Deathcember (2019)

Deathcember (I saw the version split into two films)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Christmas screening
Seen on: 19.12.2019

Deathcember is an advent calendar in movie form, giving us 24 (plus some extra) Christmas-themed films to count down until Christmas. The films vary in style and tone, but they are all filled with (a) holiday spirit.

As with most anthologies, Deathcember has some clear winners and a few that were not for me (with the former being more present in the first volume and the latter more in the second volume), but I assume that the favorites and unfavorites will vary from person to person. It was definitely nice that they included more than the usual token female director (although there could have been more people of color involved). I was a little worried that so many short films in less than three hours would get a little too much, but it was surprisingly not-exhausting (I was glad that they showed the version split into two volumes). In short, it was a very fun evening. There are definitely worse ways to pass time during the holiday season.

After the jump, I talk about each of the segments individually. If you prefer to be surprised what’s behind those doors, you probably shouldn’t continue. But I won’t give away spoilers.

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You’re Next (2011)

You’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

It’s been a while since the Davison family came together but they do so to celebrate the parents’ anniversary. It’s Crispian’s (AJ Bowen) opportunity to introduce his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson). But as they sit together and go through the usual tense “we don’t much like each other but we are family” routine, they come under attack from men in masks who set out to kill them one by one.

You’re Next comes with a lot of accolades to back it up and I have to say that I do believe it’s been severely overhyped. Maybe I would have liked it if my expectations hadn’t been so high, but in this case I left it with a decided feeling of meh.


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Hatchet II (2010)

Hatchet II
Director: Adam Green
Writer: Adam Green
Sequel to: Hatchet
Cast: Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Parry Shen, Tom Holland, AJ Bowen, Mercedes McNabJoleigh Fioravanti, Shawn Ashmore (for about 3 seconds before getting his face sliced off)

Plot [with Spoilers for Hatchet]:
Marybeth (Danielle Harris) just barely escaped Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) and she’s the only one from her group. She returns into town to ask Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) for help. Zombie agrees and gets together a band of mercenaries for support. But there is more to his agreement to help than pure altruism and Victor Crowley is far from dealt with.

Hatchet II is a decent continuation of the series. It concentrates more on the gore and less on the sexism, which I appreciated. But it also rehashes a bit and makes the ending of the first movie worse in hindsight.


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Rites of Spring (2011)

Rites of Spring
Director: Padraig Reynolds
Writer: Padraig Reynolds
Cast: Anessa Ramsey, Sonny Marinelli, Marco St. John, AJ Bowen, Shanna Forrestall, Skylar Burke, Katherine Randolph
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

A man (Marco St. John) kidnaps two women, Rachel (Anessa Ramsey) and Alyssa (Hannah Bryan). But what exactly is he planning with them? At the same time Ben (AJ Bowen) is planning the kidnapping of his former boss’s daughter with a few accomplices. As things are getting bigger and weirder than they could have anticipated, the paths of Rachel and Ben cross.

I saw many movies during the /slash, at least 3 a day usually, altogether almost 40 films in 10 days. But I can remember all of them quite clearly (I’m still happy I took notes after every film). All of them, that is, but Rites of Spring. It was just so inconsequential that it didn’t stick.

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A Horrible Way to Die (2010)

A Horrible Way to Die
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Sarah (Amy Seimetz) is trying to start a new life after her boyfriend Garrick (AJ Bowen) was arrested for murdering several women. She got clean and started dating Kevin (Joe Swanberg). But then Garrick escapes from prison and starts to catch up with Sarah.

Simon Barrett has written a very good script and the cast isn’t bad either. But unfortunately Adma Wingard and his camera work and editing drove me pretty much insane, completey ruining the film.

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