Here are the films I got to see. What do you think are the best BIFFF moments?
The Fourth Kind claims to be a re-enactment of actual alien abduction cases which occurred in the northern Alaskan town of Nome. The film uses split screen techniques to show actress Milla Jovovich playing out specific situations alongside supposed documentary footage. The movie is intriguing as long as you believe that the documentary parts might be real, but once the story becomes farfetched the creepy atmosphere in the vein of The Mothman Prophecies dies out.
An entertaining mix between Cube, Saw and Home Alone. A burglar breaks into a chic mansion that has been turned into a lethal trap: machetes are sweeping through the air, knives are swinging from the chandeliers, and a murderer is lurking somewhere in the shadows. Best scene: the one with the cat.
Survival of the Dead has some good ideas, but George Romero brings nothing new to the genre. If you like his previous zombie movies (especially the latter ones), the might like Survival of the Dead as well.
I can understand why this movie gets so many awards at other fantastic film festivals and why Entertainment Weekly classified it among the 25 best zombie movies of all time. It's intriguing, fast-moving and higly original.
Daybreakers is so original that it reinvents the horror genre, but I never really got into the movie. From the Spierig Brothers (Undead).
I was a little suspicious about this fairy tale from director Neil Jordan, but I found myself being captivated by its beauty. Alicja Bachleda-Curus is perfect as the selkie.
The Human Centipede started as silly but entertaining and ended up as one of the most disgusting movies I've ever seen (even though everything is suggested instead of shown). These words are often used to describe almost any gore flick, but this was the first film where I felt nauseous watching it. The sequel to The Human Centipede is already in the making.
Another romantic film at the BIFFF. This time it's about a nifty, little gadget that can predict the day you will meet the love of your life and what you do when the timer of the person you fall in love with isn't indicating the same date. Timer is a clever comedy with a very high romance factor. Very much recommened for everyone who's into this type of film.
I have to admit that I've only watched half of this boring Dario Argento film about a serial killer. What happened to the Argento of Creepers, Trauma and The Stendhal Syndrome?
My friends found this Faust-like film too slow-paced and most of them even left before it was finished. I liked it though, especially the mysterious atmosphere, the look of the demons, and Jim Sturgess' touching performance.
A bloodthirsty monster terrorizes a poor family and its neighbours. All the elements are there to make a fun horror movie (monsters, witchcraft, black magic, an original social-realist setting), but we never really get to care for the characters and the story.
A deeply religious catholic priest turns into a vampire. I loved Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, but my mind just kept wandering off while watching Thirst.
Slow-moving actors, hardly any dialogue, misty images... Some people call this film hypnotic and overwhelmingly beautiful, others call it painfully boring and meaningless. Even though I have to admit that the images are gorgeous, that the atmopshere is dreamy and that there are several layers to the story, it's still a bit of a drag to sit through.
Very entertaining paint-by-numbers film about an orphan who manipulates her new family. The twist ending makes Orphan stand out. Winner of the BIFFF 2010.
Several inhabitants of an apartment building commit suicide in this Korean film about possession and black magic. Nothing special.
It looks like Serbian films are the new fad in today's horror cinema. I missed the best and most violent one at the BIFFF (A Serbian Film), but I had the chance to see the less stylish Life and Death of a Porno Gang. The first half of the film is pornography, the second half is about Serbians decapitating people with chainsaws. Weirdly enough, both A Serbian Film and Life and Death of a Porno Gang are about porn stars making snuff movies. It's common knowledge that the porn industry is very much alive in Serbia; who knows what else they are doing over there.
When Michael Winterbottom makes a film, we just know it's going to be good. This story about a killer who thinks he's clever in hiding the traces of his murders but who's actually the talk of the town, is no exception to his talent. With Casey Affleck, Elias Koteas, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Bill Pullman.
Fake documentary about the vampire community in Belgium. Vincent Lannoo takes place behind the camera and comes up with some very funny ideas... and some really annoying ones. The result is an unbalanced film that moves way too slow to be good.
I expected something more twisted from this remake of the 1973 George Romero classic about a biological weapon that turns the inhabitants of a small, American town into crazy, murderous people.Not really bad, but not good either.
Evil - In the Time of Heroes
The Greek zombie film Evil / To Kako was an immediate cult hit, even though it was extremely low budget. As the finances for the sequel Evil - In the Time of Heroes increased, the quality of the film improved as well. Some of the scenes look as if Guy Ritchie was behind the camera, but not the whole film is on the same level. Just the fact that the movie takes place in modern-day Athens, makes Evil - In the Time of Heroes worth watching.
What a brilliant movie this was! Everything was perfect about it. It reminded me a lot of the French movie Un prophète, but Celda 211 was more engaging than the latter. The movie received 8 Goya Awards (the Spanish Oscars) and a reward from the thriller jury at BIFFF.
I was hoping to find at least one good idea in The Detour - just one would have been enough - but all I got was a succession of clichés. The premise looked engaging though: a young couple takes a detour and ends up in the woods where a crazy family has installed dozens of surveillance cameras with the idea of tracking their human prey.
The closing film of the 28th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival pokes fun at the comic book superheroes. It's impossible not to laugh with Kick-Ass, although it doesn't deserve the buzz it currently gets. Based on Mark Millar's comic book series.
Special thanks to Patrick and Nadine from the RAZOR REEL FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL (RRFFF) for the pictures.