As far as colour versions of the Henry James story The Turn of the Screw go, this isn't bad at all. Jack Clayton's THE INNOCENTS will probably never be bettered, but this is a fine, atmospheric, and above all passionate interpretation of the James story, with measured performances and some excellent imagery. Setting the story on a coffee plantation allows for some original, but entirely appropriate, touches in this Brazilian picture. I just hope the subtitles get a bit of a polish before any formal disc release.
Alternate title: The Nightgoers (sorry)
Fiona Dourif and her husband who ‘just wants to be in a band’ celebrate their second wedding anniversary by hiking off into the woods, not knowing that their planned route runs through monsters and Jake Busey. This one’s a slow burner but the climax is a Machenesque keeper. Deserves sticking with, and director Patrick Rea is a lovely chap whose enthusiasm for the genre shines through in his work.
Alternate Title: In the Woods
Not sure about this one. It’s well made and some of the imagery, especially the really trippy bits, is excellent. But the plot is all over the place. Tagged as LIMITLESS meets AMERICAN PSYCHO, this is sort of both of those, but with a few too many plotlines going on for its own good. Not a disaster by any means, but by the time you reach the end you may well feel a little frustrated that it isn’t rather more satisfying.
Alternate Title: A Clockwork Pineapple
Night of Something Strange
The spirit of Peter Jackson’s BAD TASTE is straining to be emulated in this, but unfortunately it’s a bit too much bad and too little taste (and a lot of straining). Body fluids of every description, vomit-filled toilet bowls, bloodstained tampons and condoms plus talking vagina dentata and absurd prosthetic penises all vie for comedy space amidst the zombie mayhem of this one. Despite all that, this one feels a lot too amateurish for much of it to work, and there are plenty of opportunities for comedy that are sadly missed. One for strong stomachs and no sense of taste whatsoever.
Alternate Title: Night of the Living Dead Bums, Willies and Other Rude Things
What Frightfest is all about for me - a raving mad Mexican subtitled movie with a thunderous music score and a healthy sense of genre heritage that I wouldn't get to see anywhere else. Why are the people convening on a remote bus station during a rainstorm all growing beards and turning into the same man? Is it the rain? A government experiment? I’ll leave you to find out. Absolutely one of the highlights of the festival so far.
Alternate Title: Facial Hair - Everywhere!