Into the Jungle: The Story of John McTiernan’s Predator

Back in his action heyday, director John McTiernan was something of an artiste.

For many, he is probably most remembered for genre high point Die Hard, but a year earlier he gave us another action vehicle with a crowd-pleasing twist. A genre crossover which lured us into the safety of Hollywood’s most dependable biceps, Predator would plunge us into a jungle of stifling uncertainty, adopting the form of a stalk-and-slash horror and keeping us very much in the dark […]

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You Only Live Once: How Licence to Kill Dragged Bond into the 21st Century

When it comes to Bond, Timothy Dalton has found himself low down in the pecking order.

As the first actor to fulfil the male fantasies of a generation, Sean Connery will always be regarded as the true original. Roger Moore, whose eyebrow-raising quips were not for everyone, brought a dash a debonair to the character which saw him star in a record-equalling seven instalments […]

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Leave Those Kids Alone: When Cannon Met Death Wish

By 1982, British director Michael Winner was in desperate need of a hit.

Eight years prior he had immortalised western stalwart Charles Bronson by taking his John Wayne act to the streets of New York City. Although the original Death Wish tackled the growing problem of street crime in America, it was denounced by critics due to a vigilante theme that relished in the very violence it was supposed to be condemning […]

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Suburban Monsters: The Double Standards of Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in my experience the opposite is true.

In reality people tend to fear the unfamiliar, and the more distant a person is the more they have to hide, at least in the minds of those who have been ignored. This is never truer than when a somewhat reclusive neighbour moves into an established community. Before long, suspicions begin to breed and spread, and every little detail becomes a reason for condemnation […]

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Cinema’s Raging Bile Duct: The Skewed Morality of Fight Club

Some movies you tend to grow out of; I just didn’t expect Fight Club to be one of them.

I was 17 when David Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s transgressive novel hit the cinemas, and after seeing it I was immediately convinced that it was one of the greatest movie’s ever put to celluloid. Further watches only confirmed my feelings, but the passing of time has altered my opinion. In hindsight, it is easy to see how […]

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Rise of the Summer Blockbuster: The Birth of Jaws

Some films have such an influence on you it can feel like there was never a time in your life that you hadn’t seen it; you’d been born knowing its nuances and meanings, almost like a parent in the way it helped to form your beliefs.

I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom Jaws was their first experience in true terror. After its release, a whole generation of kids were suddenly petrified of going into the sea […]

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The Labyrinthine Realms of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

There is a sense of inevitability about The Shining that grabs you by the throat and never lets go.

The movie is a grandiose exercise in terror which favours stark imagery and subliminal horror over traditional storytelling. It is an experience that possesses you from the very beginning, and from the seemingly innocuous overhead shots of Glacier National Park, Montana, you are saturated with a sense of inescapable doom […]

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