[Fantastic Fest] LEVEL 16 Review: Friendship in Darkness

By: Emily von Seele

Level 16 1

One of my favorite films to come out of this year’s Fantastic Fest was the sci-fi tale of friendship and resilience, Level 16. Set in the Vestalis Academy for girls, the film focuses on Vivien (Katie Douglas) and Sophia (Celina Martin), two girls who have spent years living and being trained in the institution. The prison-like school adheres to a strict code of conduct, preparing girls for eventual adoption by wealthy families. The girls are being trained to be perfect daughters and young women — they obey a strict set of rules, striving to be obedient, sweet, and clean.

Read More »

[Fantastic Fest] Review Round-Up: HALLOWEEN (2018), THE PERFECTION, BORDER

By: Nolan McBride

Halloween 2018 2

There are so many movies to see at this year’s Fantastic Fest and only so much time to write about them, so rather than trying to review them all, I am going to cover the movies about which I was most passionate or those I want to make sure everyone puts on their radar. In this edition, it’s the much-anticipated sequel to John Carpenter’s seminal slasher, an unexpected roller coaster of a thriller, and an emotional, fantastical tale about outsiders finding their place in the world.

Read More »

[Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival] THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW Review: White Lies

By: Nolan McBride

The Witch In The Window 1

The Witch In The Window cast its spell upon me almost immediately. Though it plays in familiar territory — (part of) a family is (temporarily) living in a new house rumored to be haunted by a former inhabitant — it distinguishes itself thanks in large part to the strength of its core relationship and emotional arc. Rather than diminishing returns, it provided a breath of fresh air, similar to that experienced by the characters as they venture away from the troubles of the fraught modern world.

Read More »