It's Christmas and the kids are home alone with their babysitter when “burglars” try and enter the house. However, it won't be a normal home invasion. Entertaining and with a twist no one saw coming, Safe Neighborhood was my favorite BIFFF movie and also won the Golden Raven for best picture.
Se-hyun thought he took a shortcut when going into the tunnel, but he didn't expect to be buried under a mountain of rubble after the collapse of a cement pipe. Just like with A Hard Day (BIFFF 2015), director Kim Seong-hun proves he's the Korean director with the best sense of humor while still managing to tell a gripping story and putting the media and government of his country into question. Winner of the Best Thriller Award of the 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures (1000 Cuts)
A heavily wounded terrorist takes a family hostage to hide out at their farm. Wanted by the police and hunted by a drug organization, his days are numbered. Imagine a combination of James Ellroy, Sam Peckinpah, and Korean crime and you'll come close to the multi-layered delight that is Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures.
Steve de Roover pays tribute to the Flemish horror cinema in this entertaining feature-length documentary. After seeing Forgotten Scares, you'll be able to call yourself an expert on Flemish horror movies.
When Kira's skin starts to age rapidly, she discovers she can replace her skin with somebody else's. Will she kill to remain her youth or will she watch her own body wither away? While the film suffers a little from an annoying secondary character and unnecessary explanations, there's a true cinematic vision behind Replace and a visual flair that will make many beginning directors jealous.
Imagine a mix between Garfield, Ted and Braindead made à la Pixar. That's Bad Cat. Based on the popular Turkish comics by Bülent Üstün, Bad Cat tries to be as vulgar, gruesome and cute as possible, all the while showing off its stunning, exceptional animation. Warning: animated animals were harmed during the making of this movie.
The Girl With All The Gifts
Many are calling this one of the best zombie movies of the decade. While the structure is similar to The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, and many other zombie stories, The Girl With All The Gifts innovates the genre on many other levels. Also, it's very well made and has some solid acting from Gemma Arterton and Glenn Close.
This 1988 cult movie by Harley Cokeliss got a re-release after it was lost for 20 years. A young woman about to be married has terrifying dreams about her husband and some unknown little girl. When she wakes, the demons are real and start killing the people around her. Watch Dream Demon for the curiosity that it is and to revive 1980s nostalgia, but don't expect a brilliant plot and acting.
Opinions are very much divided on this one. Some praise it as a future cult classic, while others hate it for its low budget and shameless copying of horror classics. The recipe is simple: take scenes from Hellraiser, The Beyond, From Beyond, and Precinct 13, add a dash of Lovecraft and Carpenter, mix well, and serve. The result is messy, but the look of the monsters and cult members is fascinating. By the way, if you like The Void, you will also like this story.
In the Dutch horror comedy Prey, a man-eating lion is stalking the streets of Amsterdam. While the lion could have been more convincing (due to lack of money), its imperfections don't really bother because the scenes in which the lion are featured are too fun to focus on the details (such as the lion attacking the passengers of a tram or chasing a pizza delivery boy along the canals of Amsterdam). Unfortunately, there are not enough lion scenes and the typical Dutch humor may not appeal to viewers outside of the Netherlands.
BIFFF movies that I saw that didn't make the top 10: Beyond the Gates (demons communicate through a VCR board game), From A House On Willow Street (South African demon story in the vein of Don't Breathe), Bloodlands (Albanian revenge film/family drama with a twist), Tonight She Comes (indie horror with the most stomach-churning scene of the year), Nails (a paralyzed woman has to deal with an evil ghost in her hospital room), The Icebreaker (Russian adventure film based on real events), A Dark Song (A woman who has lost her child works together with an occultist to perform a series of rituals that will eventually grant her what she wants, which is speaking to her child one last time), Another Evil (a man calls in an exorcist to help him get rid of the annoying ghost, but the exorcist turns out to be more annoying and persistent than the ghost itself), Kill Command (killer robots and sci-fi action), Eat Local (smart jokes mingle with puerile humor in this vampire movie directed by Jason Flemyng), Little Nightmares (abused children return after they went missing; when their abusers start humming a mysterious tune, they have only three days left to live), Robin (a woman claims she killed her aggressor, but the body is nowhere to be found), The Bar (a group of strangers is trapped inside a bar during a virus outbreak).
Did you see any movies at BIFFF? Any of these pique your interest?