FNC 2017 : KFC (Vietnamese horror film)

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for Cinetalk.net

A plain black screen warns in white typeface that the following characters and occurrences are fictional. This is followed by two subsequent warnings that nothing within this feature bears resemblance to real events. The disclaimer is in place for a reason, and Cinetalk would like to express its own. Discretion is definitely advised. This will not sit well with most audiences, but for those who can handle gratuitous gore and raunchy violence, there is some form of payoff.

To generalize, Le Binh Giang’s KFC is a splatter film about cannibalism, which is neither excused nor elaborated in terms of the participants’ motivation. If we put that aside for a moment, what we have is a tale about a very dysfunctional family, possibly due to generations of violence. The timeline jumps around. In consequence, it manages to confuse the viewer about Continue reading

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FNC 2017 : Black Hollow Cage ( Spain)

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for Cinetalk.net

Most reviews of Spanish director Sadrac Gonzalez-Pelleron’s second feature film, Black Hollow Cage will probably revolve around the sci-fi element of a mysterious black box. In fact, the film is more about human grief and the quest for forgiveness.

The action takes place in a vaguely futuristic home set in an environment where architecture and nature coexist. There is a parallel between the black box out there and the one the protagonists inhabit, with its sleek dark walls fabricated out of what appears to be a hybrid of dark stained wood and tarnished metal. In the opening sequence, tinny squeaks and percussion of mundane objects such as cupboard doors or a plate making contact with a countertop, stand out against the otherwise auditory tranquility. Banal sounds resonate while the chirping of birds is ever-present off screen. A similar sound dynamic appears to highlight Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: The House of the Disappeared (South Korea, 2017)

 

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

Lim Dae-Woong’s The House of the Disappeared is a remake of The House at the End of Time (2013, Alejandro Hidalgo), which showed at Fantasia in 2014. Lim’s version is as well done as the original, but not treated in an identical manner. The original is a psychological suspense story, and is good at building anticipation in a quiet, creeping manner. It doesn’t have much frill or special effects. Lim’s creation is more of a horror-thriller, and therefore throws in a few expected Hollywood style jump-scares, and certain stylistic ‘staged’ sets (such as very decoratively arranged cobwebs). However, the director claims to be a funny guy, and added a few lighter, silly moments to Continue reading

The Bad Batch [USA, 2O16]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

The Bad Batch follow the trials and tribulations of a [mostly] unnamed female protagonist in a cordoned-off section of Texas treated as some sort of laissez faire penal colony, where a bunch of genderfluid body builders survive off cannibalizing their prisoners. The Bad Batch is like a mean Escape from New York in the desert which somehow aims to address ethics and the social construction of morality but which gets distracted by babes, hunks, drugs and romance. The Bad Batch is full of style, attitude and personality, but is emotionally all over the place and narratively meandering. Parts of The Bad Batch are boring and pretentious, and yet it is a film with some new and interesting ideas and memorable characters. A standout scene features the demi-cannibalized protagonist suffering silently through some body-image issues, but like a wandering Philip K Dick book, it might be more enjoyable to remember the interesting parts of this film months from now than to actually enjoy yourself while watching it.

The main character [Suki Waterhouse [Love, Rosie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies]—who says one line in the first half hour, and whose name is revealed only about twenty minutes from the end—serves as Continue reading

It Comes at Night (USA – 2017) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

It Comes at Night is Trey Edward Shults’ second feature starring Joel Edgerton (Black mass, Midnight special) Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Alien: Covenant) and Christopher Abbott (A most violent year, James White)

A world threat, coming under the form of a virulent disease, forces a family to isolate itself under a set of rules. The sudden arrival of another family seeking refuge puts their domestic order and empathy to test.

It Comes at Night is your behind closed doors – let-them-come-I’m ready- minimalist take on the end of civilization. It shares the pessimistic views on the subject of pictures like Time of the Wolf (2003), The Road (2009) Take Shelter (2011) and countless others. It pretty much covers known territories to film buffs of the 21st century, basically making honest and efficient use of what looks like a shoestring budget. Yet it is not totally successful in Continue reading