Fantastic Fest Reviews: Zombie Girl And The Chaser

Zombie Girl: The Movie is a fun documentary about Emily Hagins, a 12-year-old girl from Austin Texas who spent two years directing a feature-length zombie movie titled Pathogen. Encouraged by her mother Megan, who produced, created the special effects and held the boom mike, Emily filmed the movie on weekends and school holidays. Emily is what you would expect from a director of her age: highly unorganized, unfocused and unable to communicate clearly. At one point she gives an actress the direction to "act sorta like yourself, except you're being chased by zombies." The film captures the magic and struggle of micro-budget indie filmmaking. But at it's core, it is a movie about a mother and a daughter who were brought together through the love of film and (insert over dramatic effect) almost torn apart due to the making of a film. 6.5/10

The Chaser: Many of the films I've seen at Fantastic Fest could, and probably will, be remade for English-speaking audiences. The Chaser is a South Korean film which is already being adapted by William Monahan (The Departed) with Leonardo DiCaprio rumored to star. The film tells the story of a dirty detective turned pimp who has had several of his girls disappear. He sends one of his girls to meet with the same client whom all of the missing girls last visited. At first he believes that the client is stealing his women, but it turns out they have been at the fatal end of this impotent killer. When his girl doesn't text him the address, as planned, Joong-ho has to go on a hunt to find the killer and rescue the girl with the woman's seven-year-old daughter. The Chaser is thrilling, and takes several unexpected turns that will have you mouth firmly stuck in the open position. Joong-Ho develops a relationship with the little girl, which just further cranks up the stakes for the recovery of her mother. I hate to use the cliche that you'll be on the edge of your seat, but The Chaser is that type of film. 8/10