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Les Diaboliques (1955)

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Les Diaboliques is the morbid story of two teachers at a private in France who share a common bond: the school’s tyrannical headmaster. Married to one and making a mistress of the other, he abuses the poor women until they finally decide to be rid of him. Having killed the man and disposed of his body, it’s understandable the women become somewhat unnerved to hear that he’s been seen walking around town. With a private detective hot on their tail, the duo’s fragile allegiance begins to crack.

Les Diaboliques is as near perfect a movie as you will ever get. Clouzot’s direction is taut and he piles on the tension till it becomes unbearable. The performances by Vera Clouzot and Simone Signoret are impeccable. The finale is one of cinema’s all-time greatest and lingers long in the memory. It will also give you an irrational fear of your bathroom for weeks. Buy it, treasure it, and never let it leave your side.

See No Evil (2006)

A group of ne’er do well twenty-something teenage delinquents are roped in to help renovate a run hotel. Unbeknown to them, its en-suite rooms are stalked by a giant of a serial killer, played by WWE’s Kane, with a penchant for poking out eyeballs. See No Evil is not subtle, nor very original. In terms of today’s social media, it is the BuzzFeed list of horror tropes. Things happen, followed by more things. Some of these things involve screaming. Then, thankfully, it ends.

Black Roses  (1988)

Small town America is about to get its ass kicked by Black Roses, a heavy metal band ready to tear it a new one. Well, all the band members are actually demons in disguise, so it’s the least you can ask of them really. Directed by John Fasano (Rock n’ Roll Nightmare), this is B-movie 101. Kids are becoming corrupted, the mayor refuses to believe there’s a problem and only a teacher and his fabulous knitwear can stop them.

It’s loud, brash and, at one point, a wayward boy’s father is eaten alive by a speaker. Death by stereo indeed. With plot holes you can drive a tour bus through, Black Roses is an incredible amount of fun. Poorly written fun, but fun nonetheless.

No One Lives (2012)

October 25, 2017 — Leave a comment

Produced by WWE Studios, No One Lives is a grubby and violent movie with the sense of the theatrics you would expect from the home of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Hulk Hogan.

Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train), Luke Evans (Fast and Furious 6) plays one half of a seemingly affluent vacationing couple who are kidnapped by a pack of rowdy, vicious rednecks lead by Lee Tergesen’s Hoag. However, not everything is as it seems. Throwing a missing heiress (Adelaide Clemens) into the mix, what starts off as a hostage drama, quickly escalates into a blood soaked home invasion flick.

An early twist in the proceedings, which is royally ruined by the trailers, will quickly negotiate whether you’re going to see this one through to the end. And yet, whilst it’s a thoroughly ludicrous premise, there’s something about the film’s twisted grin throughout which prevents it from not being engaging.

As subtle as a sledgehammer to the little toe, No One Lives is an extremely visceral film that flounders when it tries to be anything but the dark oily slab of horror it should be taken as.

This review originally appeared in FilmInk.