Monday, 22 June 2009

Worldwide Short Film Festival - "Midnight Mania: Creepy"

This would have been a more effective set of films had I actually been in the theatre with an audience watching them at the midnight screening, but alone in your dark basement (this is just not my wife's cup of tea to say the least) still allows for some unsettling moments.

One note: Just go ahead and assume that none of the video clips are safe for work and we'll all be much happier...

The Intruder (directed by Mikael Kreuzrigler) - The twist isn't overly surprising and some of the ghost images aren't very original, but the film is very adept at making you constantly shift your focus all over the screen for clues or hints of what is to come next. Add to that a couple of good jump scares and some other eerie moments and you have a very well done film that was a great opener.

Out Of Control (Fuera de Control) (directed by Sofia Carrillo) - Beautiful and creepy. Think long form Tool video and you're getting close to the feel of this stop motion animation film. I can't deny the artistry, but it simply didn't captivate me after the first couple of minutes and became rather dull. Geez, I feel bad for even saying that considering the amount of work and creativity on hand.

Laura Panic (directed by Adam Wingard) - You can accomplish a lot in 3 minutes and Wingard is able to convey character history, empathy, humour and some rather disturbing turns of event all within that time frame.

Here's the entire 3 minute film:

Mom (Mama) (directed by Andy Muschietti) - There are a couple of extraordinarily effective scenes in this film, but they wouldn't be quite as effective if the tension built from the start hadn't already put you on the edge of your seat. You may know where it's going, but the ride is a lot of fun.

Breed (Dos manos zurdas y un racimo de ojos manchados de gris) (directed by Antonio Trashorras) - Billed as a tribute to 70s Giallo films (though perhaps not completely successful in that regards), Trashorras (one of the writers of Guillermo Toro's "The Devil's Backbone") keeps you wondering as to whether the central female character's point of view is accurate or not. Most horrifying of all is the thought that an abusive husband may pass along those same tendencies to his son.

Here's the entire 20 minute film:

Full Employment (Arbeit für alle) (directed by Matthias Vogel) - A great little zombie film wrapped inside what initially appears to be a day in the life of a volunteer helper for old people. He just happens to be helping a zombie killer on this particular day.

Here's the trailer (no subtitles, but you should get the gist of it):

The Chest (Sandik) (directed by Can Evrenol) - A rather terrifying concept that is - if I'm being honest - completely bungled. The film manages to make you very curious as to what is in the chest a young boy is pulling. Even with some poor quality camera work, you're still waiting to see the reveal and can't help but wonder why this boy is bringing the chest to this particular family. Unfortunately, once the blood and guts start flowing, it loses any kind of tension or even reference point. It really felt like the director had just learned how to create gore and just can't help himself...He doesn't even seem to care why it's flowing.

Boob (directed by Honest) - "Boob on the loose! Boob on the loose!". I think that's all I really to say, isn't it?

Here's the trailer:

Dara (directed by The MO Brothers (Timo Tjahjanto, Kimo Tjahjanto)) - I can't help but steal the basic marketing pitch already used elsewhere for this film - "Audition" meets "Saw". That pretty much describes this Indonesian effort in a nutshell. Dara's skills in the kitchen are matched only by her way with men and she seems to have found the perfect way to combine them both...

Here's the trailer:

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