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South Africa 2021
produced by
Greig Buckle, Yolisa Phahle (executive), Nkateko Mabaso (executive), Kaye Ann Williams (executive), Allan Sperling (executive), Jan du Plessis (executive), Candice Fangueiro (executive), Shaamila Fataar (supervising) for Local Motion Pictures, Crave Pictures, Rigel Films, Showmax
directed by Kelsey Egan
starring Jessica Alexander, Anja Taljaard, Hilton Pelser, Adrienne Pearce, Brent Vermeulen, Kitty Harris, Robert Haxton, Morgan James Bosman, Will Greeff, Jarryd-Lee Kock, Junior Mpepo, Levin Peters
written by Emma Lungiswa De Wet, Kelsey Egan, music by Patrick Cannell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The Shred, a toxin that makes people forget - and forget everything - has pretty much reduced humanity to a race of mindless fools ... all but Mother (Adrienne Pearce), her son Gabe (Brent Vermeulen) and her three daughters, teenaged Bee (Jessica Alexander) and Evie (Anja Taljaard) and little Daisy (Kitty Harris), who have made a timely retreat to their fully sealed off glasshouse where plants see to it that they always have enough fresh oxygen, and to ward off human intruders, they patrol the perimeter, heavily armed and wearing oxygen masks to not fall prey to the Shred. Then though a stranger (Hilton Pelser) enters the premises, and the fact that he's wearing a gas mask is enough for Bee to not just shoot him but make him a captive. Apparently the stranger has wandered the country, the world, for years in search of a safe haven like the glasshouse, and thus proves to be not only a model prisoner, it's also not long before he makes himself useful, and befriends the three girls. Mother doesn't quite trust him though but finds him useful while Gabe shows open dismay about the newcomer, seeing his alpha dog status threatened - but at the same time he has been affected by the Shred and his mind's slowly going. After a while though, the stranger starts to manipulate the girls and gradually makes them believe he's their long-lost brother Luca who back when has gone out to explore what has been left of the world after the Shred hit. And it's also not long before he starts having sex with Bee - which Mother is fully aware of and even condones in a way, because once it becomes apparent that Bee has become pregnant she has every excuse in the world to expel the stranger from the glasshouse, for the simple fact that he'd be one person too much for the plants in the glasshouse to provide oxygen for. Just, the stranger has no intention to leave, and he doesn't shy away from anything to stay put ...


A very unique piece of dystopia as it doesn't follow any genre formula and instead creates a world and then a world within a world all of its own, with its own mythology as well as its own logic. And while the film's deliberately slow-paced, it's also tense throughout and manages to create a narrative whole without spelling everything out, at times openly refusing to do just that, to the point where things are never explained but readily felt. And an engaging yet subtle directorial effort making great use of the film's wonderful location, and a relatable small ensemble cast playing an interesting and well fleshed-out cast of characters help to make this work quite so well. Now be warned, this is not your typical party movie, and a film not created to lift your spirits, but it will remain with you both mentally and emotionally for quite some time for all the right reasons.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD