For some reason, I have always had an affinity with films revolving around cults. The psychology behind someone who can be brainwashed into following some self-appointed leader is a fascinating subject to explore. When you throw comedy into the mix it’s even better and such is the case with Riley Stearns’ Faults. With a breakout performance of Leland Orser, this small, dialogue driven dark comedy provides insight into the manipulation of a cult, while providing some hilarious bits of humor.
Here’s the trailer for the upcoming documentary Made in Japan, which will be making its premiere at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin. The film, directed by Josh Bishop and narrated by Elijah Wood, chronicles the life of Tomi Fujiyama, the first female
One of the crazier looking films to screen during the midnighters programming at this year’s SXSW is Jason Lei Howden‘s Deathgasm, which looks to contain just the right amount of comedy and over the top gore. The film revolves around two friends who
One of my favorite programs of SXSW has always been the midnighters lineup, and this year’s batch of genre flicks looks great as always, with highlights including Rodney Ascher‘s (Room 237) latest, The Nightmare, as well as Turbo Kid from the RKSS Collective.
Predestination is the latest adaptation from famed science fiction author Robert Heinlein who penned such classics as Starship Troopers and The Puppet Masters. Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, this mind bending time travel film features some very unique concepts, however many of the twists are too easily predicted despite some genuinely crazy things taking place. That being said, this does provide a very fresh spin on the quickly becoming overplayed time travel movie.
In theory, a story about a man who is trying not to poop for a week doesn’t sound like enough material for a feature length film. Fortunately, Angus Sampson’s The Mule proves that theory wrong by presenting a funny and incredibly gripping crime story. Sampson and co-writer Leigh Whannell (who also star in this film), have been firmly planted within the horror genre, however this release proves they can easily transition to any other type of film with ease.
Some people are willing to do anything for fame. Sleep with a producer, humiliate themselves on a reality show, or even sell their body to a creepy satan cult. In directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Starry Eyes, they explore that last one in great detail. This is slow burn horror at it’s best- slowly revealing itself to the audience before exploding into a torrent of carnage and mayhem. Featuring scenes of excessive creepiness and sparse bits of extreme violence, this is the perfect example of how horror movies used to be.
If one thing can be said about director Nacho Vigalondo, it’s that he’s always coming up with new and creative ways to tell stories. Timecrimes was one of the best time travel movies I’ve ever seen and might be one of my favorite thrillers of all time. Extraterrestrial brought a different take on the alien invasion movie, and now Open Windows, his first English-language film, takes a harsh look at technology and obsession. The film is told entirely through a computer screen, which doesn’t seem like something that could hold one’s attention for an hour and a half, but somehow Vigalondo throws in enough suspense and twists to keep everyone glued to the screen.
Jack Plotnick’s Space Station 76 is a science fiction comedy that takes place in the future as it was imagined back in the ‘70s. This goofy idea lends itself to a bevy of funny gags that poke fun at the time period and how the future was represented. While it mostly acts as a straight comedy, there is a serious undercurrent flowing beneath the mustaches and feathered hairdos. This slightly dark edge makes the film much more rewarding than a straight-up spoof. Basically, Space Station 76 is like the ‘70s sci-fi version of Wet Hot American Summer, which means it’s hilarious, smart and super fun.
Leigh Jankiak’s directorial debut, Honeymoon, is an interesting blend of psychological and supernatural horror that provides both intrigue and some incredibly disturbing imagery. As the film moves on, I found myself completely enthralled in what was happening to the main characters, and was continuously guessing what weird horror was about to spring next.
Director Nicholas McCarthy exploded onto the scene back in 2012 with his festival hit The Pact, which was a fantastically creepy little horror flick. Now, his next movie, At The Devil's Door, is set come out, but it unfortunately doesn’t achieve the same level of originality or suspense as his previous film. It’s a humdrum supernatural thriller that favors jump scares over any real tension and while it starts off intriguing, it quickly devolves into a mostly boring series of horror clichés.
This week, on a special episode of the podcast, Adam welcomes special guests Leigh Janiak, director of Honeymoon, and Travis Stevens, producer of Starry Eyes, to talk about some highlights from this year’s SXSW Festival.
The audience award winners have been announced for this year’s SXSW festival, which is wrapping up today. Shawn Christensen‘s Before I Disappear won for the Narrative Feature Competition and Diana Whitten‘s Vessel picked up the award for Documentary Competition.