29 July 2007

The Signal
(USA, 2007) ☆☆☆☆☆

This has to be the best movie I saw at Fantasia, and the best horror movie I have seen this year so far. The movie is divided into three parts, or "transmissions" as they call them, each written and directed by three different directors (David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry). It's all about the "signal" transmitted by television, which somehow affects people and causes them to go crazy and kill everyone around them. One day TV stations go off and instead a strange humming noise is emitted from every station, causing people to engage in a killing spree. We follow the lives of a group of people in New York and how they try to escape from all the madness going on around them. There is even some comedy (something i hate in horror movies, but here I must say it works perfectly).

The movie kicks some serious ass if you ask me. It is an insanely audacius experiment and apparently it became one of the most popular films at this year's Sundance festival within seconds of its screening. This is for me absolute entertainment, definitely a must-see for every horror movie fan.
Fantasia Festival 2007

For this year's Fantasia festival, here is a list of the 9 movies I went to see:

1. Offscreen (Denmark)
2. The Signal (USA)
3. Right At Your Door (USA)
4. Diary (Hong Kong)
5. Hatchet (USA)
6. Zero City (Russia)
7. Mulberry Street (USA)
8. Nightmare Detective (Japan)
9. The Rage (USA)

reviews coming soon...

23 July 2007

The Bridesmaid

(La Demoiselle d'Honneur) France, 2004 ☆☆☆☆

Director Claude Chabrol has the ability to tell original mystery stories. They are mostly tales about murderers caught in strange situations. And this is exactly the case of "the Bridesmaid", in which a young and successful businessman falls in love with one of the bridesmaids at his sister's wedding. In the meantime, his widow mom is dating a lonely and rich man who suddenly disappears. The story then goes back to our businessman, who falls madly in love with the bridesmaid, who by the way starts questioning him regarding his love towards her and what he will be able to do for her, even murder. We soon find out she is a little crazy; she owns a three-story house but decides to live only in the basement; he says she is an actress but does not seem to do anything all day. When one day she comes back and tells our businessman that she has killed the rich guy to prove her love to him, things start to fall apart. As always, the second half of the movie picks up and is far more interesting and bizarre. The ending, not a happy one, as in most of Chabrol's movies, will surely surprise you.

20 July 2007

The Last Blues

("Az Utolso Blues", Hungary, 2002) ☆☆☆

Director Peter Gardos tells us the story of Andris, whose life suddenly changes one day when he leaves Budapest and goes to visit his lover in Krakow. For a mysterious reason the brakes on his car would not work, and we see him calling on the phone to almost everyone and half of the film is spent inside his brand-new Seat car. At the end, both his wife and lover meet at a restaurant, and he must decide whether to keep his family life or go live with his Polish girlfriend.

19 July 2007

The Last Days (USA, 2005) ☆☆

Director Gus van Sant tells the story of the last couple of days in the life of singer Kurt Cobain. As in many of van Sant's films, there are extremely long shots, very little dialogue, major emphasis on cinematography and little explanation as to what is happening in the scenes. I just wonder if Kurt's last days were as sad as what we see on screen.

06 July 2007

The Abandoned (Spain, 2007) ☆☆

Spanish director Nacho Cerda is known for his shocking movies. Barely known in his native country, Cerda shot his last movie in English and it has got some distribution in North America. With The Abandoned, he tells the story of a woman in search of her past. She travels to a farmhouse in Russia, where she was born. Of course the place is haunted, what else. Her mother and stepdad appear as vicious zombies trying to kill her. With the help Nicolai (who according to his version of the story is the woman's brother) they try to uncover the hidden truth. The plot is somewhat predictable, and instead of running away from the haunted house, they just change from one room to another or run in the forest while being chased by the spirit of whoever lived in the farmhouse. Predictable with some good scares, nothing more.

04 July 2007

(Thailand, 2004 ) ☆☆☆☆

Imagine everytime you take pictures there is a ghost that appears in the background. It does not sound very original, but the plot of this movie sounds better: a couple is driving on the road at night and suddenly hit a girl who crosses the road. Instead of stepping off the car and helping, they live her lying on the road. Unfortunately for them, the spirit of the girl will take revenge and start appearing in their pictures. By the way, the guy is a professional photographer, isn't he lucky?

The plot gets a little more complicated; apparently the photographer had a relationship with this girl. In the meantime, she stalks his girlfriend, plays polstergeist in his appartment and gives the audience some pretty good scary moments.

In one scene, we see a collection of photographs of supposedly "real" ghost apparitions. Let me tell you they look damn scary! All in all, the movie delivers good scary scenes and a decent plot makes it interesting to watch.