Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

Fantasia 2015 Review: TALES OF HALLOWEEN, A Pumpkin-Flavored Love Letter From Hell

Horror anthologies have made a pretty healthy comeback in the last few years; some are ok, some are regrettable, and some have awesome production values as well as good stories, such as Tales Of Halloween, which sold out its world... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: FATAL FRAME Has No Shortage Of Beautiful Images

Oh J-Horror! It has been years since you were worth my cinematic time. From your heyday in the late 1990s -- Ringu, Dark Water, Ju-On and Pulse -- to Sono Sion putting a very sharp fork into you in the mid-aughts with Exte:... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE INTERIOR Exquisitely Balances Comedy And Horror

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior. For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a deep understanding... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE DARK BELOW Will Make Your Blood Run Cold

Here's a new kind of chiller, for real. The Dark Below, which screened for the first time ever at Fantasia 2015, features a woman trapped in a frozen lake for nearly the whole length of the film. It was shot... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHE WHO MUST BURN Scorches The Hubris of Human Behavior

The miracle of She Who Must Burn, a film perhaps most efficiently described as Red State for grown-ups, is that it offers three well worn elements - scripture quoting after committing an abhorrent act of violence (and the Ezekiel quote... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CHERRY TREE Yields Rotten Pits

The mantra "Death is only the beginning," is repeated throughout Irish occult horror Cherry Tree by the coven of witches who have infiltrated a small-town high school. Their sexy long tressed leader wears a guise as the girl's field hockey... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: MISS HOKUSAI, Full Of Life And Spirit

Prolific animation house Production I.G. subtly captures the rhythms of mood of the art and publishing community in 19th century Edo, Japan. Miss Hokusai is simultaneously misleadingly quiet, and furiously idiosyncratic. Blending the magical realism sensibility of Studio Ghibli with Ozu... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CASH ONLY, Both Sharp And Vulnerable

What is colder, Albanian hell or Detroit in winter? Elvis Martini sits rather uncomfortably in the middle of both over the course of a few days where his world spirals out of control. He has the courts breathing down his neck... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Asian Film Fest Dallas 2015 Review: THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR, An Indonesian Wu Xia Drama

Over the last few years there have been a small handful of high profile Indonesian films hitting the festival and art house cinema circuits. The most recent resurgence in Indonesian films has come, strangely, via the intervention of a couple... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: 25 Years On, THE REFLECTING SKIN Remains A Wonder

Seeing The Reflecting Skin for the first time, the 1990 film by Philip Ridley, starring Viggo Mortensen and Lindsay Duncan, one can't help but wonder how the hell the thing ever got made. I'd previously never even heard of... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: OWNERLESS FLOWER UHWUDONG Can't Choose Between Erotica And Drama

Thirty years after Lee Jang-ho's landmark film Eoh Wu-dong (available to watch for free on the Korean Film Archive's Youtube channel), a period ero that became a surprise critical and commercial hit in 1985, Lee Soo-sung offers up his own... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: DIRECTOR'S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN

You ever look at the back of those discs you used to buy and wonder who'd waste their time on those special features? Well, I'm that guy, that person who delves whole hog into the making ofs, the behind-the-scenes... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: MEATHEAD GOES HOG WILD Falls Off The Bone

With a title like the above, you may not know whether this is a good or bad review. But the world isn't black and white, and neither is art. Meathead Goes Hog Wild played Fantasia's 2015 edition for its world... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: (T)ERROR Makes An Uneasy Case

Having already played Tribeca and Sundance, (T)error is part of Fantasia 2015's "Documentaries from the Edge" spotlight, which showcases real-world tales. In this case, filmmakers Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliff discover that an acquaintance is a for-hire FBI informant and operative... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE ARTI: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS, You Will Believe That Puppets Can Fight

The Arti: The Adventure Begins is the most impressive full length puppet feature I have seen since Strings. It also helps that it is equally a martial arts film, which is right up my alley. With its Wuxia themes of loyalty,... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: EXTINCTION, Zombies Again

I figured if most zombie movies are going to repeat themselves I might do so as well - the genre, such as it is, is pretty tired. More so than other subgenres of the horror field, things are usually grand... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: 12 DEEP RED NIGHTS: CHAPTER 1, A Competent But Unremarkable Practice Run

Horror anthologies are a great way for new filmmakers to take a swing at bat, while viewers (or industry folk) get the opportunity to seek out new talents in the making. Unfortunately, that also means they're mixed bags, to say... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: THIS COUNTRY'S SKY, Love And Coming of Age In A Time Of War

In the 70 years since the end of World War II - or, more precisely, what will be 70 years this August - there have been countless cinematic depictions of the war, covered from just about every possible angle. Some... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: LUDO Challenges You To A Deadly Game Of Dice

Ludo co-director Q has been a filmmaker that I've had my eye on since his brash explosion onto the international art house scene with 2010's Gandu. That film is loud, aggressive, and challenging to the viewer, in the way that... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: STUNG's Bite Quietly Fades Away

Benni Diez takes on the creature feature in his debut film Stung, which, while set in the US, was actually shot in Germany. With a few familiar faces in the supporting cast and generally strong production values, his film coasts... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
 
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