“I’m the guy you buy.” | Michael Clayton (2007)

It starts in the office of an expensive New York law firm, sometime in the middle night. Cleaners are out vacuuming the floors. On the whole the place seems deserted. Then we hear the voice-over. We don’t know who it is. We don’t know what he is talking about. As he rambles on in a ...

“We all must make our little deals with the devil” | Dominion: The Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

The story of Dominion is one of the stranger ones in modern Hollywood. It’s a film that was made, and then shelved, and then entirely replaced, only to be resurrected and released to film festivals and home video. It is a god-send for film students, since it illustrates beautifully with two complete feature films – ...

“They say this one has a surprise ending” | Unbreakable (2000)

In 1999 audiences worldwide were stunned by a film titled The Sixth Sense. It arrived without fanfare; a sort of mid-list supernatural thriller designed to give audiences something to go to between the big summer blockbusters. Sure it starred Bruce Willis, but it came from an unknown writer-director and featured a relatively unknown supporting cast. ...

“Every time I close my eyes” | Sunshine (2007)

It is fifty years into the future. The Earth’s sun is dying. One human mission to re-ignite the sun’s core has ended in catastrophic failure. A second and final mission is underway: the Icarus II, commanded by a small crew of astronauts and scientists and carrying the largest explosive device ever conceived. This arresting science ...

“The answer was unknowable” | Primer (2004)

Two engineers turned entrepreneurs, Aaron and Abe, attempt to build a machine that can defy gravity. Instead they accidentally build a box which outputs more power than they put into it, and within which time appears to run backwards. When they build a much bigger version of the same box, they are able to climb ...

“We’re being kept here to die” | The Ruins (2008)

Ben Stiller is a noted writer, director and performer of Hollywood comedies, who has headlined such blockbuster hits as There’s Something About Mary (1998), Zoolander (2001) and Tropic Thunder (2008). He is not necessarily the first name to spring to mind when thinking about horror movies, yet in 2008 he and his business partner Stuart ...

“Let her be mine and mine alone” | The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

In 1831 Parisian publisher Gosselin released Notre-Dame de Paris, the first full-length novel by author Victor Hugo. It is a dark, overtly sexual tragedy set in 15th century Paris, in which a gypsy performer named Esmerelda becomes the target of Notre Dame’s conflicted and laviscious Archdeacon Claude Frollo. He sends his adopted son, the orphaned ...

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