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By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2019 09:20PM



Midlands Review - Do You See It Too?



Directed by Liam Banks


2019


Superfreak Media


"Do You See iI Too?" is the latest short story from Liam Banks and Superfreak Media which tells of a rainy night in what appears to be suburban England. A couple (Chloe Crump and Jay Podmore) are agonisingly traumatised by something lurking in the shadows of their home and we follow them as they attempt to alleviate their terror through the night.


Firstly, there are countless positives to this piece that with such a low budget must be highly commended. The colour palette is beautiful, and the usage of light is a real way to build the tension in this piece.


Ambiguous lighting like this really does press on your anxiety as the viewer and that’s what the film attempts to project onto its audience.


The sound design also was a very nice feature, not perfect mind as there are small questions of synchronicity with what we hear but its used in a very effective way to pace the film, as well as set the mysterious mood. The two lead characters were flawless when expressing fear and anxiety, and following their journey throughout this piece really connected us with them.


There was some really great shots as well which really made me feel uncomfortable at times and the pacing of this film being so peculiar was another clever technique.


The plot itself isn’t clear what it wants to portray at times but you can clearly see there are some references to other, more popular theatrical releases. However, this doesn’t cause an issue as the implementation of many horror techniques was present and I really could feel the energy behind the camera.


Overall, the short is a perfectly well implemented horror flick. Personally, I didn’t enjoy the jump scares in particular but I wouldn’t hold that against the makers as I know they had a minor budget.


So with some beautiful shots, sound design and visuals, backed up by two very good performances, Do You See It Too is a short but tense, nerve shredding ride.


Ben Warrington

@ben_warro

By midlandsmovies, Oct 31 2019 01:00PM



Midlands Review - The Despondent


Directed by Nisaro Karim


2019


Five Pence Productions


The Despondent is the latest film from Five Pence Productions, the prolific Birmingham-based company who brought us Jed, The Chase, Peaky Blinders: A New Era and more. Primarily known for crime tales, this film is something of an ambitious departure for them as it sees them take on the horror genre.


Jazzmin Letitia stars as Keira, a troubled young woman who lives at home with her mother Jenny, played by Lisa Blissitt. At night she's tormented by visions of an evil demon in her room, one that seems bent on harming her, one that it seems there can be no escape from.


Horror has a rich history of externalising our internal demons, and that's pretty much what's happening here. Keira is depressed and the demon is her depression, pushing her towards suicide. It's all taking place in her head, the battleground where many of us (myself included) struggle and fight daily. It's a good analogy, but rather on-the-nose here.


The film is far from subtle, making it absolutely clear what's going on from Keira's conversation with her mum about her self-harm and medication. It would have perhaps been more interesting to see the two dance around the subject, never raising it head on but dealing entirely in subtext, so that when the tragic ending comes it hits harder. Having Keira stay in her pyjamas over the course of the two days is a very good touch, though, as that's absolutely consistent with some people who suffer from depression.


The story is quite slim and would benefit from having a little more to it, making the film a bit longer. It would have been good to have had more of a sense of Keira's struggles in the daytime sequences, and how they relate to her night terrors, so that we can relate to her more as a character. The scene with her mother establishes their rocky relationship in one quick punch, but at only 6 minutes long there's plenty of scope to let the relationship breathe a little more and help us understand Keira more intimately. As it is, she comes across more as moody than depressed.


This isn't to say that it's a bad performance; Letitia shines in the hallucinatory sequences where she's beset by the demon, coming across as believably vulnerable and disoriented. The standout performance by far though is the demon; it's not clear from the credits who played the part (perhaps split between Imran Uddin and Zohair Raza?), but it's a great piece of creepy body-performance, with stilted and almost contortionist-style movements. I definitely wouldn't want to wake to find him in my bedroom!


