SING STREET

7 out of 10

This is an Irish film

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 20th June 2016

Director: John Carney (Begin Again / Once)

Cast: Ferdia Peelo-Walsh, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Mark McKenna, Ian Kenny, Ben Carolan, Don Wycherley, Percy Chamburuka, Conor Hamilton, Karl Rice, Kelly Thornton with Aiden Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy

Writer: John Carney

Trailer: SING STREET

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Ferdia Peelo-Walsh: Vikings (TV)
  • Lucy Boynton: Don’t Knock Twice, Miss Potter
  • Jack Reynor: Detroit, Free Fire, Glassland, A Royal Night Out, Transformers 4, Delivery Man, What Richard Did
  • Aiden Gillen: Pickups, King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, You’re Ugly Too, Maze Runner 2, Game Of Thrones (TV),  Still, Calvary, Mister JohnShadow DancerTreacle Jr, The Dark Knight Rises, BlitzWake Wood, Twelve Rounds, The Wire (TV), Shanghai Knights, The Low Down, Queer As Folk (TV), My Kingdom, Some Mother’s Son, Mojo, Circle Of Friends
  • Maria Doyle-Kennedy: The Conjuring 2, Jupiter Ascending, Byzantium, Titanic (TV), Albert Nobbs, The Tudors (TV), Miss Julie (2000), Gregory’s Two Girls, The General (1998), A Further Gesture, Moll Flanders (1996), Nothing Personal, The Commitments

YOU’RE UGLY TOO

9.5 out of 10

This is an Irish film

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 24th July 2015

Director: Mark Noonan

Cast: Aiden Gillen, Lauren Kinsella, Erika Sainte and George Pistereanu

Writer: Mark Noonan

Trailer:

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Aiden Gillen: Pickups, King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, Sing Street, Maze Runner 2, Game Of Thrones (TV),  Still, Calvary, Mister JohnShadow DancerTreacle Jr, The Dark Knight Rises, BlitzWake Wood, Twelve Rounds, The Wire (TV), Shanghai Knights, The Low Down, Queer As Folk (TV), My Kingdom, Some Mother’s Son, Mojo, Circle Of Friends
  • Lauren Kinsella: Albert Nobbs
  • Erika Sainte: Moonwalkers

THE DEVIL’S WOODS

1 out of 10

Irish film production

Release Date: 24th October 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Anthony Wood

Cast: Stephen Cromwell, Caoimhe Cassidy, Danielle Keaney, Daniel Mahony

Writer: Anthony Wood and cast

Trailer: THE DEVIL’S WOODS

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Review by Matt Usher

Why do they do it? Film-makers, I mean. Why do they (well, some of them) make films in homage to other films they’ve seen which just end up being extremely pale failed imitations? This time DELIVERANCE is the object of adoration, and we know this because characters keep mentioning it, which would be fair enough if there were any similarities between the two films other than them both being about people going somewhere then getting attacked by dodgy locals. It’s fair (but also unnecessary) to say that DELIVERANCE is better than THE DEVIL’S WOODS. Then again, there aren’t many films worse. I blame BOTCHED, STITCHES and GRABBERS which alerted us to the fact that the Irish were making some quirky, clever, funny and unpredictable horror films. This does not join their ranks. It may be a little excessive of me to suggest that this is unspeakably poor, but, apart from a couple of very brief moments, this looks and feels like a very bad student production, made by some quite dumb students.

We begin with a young lady getting out of a car near what looks like a quite nice park. Off she pops along a pathway of doom (having paused to retrieve a mask from the car boot) and is set upon by a ruffian. Fortunately someone else is there to deal with the scoundrel, but, having vanquished him, the knight in shining armour turns out to be an attacker as well. What are the chances? Our doomed non-heroine screams, and is never seen again, unless she’s one of the mysterious cowled and masked figures at the end – to be honest by the end I’d forgotten about her (and it’s only a short film).

