DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Matt gets SEVERED Darkmatters review (Matt Hunter Book 3)


by Peter Laws (@revpeterlaws)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“When the wind roared David knew it was the devil, sighing with contented achievement…”

It’s been a rough few books for Matt Hunter, the ex-Minister turned professor of sociology who is now established as the ‘go-to-guy’ for the police when they stumble upon murders that might have a religious or satanic slant.

Everywhere the poor atheist goes, there is sure to follow a Midsomer sized body count and the deaths you can be sure will be gory and unsettling. So, when during a communion service at a village church, the teenage son of a vicar brutally tries to decapitate his father with an axe, all hell breaks loose.

The horrified congregation, police and family suspect devil worship, but there might be something else, equally dark at work… The fact that there is a crazy cult up the road who worship Jesus but hate God the Father and who believe that the world is filled with demons called Hollows may not be a coincidence.

Before you can say ‘religious nutters’ Matt Hunter and his scene-stealing cool wife Wren are once again up to their necks in bizarre murders and frightening religious mania.

Severed is the third crime-em-up by Rev Peter Laws and it is a cracking thriller, shot through with serious horror elements. The fast-paced narrative drags the reader kicking and screaming into a world of madness and death, encompassing some hot button topics along the way such as the bigotry of many Christians’ attitudes to gay folk and the manic lengths fundamentalists will go to.

This is a trip of scrambled theology, murder-most-foul and a great building sense of voodoo threat that will leave you shaken and stirred. The characters really work (although Hunter might need to possibly reign in his goofy quirks as he’s at risk of becoming a bit Mr Bean at times in this adventure).

By the time you hit the last few chapters, it’s virtually impossible to put down and if there isn’t a Netflix series of these books I’m going to complain!

Severed is very much worthy of a read – whatever your religious persuasion. And much like films such as Natural Born Killers, it will leave you nervous of those around you… Enjoyable religious-themed hokum doesn’t come much better!!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - hits like a twisted theological axe to the back of the head)...


Read the Darkmatters review of Purged (Matt Hunter book 1)

Read the Darkmatters review of Unleashed (Matt Hunter book 2)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Matt get destroyed by Destroyer (review)

Destroyer (15)

Dir. Karyn Kusama

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“I’m mad. I’m still mad. It’s burnt a circuit in my brain.”

What do you do when you’ve lost yourself in guilt, recrimination and self-loathing? These are just some of the issues that L.A. PD detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) is dealing with in this hard-boiled crime-em-up where crimes of the past come back to exact vengeance on her.

As well as the threat of a criminal gang lord being released from prison and gunning for her, she must also cope with her disaffected daughter, Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn), who is out of control and in danger of following in her self-destructive life path.

"don't mess with her..."

Kidman is on scenery-chewing form and has undergone a physically incredible transformation to show the horrific state she’s in after years of alcohol abuse. Her present-day looks contrast sharply with flashbacks to when she was a bright-eyed, beautiful young cop sent undercover to infiltrate a dangerous gang of bank robbers. Things didn’t end well back then and her partner/lover Chris (Sebastian Stan) was killed but over the course of two hours, we get to try and work out quite what happened and why Erin never seemed to recover.

Director Karyn ‘ Jennifer's Body’ Kusama walks us through Erin’s personal hell of existence – she’s the destroyer of the title and it is those around her who pay the price. Having lost her moral compass and fearing repercussions of her past Erin blazes a trail of violence as she seeks answers and tries to pay back those who wronged her. But is there any form of redemption on offer – or just an all-encompassing bleakness?

"back in the good ol days"

The obvious stand out here is Kidman’s physical transformation but she attacks the role with such gusto that it’s hard to believe she’s the same actress from lighter fare such as Moulin Rouge. The cinematography is hard-edged, and the cast are on form – praise to Sebastian Stan who brings a searing emotional heart to the relationship with Kidman.

