Dec 222017
 

Hello friends.

What a year. For many reasons. 2017 was the year that film took a bit of a backseat for me. I took the year off writing, saw far less films at the cinema, and instead, spent time with my daughter.

That’s not to say I didn’t see anything. I still made it to the cinema a decent number of times, and my viewing total for the year will be around 200, most of which are new releases. VOD and streaming services played an extremely important part in my film consumption, and while I do miss physical stores, online viewing has made it possible for me to stay part of the film community, even in a little way.

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Jan 012016
 

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We (Sam and Andy) have together reminisced on the year that has just passed, and have honoured the films, actors, directors, writers and various technical professionals whose work we believe define the best of what 2015 bestowed upon us.

These are not the films we expect to win the Oscars, but these are our personal highlights of another fantastic year for film. They are the An Online Universe Oscars, selected with love and appreciation. We hope you enjoy them, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Continue reading »

Oct 282015
 

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The parameters of a horror film are often contentious. Some viewers may luxuriate in intense Zombie-eating gore, but go running for the exit when a character is stalked by a ghost. Identifying the most successful horror films is also an identifier of what frightens you as an individual, and everyone is different. For me – isolated settings and creepy noises almost always get me, as does the threat of intense unflinching violence.

There are a few films that would have made my list if I had opened up the range a little – Se7en, which I view as an (excellent) police-procedural thriller, and Shaun of the Dead, which is more of a comedy, are two examples. You may argue that The Silence of the Lambs and An American Werewolf in London fall into these respective categories, but I have included them because I value their horror elements more. If I were pressed I would file them under ‘horror’. Is Come and See a war film or horror? Most definitely a horror.

Then there are the sub-genres of horror – supernatural, psychological, monster, portrayals of true crime. Working out what the most successful examples of these sub-genres (and the genre as a whole) is very subjective. Two years ago I spent the better part of a year working through as many of the classic horror I had not yet seen. While I barely scratched the surface of what is out there, I put together a list I was proud of and felt was an educated assessment of the genre. Please find below an updated version of my ’50 Favourite Horror Films’, a list of sure-fire winners if you’re looking for quality suspense.

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Mar 072014
 

I know what you’re thinking. “Sam, didn’t you do this already?” Well, kinda. Every year I publish two best of the year lists. Back in December I shared with you my ‘Best Films of 2013 (Australian Release Schedule)’ – the list contains films which received a cinema release in Australia in 2013, which is a mix of 2012 and 2013 films due to films often getting a delayed released in Aus. This list is my “true” best of 2013 list – it’s films released in Australia between March 2013-Feb 2014 (Jan & Feb is typically when we get the “awards season” films) + festival films which didn’t get a release + direct to DVD/VOD titles. Complicated enough? Look, I understand it, which is all that matters. My top 20 list is presented without comment after the jump.

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