In the Tall Grass (2019)

In the Tall Grass
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Vincenzo Natali
Based on: Stephen King and Joe Hill‘s novella
Cast: Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson, Will Buie Jr., Rachel Wilson, Harrison Gilbertson
Seen on: 5.1.2022

Plot:
Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and her brother Cal (Avery Whitted) just wanted to take a quick break on their roadtrip when they hear a young boy crying for help in the field next to the road: he lost his way in the tall grass and can’t get back to the road. Becky and Cal head into the field themselves – and find that they can’t get back either. There is something strange going on in the grass.

In the Tall Grass is very notably a King/Hill adaptation. If that’s your thing, you will be well satisfied, though not particularly surprised. It is typical stuff after all. If that’s not your thing, you probably don’t need to try to see whether you like it anyway.

The film poster showing a grass field with a bloody hand stretching up out of it.
Continue reading

ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

ABCs of Death 2
“Sequel” to: The ABCs of Death
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Like the first film, ABCs of Death 2 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 letter M was given to an unknown director through a contest.

Of course there are segments that I liked better than others and some I didn’t like at all, but altogether, I liked ABCs of Death 2 better than The ABCs of Death. Julien Maury – who was a guest at this year’s /slash – told us beforehand that one of the rules they got for their segment was that they shouldn’t use too much toilet humor. Apparently all the directors got that memo and it really does help. Watching 26 short films in a row is certainly exhausting, but since the last few segments are particularly strong, you don’t feel it as much. I really enjoyed myself.

As a warm-up we got to see the M-finalist Le Meat by Austrian Wolfgang Matzl (who also did the fantastic credits animation for the feature) which was really cool, funny and weird. A great way to get started!

[After the jump, I’ll talk briefly about all the segments separately. That includes listing the directors, writers (as far as I could find out who wrote what) and the names of each segment. Since it was fun to guess the titles while watching the film, you might not want to read on if you haven’t seen it yet.]

abcsofdeath Continue reading

Haunter (2013)

Haunter
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Brian King
Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, David Hewlett, Michelle Nolden, Peter Outerbridge, Peter DaCunha, Eleanor Zichy
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
On the surface Lisa (Abigail Breslin) has a normal life with her parents (Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden) and her brother (Peter DaCunha). But actually they all died years ago and have been reliving the same Sunday ever since. Only Lisa finally woke up and noticed the repetition. And with that, shadows start to appear, voices can be heard and things become more and more off. And through all that, Lisa finds a connection to other girls.

Haunter wasn’t always perfectly logical but I thought that the concept was interesting, the movie atmospheric and I was generally entertained.

Haunter

Continue reading

Splice (2009)

[A review of this film is also the first thing I wrote for SciFi.de, where I’ve just started my regular guest-blogging. You can find it here. (German)]

Splice is the newest movie by Vincenzo Natali, starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chanéac.

Plot:
Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are successful geneticist, currently working on animal splices to create new species that will help with medical discoveries etc. After their big breakthrough, they want to add human genes to the mix, but their company tells them not to because the public outrage would be to big. Clive and Elsa decide to go ahead with it anyway and create something entirely new: Dren (Delphine Chanéac), who is intelligent, cute and dangerous.

Splice is basically a modernised Frankenstein story. It is a decent horror movie, with very good performance and pretty awesome special effects. But where it starts off with a tight plot, in the end it doesn’t manage the same poignancy as the original Frankenstein, or much poignancy at all. It’s also the movie with the most gender problems and WTFery I’ve seen in a long time. [And yes, I’m including Eclipse in this.]

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading