Gille Klabin‘s The Wave starts off seeming like the most annoying bro comedy in recent memory – but don’t be deterred. After that bumpy start, The Wave rolls into something far more engaging, even charming: a fairly clever, trippy saga with its heart in the right place. It’s ultimately a story about coming to terms with your own mortality, and learning to not be a complete asshole in the process – and who among us couldn’t stand to be reminded of that?
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This review may contain mild spoilers.
Brad Anderson really hates hospitals. You can’t blame him, really. They may technically be places of healing, but they’re also places of death, pain, disease, and misery. Places where we’re born, and places where – more often than not – we die. Anderson burst onto the scene in 2001 with his spooky indie Session 9, about a potentially haunted abandoned mental hospital. His underrated Stonehearst Asylum also focused on a still-operational, but just as spooky hospital. Now Anderson is back with Fractured, a film full of sterile environments, long white hallways, and medical professionals with shifty eyes. Something is very wrong in this hospital – but nothing is as it seems.
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There is a palpable love that radiates deep within The Adams’ latest film, and it is not just because the production is a family affair. A story reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the marital duo Toby Poser and John Adams direct, write, produce, and star in The Deeper You Dig–a film at Fantastic Fest 2019 that explores grief, guilt, and determination within the fragile boundaries of life and death. Read More »
Plastered around telephone poles, buildings, and ice cream trucks in South Florida, you’ll find stickers of a clown with hollowed-out eyes, thick red lips, and a phone number under his withered face. This is Wrinkles. Legend has it that the masked clown is out to provide a service terrorizing disobedient children. Over the past few years, Wrinkles has become folklore personified. Thanks to the hyperactive age of social media, the diabolic clown is pure nightmare fuel for naughty children but a breath of fresh air for parents in need of alternative disciplinary methods. Directed by Michael Beach Nichols, Wrinkles the Clown (watch the trailer here) introduces audiences to the man behind the mask and explores society’s dark fascination with his disturbing omnipresence. Read More »
One of the highlights of Fantastic Fest is coming across movies you would otherwise never see anywhere else. Movies that make you question your very sanity, as well as your choices. “What have I gotten myself into?” you ask during movies like this. And: “Just what the hell is this?” The MVP of this type of Fantastic Fest movie might very well be Die Kinder Der Toten, which is technically a zombie movie, but unlike any other zombie movie ever made. Imagine a Monty Python sketch as filmed by Abraham Zapruder and you might have some concept of what the hell this is.
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Loaded with gore sloshed upon gore, blessed with creeptacular practical special effects, and boasting lush, stylish, chill-inducing cinematography, The Mortuary Collection is a feast for the eyes. This horror anthology from writer-director Ryan Spindell started off as one short film – “The Babysitter Murders” – before being expanded upon, and given a neat little wraparound story to tie things together. The end result is a film tailor-made to elicit hoots and groans from midnight movie audiences – a big, bloody, and loud movie that just wants you to have fun. So why then does it seem so tedious at times?
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Hey, have you ever wanted to watch a movie that features nearly every single genre at once? If so, I’ve got just the film for you! It’s called In the Shadow of the Moon, and it’s a frenetic mash-up of sci-fi, mystery, horror, and action. The only things it’s missing are a musical number or two and a rom-com subplot. This ambitious, sometimes ridiculous experience takes big risks – some of which pay off, some of which don’t. It’s a cop thriller, a time-bending saga, a gore-soaked splatterfest. It rides on a wave of goofiness mixed with earnestness, and it’s hard not to appreciate something like that.
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Certain decades have their own tangible fears. The 1950s possessed a culture of fear that has been explored repeatedly throughout the horror and sci-fi genres. Cold war fears were heavily centered around an aversion to the other, technology, nuclear war, and aliens. There’s a singular simplicity in film and television that captures the emotional impact of these anxieties, allowing filmmakers to enhance metaphors through style, dialogue, and setting as opposed to overt displays of violence and nightmarish imagery. Director Andrew Patterson’s feature debut The Vast of Night at Fantastic Fest 2019 applies all of the conventional trepidation of the time period, while delivering a film with concise and unorthodox storytelling along with subtle suspense rooted in sci-fi. Read More »
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Posted on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to The Fantastic Fest Diaries, where we will be chronicling every single movie we see at the United States’ largest genre film festival.)
Welcome to Fantastic Fest 2019, day two. In this entry, Reflections of Evil is one of the most insane movies ever made, The Death of Dick Long is a surprisingly tender movie about idiots, and Color Out of Space is the wild H.P. Lovecraft movie we’ve been waiting for.
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Posted on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 by Matt Donato
Tammy And The T-Rex is a tale as old as prehistoric time. Boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Girl’s punk ex-boyfriend kidnaps her new crush and leaves him to be mauled by lions in a wildlife park. Wounded boy is stolen by a crazed genius, has his brain removed, then implanted into an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex. Boy, now a Jurassic Park prop, goes on a deadly rampage in order to win back his lover and reclaim a new body. Shakespear meets Mary Shelley meets 90s slapstick comedy.
Stewart Raffill, what have you done. Read More »