Tottaa Pataaka Item Maal [The Incessant Fear of Rape] (2018)

Tottaa Pataaka Item Maal
Director: Aditya Kripalani
Writer: Aditya Kripalani
Cast: Shalini Vatsa, Chitrangada Chakraborty, Kritika Pande, Sonal Joshi, Vinay Sharma, Ahmareen Anjum
Seen on: 29.5.2019
[Screener Review.]

Content Note: rape

Plot:
Vibha (Shalini Vatsa), Chitra (Chitrangada Chakraborty) and Shagun (Sonal Joshi) don’t know each other, but they end up sitting in the same taxi, part of a fleet especially for women. Their cab is being driven by Shaila (Kritika Pande) who owns the taxi company. As they are stuck in traffic, the four women get to talking: about the need for a taxi service like this. About the constant threat of being raped if you’re out just a little too late. About the entitlement of men. Even on this night, they can’t get home unbothered: a man (Vinay Sharma) starts hollering at them from his moped. But this time, they strike back and soon they have the guy locked up in an abandoned building, ready to teach him what it means to be afraid all the time.

Tottaa Pataaka Item Maal is an interesting, character-driven film on a feminist mission. It has a good cast and is well-told, although the ending – while thought-provoking – is a little unsatisfying. But that shouldn’t keep you from watching it: the film is well worth it.

The film poster showing Chitrangada Chakraborty.
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Camp Death III in 2D! (2018)

Camp Death III in 2D!
Director: Matt Frame
Writer: Matt Frame
Cast: Dave Peniuk, Angela Galanopoulos, Darren Andrichuk, Emma Docker, Chris Allen, Starlise Waschuk, Terry mullett, Cynthia Chalmers, Gerald Gerald Geraldson, Hans Potter, Katherine Alpen, Jason Asuncion, Andrea Bang
Seen on: 6.1.2019
[Screener review.]

Plot:
Camp Crystal Meph was the scene of a horrific bloodbath by the killer Johann Van Damme (Terry mullett). But a few years later, Todd (Dave Peniuk) is ready to give it another try. His uncle Mel (Darren Andrichuk) owns the camp ground and Todd has set up a new camp concept. Together with his camp counselors Rachel (Angela Galanopoulos) and Barry (Chris Allen), they are ready to welcome their group. But soon after their arrival, people start dying – again -, murderous squirrels run wild and nobody has any clue what is actually happening

Camp Death III in 2D! is a parody of Friday the 13th Part III in 3D that has some nicely silly ideas, but unfortunately overdoes it a lot of the times. Plus, it is just so ableist that I really wanted to scream.

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Nightmare Cinema (2018)

Nightmare Cinema
Framing: The Projectionist
Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Mick Garris
Cast: Mickey Rourke
Segment 1: The Thing in the Woods
Director: Alejandro Brugués
Writer: Alejandro Brugués
Cast: Sarah Elizabeth Withers, Eric Nelsen, Chris Warren, Kevin Fonteyne
Segment 2: Mirare
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Richard Christian Matheson
Cast: Zarah Mahler, Mark Grossman, Richard Chamberlain
Segment 3: Mashit
Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Writer: Sandra Becerril
Cast: Maurice Benard
Segment 4: This Way to Egress
Director: David Slade
Writer: David Slade, Lawrence C. Connolly
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Adam Godley
Segment 5: Dead
Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Mick Garris
Cast: Faly Rakotohavana, Annabeth Gish, Daryl C. Brown, Orson Chaplin
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2018
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Nightmare Cinema is a nice, but not outstanding anthology. I enjoyed watching it, but most of the segments are a little too straightforward to really made me love them. That being said, if you’re looking for something along classic lines, Nightmare Cinema will satisfy your itch.

The film poster showing a demon with a film strip in its claws.

Read more about each of the segments after the jump.

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Luz (2018)

Luz
Director: Tilman Singer
Writer: Tilman Singer
Cast: Luana Velis, Johannes Benecke, Jan Bluthardt, Lilli Lorenz, Julia Riedler, Nadja Stübiger
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2018
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Plot:
Luz (Luana Velis) is a cab driver who has obviously had a bad night. She comes to a police station, bleeding and in bad shape. Police psychiatrist Dr. Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) conducts the interview with her. But Rossini isn’t quite himself – he is possessed by something that has its own plans with Luz.

Luz is a short film that feels much longer than it has any right feeling. It does have interesting and strong moments, but I couldn’t get into it.

The film poster showing a woman's face with rips in the poster paper showing different faces beneath.
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Tito e os Pássaros [Tito and the Birds] (2018)

Tito e os Pássaros
Director: Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, Gustavo Steinberg
Writer: Eduardo Benaim, Gustavo Steinberg
Cast: Denise Fraga, Pedro Henrique, Matheus Nachtergaele, Mateus Solano
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2018
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Plot:
Tito (Pedro Henrique) is the son of scientist Dr. Rufus (Matheus Nachtergaele). Rufus is working on the cure for a disease that is affecting more and more people: they get scared and then they turn into blobs of fear, unable to do anything anymore. Rufus believes that the answer lies in re-learning to communicate with birds who used to warn people of impending dangers. And Tito is committed to help him find the solution.

Tito e os Pássaros is a beautifully animated film that wields its message like a sledgehammer. It may not be subtle, but looking at the world right now, we’re past subtlety anyway.

