Nightcrawler, the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, has a strong kinship with Sidney Lumet’s Network. Both take a satirical view of broadcast journalism, portraying the profession as a cold-blooded environment where sensationalism takes center stage. If there is one difference that separates the newer film from its 1976 predecessor, though, it is that the former possesses none of the latter’s biting wit. Nightcrawler is incredibly heavy-handed with its message, and the satirical dialogue is far from profound.
I am a Knife with Legs Written and directed by Bennett Jones USA, 2014 Comedian Bennett Jones spent seven years making I Am a Knife with Legs. During that time he packed as much humorous material – nonsensical jokes, absurd musical numbers, crude animation – as could fit in an 85-minute time frame. Though it …
Cub scouts and crazed killers are are such a wacky combination for a horror film, and therefore viewers should be able to expect a fair amount of insanity from Jonas Govaerts’ debut feature; however, it is only in its final act that Cub finally achieves the appropriate atmosphere. Those last 20 minutes are exhilarating, and they more than make up for the first 65. It is not that the first two thirds of Cub are terrible; they just don’t really lead anywhere.
The Cabin in the Woods was the final frontier for slasher films… or at least it should have been. Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s 2011 horror-comedy took all of the subgenre’s tropes and turned them on their head. It acknowledged every character stereotype and rejected each one. The slasher film received a complete deconstruction, and now it may be best to simply pack it away. Sadly, The Town That Dreaded Sundown heralds an uninspired return to form. It just may be the blandest movie to feature violent homicide and ruthless killers.
From the late 70s to the early 90s, Menahem Golan and Yorum Globus, two Israeli cousins, ran the Cannon Films studio. The men produced dozens of mindless exploitation films, from Death Wish 3 to The Last American Virgin. Mark Hartley’s film sets out to define the producers’ legacy, with special emphasis on the men’s unorthodox and eccentric professional conduct. The result is a light, funny documentary that could benefit from the inclusion of more insightful material.
Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘The Babadook’ is as much an exploration of grief as it is a terrifying horror film
In the 2010 film Rabbit Hole, a character compares grief to a stone that you carry around in your pocket. There are times when it is easy to forget about this extra weight, but then one day you reach into your jacket and suddenly remember that it’s there. The grief of losing a loved one can never fully vanish. It will always be there in some form, whether it be as a stone in your pocket or as a spindly fingered, top hat-wearing boogeyman. If that latter comparison makes little sense, then you should see Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. In addition to being a thoroughly satisfying horror film, it is an extraordinary character-driven story about a woman trying to recover from the loss of her husband.
It is never clear what exactly Marie is turning into. The sudden manifestation of thick body hair would seem to suggest a werewolf, but When Animals Dream does not follow the normal werewolf mythology; there are no full moons or silver bullets to be found here. Regardless of its ambiguity, though, the story of Marie’s transformation makes for a wonderfully atmospheric horror film. When Animals Dream may suffer due to an underdeveloped screenplay, but it never loses touch with its profound spookiness and suspense.
It seems only natural for an expansive anthology like ABCs of Death 2 to offer up such a mixed bag
of short films. There are 26 in total, each running for approximately four to five minutes. Such the-abcs-of-death-2-stills-3time constraints act as a hindrance to many of the directors involved in the project. A large number of the shorts are either underdeveloped or conventional in terms of their story. However, there are a handful of standouts that make the viewing experience worthwhile.
Blindness is a difficult affliction to understand. By simply closing their eyes and walking around, people could easily comprehend the act of not being able to see, but they would probably be unable to grasp the loneliness and isolation that occurs when the world is permanently cast into darkness. With Blind, Eskil Vogt has provided viewers with a thorough exploration of a woman and the ailment that confines her to her apartment. His character study is immensely thoughtful, and it allows the viewer to immerse oneself in an unusual new world.
With a scant running time of 76 minutes, Darkness by Day cannot afford to waste any time in revealing its story. Regardless of such tight constraints, though, the film spends most of its time on uninspired dialogue and vague character interactions. It claims to be a horror story, but its moments of fear are often too fleeting to have much of an effect.
When it comes to amour fou, no case may be more famous than that of the Lonely Hearts Killers. Two middle-aged lovers, Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, posed as brother and sister in order to con widows out of their money. Raymond would marry the women and attempt to gain control of their assets, but Martha always ended up killing them in a jealous rage. When they were finally caught, the two murderers mocked society for not understanding the purity of their love.
The lineup for the second wave of films at 2014’s 10th Annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas has arrived, and with it a potential Oscar contender, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. The film, a pulpy crime film about an embedded journalist (Jake Gyllenhaal), will make its U.S. premiere at the festival with Director and Writer Gilroy in …
Fantastic Fest 2014 is still a little over six weeks away, but the Austin-based festival just released its first wave of films. Some notable selections among this group include The Babadook, a horror film that received critical acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and The ABC’s of Death 2, a sequel to the divisive …