Tyrannosaur Review

****

If anyone is surprised by Olivia Coleman’s  (‘Peep Show, ‘2012’) recent success, then Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine, 2011) is the film to banish any doubts of her acting ability.

Coleman plays Hannah, an alcoholic, domestic violence victim, who forms an unlikely bond with the deeply troubled Joseph, played by the remarkable Peter Mullan (‘War Horse’,  ‘The Fixer’). What follows is Hannah and Joseph trying to cope with their multiple demons.

For Hannah, this means reconciling her Christian faith with leaving her abusive husband, whilst Joseph appears to be unable to resist resorting to violence to solve any problems he, quite literally, stumbles upon.  Whilst undoubtedly a bleak story, writer and director Paddy Considine (‘Dead Man Shoes’, ‘Submarine’) provides a solid foundation for a film that ultimately explores the ideas of redemption and love. Can damaged members of society reform and go onto to have healthy relationships or is this out of reach for some?  A topical question, and Considine doesn’t pretend to have any answers, and some may find the film too downbeat to bear. However for those who want a stunningly well acted film that does not shy away from broaching topics that are uncomfortable, Tyrannosaur is the one.

Anna Parker

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House on Haunted Hill Review

****

Words by Anna Parker

Looking for something different from the usual slasher horror flicks? Well you can’t go far wrong with something from the production company Hammer Horror. From ‘Dracula’ to ‘Frankenstein’ there’s something for everyone but a real gem is the original ‘House on Haunted Hill’ (William Castle, 1959).

Starring the incredible Vincent Price (‘The Raven’,’ Edward Scissorhands’) as Frederick Loren, a millionaire who throws a party for his fourth wife in his imposing mansion. The guests are offered $10,000 to come.

The catch is that they must spend the night there. That the guests are driven to the house in funeral cars is a hint of what ghostly mischief is to come. Skeletons, vats of acid and guns are waiting for the guests as they try to found out if the house is actually haunted or if this is a horrible test by Loren.

The film  turns genuinely eerie, wonderfully camp.And Price’s earnest acting means it doesn’t fall into complete comedy. The addition of the audience being addressed at the end of the film means it finishes on a decidedly chilling note.

Overall, ‘House on Haunted Hill’ is a fun way to spend Halloween and proves that Hammer Horror is as enjoyable as ever.