7 romantic horrors to watch after ‘Bones and All’

Reuniting Call Me by Your Name pair Timothée Chalamet and director Luca Guadagnino, Bones and All is many things. It’s a horror movie. (It’s more specifically a cannibal horror movie.) It’s a road movie. It’s a coming-of-age tale. But perhaps most crucially, it’s an empathetic portrait of romance rooted in unsavoury origins.

Bones and All sees young Maren (Taylor Russell) embark on an American odyssey to track down her roots, after her latest cannibalistic outburst sees her finally abandoned by her father (André Holland) and left to fend for herself. Encountering other ‘eaters’ like herself, she forms a connection with drifter Lee (Timothée Chalamet), and the two fall in love while navigating their need for human flesh.

Your typical love story, then. If Bones and All has you salivating for more romances wrapped in bloodlust, here are seven horror gems (in chronological order) that have love or infatuation at their centre. Given the genre involved, it should be no surprise that few of these films end on a happy note. And since they are romances in horror movies, their inclusions here don’t necessarily reflect healthy relationships or advice to follow. i-D accepts no responsibility if you watch these films and then attempt to reanimate your deceased partner in a suspicious laboratory…

Full feature for i-D

Nine Songs: Howard Shore

He’s a three-time Oscar-winner who’s composed music for over 80 films, yet – excluding when he’s returned for sequels or spin-offs of movies he previously worked on – no Howard Shore score sounds quite like another.

There’s a chameleonic quality to the oeuvre, perhaps reflective of how he tells me that every score he works on is deeply personal in its own way. Somewhat to my surprise, when speaking about his Nine Songs selections, each a pivotal composition in his life, Shore nominates just one piece purposefully written for a film: Nino Rota’s title theme for Federico Fellini’s 1973 film Amarcord.

“It’s pieces that influenced me,” Shore says of his final choices. “Mostly when I was younger when I was developing my ideas. It took quite a process, actually, because I was trying to show a range of influences.”

Talking with the great Canadian composer proves fascinating for how even the smallest attribute of a track can get the mind’s gears going for an artist finding their own voice. Bar one piece by someone he’s collaborated with in the past, it’s not immediately obvious, until he elaborates, how many of his jazz-heavy selections could have been a direct influence on his output for film, television and stage. But then, it’s perhaps daft to try assuming what Shore’s influences might be when his work is so eclectic in its own right.

In the mainstream consciousness, Shore is likely best known for the music of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he received his three Academy Awards – one for the song “Into the West”, co-written with Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh. But while he’s worked on many grand epics (Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and The Aviator, plus Jackson’s later Hobbit films), he’s just at home with small-scale comedies (High FidelityBigMrs. Doubtfire) or low-key dramas (SpotlightPhiladelphia). Or in the weirder fringes of studio films, such as Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, David Fincher’s Seven and The Game, and his iconic work on Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs.

His latest full score, for the sci-fi Crimes of the Future, is his 16th feature with director David Cronenberg. His earliest frequent collaborator, Shore has composed the scores for all of Cronenberg’s features since 1979’s The Brood, excluding 1983’s The Dead Zone. For as much as films like VideodromeThe FlyDead RingersCrash and A History of Violence may linger for their transgressive material and shocking images of human bodies in distortion, they’d not be nearly as impactful without Shore’s soundscapes in accompaniment…

Full interview for The Line of Best Fit

Hunt (Lee Jung-jae, 2022)

Although Hunt was already in production before the global phenomenon premiered, Squid Game’s success looks set to ensure even more eyes pay attention to the directorial debut of that show’s star, Lee Jung-jae, who also co-leads this film. Luckily, Lee’s feature should withstand the extra scrutiny, thanks to its qualities as a stylish, energetic espionage thriller executed with clear confidence…

Full review for Little White Lies

Park Chan-wook on ‘Decision to Leave’

Josh Slater-Williams speaks to Park Chan-wook about Decision to Leave, the latest characteristically genre-slippery film from the great South Korean director of Oldboy (2003), The Handmaiden (2016), Thirst (2009) and many more. The story sees a happily married detective get a little too close to someone under his surveillance: a wife suspected of wrongdoing regarding her husband’s mysterious death in the mountains.

A warning: while director Park doesn’t give away explicit plot spoilers in this interview, he does discuss a tonal shift in the film’s second half and also alludes to one specific scene from that section…

Full interview for Curzon Journal

Truth & Movies: A Little White Lies Podcast – ‘Halloween Ends’ | ‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’ | ‘The Lost Boys’

I joined Leila Latif and David Jenkins to discuss David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends, Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, and Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys  on Truth & Movies: A Little White Lies Podcast.

