In Starfish (2018), we learn that writer/director A. T. White would like to negate us “The Call of Cthulhu”-style, but he’d make sure to do it in our most flattering light. He’s the propaganda minister for the Great Old Ones. Lovecraft himself could not have imagined it.
A demonic possession gets passed around to catch up with its “girlfriend” Luz (Luana Velis), a blasphemous Chilean cab driver and talented amateur full-trance medium who needs serious work on her magic circle technique. The movie is Luz (2018). You don’t want to miss it.
Paris, 1979. A masked psychopath stalks and murders the associates of a quick-and-dirty gay-porn production company. It’s part giallo and part smut movie with a strain of what I’m going to call magic realism, brought to you by co-writer/director Yann Gonzalez and released in this country as Knife + Heart (2018), a French-language pseudo-horror that made a stab for the Palme, which we don’t get to say too often around here.
“Am I—am I sure? Of course not. It’s not a science book.”
—Eric from Evil Dead (2013)
You’ll never guess what happens in Nicolas Pesce’s Piercing (2018), and I can’t tell you anything about it without ruining one or two surprises, other than to say that it starts with a man (Christopher Abbot)―a handsome man, a successful man, a first-time father with a loving wife―who decides that he needs to murder a prostitute. And that it keeps getting better (and better) from there.
Brazil’s own The Nightshifter (2018), directed and co-written by Dennison Ramalho, is the loudest, most nightmarish screwball comedy ever to traumatize an audience. It runs the gamut from general disquiet to almost overwhelming visceral terror. I left my screening feeling like I’d just lost a fistfight. This is a relentless movie.