Festivals: Fantastic Fest Reviews

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Mondo - Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: Fabio Frizzi Scores THE BEYOND Live

Photo of Frizzi and band at the San Diego show by Emilie Black of EmyBPhoto. When it comes to horror --- specifically weird Italian horror --- Fabio Frizzi is a household name, nearly synonymous with the director of the films...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: SHIN GODZILLA, The Monster Reborn

Japanese studio Toho resurrects Godzilla (Gojira), its most famous monster, in a busy modern day drama beset by bureaucracy and marked by marvelous action sequences.

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD is the Right Kind of Twisted

Let's not beat around the bush. Home Alone was pretty obviously the inspiration for Chris Peckover's sophomore feature Safe Neighborhood. There's nothing wrong with that. We all know that both John Hughes and Chris Columbus are filmmakers well worth emulating....

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: PHANTASM REMASTERED is a Beautiful Nightmare

From the tender ages of 23 - 25, Don Coscarelli worked on a movie involving a tall, macabre undertaker who caused a lot of undead, little-person shenanigans in the fictional Morningside Cemetery and the small town around it. Coscarelli didn't know...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: PHANTASM RAVAGER Disappoints

We all know that Don Coscarelli created a masterpiece with Phantasm. As the sequels came and went, the dark dream world of the original film became both strengthened and weakened with films of varying quality, and Reggie (Reggie Bannister) the...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE VOID Is Fulci-Flavored Hell

The Void draws inspiration from a number of horror influences, including Hellraiser, The Beyond, H.P. Lovecraft, and Lucio Fulci. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest 2016 in Austin to a packed house, with producer Casey Walker and directors Jeremy Gillespie and...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: DOWN UNDER, Not a Land of Racial Wonder, But Maybe It Should Be

The day after massive race riots in Sydney, Australia some 10 years ago, two carloads of impassioned and perplexed characters are moved to respond, calling upon deeply felt emotions that surge out of their bodies like cascading waves. What could...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: DEAREST SISTER, In Touch With Inner Demons

With only her second film as director, Mattie Do takes a big step forward, both for herself as an artist and for Laos as a filmmaking community. Do broke ground with Chantaly, her debut as a filmmaker and also the...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: FAULTLESS, The Sting of a Woman

What do men know about women? According to Faultless (original title: Irréprochable), some women are beyond understanding. Directed by Sébastien Marnier, the film follows Constance (Marina Foïs) as she slinks back to her hometown in rural France after losing her...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE INVISIBLE GUEST (CONTRATIEMPO) Locks In Emotional Thrills

Locked-room mysteries don't get much more fiendish than the one at the heart of The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo), the new film by Spanish writer/director Oriol Paulo (The Body). Even better, that's just the starting point for an increasingly potent thriller....

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: 24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters

A niche market for high-quality, limited-run movie posters has popped up in the last decade with no signs of slowing down. If you're one of the fervent collectors of these beauties, you know the names Mondo, Skuzzles, Grey Matter Art, and...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: RE: BORN Hails the Bloody Return of Tak Sukiguchi

Japanese action star Tak Sakiguchi makes a welcome return to the screen in this stripped-down action thriller that sees a deadly super soldier forced out of seclusion and back to his old ways of precision destruction. After a somewhat sluggish...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: BOYKA: UNDISPUTED Brings the Pain, In and Outside the Ring

Scott Adkins brings redeemed Russian MMA fighter Yuri Boyka back to the screen for the third time, delivering another helping of blistering bloody bouts of carefully choreographed carnage. Outside the ring, director Todor Chapkanov fails to complement the action with...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: The Unbearable Lightness of TONI ERDMANN

Maren Ade's Palme d'Or nominated film works marvelously as both an awkward study of a father-daughter relationship and as an immersive look into the corporate politics of post-wall Europe.

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE YOUNG OFFENDERS Elevates a Comic Tale With Fresh Honesty

Rowdy, raucous, and rude, The Young Offenders is a blast of adolescence without angst, a juvenile movie that is surprisingly cheerful, even as its young heroes straddle the thin line between criminality and, well, not being a straight-up criminal. Conor...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: A DARK SONG: The Dark, Hard Labour of Forgiveness

All deaths are hard to deal with, but I would argue there is nothing worse than losing your child (after all, a parent is not supposed to outlive their children). Certainly, when we lose a loved one of any kind,...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: ZOOLOGY, How Natasha's Tail Set Her Free

Everyone hopes that they are special and unique in some way. Whether it's a subtle uniqueness that only presents itself in being exceptional within our own little circle, or the kind of superhuman abilities that we attribute to those who...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: THE HIGH FRONTIER Tests the Borders of Tension

Baby, it's cold outside. The family at the heart of The High Frontier (original title: Na granicy) doesn't feel very warm toward each other, though. As the movie begins and a father and his two sons drive deeper and deeper...

Fantasia 2016 Review: MAN UNDERGROUND, A Love Letter to the Thrills of Conspiracy

William Koda (George Basil) is a man with a story to tell. Once a geologist for the U.S. government, he now spends his time in upstate New York telling tales of digging tunnels deep underground where they uncovered…something. Speaking to...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DARLING Is Too Shrill To Scare

In the last few years, writer-director-producer Mickey Keating has established himself as a prolific genre filmmaker, and his film Pod was released just a few months ago. Darling, his latest work, is a low-key psychological thriller that draws from a...