Sunday’s opening film The Pack, which apparently raised more interest than just from the dead. We slept in for that one so made it in only to discover the screen was full for the film on the agenda, so instead sat through Andy Nyman’s Quiz From Hell and gave a half hearted attempted to write down a few answers.
After this frankly embarrassing attempt on Filmwerk’s behalf to be all knowledgeable about horror films the Short Film Showcase started which hosted 14 films of varying quality. It opened with a quite effective but ear piercingly loud La Madre from Spain. Among the horror was plenty of comedy mixed in. Highlights there included Papa Wrestling (probably the most hilarious, and for anyone who was ever bullied at school) and Dead Hungry (a humorous take on Night of the Living Dead). Less effective were Bon Appétit which wasn’t nearly as funny as it thinks it is (more mildly amusing in a dated way) and Red Balloon which sadly doesn’t amount to much by its end which happens all too abruptly. Part of the problem is the over stylized (hello David Fincher fan) way it was shot. Perhaps the biggest response was for one of the weirdest films being Nelly and Lio which I can’t even begin to describe. It’s in French and it is barmy fun!
Taking a break from the big screen, I headed to the Discovery Screen (or Disco screen as it is affectionately known) to catch a New Zealand flick called Wound. Suffice to say I was a different person when I walked back out. If you love real head game cinema with elements of horror and the grotesque mixed in with smaller elements of the fairytale then this is for you. Never an easy watch and not making a heck of a lot of sense, but there is still something quite wonderful in the way that director David Blyth works.
Next up was Damned By Dawn which started off promisingly enough as a more ghostly version of Evil Dead, but soon became a rather laughable effort. The effects were poor, the constant screaming (by a badly made up character that spends her existence screaming loudly for prolonged periods) soon grates the mind in a teeth gritting manner. Yes, Damned By Dawn could well be the biggest disaster of a horror film at the festival, well it would be if we had already forgotten about 13 Hrs.
Still that was more than made up for by the inclusion of Buried starring Hollywood man of the moment Ryan (I haven’t starred in enough comic book movies yet) Reynolds. Yes 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a box for all you lusty women who’d love to kidnap him yourselves and keep him that way. What impresses are two things here. One: we never leave the box. From start to finish we are in that box with him all the way, and it’s the director who manages to work this magic. Two: Reynold’s performance. I don’t know if awards bodies are looking for early contenders but we have one right here.
The day ended with the highly talked about The Loved Ones, but we had to skip that in favour of a proper night’s sleep in order to be in full attendance of the final day.