The 2014 Fantasy Film Festival (Fantasy Filmfest) once again proved to be an event I would not have wanted to miss. Thanks to CineCittà Nuremberg!
Imagine watching 9 films within 12 days. In reality this meant watching 9 movies on 6 days; our friend Markus actually watched 29 movies within 12 days – his new personal record. Apart from occasional weekends this is really an exceptional phase – year after year. 😀
This was this years foreword by the “Fantasy Filmfest” team:
“Immerse yourself with us again in that dark, disturbing and wonderful place called cinema! As the Fantasy Filmfest is one of the few stages for outstanding independent cinema you might not be able to watch on the beloved big screen otherwise, we’re hell-bent on bringing you provoking, captivating and challenging movies in this year’s extended edition of twelve instead of eight days. Deadly director duos, classic monsters shifted into new shapes, Edgar Allan Poe dressed-up in electronic sounds – there is so much to discover and fear …
Your Fantasy Filmfest team”
These are the films we watched:
Canada 2014, directed by Lowell Dean
Leo Fafard , Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Lind, Aidan Devine, Jesse Moss, Corinne Conley
IMDb: As a series of strange and violent events start happening, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan, so he investigates with the help of his partner and his friend.
“A perfect storm of creature action, the occult, gore, intrigue, humor, and lycanthropic puns, WOLFCOP is destined for cult glory. … WOLFCOP is a clever, charming little film driven by a kick ass blend of horror and cop movie, with buckets of comedy thrown in. Your eyeballs will never forgive you if you miss this one.” (Bloody Disgusting)
One of our favourites. 🙂
USA 2013, directed by William Brent Bell
A. J. Cook, Stephanie Lemelin, Brian Scott O’Connor, Simon Quarterman, Sebastian Roché, Vik Sahay
IMDb: A defense attorney begins to suspect that her client, who is charged with the murders of a vacationing family, might be more than meets the eye.
“WER offers surprises, great acting and some decent werewolf action, which will satisfy the pickiest of werewolf fans.” (Wicked Channel)
- WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
New Zealand, USA 2014, directed by Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stu Rutherford
IMDb: Follow the lives of Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav – three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles-like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection-modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.
“It’s so simple a comedic concept that many filmmakers would walk past it due to sheer obviousness: a mockumentary about a handful of very old yet very childish vampires who sometimes try to assimilate into the modern world but mostly stay cooped up in their New Zealand estate so they can bicker about each other and bitch about the modern world. … And while SHADOWS is most assuredly a full-fledged comedy in horror clothing, fans of the darker genre will certainly enjoy how colorfully gory the movie gets during some of the best visual gags. … WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is a great vampire comedy. Sounds like faint praise at first, but really: how many great vampire comedies are there?” (Fearnet)
- SUBURBAN GOTHIC
USA 2014, directed by Richard Bates Jr.
Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Niven, John Waters, Muse Watson
IMDb: Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.
“Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.” (Fearnet)
One of our favourites. 🙂
- GO GOA GONE
India 2013, directed by Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru
Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Vir Das, Anand Tiwari, Puja Gupta
IMDb: A group of friends along with members of the Russian mafia get stuck on a remote island off the coast of Goa, when new drugs at a rave party are consumed by the guests, turning them into zombies.
“Zombies provide the perfect canvas for any number of comic scenarios to unfold, for the simple reason that anything goes. Heads are indiscriminately blown off, bodies are casually mowed down in their path and even a fistfight with a girl is okay when she’s the undead. …
This is a pure, unadulterated, escapist joyride, replete with guts, gore and the funniest and foulest one-liners you’ve seen in Bollywood … GO GOA GONE is a trippy, fun-fuelled zombie escapade worthy of cult status.” (Digitalspy)
“GO GOA GONE, in short, is a helluva adventure ride that leaves you in splits right till the end. A must watch for one and all.” (Now Running)
One of our favourites. 🙂
USA 2014, directed by LeighJaniakHarry Treadaway, RoseLeslie, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown
IMDb: A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of their first night.
“Janiak does an admirable job of keeping the audience off guard without letting things feel manipulated. She is obviously a student of horror, but uses this to know what not to do, just as much as what works. But don’t be scared away by thinking this is a kind of movie like CABIN IN THE WOODS that riffs on the tropes of the horror genre. HONEYMOON is very much its own beast; a good story, excellently told, and very, very scary.” (Twitch)
Our least favourite. 😦
- THE CANAL
Ireland 2013, directed by Ivan KavanaghRupert Evans, Antonia Cambell Hughes, Hannah Hoekstra, Steve Oram, Kelly ByrneFilm archivist David discovers that his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902. He believes that there is something evil in his house. Moreover, he suspects that his wife is having an affair. David follows her to a nearby canal, where he discovers that she is indeed cheating on him. When Alice goes missing, David contacts the police – only to become the prime suspect in her disappearance. He struggles to find proof of his growing suspicion that something otherworldly was instead responsible.
“Take one part Lynchian weirdness, one part Polanski paranoia, toss in a hefty dose of J-Horror, mix ‘em and cook ‘em … and you have Ivan Kavanagh’s Gaelic scare-fest, THE CANAL.” Twitch
“THE CANAL is a classic ghost story, one that burns slow but with might. … Kavanagh’s film relies heavily on the atmosphere and mood to create suspense, and the constant bizarre imagery and tremendous sound design help deliver in spades.” (Bloody Disgusting)
- THESE FINAL HOURS
Australia 2014, directed by Zak Hilditch
Angourie Rice, Nathan Phillips, Daniel Henshall, David Field, David Partridge, Jessica De Gouw, Kathryn Beck, Korum Ellis, Lynette Curran
IMDb: A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.
“A dystopian drama from down under, THESE FINAL HOURS … takes the end-of-the-world mayhem deadly seriously, and its hard-edged tone obliterates comparisons.” (Film Forward)
- LIFE AFTER BETH
USA 2014, directed by Jeff Baena
Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser
IMDb: A young man’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.
“Jeff Baena’s LIFE AFTER BETH is the zombie comedy that reminds us how odd the mashup was to begin with. It‘s the one that plucks from the genre playbook only what it wants, then tells its own story while letting the world, in the background, go to hell in the usual way. It’s the one that finds a new metaphoric meaning for zombie tropes, making them about the devastation of grief, and manages to keep us laughing while making that metaphor stick. It’s a perfectly pitched debut.” (Hollywood Reporter)
One of our favourites. 🙂
These are the films we would have liked to see and just could not – due to lack of time:
New Zealand 2014, directed by Gerard Johnstone
Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes
IMDb: Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s less than happy about the new living arrangement.
“HOUSEBOUND quickly tears apart the classic haunted-house movie piece by piece, and then reconstructs it on the fly with fresh new materials.” (Twitch)
- JAMIE MARKS IS DEAD
USA 2014, directed by Carter Smith
Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Madisen Beaty, Judy Greer, Liv Tyler
“In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead. ” (Sundance Film Festival)
“Carter Smith’s follow-up to the gore-horror success of THE RUINS is an artfully handled supernatural love story which will definitely stir critical interest.” (Variety)