Festivals: Fantastic Fest Reviews

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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

German filmmaker Maren Ade's third feature, Toni Erdmann, about an estranged father connecting with his adult daughter in increasingly unorthodox and aggravating ways, garnered glowing critical praise when it premiered in competition at Cannes this past spring. While there is...

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...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: BONE TOMAHAWK Is One Of The Most Brutal Westerns Ever Put To Film

It appears safe to say that whatever medium he may be working in, Bone Tomahawk writer-director S Craig Zahler has a tendency to play things hard and dark. As a musician Zahler lives in the heavy and black metal worlds...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE MIND'S EYE Is A Squishy 80's Throwback

When any filmmaker with a well-received first film heads into their next project, the threat of the sophomore slump has to weigh heavily on their heads. Joe Begos' first film, Almost Human, was a lovingly crafted homage to the low-budget...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DEMON, When Ghosts Refuse To Be Silenced

Anything you try to bury will come back to haunt you. And as many times as you bury it, it will come back, and no doubt hurt those you least want to see hurt. The past can never be escaped,...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: WHAT WE BECOME, Quiet Horror Invades The Nuclear Family

An extremely well-made horror film from Denmark, What We Become (original title: Sorgenfri) examines the churning emotional dynamics of a nuclear family when they are placed under extreme -- some might even call it apocalyptic -- stress. Mother Pernille (Mille...

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: ZINZANA, Thrills, Chills, And Kills In A Police Station

Two men in a police station. One is locked up, the other should be. The first genre film from United Arab Emirates, Zinzana (aka Rattle the Cage) is a refreshingly potent, teasingly intense drama. It begins with Talal (Saleh Bakri)...