raw barf bags

The critically acclaimed cannibal coming-of-age movie Raw became one of the genre darlings of the film festival circuit last year. It has also become infamous for causing audience members to faint, with its scenes of gore reportedly inducing spells of nausea and vomiting.

But one Los Angeles theater has the remedy to that: barf bags.

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Garance Marillier in Raw

Saying that a movie is one of the best of the entire year when it’s only January may seems downright foolish. Irresponsible, even. But if Raw had come out in 2016, it would have made my top 10 of the year and would have made an already great year for horror movies even better. I loved writer/director Julia Ducournau‘s new coming-of-age cannibalism movie when I saw it at Fantastic Fest last year and I’m already eager to see it again. Movies about people eating other people aren’t supposed to be this honest, heartbreaking, and in-tune with the anxieties that accompany leaving home for the first time, but here we are.

A new clip from the film has arrived and you should watch it! And then you should actually go see the movie so we’ll have something to talk about.

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Garance Marillier in Raw

“Cannibalism coming-of-age story” isn’t a phrase you hear every day, and that in itself is reason enough to be curious about Raw. Add in the fact that Raw received rave reviews on the festival circuit (that is, when it wasn’t making audiences sick to their stomachs) and that it’s being heralded as a breakout for first-time director Julia Ducournau and young star Garance Marillier and Ella Rumpf, and it’s skyrocketed to near the very top of my most-anticipated list.

Raw centers around a young woman who’s having a rough time adjusting to college. For most of us, that means battling annoying roommates or pounding hangovers; for her, it means developing an insatiable hunger for flesh. Focus World has just served up the first trailers for Raw today, and if you’ve got a taste for the macabre you’ll definitely want to dig in. Check ’em out below. Read More »

fantastic fest 2016 awards

You never know what you’re going to get at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that takes great delight in immersing attendees in the strangest, wildest, and most unique movies from around the globe. Over the course of eight days, I saw 27 movies. I saw some of the best films I’ve seen all year. I saw oddities I will never forget. I saw some things I wish I could forget. As is always the case, I missed a few big titles, like Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, the divisive The Greasy Strangler, and the crowd-pleasing Bad Black.

But now, it’s time to put a bow on this year’s fest. Sure, the festival itself has juries on hand to recognize films in the line-up, but there’s only one awards ceremony that really matters here – the one that I create out of thin air to throw imaginary accolades at my favorite movies from the line-up.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in the best, weirdest, funniest, oddest, scariest, etc. movies to emerge from Fantastic Fest 2016.

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Everything We Saw at Fantastic Fest 2016

fantastic-fest-2016

When the smoke cleared, I ended up seeing 27 movies over eight days at Fantastic Fest 2016. The Austin-based genre film festival always has a strong line-up of odd, unusual, and unique movies from around the world, but this year was truly exceptional – I saw very few movies I wouldn’t recommend in some capacity. I even saw a handful of movies that are in serious contention for my end-of-the-year top 10.

For the sake of completeness, I have compiled all of my Fantastic Fest coverage into one place, with links to my reviews and smaller capsule reviews for everything that didn’t get their own post. If you’re looking for a something terrifying or unique or action-packed or tear-jerking or just plain unusual, there is something here for you.

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raw review

It’s going to be easy to label Raw as a cannibal horror movie. It’s simple. It gets the point across. It’s a hook to get people in the door. However, director Julia Ducournau‘s feature debut is about so much more than the consumption of human flesh. It’s a coming-of-age drama that truly understands the loneliness of being away from home for the first time. It’s a pitch-perfect portrait of the awkward transition into college life. It’s a sad and lovely portrait of how siblings are never that far apart, even when there appears to be a great distance between them. Raw is a movie about changes and transitions and settling into being the person you will be for the rest of your life.

And yes, it is also a cannibal horror movie.

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