Two children don't recognize their mother when she comes home after plastic surgery. They torture her to get her to confess that she's not their real mother. However, the children, too, have a dark secret.
Goodnight Mommy was the best film I saw at BIFFF 2015. I didn't think much of the "twist" at the end, though. Luckily, I figured it out after five minutes so I could focus on all the brilliant things the film had to offer: an intense atmosphere, classy and inspired images, and an overall hypnotic plot.
The BIFFF catalogue described Spring as a mix between Richard Linklater and H.P. Lovecraft. It doesn't sound like a good match, but it works perfectly. The story is about a young man who meets the girl of his dreams while vacationing in Italy. We follow them from date to date as they dine by candlelight at beachfront restaurants, visit museums, and go on road trips together. However, the girl suffers from a strange 'physical condition', one that will test the genuineness of their bond. A feel good horror film with dreamy Italian locations.
This cool werewolf movie takes its cue from Silver Bullet (Daniel Attias, 1985). While it's not a horror film that will change the genre in terms of originality, it doesn't do anything wrong either. Late Phases is a very efficient classic monster movie with well-developed characters, thematic depth, a fast pace, an entertaining storyline, and a bunch of cool werewolves.
A self-help guru tries to assist a cult victim while he is the one who needs help. Does free will really exist? Do we all have to possibility to transform? Faults is a perfect example of characterization and mood setting. Simple, but engrossing.
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau
Directed by Steven Gregory, this documentary focuses on the nightmare that became Richard Stanley's The Island of Dr. Moreau. Stanley had spent several years adapting the book and visualizing the film, but soon after the shooting started, he was replaced by John Frankenheimer. From then on, Lost Soul turns from a tragic story into a farce. Whereas Val Kilmer tarnished the atmosphere on set with his pretentiousness, Marlon Brando made it his mission to sabotage the project by making the most ludicrous demands. And Frankheimer? He just wanted to finish the damn job, so he agreed with all this silliness. The result is one of the worst movies in history.
A Hard Day
Are you having a hard day? Think again. It's probably not half as bad as that of detective Go Geon-soo. In less than 24 hours, he receives a divorce notice, his mother dies, his co-workers are accused of embezzlement, he commits a fatal hit and run, he hides his victim's corpse in his mother's coffin, and he gets a call from a mysterious man who claims to have witnessed the crime. A Hard Day is a hilarious and well-made Korean thriller.
Do you want to make a movie, but is money an issue? Maybe you should get married and ask for money instead of wedding presents. It's exactly how Oliver Frampton funded his first movie, The Forgotten. He tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who is forced to squat with his father in an empty London council estate. When he hears strange noises coming from the abandoned flat next door, he decides to enter to find out what's going on. Smart, stylish, and creepy.
This giant-wasps-attacking-a-garden-party-movie reminded me a lot of Ticks (Tony Randel, 1993) and Rabid Grannies (Emmanuel Kervyn, 1988), but never equaled their entertainment value. Nevertheless, Stung was a fun horror flick, mainly because the wasps were giant from the start and well made. I also loved the idea that they hatched inside people and then split them open before emerging.
From The Dark
A young couple embarks on a road trip through the Irish countryside. They stumble upon a monster that attacks only when it's dark. Conor McMahon from Stitches won't change the genre with From the Dark. Therefore, the plot is too basic, but McMahon knows how to entertain and keep the audience's attention.
The idea for The Cobbler is original: whenever cobbler Max Simpkin (Adam Sandler) puts on his clients' shoes, he takes over their identity and appearance. It's silly at times and The Cobbler definitely stretches your boundaries of disbelief, but there were scenes where I couldn't stop laughing.
Seen at BIFFF, but didn't make the top ten
Burying the Ex, Haemoo, III, No Tears For The Dead, Blood Moon, Greatful Dead, German Angst, Hollow, The Great Hypnotist, The House at the End of Time, Viy, and Big Game.