Friday, September 7th 2012
First day with quite a lot of movies to watch (and now to review), one of the last get-more-than-5-hours-sleep days, but quite some nice late-summer weather. Even if this was spent in the comfortable Cinedom multiplex cinema 6 and 9.
What became apparent was that for a Friday after/night there weren’t so many “normal” movie-goers. Last year long queues and nearly-sold-out screenings were synonymous with the festival. Now either the weather was the reason, or people got fed up after last year’s bad selection of movies. Either way it sure was going to be an interesting day with good movies to look forward to.
No Tell Motel
(USA 2012, director: Brett Donowho)
A group of friends (one more stupid than the other) find themselves in an abandoned motel and are confronted by its horrible past, haunting-style.
What’s even more horrible and hauntingly bad: acting, no suspense, not remotely scary. The good thing: It’s so bad it’s actually quite entertaining to watch one stupid scene after another. In no way original, at least at the end there is an interesting twist, even though by then it’s too late to make any sense. Still worth watching for worst-character-actions-and-motivations-scenes and unintentionally funny dialogues.
(USA 2011, director: Douglas Aarniokoski)
In a post-apocalyptic world, a small group of survivors defends themselves in a house against other survivors for reasons soon to be revealed.
A very simple premise and story, it suffers a bit from rather dull character exposition and development, which makes it hard to identify with. On the plus side, cinematography shows a bleak world and sets a depressing tone, even if it takes some time (20 minutes or so) at the beginning for the action to kick in. Action scenes are quite brutal and graphic, even though there’s not much else going on. Good atmosphere and a rather unexpected ending don’t make up for lacklustre storytelling.
The Suicide Shop
(France, Canada, Belgium 2012, director: Patrice Leconte, original title: Le magasin des suicides)
Desperate, depressing times with people committing suicide all day long in a big city demand the right tools to do it. Enter: The shop which has it all…but it soon has to deal with a young boy who is too happy for the family business and embraces life too much.
Even if the title suggests the blackest humor and depressing scenes, the movie only has half of those. More like promoting the will to lead a beautiful life and be happy, the cutboard-like animation (3D actually does look nice and adds some depth to it, compared to many other animated films these days) draws a colorful picture of the opportunites of life. Still many not-politically-correct scenes and black humor to keep the Anti-Disney crowd interested, it’s a nice rainy-afternoon movie to watch, even if there’s a bit too much singing at some points. Beware: It’s very Disney-like in that respect.
(Netherlands 2012, director: Arne Toonen)
A former mafia employee wakes up one day before his wedding to find a dead body in his bed. Not only being chased by the police, he also has to find some lost cocaine for a very angry mob boss…and get ready for the wedding.
Nothing new in the general plot outline and using similar weird characters from Pulp Fiction and Guy-Ritchie-movies, it can still stand on its own. No idleness, very good and funny dialogues, one twist and surprise after another, fast-paced action scenes, interesting characters, this is even recommended for people (like me) who don’t usually go for that crime scenario. Everything fits together: suspense, humor, characters, plot. One of the big surprises of this festival and hopefully getting a home cinema (if not theatrical) release very soon.
(USA 2011, director: Joseph Kahn)
A killer is on the loose at a highschool, killing only the cheerleaders and jocks, and only during detention time will the outcasts of the school find the true identity.
Even if it takes a little time to get used to the fast-spoken dialogues and many slapstick/over-the-top comic scenes (reminiscent of the first Scary Movie), it all comes together as an amazing mix of pop-cultural references (at the same time poking fun at high-school society), teenie-comedy (John-Hughes-like), horror (even if it’s rather toned-down violence) and other genres.
There doesn’t appear to be much of a story at the beginning, but how the characters and plots all fit and fall together, is something quite unique, if one doesn’t have a problem with the many-jokes-references-per-minute attitude. Another mad-movie-experience not to be missed, and definitely worth watching more than once to get (nearly) all the references.