Next Exit is an elegant blend of genres that coalesce into something both beautiful and haunting. Mali Elfman’s feature debut is a film rooted in death, but filled with the bittersweet challenges of the human experience.
Feral isn’t a traditional horror story. In fact, we might not call it horror at all, which is fine. But it is a story with a harsh truth at the center of it, and sometimes seeing the truth is even more horrifying than being faced with imaginary monsters.
Written and directed by Mike Ahern and Edna Loughman, Extra Ordinary is a madcap comedy that puts the super in supernatural (see what I did there?). It tells the story of Rose (Maeve Higgins), a woman with the ability to speak with the dead. As a child, she worked with her similarly gifted father, putting spirits to rest and giving the living peace of mind. That is, until an unfortunate accident killed him on the job.
One of the films that topped my list at North Bend Film Fest and gave me more joy than my little horror-loving heart could stand was Anna And The Apocalypse. It’s a zombie movie. And also a big musical. Oh and also a holiday movie. And a comedy.
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.
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.
One of the highlights of the inaugural North Bend Film Festival, Nicolas Pesce’s sophomore effort is a twisted game of cat and mouse as two equally disturbed characters try to navigate a bizarre encounter that only gets stranger as time goes on. If you enjoyed The Eyes Of My Mother, you’re in for a treat.