Here Comes the Devil

Joseph Gordon Levitt in MYSTERIOUS SKIN

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Mysterious Skin Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Brian (Brady Corbet) played Little League together when they were kids, but they were never really friends. They drifted even further apart as they grew up, and a decade later they’re complete strangers. The two do share a secret though, one that has shaped them into the troubled young men they’ve become. I’ve meant to watch Gregg Araki‘s acclaimed film for years now, and now that I finally have I’m happy to say my expectations have been exceeded. It’s a haunting tale of innocence lost that delivers a powerful emotional punch as their two stories unfold. It’s not a matter of mystery as to what exactly transpires, but seeing the two deal with their past in such varied and self-damaging ways is frequently heartbreaking. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews, gallery, commentary, deleted scenes, audition tapes, trailer]

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Here-Comes-the-Devil

Listen up, kids. If there’s one thing horror movies have ever taught us, it’s that you never, ever go exploring. Notice I didn’t specify where; I mean that if you go exploring anywhere in the world, especially – oh my god, especially – in a creepy abandoned cave, you’re probably going to get murdered or terrorized in some way. The trailer for Adrian Garcia Bogliano‘s Here Comes the Devil has popped up to drive that point home by telling the story of two plucky preteen siblings who get the great idea to go hiking in the cave-riddled Tijuana mountainside. When they reappear after a night lost in the caves, something’s not right. The kids are acting funny, and keep saying “devil this” and “devil that,” so their parents try to do everything they can to find out what happened that awful night. The trailer is rightfully horrifying, as children + the devil always = guaranteed gore. Someone is going to die in an untimely manner. Interestingly, though, for a film about possessed children, there is a whole lot of gratuitious sex and boobs shown in under two minutes. Is this going to be campier than it’s letting on? Check out the NSFW, English-subtitled trailer here:

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Kicking off this week with its Opening Night Gala for Hitchcock, Hollywood’s own AFI FEST effectively wraps up the year’s film festival-going season (a season that lasts approximately eleven months). Such calendar placement means that AFI FEST comes late enough in the year to serve as a last hurrah for titles that have been playing the festival circuit as far back as January (at Sundance) or as far away as France, Berlin, and Venice, and is the perfect opportunity for Southern California-based film geeks (or those willing to put some miles on their passport) to catch up on films they’ve been anticipating for months. Of course, of the 136 films playing at this year’s festival, we’ve managed to catch nearly a fifth of them at other fests, and we’re quite pleased to use this opportunity to remind you as such. Confused over what to see at the festival? Be confused no more! After the break, jog your memories of our always-extensive festival coverage with reviews for twenty-eight films set to play at this week’s AFI FEST that we’ve already seen (and, you know, reviewed). It’s like getting your festival coverage whole days early!

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Here Comes the Devil

For Fantastic Fest year 7, director Adrian Garcia Bogliano brought his feature film Penumbra about a female lawyer desperately attempting to rent out a flat she owns to an even more desperate (auspiciously so) man claiming that his employer will pay a sum of money far exceeding that of which the flat is worth. The story then becomes a mystery as to the intentions of the employer and the mystery was well executed in keeping the audience’s attention all the way to an non-fulfilling climax. In this, Bogliano makes good on the promise of the well-constructed mystery of his last feature while ensuring he doesn’t  fizzle his way to the ending. Also unlike his last picture Here Comes the Devil doesn’t feel quite as cheap as its budget would suggest. Even in its explicit B-movie motifs — the rapid close-up during the most mundane moments, and a high amount of gratuitous nudity and sex — the sense is there that it isn’t a grown up child behind the camera. Not completely, anyway. He can follow up a scene with a married couple having a heavy, undisturbed fondling session at a truck stop while reminiscing on teenage sexual encounters for arousal (while their two kids are off exploring an ominous hillside) with another scene where the two worried parents have a sincere spat about who is to blame for their kids going missing on that ominous hillside. It’s a well-performed moment of two struggling parents letting pent up thoughts of each other explode […]

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
B+


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