Lucky McKee, you mad genius. I’ve been looking forward to his next picture and this did not let me down. A country lawyer and family man finds a feral woman in the woods and decides to bring her home, chain her up, and try to civilise her. Things sort of escalate from there. This is brutal, perverse, and occasionally so cringy that you want to look away. This film will make you question humanity. Oh, and Angela Bettis from May (2002) delivers a brilliant performance as the wife.
Japanese drama (2008)
I’m very pleased that I stumbled upon this one. It’s a touching and elegant film about life and death. A cellist loses his job and moves back to his hometown with his wife. He replies to a job ad entitled ‘Departures’ thinking it’s a travel agency. Turns out it’s actually a job as an encoffineer. This is absolutely gorgeous.
El Habitante Incierto (The Uninvited Guest)
Spanish mystery drama (2004)
Félix has recently split up with his sweetheart and is now living alone in the labyrinthine house that he built for them. One night he lets a stranger in to borrow the phone. When Félix turns his back the stranger vanishes seemingly into thin air. Now, is it possible to live in someone’s house undetected? The story unfolds in strange and unexpected ways and even though the plot has its flaws, this it still one of the most intriguing Spanish films I’ve ever seen.À l’intérieur (Inside)
French new extremity (2007)
This film is not brilliant but it’s definitely worth a watch because Béatrice Dalle does creepy so well. I’m already looking forward to the follow-up, Livide. A woman who is preparing to deliver the baby of her husband who died in a car accident four months earlier gets trapped in her house by a strange woman who’s trying to take her unborn baby. Expect gore.
American black comedy musical (1981)
Not a prequel, not a sequel, but an equal. A very nice follow-up to my beloved The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). It features Richard O’Brien, Nell Campbell and Patricia Quinn from RHPS. And it’s about Brad and Janet. Unfortunately they’re not played by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon. I was really happy to see Rik Mayall in it though. An appropriately quirky and surreal film with very catchy songs by Richard O’Brien.Taxidermia
Hungarian-Austrian-French drama (2006)
A grotesque tale about three generations of men who stuff things into various things. Yeah, you heard me. It’s dark, twisted and ugly. This film is disturbing in so many ways. I actually closed my eyes during a few scenes. Watch it, it’s weird.Dans ma Peau (In My Skin)
French new extremity (2002)
This film strikes a chord with me. A woman has an accident during a party and becomes obsessed with mutilating herself. It’s a graphic exploration of addiction but also in a way oddly beautiful. Being a recovered self-mutilator myself I don’t find it disturbing, though I do understand why most people probably do. In fact, most people would never even consider watching a film like this.La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher)
French-German drama (2001)
A masochistic piano teacher who lives with her controlling mother gets sexually involved with one of her students. There are a few quite odd scenes which is something I always appreciate. This is so fascinating and the film manages to draw you in but it doesn’t deliver properly. I’m tempted to read the book.Innocence
French mystery drama (2004)
A surreal fairy tale about a dance school for girls. The girls arrive to the isolated school in coffins. This film is a metaphorical study of the loss of innocence in young girls. Stunning photography and an odd fascination with legs. This is not a film to understand, it’s a film to immerse yourself in.La piel que habito (The Skin I Live in)
Spanish drama (2011)
“A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.” Pedro Almodóvar never disappoints, does he? Just watch it.The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
American drama (2004)
Yes, another disturbing film. Sarah uses social services to retrieve her son Jeremiah from his foster home and takes him on a journey through mental, physical and sexual abuse hell. Starring the always wonderful Asia Argento. Need I say more?5150 Rue des ormes (5150 Elm’s Way)
Canadian psychological thriller (2009)
Yannick moves to a new town and gets locked up in a house after knocking on a door to get some help after an accident. The man of the house is a religious psychopath who wants to rid the world of its evil. He’s also a fanatic chess player. A strangely compelling study in human behaviour.