We then find a young couple in a non-descript room. They chat dully, and it subsequently turns out they actually have no bearing whatsoever on anything else at all. They are merely there to sell some drugs to one of the main characters. He arrives and more chat and drug-purchasing occurs. He goes home to chat to his girlfriend. Then they go round to their other friends, with whom they are going off to a possibly illegal music festival. If my description is exceedingly dull, I apologise, but honestly my writing is positively racy compared with how all this plays out on screen. After about fifteen minutes (in a 78 minute film) our heroes have finally got into the car and are heading off on their adventure. At this point the only thing worth noting is that one of our leading men looks a bit like a young Ross Kemp in a wig. I guess this preamble is meant to be a slow, steady build-up of gut-wrenching tension, but it’s equally possible that this material is just real footage of the cast going about their everyday lives that’s been edited in accidentally. Without anyone noticing.

After a brief altercation with a doomed bird, our heroes, having driven about half a mile, decide to stop for a drink and directions at the Creepy Pub of Evil Dangerous Suspicious Yokels. The pub is infested with inbred axe-murderers, so, having spent £20 to go to the toilet and buy some untouched drinks, our heroes leave. There is a good bit at this point where someone has a brief moment of ab-dabs while waiting in the car.

Eventually our dull quartet of slasher-bait arrive at a place which in no way resembles a suitable campsite. After some uninteresting shenanigans and bad sex they have a bit of a row then start playing pranks on each other. But in (bad) imitation of the boy who cried wolf, things eventually start to turn sinister. Our heroes still manage to have a row about infidelity EVEN THOUGH ONE OF THEIR NUMBER HAS JUST BEEN DRAGGED OFF BY A F***ING AXE-WIELDING MANIAC (albeit axeless). Then the cast get slaughtered in roughly reverse order of acting ability by figures who are either yokels from the pub, or the local aristocracy. The fact that it’s impossible to tell whether they’re yokels or aristocrats is (a) indicative of the film-makers’ belief that evil is evil and it doesn’t matter how you dress, (b) a sad indictment of the state of the aristocracy in economically straitened times, or (c) indicative that the film-makers don’t know what they’re doing.

Certainly, there are worse films operating at this level, and it’s not as bad as the sequel to ROBERT and nowhere near as atrocious as SILVERHIDE (a film about the government’s secret invisible werewolf breeding programme) (I’m not making that up). But, really, was it worth the effort of sending copies of this dross across the Irish Sea?

Truly the best I can say is that I’m profoundly grateful it isn’t a found-footage film. Even so, the director manages to spend a lot of time shoving the camera in the direction of the leading lady’s bottom. The cast appear to be acceptable amateurs. Well, I hope they are. If I ever find any of them have been anywhere near a drama school then there’ll be trouble. The Ross Kemp-alike and his buddy do quite decent banter-type blarney, and there’s decent enough screaming when necessary. But the plot is over-familiar, the film is shot like a home video, and I get the impression that they just wanted to get the thing made regardless of whether it was worth making. (It isn’t.) If there was any spark of originality or enthusiasm about the enterprise I’d happily point it out, but this is a pallid regurgitation of significantly better films. It’s as if the film-makers had been forced against their will to watch certain classic horrors and told ‘here’s a tenner, now go and make tribute to these’ and they went off, spent the cash, then cobbled this together at the last minute. If it is a labour of love by committed film fans then they couldn’t have disguised their enthusiasm more thoroughly; rarely has a film seemed more reluctant to exist.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

Errr….

TIGER RAID

5.5 out of 10

Irish film production

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 7th October 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Simon Dixon

Cast: Brian Gleeson, Damien Molony, Sofia Boutella and Rory Fleck-Byrne

Writer: Simon Dixon, Mick Donnellan, Gareth Coulam Evans

Trailer: TIGER RAID

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

CHERRY TREE

2.5 out of 10

Irish Production

Release Date: 23rd May 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: David Keating (Wake Wood / The Last of the High Kings)

Cast: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Minnie Phipps with Valerie O’Connor and Patrick Gibson

Writer: Brendan McCarthy

Trailer: CHERRY TREE

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This dizzy horror clunker aims to be Dublin’s answer to the Italian Giallo horrors of the 1970s but ends up being more like Hollyoaks meets an arty zit cream commercial. Soft porn shenigans would probably excite Joe Pesci II (the other reviewer) but it didn’t do anything for me except wonder at how the director of the brilliant Last of the High Kings has ended up making flaccid horrors.

