Penumbra

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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One of the best parts of Netflix’s streaming service is the instant access to content produced in every corner of the globe, from underground cult sensations to award-winning festival fare. For those with stronger stomachs and a thirst for genre films, Netflix now offers an ultra-violent prison film, a gut-wrenching drama based on real life serial killings and a gorgeous Chinese horror.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Searching for Sonny Elliot reluctantly heads home for his ten-year high school reunion, but instead of the expected disappointments he discovers a missing friend, a murder and a mystery. Writer/director Andrew Disney’s feature debut is an indie rarity in that it’s as funny as any big screen comedy. The laughs come in part due to Disney’s sharp and witty script, but credit should also go to the main cast of Jason Dohring, Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney. The trio has a smooth and perfectly timed chemistry together, and they help make the film a joy to watch. The lovely Minka Kelly helps in that department as well. [Extras: Commentary, additional scenes, bloopers, featurettes] Also available on Blu-ray.

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The “Crazy Religious” horror film can be one of the more interesting of the horror sub-genres, because they’re almost always inherently mysterious along with being potentially frightening. It’s either frightening because there are disillusioned people out killing non-crazy people because they think doing so will give birth to demons or the end of the world might happen, or there are enlightened people out killing non-crazy people because they will give birth to demons or the end of the world will happen. Best case scenario only a few people die horribly. Worse case scenario hell will rise and Earth will die horribly.

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There’s a solid chance that you haven’t heard of most of these movies. Yet they exist – out there somewhere as a thorn in the side of movie fans trying to see as much as possible. Nuggets of potential waiting to be picked up from the movie orphanage by a distributor and given a warm home with cup holders in every seat. The European Film Market is fascinating for that reason and for the way people attend it. Tickets this year were around $600, but that’s a reasonable price for companies sending representatives trying to find the next moneymaker for their company or the hot movie to bring to their festival. That means screenings come complete with people on cell phones and unimpressed buyers walking out after ten minutes to hustle next door to see if the other movie playing has any promise to it. It’s a bizarre way to watch movies, but it makes a kind of sense given the massive size of the movie list compared to the tiny amount of time to see everything. There were upwards of 675 movies in the EFM this year, all of them with their own selling points. Here are the 87 most interesting-sounding with descriptions found in the official catalog. For the most part, I haven’t seen these movies (and didn’t even know about many of them until the Berlin Film Festival), but they all have something going for them that should earn them a spot on your radar.

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If you somehow aren’t aware by now, we take Fantastic Fest pretty seriously ’round these parts. America’s largest genre festival will kick the doors off the hinges for its 7th incarnation this September, and your faithful crew here at Starship Reject could not be more excited. As always, we’ll be assembling our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to attempt the insane goal of reviewing each and every film that plays this year. Take a gander at some of the titles that have jumped out at us from this latest batch. First up is Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia. Antichrist was huge at Fantastic Fest back in 2009, and the buzz out of Cannes and from a brief run in LA has me chomping at the bit to see Von Trier’s latest as soon as possible. While certainly polarizing, Von Trier is also an extremely versatile and uncompromising filmmaker, and I can’t wait to see him put his own unique spin on a story with sci-fi elements. You can bet the Rejects will be first in line for this one come September. You also know we’re looking forward to You’re Next, the new film from the team behind last year’s A Horrible Way to Die. While their previous effort wasn’t a perfect film, the last 20 minutes in particular were chilling and showed quite a bit of promise with their fresh take on serial killer celebrity. Adam Wingard returns to direct You’re Next, and genre favorite AJ Bowen joins a cast that includes […]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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