Destroyer isn’t a feel-good film in any sense of the word. It has divided audiences and critics alike but for me it burnt an indelible memory and is likely to be one of my films of the year. Kidman really should have had an OSCAR nom for this role but has been overlooked, whatever, this is a heavy-duty piece of crime noir that deserves to be seen.

"destroy the heart she said..."

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4.5 - Crunching bleakness that is hard to look away from)

Awesomeness öööö – Strong scenes...

Laughs ö – very limited mirth

Horror ööö – Dark and violent

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - How broken is 'too far gone?'

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Darkmatters review: UNLEASHED (Matt Hunter book 2)


by Peter Laws (@revpeterlaws)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“And there it was, pinning Lauren to the bench. A huge black animal…”

When something goes bump in the night and leaves a spooky body count – who ya gonna call? Well in the UK seeing as we don’t have a functioning crew of Ghostbusters, former Minister turned professor of sociology Matt Hunter is your man. In his second adventure, we find him still unsettled by the events of the crazed Hobbs Hill baptism killer but called into action again when people start dying in Menham, South London.

You see some fifteen years ago, 29 Barley Street became notorious as the scene of alleged poltergeist activity which led to the death of young girl - Holly Wasson. Holly’s older sister Rachel is called back home when her childhood friend Steph Ellis is killed – is there a link to the fabled local poltergeist? Can oddball psychic couple Bob and Joyce Hodges trace the possibly supernatural killer? Because the police are certainly struggling which is why they bring in Matt Hunter.

"The Rev himself"

Unleashed is a semi-sequel to Purged, not in terms of plot but it forms the ‘what happened next' to Matt Hunter and his family. Part thriller, part horror, this is a nicely twisted crime-em-up that has the power to unnerve. Author Rev Peter Laws really finds his stride with this follow-up and it encompasses engaging characters, weird ritualistic deaths and the mystery of whether there is a supernatural agent involved in the killings or just a disturbing human element.

Caution - if you've ever been unnerved by rabbits or traumatised by Watership Down, Unleashed is likely to be very troublesome for you to deal with!?

Hunter and his cool wife Wren are characters that it is fun to hang out with – their relationship is believable and their family dynamic well established. These are people it’s easy to care about and that gives the possible threats greater bite. Speaking of threats, there are plenty of suspicious characters to pick through so those who like a ‘whodunit’ will be satisfied – although here you can’t rule out the ‘whatdunit’ possibility too…

Overall Unleashed is a fun and spooky thrill-ride that is highly worth taking a trip on!!

Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(4 - dark and intense, creepy and quirky - in a good way)...


Read the Darkmatters review of Purged (Matt Hunter book 1)

Read the Darkmatters review of Severed (Matt Hunter book 3)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Matt is shattered by GLASS review

Glass (15)

Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

Reviewed by Matt (@Cleric20) Adcock

“This was an origin story the whole time...”

Everything has led up to this. From the moment back in 2000 when we got to know the ‘Unbreakable’ security guard, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and his brittle nemesis Elijah Price ‘Mr Glass’ (Samuel L. Jackson), the Eastrail 177 trilogy has been in motion.

In 2016 the game changed when the multiple personality freak-em-up movie Split introduced The Horde – 24 different identities in one body (James McAvoy) into the same universe. And now we have the concluding chapter where Dunn, Price and The Horde’s paths cross one last time – for a super-hero showdown very different to most comic book flicks.

"Let battle commence"

As a huge fan of Unbreakable, (which was the second film I reviewed back when I first started this gig 19 years ago), I’m delighted that director M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass turns out to be a cinematic masterpiece. Not an all-out action-packed romp - although there are some seriously great fights - but rather a compellingly thoughtful and complex analysis of the very nature of what it means to be super-human.