Listen here

Klokkenluider (Neil Maskell, 2022)

When a familiar actor switches to directing, there is the temptation to look for parallels with the films of directors they’ve worked with, particularly when there have been numerous collaborations. With British character actor favourite Neil Maskell, his debut feature as writer and director actively invites comparisons to Ben Wheatley’s early work to a small extent, given that Wheatley has an executive producer credit (Maskell is perhaps best known for his breakthrough lead role in Wheatley’s hitman horror Kill List).

But while Klokkenluider features a similar tension to Wheatley’s films in its combination of bleak comedy, deceptively mundane settings and the potential for kneejerk violence, Maskell’s speedy film displays a distinctive, eccentric voice of its own, even while bearing clear DNA from the likes of Harold Pinter plays and conspiracy thriller classics. Were it not for the occasional detours to other locales, it would near enough be a chamber piece, and it’s easy to imagine this material being transferred to the stage with some success, but a stagey feel is avoided through clever editing and blocking tricks…

Full review for Little White Lies

The 10 weirdest, most powerful arthouse movies of 2022

The 66th London Film Festival is in full swing this October, presenting over 160 new features and shorts, VR works and previews of prestige TV on the big screen – with a few films also available nationwide on streaming service BFI Player after the festival’s close.

There are plentiful red carpet ceremonies, career talks with legends and screaming Timothée Chalamet fans. But what of the films themselves? In alphabetical order, here are ten of the best features from this year’s LFF…

Full feature for i-D

10 great films with DIY special effects

Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s Strawberry Mansion is set in the near-distant future, where a surveillance state conducts audits of people’s dreams in order to collect taxes on the populace’s unconscious existence. One government agent (Audley himself) heads to a remote farmhouse to audit an eccentric elderly artist’s lifetime of dreaming. Made on a scant budget, it’s an independent film heavily reliant on a DIY aesthetic: a virtual reality helmet resembles a bin lid, VHS tape recurs throughout, and its masks and stop-motion animation have an appealingly crude quality to them.

Given the limited budgets usually involved, independent genre fare and experimental cinema are often host to creative effects, both practical and digital. You can still get professional makeup artists and special effects wizards to help your dream project reach fruition, but when it comes to achieving that key visual component lingering in the back of your mind, there’s something to be said for giving it a go on your own: be it depicting a journey to outer space or turning yourself into a metallic monstrosity.

To mark the UK release of Strawberry Mansion, here are 10 key films that rely on what we’ll broadly label ‘DIY effects’. With one notable exception, this list sticks to films with no major-studio-backing during initial production, and, where budget information is available, nothing with a reported production budget exceeding $1 million…

Full feature for the BFI

The Forgiven (John Michael McDonagh, 2021)

A logical point of comparison for John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven is Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s sweeping 2006 narrative of interwoven stories. While this sticks to one country, and is less ambitious in its scope, the dramatic catalysts in both films concern tragic accidents involving white tourists and local young men colliding in the deserts Moroccan.

Babel is a film which focuses on concepts of miscommunication and globalisation, while The Forgiven’s thematic meat is instead the recklessness of the condescending rich, alongside Western influence on the Arab world. All with writer-director McDonagh’s trademark provocative and caustic humour – previously seen in The GuardCalvary and War on Everyone – bolted on to inconsistent effect…

Full review for Little White Lies

Director Cécile Ducrocq Discusses Sex-Worker Drama ‘Her Way’

Coming from a largely female creative team, writer-director Cécile Ducrocq’s Her Way is a sex-work-positive drama that’s anchored by a very fine performance from Laure Calamy (My Donkey, My Lover & I [2021], Call My Agent! [2015-2020]). But although Ducrocq deliberately sought to make a cinematic portrait of sex work that’s more balanced and nuanced than audiences are perhaps used to, she’s keen to emphasise that Her Way is, at its heart, a family story.

‘For me, the film is not about a prostitute,’ Ducrocq says of her debut feature as director. ‘It’s about a mother-and-son relationship, and the love she gives to her son. She will do anything and everything for him. And she refuses that social determinism that because she’s a prostitute, her son cannot have a good life. I think this idea can be shared with everybody. The film talks about education, what you can give to your children, and, of course, how it’s easier if you have money’…

Full interview for Curzon Journal

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams