Dachra

Dachra (2018)

Dachra first published by VODzilla.co “Inspired by true events,” states text at the beginning of Dachra, as the camera tracks a humming man carry a sack from the boot of his car to a square where the sack’s contents – a young boy – are ritually, bloodily sacrificed. The scene is impressionistic, shot close over…

Harpoon

Harpoon (2019)

Rob Grant’s Harpoon opens with audio of a voice artist (Brett Gelman, Claire’s husband in Fleabag) being asked to do another take. His narration, delivered in an arch tone with some decidedly profane diction, summarises the three types of friendship outlined by Aristotle (of utility, of pleasure, of the good), before positing a fourth type,…

Satanic

Satanic Panic (2019)

Satanic Panic (2019) at Fantasia and FrightFest 2019 22-year-old Sam (Hayley Griffith) is on her first day working for Home Run Pizza. She is a virgin adept at fending off unwanted male advances (like from her hilariously odious colleague Duncan, played by AJ Bowen), a part-time busker specialising in self-penned folk songs of dubious quality,…

Wretched

The Wretched (2019)

“This movie just got good,” declares troubled 17-year-old Ben (John-Paul Howard) into his smartphone, in Brett and Drew Pierce’s The Wretched. While Ben is claiming to Mallory (Piper Curda), on the other end of the phone, that what keeps distracting him from their conversation is a film that he is watching on Netflix, in fact…

Knives

Knives and Skin (2019)

Knives and Skin (2019) at Fantasia and FrightFest A woman clutching a large kitchen knife walks through a home bathed in giallo-esque neon pinks, reds and blues, and knocks at a bedroom door. “Carolyn, are you in there?”, she asks. “Are you still not talking to me?” She then picks the lock with the knife’s…

Critters

Critters Attack! (2019)

Critters Attack! published by SciFiNow “What is this, 1986?”, teenager Trissy asks Drea (Tashiana Washington). College-age Drea is babysititng Trissy and her younger brother Jake (Jack Fulton), with Drea’s own younger brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel) in tow – and these words were Trissy’s horrified response to Drea’s proposal that they while away their time together…

Porno

Porno (2019)

Porno (2019) at Fantasia and FrightFest 2019 Keola Racela’s feature debut opens with a sequence not entirely unexpected in a film called Porno: a couple fucking in a bedroom. Then the camera draws back, and we realise that much as we are watching this unfold within the frame of the cinema screen, others are watching…

Deeper

The Deeper You Dig (2019)

The Deeper You Dig at Fantasia and FrightFest 2019 Ivy (Toby Poser) and Echo (Zelda Adams) Allen are a mother and daughter living on the periphery of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. Once a gifted spiritualist, Ivy has since lost her second sight and her way, and now resorts to stringing along needy, paying local clients with…

Fantasia

Reorienting genre: Fantasia International Film Festival 2019

Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 takes place 11 July – 1 August 2019 This year’s Fantasia opens with the latest Ring-sequel Sadako, returning Hideo Nakata to the series that he started back in 1998, and closes with Kazuki Nakashima’s combustible pop-art anime Promare. Both these films encapsulate and conjoin Fantasia’s twin commitments – suggested by…