The homage to comic book mythology that tone of the first film is writ large here it begins showing how Dunn (now known as The Overseer by the public) has been protecting the people of Philadelphia. At the same time The Horde has been terrorising young women and so the collision course of good and evil is set. Mr Glass, however, has been incarcerated in a mental asylum and is being treated by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah ‘Bird Box’ Paulson) who specialises in those who she believes have delusions of having superpowers.

"The Overseer will protect you"

When the actions of Dunn and The Horde lead to their getting locked up with Mr Glass for therapy - the film becomes a time bomb waiting for these three unique individuals to violently interact.

McAvoy steals the show – his multiple personality acting is just jaw-dropping to behold – but Jackson brings a cool sinister gravitas to his evil mastermind role and Willis is on good form reprising one of his most iconic roles.

"Are they mad?"

Glass feels like a spiritual odyssey that tackles the mystery of what it is to be human as much as it is a thinking person’s comic book tale. It is gorgeously shot and cleverly ties in the previous films to leave audiences broken and challenged.

A cracking cinematic achievement, Glass is the antidote for anyone who is suffering from super-hero burnout.

Highly recommended!

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - A superb conclusion - not for thrill junkies but for true comic book believers)

Awesomeness ööööö – Both the action and the thought processing are great

Laughs öö – Some dark humour

Horror ööö – Gets a little grim in places

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Search for the hero inside yourself

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Matt's Favourite film of 2019 so far...

The Favourite (15)

Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos

Reviewed by Matt (@Cleric20) Adcock

“As it turns out, I'm capable of much unpleasantness.”

Prepare for a subversive, mischievously dark and bawdy romp which takes you back to early 18th century England. Whilst a bloody and expensive war rages against the French, the English Court is more caught up in frivolous duck racing, gossiping and pineapple eating.

The ill-tempered Queen Anne (Olivia ‘Peep Show’ Colman) occupies the throne but it is her close friend and advisor Lady Sarah (Rachel ‘My Cousin Rachel’ Weisz) who really governs the country in her stead.

'prepare for both pride and prejudice'

Things get shaken up when Lady Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, down on her luck having been ‘lost’ by her father in a game of cards. But Abigail will stop at nothing to win the Queen’s ear, employing her charm and ruthlessness in equal measure – can she oust Lady Sarah as the queen’s ‘favourite’?

The Favourite is loosely based in fact, but it delivers big time laugh-out-loud, sublimely verbose royal and political antics. Far from a Merchant Ivory period effort – packing explicit language and sexual shenanigans alongside the razor sharp witty exchanges. Director Yorgos ‘The Lobster’ Lanthimos channels and builds on some of the excellently subversive vibes found in ‘Love & Friendship’ from 2016 – the result is an entirely enjoyable experience!

'The Queen in full effect'

Memorable scenes include Queen Anne’s hilariously impetuous outbursts at unsuspecting footmen, the vicious interplay between the two wannabe favourites and possibly the best / most ridiculous dance scene ever.

The cinematography is classy and the plot gallops along at pace. There are lots of juicy issues being explored here too from the overt weaponization of feminine traits through to dastardly manipulation and betrayal. The Queen’s sadness and possible mental health issues stemming from her loss of her 17 children – who she has replaced with rabbits to remember them by – is also heart breaking.

'pistols at dawn'

There are strong supporting roles from Nicholas Hoult as the politician Robert Harley who crosses swords with Lady Sarah and Joe Alwyn as Abigail’s love interest / ticket back to aristocracy Samuel Masham.

Watching the two leading ladies locked in a battle of wits, with the Queen’s favour the prize, is diabolical fun that pulls no punches. It’s not just the loyalties of the Court that are switched and played with as events take dubious twists – viewers too are in for an emotional rollercoaster ride.

The Favourite might well live up to its name – a cracking start to the year.

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - An excellent, memorable and untamed experience)

Awesomeness ööööö – Battle of sensibilities gets dark

Laughs öööö – Really funny, black humour

Horror öö – Some violence

Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Who can you trust?