Fantastic Animation Festival
In addition to new releases, Fantastic Fest also presented a selection of largely forgotten oddities from the past.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn't exist.
Although Fantastic Fest is the place to see the latest in genre films running the gamut from expensive blockbusters like The Creator to any number of micro-budget oddities, it also allows attendees the chance to see revivals of older films that also range from the famous (or at least notorious) to titles so obscure that many viewers may not have even heard of them before. Continue Reading →
What would you do to know your parents? Not just as parents, but as people—even long after their deaths? How would you make the most of a horrendous moral quagmire you had no choice in getting dragged into—and what would you do when that quagmire, for all its familiarity, finally became too much to bear? On a broader level, what makes us human—and what remains when we're gone? Director/writer Yeon Sang-ho asks and answers these questions in his out-now-on-Netflix science fiction film JUNG_E. It's a solid, thoughtful film that shines thanks to its leading trio and Sang-ho's skill at depicting and delving into the uncanny. Continue Reading →
In many ways, M3GAN is as much about its marketing as it is about the movie being marketed. That's hardly a revelatory statement, especially when it comes to horror films: Studios and producers have breathlessly promised thrills and chills with ever more outrageous gimmicks ever since the days of William Castle offering life insurance policies for audiences who "die of fright." With Blumhouse's M3GAN, the secret lies in its titular robo-tot, a cutesy android with snatched wig, Union Jack dickie bow, and murderous dance moves primed for TikTok virality, all of which have been over the film's marketing for months now. So it's a relief to learn that M3GAN has bite to go with its meme-ready bark, a horror-comedy as much about the ways we use technology to fulfill every human need as it is a sassy robot tween popping and locking with a paper cutter in its hand. Continue Reading →
It’s Christmas time, and a man at the breaking point finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. But he isn’t retired cop John McClane this time. Instead, it’s Saint Nick with a sledgehammer he’d like to swing into your bowl full of jelly. The premise of Violent Night is simple (Die Hard but with Santa), and the filmmakers mostly pull off the kill-fest thanks to some game performers and one inspired sequence. Continue Reading →