M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2017 and going through September 30, 2018. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on February 9, 2018. Available on Blu-ray/DVD, On Demand, and digital download from Level Films! Also streaming on Tubi!
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE (2017)
Directed by Sadrac González-Perellón
Written by Sadrac González-Perellón
Starring Julian Nicholson, Lowena McDonell, Daniel M. Jacobs, Haydée Lysander, Marc Puiggener, Lucy Tillett, Will Hudson
Find out more about this film here
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is an exceptional effort by a relatively new director by the name of Sadrac González-Perellón—a name I believe many will come to know pretty well in the coming years. González-Perellón has created a complex, enchanting, and meditative arthouse sci fi/horror film in BLACK HOLLOW CAGE and one that will resonate long after the credits for most.
Living in a secure, but glass house in the middle of the woods in the near future, Alice (Lowena McDonell) resides with her father Adam (Julian Nicholson) and her mother Beatrice, whose personality resides in a voice box hanging from her dog’s neck. Adam is a broken man, barely functioning and wholly supported by the very mature for her age Alice, who is broken in a physical way in that she does not have a right arm. The film opens with Alice being introduced to her new robotic arm and still holding resentment towards her father for an unknown reason. After reluctantly accepting the robotic arm, Alice and her mother/dog go for a walk in the woods where they find a large black cube. In this cube is a message, seemingly from Alice from some time in the future. Things get weirder and eventually make some kind of sense by the end of it all, but before that there is death, destruction, sorrow, and blood.
BLACK HOLLOW CAGE is as unique as it sounds. The film is a confident endeavor into the unknown; taking small steps into the realm of sci fi, yet never forgetting to imbue every moment with human emotion. González-Perellón’s intricate origami-like story unfolds beautifully and crescendo’s into sometime poignant and powerful by the end as it follows these two broken characters down a tragic, yet necessary and satisfying path.
Brining every little aspect of this film to life is the outstanding performance by Lowena McDonell as Alice; a stubborn child at times and the only voice of reason the rest of the time—McDonell shows a sophisticated understanding of conveying a multitude of emotions that are beyond her young years. I look forward to watching McDonell grow into a huge star as this film really highlights the power this little actress possesses.
Dancing back and forth between sci fi and horror, BLACK HOLLOW CAGE manages to handle both genres with great patience and skill. The scenes of horror are as tense as they come, filmed with a camera that holds still and a script that stays silent in all the right times. The film possesses that dream-like quality often seen in David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick films, where the oddity of the situation is allowed to soak in as the camera lingers on the players telling this truly tragic tale. Those with an impatient fast-forward finger might get a bit antsy at times, but if you stick with this one until the end, I think you’re going to leave BLACK HOLLOW CAGE with a feeling of astonishment, melancholy, and a yearning for what this visionary director has in store for us in the future.
THE 2017-2018 COUNTDOWN!
#18 – BLACK HOLLOW CAGE
#19 – HAPPY DEATH DAY
#20 – MOM & DAD
#21 – THE LANDING
#22 – TONIGHT SHE COMES
#23 – THE RITUAL
#24 – THE BABYSITTER
#25 – MARROWBONE
#26 – BETTER WATCH OUT
#27 – THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
#28 – BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE
#29 – PYEWACKET
#30 – TERRIFIER
#31 – MAYHEM
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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