Headshot (2016)

Director: Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Iko Uwais, Chelsea Islan, Sunny Pang, Very Tri Yulisman, Julie Estelle, Ario Bayu, Yayu A.W. Unru
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

A young man (Iko Uwais) is washed ashore unconscious. When he wakes up after two months, he can’t remember a thing. He’s slowly nursed back to health by a doctor, Ailin (Chelsea Islan), who calls him Ishmael. But as he grows stronger and more active, his past comes back to haunt him. And his past is a bloody, violent place.

Headshot doesn’t have the best story, but it does have great action. Unfortunately the film stands in its own way sometimes, so it never really takes off.

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Killers (2014)

Director: Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Takuji Ushiyama, Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Oka Antara, Kazuki Kitamura, Rin Takanashi, Luna MayaRay SahetapyEpy Kusnandar
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

In Tokyo serial killer Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura) films the killings of his victims and puts them online. One of his watchers is Bayu (Oka Antara), an Indonesian reporter. He has been working to expose the crimes of the powerful Dharma (Ray Sahetapy), but only unsuccessfully so far. When Bayu is robbed and raped, he ends up killing his attackers and on an impulse he films the scene and puts it online, too. Nomura finds him and is convinced that he has found a kindred spirit. He starts egging Bayu on to commit more murders.

Killers has an interesting idea and for the bigger part of the film, they develop that idea beautifully. Towards the end, though, it gets a little too predictable. Up until that, though, it is really engaging.

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V/H/S/2 (2013)

V/H/S/2 (it’s a horror anthology with the following segments and a sequel to: V/H/S)
Segment Tape 49
Director: Simon Barrett
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott
Segment Phase I Clinical Trials
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Adam Wingard, Hannah Hughes
Segment A Ride in the Park
Director: Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez
Writer: Jamie Nash, Eduardo Sánchez
Cast: Jay Saunders
Segment Safe Haven
Director: Gareth Evans , Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Gareth Evans , Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Fachry Albar, Hannah Al Rashid, Oka Antara, Epy Kusnandar
Segment Slumber Party Alien Abduction
Director: Jason Eisener
Writer: Jason Eisener, John Davies
Cast: Rylan Logan, Samantha Gracie, Zack Ford, Josh Ingraham, Cohen King
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Private Investigator Larry (Lawrence Michael Levine) is sent after a missing boy. He stumbles upon a weird house full of VHS tapes where his partner Ayesha (Kelsy Abbott) starts watching a few while he checks out the rest of the house.
The first tape is the recording from an artificial eye, just activated in Herman (Adam Wingard) who not only starts seeing again at all, but even things that aren’t actually there.
The second tape is the helmet cam of a biker (Jay Saunders) who gets attacked by zombies in the woods.
The third tape shows film material from the inside of a sect’s compound where things are coming to a head.
The fourth tape shows a group of kids who are home alone when strange creatures come from out of the lake.

V/H/S 2 was a whole lot better than V/H/S which, honestly, wasn’t very hard to do. They cut down the framing (which makes the still-remaining question of WHY VIDEOTAPES less apparent), on the gratuitous boobs (though there’s still too much of them) and on the general length, which all works in its favor.


More about each segment after the jump.

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The ABCs of Death (2012)

The ABCs of Death
Director: Kaare Andrews, Angela Bettis, Hélène Cattet, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Jason Eisener, Bruno Forzani, Adrián García Bogliano, Xavier Gens, Lee Hardcastle, Noboru Iguchi, Thomas Cappelen Malling, Jorge Michel Grau, Anders Morgenthaler, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Simon Rumley, Marcel Sarmiento, Jon Schnepp, Srdjan Spasojevic, Timo Tjahjanto, Andrew Traucki, Nacho Vigalondo, Jake West, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Adam Wingard, Yudai Yamaguchi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival‘s Slashing Europe
[I’m saving myself from mentioning the cast as well, especially since, apart from Ingrid Bolsø Berdal there wasn’t anybody in it I knew anyway.]

The ABCs of Death is an episode movie in which 26 directors each got a letter in the alphabet to which they chose a word from which they built their story/short film.

The ABCs of Death has its good moments, but far from all episodes were my thing. There is a surprising amount of toilet humor in the movie (which I minded less than I usually do, but still) and I generally had my issues with the structure. 26 short films are a lot to take in and I would have appreciated if the movie was broken up into two parts (A-L and M-Z or something). Also, because of the alphabetic structure, they couldn’t take the mood or the pacing into consideration, so funny is followed by sadness by gore by blood by horror by funny etc. So maybe one should be watching the entire movie in short film increments.


[After the jump, I’ll talk briefly about each of the short films seperately. If you consider knowing the words already as SPOILERS, don’t read any further.]

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