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    The Beginners Guide to Fantastic Fest

    Is this your first year attending Fantastic Fest? Are you lost in a sea of options? Do you have no clue where to turn because all your friends and family are watching the latest Kardashian escapade instead of attending the most epic film festival in existence? Don’t worry you’re safe here. For your ultimate guidebook, […] More

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    Katie’s Top 5 films to see at Fantastic Fest 2015

    When people think of a film festival’s must see flicks, most are geared towards the films with the largest following and the biggest marketing campaign. But then again this is Fantastic Fest. The final frontier of rebel festivals that goes against the grain of all that mainstream hoopla. A great example of the Fantastic spirit, […] More

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    Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘Nightcrawler’ is undone by a clumsy approach to satire

    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. More

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    Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘Cub’ succeeds when it embraces the craziness of its premise

    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. More

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    Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ is a dreadfully uninspired slasher film

    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. More

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    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. More

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    Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘When Animals Dream’ brings a gripping atmosphere to this coming-of-age story

    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. More

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    Fantastic Fest 2014: ‘ABCs of Death 2’ is always watchable but rarely memorable

    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. More

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