Fantasia 2011: Weinberg Reviews 26 Films

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Fantasia 2011: Weinberg Reviews 26 Films
(Fantasia 2011 has now passed into the history books, and you can catch up on all our coverage -- by Todd Brown, Kurt Halfyard, Michael Guillen, Andrew Mack, and Peter K., with contributions from Justin Decloux and Brandon Tenold -- right here at ScreenAnarchy. For additional fine coverage, we point you to the 26 reviews that Scott Weinberg wrote for our friends at Enjoy!)

Attack the Block (Great Britain)
"What may sound like a basic, generic, derivative piece of genre puree is actually one of the slickest, quickest and slyly satisfying amalgams in quite some time!" (Review)

Burke & Hare (Scotland)
"Perhaps not a true 'return to form' for director John Landis (Edinburgh isn't exactly Hollywood), Burke and Hare is indicative of a 'fun time' filmmaker who still has a few tricks up his sleeve." (Review)

Cold Fish (Japan)
"If you're familiar with the work of Japanese filmmaker Sian Sono, you already know what to expect from Cold Fish: something entirely unpredictable. The film will not disappoint." (Review)
Cold Sweat (Argentina)
"While it offers very little that's actually unique, it also manages to combine some colorful old ideas and churn out something that's just fresh and stylish enough to work on its own." (Review)
The Corridor (Canada)
"The smart and scrappy film earns praise by turning into one of the coolest [Stephen] King mash-ups you'll come across." (Review)
Detention (United States)
"A plotless, pointless, and egregiously amateurish movie from stem to stern." (Review)
The Devil's Rock (New Zealand)
"A low-budget but well-made little horror flick that earns points due to two strong leads and some slick visual effects from the masters at Weta." (Review)
The Divide (France)
"The sad truth is that the flick hits its stride somewhere in Act II, and once that moment has passed, you're stuck with one irritating slog toward a rather disappointing climax." (Review)
A Horrible Way to Die (United States)
"A two-tiered character study / road movie that doesn't offer much in the way of glitz or cheap thrills, but does work exceedingly well as a cinematic noose that just keeps on tightening." (Review)
The Innkeepers (United States)
"The indie king of the slow-burn horror flick is back, and this time Ti West is bringing along an unexpected dose of wit, warmth, and weirdly effective character-based comedy." (Review)
Kidnapped (Spain)
"Its gut-punches arrive a little too late, and the divisively bleak nature of the film as a whole manages to suck a lot of enjoyable tension from the experience." (Review)
Little Deaths (Great Britiain)
"As a whole, the flick stands as one of the most unique and challenging horror anthologies in quite some time." (Review)
A Lonely Place to Die (Scotland)
"An intense and picturesque horror / thriller / chase flick that, get this, deals in logic, common sense, and (best of all) some rather dark surprises." (Review)
Marianne (Sweden)
"What's most interesting is how the flick turns from domestic tragedy to legitimate horror tale without cutting any corners, tipping its hand, or cheating its audience." (Review)
Midnight Son (United States)
"Like most good horror stories, Midnight Son takes the surreal, the bizarre, and the tragic, and uses those components to make a point or two about simple, basic humanity. " (Review)
Morituris (Italy)
"A harsh and rough little stretch of road, and one that has some strong assets in its corner -- but something slightly askew in its soul." (Review)
Rabies (Israel)
"It's the darkly humorous and surprisingly clever screenplay that makes Rabies an unexpectedly engaging import." (Review)

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Finland)
"A great little genre import that is all sorts of unique, fresh, novel, and unpredictable." (Review)
The Reef (Australia)
"What The Reef may lack in flashy effects or rock 'em sock 'em horror beats, it makes up for in simple, crafty, sharp suspense." (Review)
Saint (The Netherlands)
"A certifiably insane piece of holiday horror." (Review)
The Sanitarium (Costa Rica)
"A Costa Rican import that shows clear evidence of filmmakers who are willing to both admire and mock the Handheld Horror style of filmmaking," (Review)
Some Guy Who Kills People (United States)
"A smoothly confident concoction of quick-witted weirdness, morbid dashes of alleged levity, and surprisingly insightful emotion." (Review)
Stake Land
(United States)
"A very solid little indie flick that doles out vampiric horror and the post-apocalyptic bleakness that only a true genre fan will appreciate." (Review)
Troll Hunter (Norway)
"Leave it to the Norwegians to reinvigorate the 'giant creature' sub-genre in a way that both reinvents and pays homage to the classics that came before." (Review)
Urban Explorer (Germany)
"Content to stomp through numerous well-traveled tunnels." (Review)
The Woman (United States)
"This flick doesn't attack normalcy with terror; it introduces one style of horror into a film that already has a second horror film on the back burner." (Review)

(Huge thanks to Fantasia Film Festival for everything, and also to the other festivals at which I caught some of the aforementioned films: SXSW, Fantastic Fest, TIFF Midnight Madness, and Sundance.)
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ZOMBOID79August 15, 2011 1:20 AM

Excited to see a lot of movies on this list and glad to see so many I'm interested in get good reviews. The only one I have seen is Stake Land and I'm kind of shocked to see it get a positive review... it has to the most plodding facsimile of film I have seen in a vampire's age..Just because you've combined good films doesn't make it a good film...and just because you apply every Oscar bait cliche in the book-doesn't make it rise above the lamest genre movie with a pulse. The only thing I felt while watching was nauseous...sick by how well it was shot and how much time and effort was put into what turned out to be a pretentious pile of recycled dreck.

"We came to Stake Land because they said it was a good times of hopelessness you want to believe in hope...but sometimes..all you can do is believe in the hope of hope that you'll have hope....But that day we learned something else...that it's more than vampires that can bite...pretentious melodramas about vampires can bite too...Bite the big one" (Cue treacly music/montage)"