5 items from 2017
This year’s South by Southwest lineup was surprisingly vacant of scare-focused horror – Midnighters selection included – but Lake Bodom lessened the sting of such programming. Taneli Mustonen’s Finnish thriller is an old-school slasher turned upside-down, happily defying perceptions that drive generic genre constructs. It’s based on an actual 1960s cold-case, where four campers were carved up in their tent (three died, one lived) – yet this is no retelling. Mustonen and co-writer Aleksi Hyvärinen adopt one of many floated media theories as fact, and mold a hellish camping trip around the discussed hypothesis. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. That doesn’t make Lake Bodom any less interesting.
It all starts as many teenage slashers do. Two boys – Elias (Mikael Gabriel) and Atte (Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä) – and two attractive females – Nora (Mimosa Willamo) and Ida (Nelly Hirst-Gee) – head off on a weekend getaway. The girls think they »
- Matt Donato
France has a rich history of horror. There’s the sadomasochistic novels of the Marquis de Sade as well as the blood and guts of Grand Guignol theatre. In cinema, the horror lineage runs deep. There’s Georges Méliès’ shorts and trick films (The Haunted Castle , The Four Troublesome Heads ); the eye-slicing of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929); Georges Franju’s nauseating documentary on slaughterhouses, Blood of the Beasts (1949), as well as his clinical and poetic Eyes Without a Face (1960); there’s Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nasty Diabolique (1955); and the rotting poetry of Jean Rollin’s collective work. Flash forward a few decades, to the mid-1990s and 2000s, where we find the intense and brutal "New French Extremity" films by Philippe Grandrieux, Bruno Dumont, Gaspar Noé, Marina de Van, and others. And there are the genre filmmakers creating work around the same time as the more »
Colin Geddes, an international programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, is stepping down after two decades at Tiff. Geddes was responsible for programming the festival’s Midnight Madness and Vanguard sections. Geddes’ programming associate Peter Kuplowsky will take over the role of Tiff programmer for Midnight Madness.
Read More: Why Tiff’s Midnight Madness Program Attracts Cinephiles From Around the World Every Year
Geddes will continue his work as curator for the horror streaming service Shudder, and serve as co-artistic director of the historic Royal Cinema in Toronto with his wife Katarina Gligorijević. He will also continue working as an executive producer and consulting producer. Some of his recent producing credits include the horror-thriller “Replace,” which will screen for buyers at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market, the 2014 documentary “Why Horror?” and the comedy-drama “He Never Died” starring Henry Rollins.
Geddes joined Tiff in 1997 after being hired »
- Graham Winfrey
James McAvoy possesses multiple personalities in an ambitious supernatural thriller that could nonetheless do with a few scares
I’m in two minds about M Night Shyamalan’s multiple personality thriller. On the one hand, thanks to James McAvoy’s agility juggling the many people who inhabit the head of Kevin Wendell Crumb, it marks a definite return to form for Shyamalan. On the other, as with so many of the convoluted high concepts that he grapples with, there’s a laboured quality to the storytelling, as if the screenplay is always running to catch up with the ambition of the conceit.
Although there is less of the visceral brutality of Alexandre Aja’s Switchblade Romance, there is something of that film’s oppressive threat here. The three girls kidnapped by two of Kevin’s renegade personalities are imprisoned in a set designer’s dream job – a network of subterranean »
- Wendy Ide
Paris – Daouda Coulibaly’s Mali-set “Wulu,” Sebastian Marnier’s “Faultless”and Thomas Kruithof’s “The Eavesdropper” form part of a gaggle of crime thrillers and sci-fi/fantasy movies unspooling at the 19th UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, France’s annual national film showcase.
In volume, they do not represent the most numerous film type at that market; that crown belongs to comedies, accounting for 32 of the 76 movies screening there. But some of the crime thrillers are among the best-reviewed films at Rendez-Vous.
“Who doesn’t love a good sociopath? In novelist-director Sébastien Marnier’s feature debut “Faultless,” he conjures up a doozy,” Variety wrote, calling “The Eavesdropper” (aka “Scribe”) “a timely political thriller told with flair” and “Wulu” “an auspicious debut.”
- John Hopewell
5 items from 2017
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