Emblematic of the Coronavirus pandemic, Shivers tells the story of a science experiment gone horribly wrong and the ill-effects it has on a civilized society. In Starliner Towers, a suburban Montreal apartment complex, a scientist devises an experiment in which genetically engineered parasites can be used as organ transplants, functioning as a human organ.

Film Synopsis

As the parasite becomes more conscious of its surroundings it spreads. Subsequently, the other patrons living at the complex slowly become infected with this contagious organism. …


American filmmaker Edwin Porter is well known by his contemporaries in cinema for his revolutionary insights in continuity editing that led to the story film, the beginnings of narrative cinema, and the invention of editing. But what precisely was Edwin Porter’s significance in the development of film language? Film language developed in the early 20th century as Edwin Porter implemented the “cross-cutting” editing technique. Porter’s innovative use of dramatic “cross-cut” editing allowed him to manipulate the spatial and temporal boundaries of a film which enhanced storytelling capabilities in cinema.

Cross-cutting is a technique in which two sequences occur at the…


One of the things that interests me with Tom Stall from “A History of Violence” is the duality of his character. In particular, how convincingly and effectively he is able to portray a caring father and husband to his wife Edie and children Jack and Sarah, while concealing his true identity as a violent gangster from Philadelphia. Tom Stall is not only a caring family man but is also an upstanding member of the community, who goes to church, takes an interest in his children’s lives and runs a local diner. This is what makes Tom Stall’s duality all the…


In the article, The American Nightmare author Robin Wood outlines the basic formula to create horror. That formula consists of three variables including normality, the monster, and the relationship between the two. This third variable is most important in creating horror. Moreover, in this third formula normality is threatened by the monster, which is central to the horror genre.

In the 1972 film The Last House Out the Left, normality is Mari Collingwood’s modest home life with her mother and father, who all share wholesome family values. The monster is the group of prison escapees that trap Mari and her…


The psychoanalytic approach can be considered a most “dangerous method” as it can make a patient unearth self-deprecating irrational ideas they firmly believe, coupled with its ability to sidetrack a patient from what they want to improve. On the other hand, psychoanalysis is designed to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears into the conscious mind by techniques such as dream interpretation and free association.

In this capacity, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method can be cogitated through the lens of a psychoanalytic theoretical approach. Within the film, Sabina…


The film director Alfred Hitchcock is a well-renowned auteur, as his artistic style is so distinctive that it can be recognized through most of his filmography. Hitchcock’s recognizable style and thematic preoccupations revolve around suspenseful narrative action and using the audience as a voyeur. Hitchcock displays these thematic elements primarily in the films Psycho (1960), North by Northwest (1959) and Rear Window (1954).

As the “author” of his films, Hitchcock is chiefly responsible for the entire style and treatment of the content of his films. More particularly, functioning within the boundaries of the studio production system and are distinguishable from…


The Turning (2020) directed by Floria Sigismondi depicts psychological issues revolving around mental health and mental illness. This film makes the viewer look at the ugly side of mental illness through the perception of Kate Mandell. Kate aims to help others, by tutoring Flora and Miles Fairchild and visiting her hospitalized mother, yet she is shunned by the very people she is trying to support. In Kate’s quest to help others could it be that she failed to see her own psychological flaws? This form of rejection is comparable to adjected or “othered” people that are put in mental hospitals…


At the narrative (diegetic) level the 2018 film Hereditary produces anxiety and dread in the viewer in many ways before the actual horror is revealed. Firstly, anxiety is produced when Charlie is unsupervised at a high school party in Utah and eats cake containing nuts, which she is allergic to, and falls into anaphylactic shock. Here, there is anxiety instilled in the audience at a narrative level. …


If you’re looking for the quintessential gangster crime film then look no further. Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen (2019) is a deeply layered film in which the private detective Fletcher recounts the story of Micky Pearson, a man in charge of a large marijuana empire. When word gets out that Fletcher is looking to leave the marijuana business, a multitude of violence and blackmail emerges from gangsters looking to obtain his empire. …


Parasite is what happens when economic and class inequality is personified in a monstrous form. Director Bong Joon-ho’s masterful cinematography and gripping dialogue leads to a suspense-filled classic of modern cinema.

In the film, an idyllic upper-class life shadows a trail of deceit left behind by a lower-class Korean family. The Kims, Ki-taek, his wife Chung-sook, their son Ki-woo, and daughter Ki-jung are a lower-class family who have to cling to their ceiling for free Wi-Fi. Living in a Seoul basement apartment, this family is barely hanging on to what little they have. Ki-woo becomes fortunate when an old friend…

Stephen Zimmermann

Film Critic based in Toronto, Canada

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