Old Flame shows promise through its lean three-act structure, and compelling cast but ultimately abandons something more for the same ole same ole.
The Domestic merges supernatural horror with wealthy people’s fear that the hired help is out to get them, building dread and claustrophobia with each scene.
Sung Kang’s Shaky Shivers shines with zany humor. With an oddball cast, plot and music this wacky film is an outlandish send up for ’80s-loving adults.
V/H/S/99 delivers a roller coaster of hellbent mayhem with five tales of paranormal, satanic, monstrous delight. A fun lights-off watch for the spooky season.
Deer Camp ‘86, directed by L. VanDyke Sibouotszen and written by Bo Hansen and Riley Taurus, playing at Screamfest, follows a set of men on a great outdoors trip for hunting season. Their journey turns into a fight for survival against a supernatural assailant. With dreadful acting and abrupt tonal shifts, the movie is akin to Pumpkinhead without the entertainment. Deer Camp ‘86 is a tortuous viewing experience despite its short 85–minute runtime.
Nightsiren, playing at Fantastic Fest, is a folk horror gem surrounding a young woman’s return to a small village she fled as a child. Directed by Teresa Nvotová and written by Nvotová and Barbora Namerova, the film is another slow-burn style, filled with analysis of patriarchal oppression. Filled with atmospheric suspense and tense acting, Nightsiren keeps you on your toes as to what is real and what is superstition.
Missing, also called Sagasu, delivers a subdued thriller playing at Fantastic Fest, where even the violent moments are unnaturally quiet. Directed by Shinzô Katayama and written by Katayama, Kazuhisa Kotera, and Ryô Katada, Missing starts with a father, Harada (Jirô Satô), struggling with his daughter, Kaede (Aoi Itô), after the death of his wife. In debt, Harada pursues a serial killer for a reward, but Kaede searches for him when he disappears. Filled with unexpected turns, Missing expands its thriller with drama, moments of levity, and a philosophical current regarding life and death.
From Dutch to Next Exit, I enjoy a good road trip movie. Even moreso when it takes an approach that I have not seen. Unidentified Objects, directed by Juan Felipe Zuleta and written by Zuleta and Leland Frankel, playing at Fantastic Fest, delivers. The story, during the pandemic, follows Peter (Matthew Jeffers), a testy little person offered money by Winona (Sarah Hay), a sex worker determined to keep her date of departure with aliens, who needs his car. Unidentified Objects focuses on the road trip themes of growth and shines as a poignant movie that makes you look inward and upward.
The music is sometimes dramatic, creating a camp atmosphere instead of horror, but the line between good and evil blurs. Everyone Will Burn is one of the few movies you root for the devil.
The Witch 2: The Other One (also known as The Witch: Part 2. The Other One) playing at Fantasia Festival, expands on the story in the first film and adds more of the fight sequences that shocked viewers. Written and directed by Park Hoon-jung the film adds a new overpowered girl to the mix. But the girl (Shin Sia) does not need her hands to deliver a beatdown that her opponent’s ancestors feel. Adding onto the story that riveted audiences with more comedy, booming action, and world expansion, The Witch 2: The Other One surpasses the first film in many ways.