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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68 Kill (2017)

68 Kill
Director: Trent Haaga
Writer: Trent Haaga, Bryan Smith
Cast: Matthew Gray GublerAnnaLynne McCordAlisha BoeSheila VandSam EidsonEric PodnarLucy FaustHallie Grace Bradley
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2017
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Plot:
Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) has been dating Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) for a while, despite her being more than he can handle, really. One night, Liza brings the unsuspecting Chip to a robbery. She had a good plan but things start to get wrong and soon Chip finds himself trapped in the worst night of his life as he tries to find a way to survive the night and not get anybody else killed either.

I really wanted to like 68 Kill and it starts off well enough, but the longer it went on the more I started to hate it and its absolutely toxic take on both women and masculinity.

[SPOILERS]

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Deadgirl (2008)

Deadgirl
Director: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
Writer: Trent Haaga
Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, Jenny Spain, Michael Bowen

[MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS]

Plot:
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) decide to ditch school and explore the local abandoned mental hospital (as you do). In the basement of said hospital they stumble upon a chained, naked woman (Jenny Spain) who isn’t dead, much to their surprise. Or at least nor really. JT sees the perfect opportunity to acquire a sex slave, while Rickie is a little more hesitant.

Deadgirl could have been an interesting comment on rape culture and the (sexual) objectification of women. Unfortunately instead it tries to be clever without actually understanding what it is about. And that just means it sucks so much there are hardly any words for it.

Deadgirl

[SPOILERS]

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Cheap Thrills (2013)

Cheap Thrills
Director: E.L. Katz
Writer: Trent Haaga, David Chirchirillo
Cast: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, Sara Paxton, Amanda Fuller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Craig (Pat Healy) used to be a journalist but now he’s working in a garage. Or rather he was working in a garage – but he was just fired, which really doesn’t help him or his family with their general money problems. As he tries to drink his sorrows away, he runs into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old acquaintance. As they catch up, they meet Violet (Sara Paxton) and Colin (David Koechner) who are obviously made of money. Violet and Colin start offering Craig and Vince money for various, increasingly outlandish wagers.

Cheap Thrills was a movie like a punch in the stomach but in a good way [yeah, I know: as if there was a good way to be punched in the stomach]. It was a tense, awesome piece of cinema.

cheap-thrills

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