[Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival] BRAID Review: The Dangers of Make-Believe

By: Paul Farrell

Braid 1

People are puzzles. Riddles. Identities which have to be deconstructed and put back together again as we transition from child to adult; the fractured pieces of our past offering only the vaguest clues as to who we are, instead of the concrete evidence we’d like them to be. These strands, comprised of all we know and have experienced, are then bound together to make a whole that is altogether different than any one of its parts.

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[North Bend Film Fest] PROFILE Review: Going Undercover Online

By: Emily von Seele

Profile

Based on a true story, Profile is the latest “Screenlife” film to hit the public consciousness. Rather than a traditional approach, “Screenlife” tells an entire story through numerous windows and apps on a computer screen. The concept has previously been seen in Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows, and both Unfriended and Unfriended: Dark Web; in Profile, Timur Bekmambetov works to stretch the approach to tell a story over the course of several weeks, rather than in real time over the course of a couple of hours. It’s a successful illustration of the concept, seamlessly bridging multiple video chats and calls with a series of messages, video clips, and other media to tell a complex and tense story.

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[North Bend Film Fest] BILLY Review: Separation Anxiety

By: Emily von Seele

Billy 1

Theo Maassen’s debut feature, Billy, is a black comedy that explores the darker side of art, fame, and creative partnerships. Ventriloquist Gerard de Groot (Bruno Vanden Broecke) initially leapt to stardom as the result of an altercation with a surly judge on a comedy reality show. Despite the 15 minutes of fame nature of his debut, he managed to stay on top of the entertainment business for the next decade with his act, a back and forth conversation with his overly surly, filterless dummy, Billy. Gerard and Billy built and empire together and it seemed that nothing could bring them down.

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MAURY THE MISERABLE VAMPIRE Review: A Children’s Book for Horror Nerds Everywhere

By: Emily von Seele

Cover

I don’t usually review books, but, like the titular character of today’s topic, I’m going to try something a little different. Maury the Miserable Vampire is a children’s book that I wish had been around during my childhood. When I was a kid, horror-themed children’s entertainment wasn’t easy to come by — especially during the 11 months out of the year that didn’t revolve around Halloween. The closest I got to a book like this when I was young was probably the Bunnicula series, but even that (while rad) was for an older audience. In a market fully dominated by Pokey Little Puppy and whatever that thing in the Little Critter books was, there was a definite gap when it came to vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural.

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