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Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: GOOD MANNERS, A Fable of Love, Fear, and Kindness

There is the family you are born into, and the family you make; lovers who stay with you a long time, and ones whose time with you is brief, but make a lasting impact. What then is the nature of...

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: LET THE CORPSES TAN, More Stylish Than Substantial

Writing-directing team Hélèn Cattet and Bruno Forzani burst onto the genre film scene in 2009 with the highly original Amer, a giallo-inspired experimental horror/thriller about different ages of one girl's life. Their second feature, The Strange Color of Your Body's...

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: THOROUGHBREDS, A Pitch Black Tale of Female Friendship

Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy cement their positions as two of the most captivating young actresses working today in Thoroughbreds, a wickedly humorous psychodrama straddling the class divide in small-town Connecticut and exposing the complex malevolence of the adolescent psyche....

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: HAGAZUSSA Paints Terrible Beauty

When Fantastic Fest programmer and producer Annick Mahnert introduced Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse, she mentioned that it was a student film and that her jaw dropped when screening it. She wasn't joking.  Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse could be easily labeled as the...

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: THELMA Thrills With Lust and Existentialism

Fantastic Fest 2017 opened with plenty of surprises, one of which, I'm happy to say, was a Norwegian film called Thelma. Directed by Joachim Trier, Thelma follows the titular character played by Ellie Harboe --- a young, beautiful student --- as she ventures...

Review: LET THERE BE LIGHT, When Modern Science and Spiritual Quests Meet

There is something magnificent about human endeavours that require several lifetimes to achieve. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona was started in 1888 by architect Antoni Gaudí, but he will have been dead for 100...

Blu-ray Review: A DARK SONG Soars

Scream Factory is an awesome imprint and they show no signs of slowing down with their superb releases. To that end, the horror distribution arm of Shout! Factory has recently released the festival hit A Dark Song, which toured the circuit...

Review: THE WOUND, An Essential South African Masterpiece

This week South Africa must decide which of its films to submit for the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category. Likely, it’ll come down to a choice between The Wound, which has the advantage of having collected a plethora of...

Toronto 2017 Review: Kitamura Ryuhei's DOWNRANGE, A Lean and Mean Horror Thriller

Six college students on the way home in a carpool are stranded on an isolated road (in the middle of BFE as one puts it so eloquently) when a tire blows. Just when one of them realizes that this is...

Review: INDIVISIBLE, The Pain and Joy of Constant Companionship

If we are only truly ourselves when we are alone, what would it mean if you were, quite literally, never alone? If both your private and public identity was entwined with another person whose presence was constant? If your body,...

Toronto 2017 Review: THE CRESCENT, A Visionary Fusion of Horror Tradition and Originality

Late in Seth A. Smith's The Crescent, there is a hushed shot of the lead character, who happens to be a 2-year-old toddler, sitting on a beach, framed inside an hollow wreck of an old seaside house. The camera slowly...

Review: AGAINST THE NIGHT, Things That Go Bump in an Abandoned Prison

Trapped in a large building with ghosts? Scary! Trying to explain everything? Eh, not so scary. In Against the Night, writer/director Brian Cavallaro aims for a different, potentially refreshing approach to a haunted house tale. Rather than maneuvering a small...

Toronto 2017 Review: EUTHANIZER Unflinchingly Considers Misery and Karma With An Offbeat Finnish Worldview

Welcome to Haukka's Repairs And End Solutions. A dilapidated auto repair shop in a small town in Finland where the proprietor, Veijo, occasionally fixes cars, but mainly he runs a business of putting down pets for owners unwilling to pay...

Toronto 2017 Review: VERÓNICA, Treading Familiar Teenage Ground

Teenage girls have always been ripe fodder for horror filmmakers. Either as monsters or victims (or both), the body changes (not to mention the change in treatment by other people, especially men) and vulnerability of girs at this age can...

Toronto 2017 Review: FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES, Cowboys & Corruption, South Africa Style

The western genre, long associated either with American film and the lone cowboy holding fast to independence in a changing landscape, or the spaghetti western, in which European directors examined more forcefully the often insidious nature of the more corrupt...

Blu-ray Review: Kelly Reichardt's CERTAIN WOMEN Joins the Criterion Collection

I love the rhythm of Kelly Reichardt's 2016 film, Certain Women. An unhurried triptych of stories about women in small-town Montana, Certain Women has the time (and the sense) to let moments hang, as tiny calibrations of feeling pass across...

Toronto 2017 Review: LES AFFAMÉS, The Things They Carried

While many zombie films are set in rural areas, the characters of such films are usually urban dwellers who have escaped cities in the hopes that the countryside is safer, that any possible survivors might be more welcoming, and remoteness...

Toronto 2017 Review: VALLEY OF SHADOWS Leads Us Into The Deep, Dark, Woods Of Scandinavian Gothic

What we do not understand scares us. We often need monsters to blame. Young Aslak is at that tender age where we all seek a little independence, but do not know what to do with it. When nothing in the...

Toronto 2017 Review: BODIED Battle Raps Our Current Cultural Moment

Eager-beaver, and ready to rumble, Bodied, huffs and puffs its way into our current cultural moment with impeccable timing. Produced by Eminem and directed by cult (or as the cool kids say, 'vulgar') auteur, Joseph Kahn whose straight-faced ludicrousness on...

Sidewalk 2017 Review: TORMENTING THE HEN, Suffocating, Mesmerizing Drama

Suffocating in its intimacy, Theodore Collatos' Tormenting the Hen revolves around two women who have reached a turning point in their relationship, whether they realize it or not. Claire (Dameka Hayes) is an African-American playwright who travels to the Berkshires...