (Sandra Whitlam), Francene McAsey (Amanda), Matt Nable (Grant Dow), Keir O’Donnell (Greg Raco), Genevieve O’Reilly (Gretchen), John Polson (Scott Whitlam), Claude Scott-Mitchell (Young Gretchen), Bruce Spence (Gerry Hadler), Miranda Tapell (Rita Raco), Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Erik Falk), Martin Dingle Wall (Luke Hadler), William Zappa (Mal Deacon)

Running Time: 117 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

OUR THE DRY REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Dry Review:

One of the things that makes Australian cinema stand out from other films is the grit that quite often comes with it. When I say that I am not just talking about genre flicks I am talking about drama films like Romper Stomper that just seem to go that extra step further than most other films.

When you mix that grit with the visuals that you get from classic Australian films like Picnic At Hanging Rock and Wake In Fright you suddenly get something very special. That is when you end up with films like Robert Connolly’s new film The Dry.

Of course Connolly is no stranger to the kind of gritty filmmaking that I was just talking about. It is something that he has brought to the screen previously with films like Balibo which explored one of the most important events to ever occur in Australian media history.

With his new film, The Dry, Connolly captures that grit as the story centres around successful Federal Police Officer Aaron Falk (Eric Bana – Troy) who returns to the country town where he grew up to investigate the apparent murder-suicide of one of his close friends.

A lot has changed in the town since Aaron has left, the town is now on its knees due to a year long drought but many of the residents have not forgotten that young Aaron (Joe Klocek – Patricia Moore) left the town a suspect in the murder of a young woman, Ellie Deacon (BeBe Bettencourt – My First Panic).

As Aaron works with local Police Officer Greg Raco (Keir O’Donnell – American Sniper) to solve the case surrounding his friend he also finds himself having to defend himself from the murder year’s before while growing close to his former friend Gretchen (Genevieve O’Reilly – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).

Such is Connolly’s power as a filmmaker with The Dry you can literally taste the dust in your mouth as he captures amazing shots of Australia’s Wimmera alongside his cinematographer Stefan Duscio (Jungle). Often it is the scenes of Eric Bana slowly walking through dry creek beds while deep in thought that say a million more things than a whole page of dialogue could of. There is a strange beauty to this film, the same beauty that Peter Weir found with Picnic At Hanging Rock where the visuals are beautiful to look at while at the same time they capture the harshness of the Australian bush.

The film’s screenplay, put together by Connolly and co-writer Harry Cripps (2:22) also enhances the film by seemingly using every word spoken to hit the audience with impact. There are scenes here where very little is said and that just provides even more impact to dialogue when it is spoken. Of course they other power to this screenplay is the plot itself. Nothing is ever given away before it should, nothing is spoilt and as a result you have one of the best crafted crime thrillers to hit the screen since Mystery Road.

Bringing all that to the fore is the marvellous performance by Eric Bana. Throughout this film it really feels like Bana was born to play Aaron Falk. He somehow morphs completely into the role and you soon forget that you are watching Bana. His performance is balanced as he plays a character that at times is vulnerable and is at other times forced to show an aggression that helps him find the truth.

Alongside Bana O’Donnell shines as the nervous and out-of-his-depth Greg Raco. The scenes between the pair are amazing and credit must be paid to O’Donnell for not ever becoming over-awed acting alongside Australian acting royalty. A big shout out also so Eddie Baroo (Australia) who steals every scene he is in as the lovable barman McMurdo who often seems to play the voice of reason in the town… he is like a character plucked straight out of a Shakespearian tragedy. He can see the dismay and hurt around him but is powerless to stop it.

The Dry is easily one of the films of the year. Gritty, dramatic and suspenseful it is everything that a good crime thriller should be. When you combine a brilliant acting performance by Bana alongside the stunning filmmaking of Robert Connolly you end up with a beautiful Australian film that packs some real punch.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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The Dry (2020) on IMDb

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