The film shines best in these disorienting sequences. The hand-held, shaky camerawork does a great job of confusing and distressing the viewer, and the unnatural framing and lighting work together to create unsettling scenes. There's a misconception that its easy to do horror on a low budget; it has to be planned and carried out carefully to make the most of what you have. Keeping the shots tight and moving fast keeps the audience uncomfortable and on their toes in the nightmare sequences, worrying that anything could happen. The film makes great use of noise in these sequences too, arguably the most important part of any horror film.


Ultimately, The Despondents falls just short of its ambition but it's still a great first step into horror. Nisaro Karim clearly has an instinct for how to unsettle the audience, it's just the slimness of the story itself that holds the film back. Definitely worth a watch, and here's hoping there's more horror to come from Karim and Five Pence!


Sam Kurd

Twitter @Splend


By midlandsmovies, Oct 4 2019 10:25AM



The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies are hosting an upcoming film and discussion event series called The Talkies.


The Talkies first event is a discussion around Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and is running in collaboration with various academic research projects throughout the University.


The movie stars Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Douglas Booth (The Dirt) and Matt Smith (Dr Who) and the University will be showing during the Halloween season.


It’s a free screening followed by a discussion panel with Zombie expert Ed Thurlow (organiser of the world's longest running zombie festival), and leading academics in the Austen World, Dr. Gillian Dow (University of Southampton), and Dr. Julian North (University of Leicester).


They will set-the-scene for engaging discussion revolving around society's most thought-provoking issues. This event is hosted by key researcher in Culture and Victorianism, Emma Probett. The initiative is to bring together a diverse audience with a film screening and discussion with a panel of academics and special guests.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies tells the story of a zombie outbreak which has stirred Austen's classic tale into a contemporary narrative of martial arts, zombie killers and a blood-soaked battlefield of the undead.


This action-packed plot throws Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) into a modern realisation of seemingly unkillable social anxieties surrounding class, contagion and migration.


The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) is an interdisciplinary centre of excellence.


Dedicated to creating a collaborative and inspiring environment, it brings together researchers from across all disciplines to deliver ambitious, transformative, and impactful research.


And for those attending there will be a selection of Halloween-themed refreshments provided and takes place at The University of Leicester Main Campus, Attenborough Tower, Attenborough Theatre, Leicester, LE1 7RD on Tuesday 29th October 2019.


The full timings are:


15:45 Doors open, refreshments offered

16:00 Welcome special guest panellists

16:30-18:20 Screening

18:20-19:00 Panel discussion and audience Q&A



Register here for FREE



By midlandsmovies, Sep 26 2017 06:42AM



Blair Witch in the Woods - A Haughmond Hill Halloween screening


Mother! It. CHiPs. 2017 has already had its fair share of terrifying movie moments.


But there’s one cinema event which has us at Midlands Movies feeling like we’re just asking for trouble: Atmospheric Films presents The Blair Witch Project.In the woods. That’s in. the. woods.


Not content with simply showing films in the open air, Films in a Flash take their screenings to unforgettable locations where they add their own unique flourishes. Bespoke film props - as well as a few surprises for atmosphere and authenticity - takes audience immersion to a whole new level. Think the Secret Cinema without having to re-mortgage your house to pay for the privilege.


Previous events have included Jurassic Park whilst a T-Rex* prowled in your periphery, and a Jaws screening when you’re a stone’s throw from the eeriest of lakes.


With The Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez already sending his endorsement, the night promises to be full of scares, screams and snotty close ups. Add to that horror film short Victim and the reportedly haunted Haughmond Abbey within howling distance and you’re sure of a cinematic experience you’ll never forget.


Taking place at Haughmond Hill in Shrewsbury on October 28th, tickets are selling at a scary pace but some are still available here.


Midlands Movies will see you there; we’ll be standing facing the corner.


The Blair Witch Project - Atmospheric FilmsHaughmond Hill in Upton Magna

Saturday 28th October 2017

6:30pm til 10:30pm (last entry 7:15pm)

Minimum Age: 15


Robb Sheppard

Twitter: @RedBezzle


*May have been a man in a suit.




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