The Iron Claw

Kevin flies through the air towards an opponent in the ring

The family is a cult and the cult a family in the films of Sean Durkin. After Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Nest, The Iron Claw continues Durkin’s excavations with a biopic of the Von Erichs, a famous wrestling clan whittled away by a tragic curse. After a quick black-and-white preamble sketching paterfamilias Fritz’s own career as a fighter who failed to win the big prizes, Durkin goes curtain-up on the era of the retired fighter’s sons, the sun-kissed 1970s and beyond. Fritz, now a ballsy uncompromising martinet of the old school, is in charge of training his boys and of the wrestling franchise they fight in. By this point the family … Read more

The Rental

Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Dan Stevens and Jeremy Allen White

Take your pick – The Rental is a deliberately confounding amalgam of genres or a film that can’t work out what it wants to be. It starts out looking like one of those cabin in the woods things, and we meet two couples – Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie), Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and Mina (Sheila Vand) – as they’re arriving at a secluded and fabulous place by the coast, complete with ocean view and hot tub. They also have a dog in tow, which the rules of the rental explicitly forbid. But they’re entitled “white privilege” kind of guys and so those rules don’t apply. Actually, one of them, Mina, isn’t white … Read more