Naomi Battrick’s (BLOOD (2013)) schoolgirl makes a pact with her PE teacher played by Anna Walton (Deviation) to give her a baby, who with a little bit of black magic and unknown to school girl, may well be the devil. Argghhhhhh. In exchange, the PE teacher come witch will cure her father (SAM HAZELDINE – THE MECHANIC 2) of terminal cancer with some weird caterpillars (the only thing worth watching in the whole film is this special effect!)

Anyway, the plots gets equally derailed by having us follow around a stroppy, pregnant teenager, a baddy that’s about as scary as Count Duckula (poor Anna Walton a good actress trapped in terrible movies), and a confusing logic set. This is our humdrum world were ghosts hang around, ordinary people are devil worshippers and talented actors get upstaged by a handful of creepy crawlies. Some decent special effects aside and a few creative and bloody scenes aside, this is largely a snooze-fest. It’s not the worst Irish film I’ve seen, that could be the Vinnie Jones‘ starrer – Stories from the Bog or whatever it was called. But it could have been a bit more energetic and a bit livelier. Soft porn and gore aside, this isn’t worth recommending to anybody except perverted bin men… or Matt Usher , but even he didn’t like it. See review below.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THIS ACTOR IN BEFORE?

HOLY WATERS

3 out of 10

Irish Film Production

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 5th February 2010

Director: Tom Reeve

Cast: John Lynch, Cian Barry, Cornelius Clarke, Lochlann O’Mearain, Susan Lynch, Angeline Ball, Stanley Townsend, Dermot Crowley, Deirdre Mullins with Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister and Linda Hamilton

Writer: Michael O’Mahony

Trailer: Holy Waters

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • John Lynch: Detour, ScintillaPrivate PeacefulThe Hot PotatoGhosted13HRsBlack DeathThe Tournament, Isolation, Sliding Doors, Best, This Is The Sea, Some Mother’s Son, Moll Flanders (1996),  Nothing Personal, The Secret Of Roan Inish, Angel Baby, The Secret Garden (1993), In The Name Of The Father, Princess Caraboo, Edward II, Hardware, Cal
  • Cian Barry: Nina Forever, Dr Foster (TV), Doctors (TV)
  • Cornelius Clarke: 13HRs
  • Susan Lynch: The Scouting Book For Boys, City Rats, Someone Else, Enduring Love, 16 Years Of Alcohol, Nora,Waking Ned, From Hell, Elizabeth I – The Golden Age, Beautiful Creatures, Downtime, The Secret Of Roan Inish
  • Angeline Ball: Shameless (TV), Albert Nobbs, Eastenders (TV), Doc Martin (TV), The General (1998), The Gambler, Trojan Eddie, Brothers In Trouble, My Girl 2, The Commitments
  • Stanley Townsend: Standby, The Voices, 24 (TV), One Chance, Killing Bono, First Night, Cars 2 (voice), Isolation, Happy Go Lucky, The Libertine, Suzie Gold, Wondrous Oblivion
  • Dermot Crowley: The Lady In The Van, Luther (TV), Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, Bleak House (TV)(1995), James Bond – Octopussy, Star Wars – Return of The Jedi
  • Deirdre Mullins: Belly of the Bulldog, Man Down (TV)
  • Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister: The Human Centipede 3, Dracula 3000, Never Die Alone, The Wash, Little Nicky, Circus, Next Friday, The Player’s Club, Jackie Brown, Gang Related, The Fifth Element, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, Friday, Don Juan De Marco, The Meteor Man, Trespass (1993), Posse, Universal Soldier, 9.5 Ninjas, No Holds Barred, Beverly Hills Cop 2
  • Linda Hamilton: In Your Dreams, Dante’s Peak, The Shadow Conspiracy, Separate Lives, Silent Fall, Terminator 2, Mr Destiny, Beauty & The Beast (TV), The Terminator, Children of the Corn

GLASSLAND

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

THIS IS AN IRISH FILM

Release Date: 17th April 2015

Director: Gerard Barrett

Cast: Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter, Darine Ni Dhonnchada, Harry Nagle and Michael Smiley

Writer: Gerard Barrett

Trailer:  GLASSLAND

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?