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The Field Guide to Evil (2018)

The Field Guide to Evil
Segment 1: Die Trud [The Sinful Women of Höllfall]
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Marlene Hauser, Birgit Minichmayr, Karin Pauer, Luzia Oppermann
Segment 2: Al Karisi [Haunted by Al Karisi]
Director: Can Evrenol
Writer: Elif Domanic, Can Evrenol
Cast: Naz Sayiner, Sureyya Kucuk
Segment 3: Kindler i dziewica [The Kindler and the Virgin]
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Writer: Robert Bolesto
Cast: Andrzej Konopka, Kordian Kadziela
Segment 4: The Melon Heads
Director: Calvin Reeder
Writer: Calvin Reeder
Cast: Sarah Navratil, Jilon VanOver, Claude Duhamel, Paul Ford, Kannon Hicks
Segment 5: What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?
Director: Yannis Veslemes
Writer: Yannis Veslemes
Cast: Vangelis Mourikis, Antonis Tsiotsiopoulos, Vasilis Kamitsis, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Nikos Dallas
Segment 6: Palace of Horrors
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Writer: Ashim Ahluwalia
Cast: Niharika Singh
Segment 7: A Nocturnal Breath
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Writer: Katrin Gebbe, Silvia Wolkan
Cast: Thomas Schubert, Lili Epply
Segment 8: The Cobblers’ Lot
Director: Peter Strickland
Writer: Peter Strickland
Cast: Fatma Mohamed, Károly Hajduk, László Konter, Péter Jankovics
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2018
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The Field Guide to Evil collects eight different segments from eight different countries that all build from a local legend. As usual with anthology films, Field Guide to Evil is a mixed bag of beans. There are some very good segments, but also some that didn’t really work for me. But I would say, it’s worth seeing because the good parts are really very good.

The film poster showing a young woman lying on her back, her eyes rolled back, her mouth open with a man's hand at her chin.

[More about each of the segments after the jump.]

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What Keeps You Alive (2018)

What Keeps You Alive
Director: Colin Minihan
Writer: Colin Minihan
Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha MacIsaac, Joey Klein
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2018
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Plot:
Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Jules (Brittany Allen) are happy, in love and on their way to celebrate their first wedding anniversary at the cabin where Jackie grew up. They are planning a weekend all for themselves, but when Jackie’s childhood friend and neighbor Sarah (Martha MacIsaac) shows up with her husband Daniel (Joey Klein), things start to change. Jackie starts behaving weirdly, leaving Jules bewildered and desperate to find out what is going on.

What Keeps You Alive builds from a familiar set-up, but given that it features a queer couple, it could have done some interesting things. Unfortunately, the script is just not up for the task, leaving too many things incomprehensible to make the film work.

The film poster showing a black and white forest with a woman's face superimposed over it and another woman running through the forest, all under a pink sky.
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BuyBust (2018)

BuyBust
Director: Erik Matti
Writer: Anton C. Santamaria, Erik Matti
Cast: Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera, Victor Neri, Arjo Atayde, Levi Ignacio, Alex Calleja, Lao Rodriguez
Part of: surprise movie at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2018
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Plot:
Nina (Anne Curtis) is a police officer trying to do right. But ever since her entire squad was murdered in a sting against the drug cartels in Manila, she is itching for an opportunity to hit back against them. When a new mission is announced, it appears that she will finally get that chance. She and her new squad make their way into the slums. But things don’t go as planned, and they soon find themselves in a very dire situation.

When it was revealed that BuyBust was the surprise film at the /slash, I was very excited. I had been looking forward to seeing this film, hoping basically for The Raid with a female protagonist. Unfortunately, the film didn’t fulfill my expectations for it, despite a suckerpunch of an ending.

The film poster showing a woman with her fist in her hand in front of a colorful background.
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Our House (2018)

Our House
Director: Anthony Scott Burns
Writer: Nathan Parker
Based on: Phasma Ex Machina (2010)
Cast: John Ralston, Thomas Mann, Percy Hynes White, Lucius Hoyos, Allison Hossack, Kate Moyer, Nicola Peltz, Marcia Bennett, Robert B. Kennedy
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2018
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Plot:
Ethan (Thomas Mann) is a college student with a passion project: ELI is supposed to bring wireless electricity to the world. Focusing on this project, together with his girlfriend Hannah (Nicola Peltz), is the most important thing for him. That is until his parents (John Ralston, Allison Hossack) are both killed in a car accident. Ethan moves back home to take care of his siblings Matt (Percy Hynes White) and Becca (Kate Moyer). When he can, he still works on his machine. He soon notices that ELI may not bring wireless electricity, but it’s certainly bringing something to their house. Or someone. Ehtan is convinced that he has found a way to communicate with his parents and he throws himself even more deeply into the project.

Our House doesn’t reinvent the genre, but it’s a well-executed genre film that delivers exactly what you expect from it. It’s very enjoyable, albeit not great.

The film poster showing a female silhouette with long claws.
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Summer of 84 (2018)

Summer of 84
Director: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Writer: Matt Leslie, Stephen J. Smith
Cast: Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Gruter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2018
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Plot:
A serial killer has been active in Cape May, leaving the area in a constant state of vigilance. This includes Davey (Graham Verchere), though to be fair, he doesn’t need much prompting to see mysteries and conspiracies everywhere. That’s why not even his friends Woody (Caleb Emery), Curtis (Cory Grüter-Andrew) and Eats (Judah Lewis) believe him, when Davey starts to suspect that his neighbor, police officer Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer), is the Cape May Slayer. Nevertheless, after yet another suspicious disappearance, the four start to investigate Mackey.

Summer of 84 starts as an hommage to the 80s adventure film, perfectly evoking the look and feel of them. But it isn’t content with “just” paying hommage, and takes quite a turn in the end that both makes and breaks the film.

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