‘NIGHTWATCH’ (1994) Classic now streaming on Shudder in preparation for the sequel

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NIGHTWATCH (1994)

nightwatch 1994 poster

A fresh-faced Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays 24-year-old law student Martin, taking a position as the sole night watchman in a hospital morgue. When a game of dare from his deviant best mate collides with a serial killer on the loose, Martin’s worst fears begin to haunt him. Writer-director Ole Bornedal helms this disturbing tale of mistaken identity and murderous mayhem.

Nightwatch (1994) 2- www.imdb.comNikolaj Coster-Waldau is, to no one’s surprise, spectacular. My introduction to his work began with Game of Thrones. Even thirty years ago, he possessed a magnetic presence on screen.

The soundtrack kicks ass. Great opening cinematography throws the viewer into a Hitchcockian vibe as the camera floats throughout the house like a ghost. Dan Laustsen‘s framing is a masterclass. I accept genre fans knocking my street cred for never seeing this film. I deserve it. Now that I have, I understand why it holds up.

Nightwatch (1994) 3- www.imdb.comNIGHTWATCH taps into classic fears and creates authentic dread from beginning to end. A premise stemming from toxic masculinity gets a perfect foil in its horror element. Bornedal’s dialogue is particularly meta, no doubt inducing a smirk from the audience more than once.

Nightwatch (1994) 1 - www.imdb.comThe film is a genre-bender. When you think you know what’s happening, the plot twists again. Bornedal’s sequel, 30 years in the making, has a lot to live up to. The Shudder Original NIGHTWATCH: Demons are Forever streams today alongside its predecessor.

Now streaming on Shudder!!

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Shudder Original ‘NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER’ (2024) A perfect Ole Bornedal sequel 30 years in the making.

Shudder Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever Ole Bornedal

SHUDDER NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - poster

Thirty years after NIGHTWATCH became a genre staple, writer-director Ole Bornedal delivers a Shudder Original sequel just as menacing and twisted as the original. NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER taps into our continued fascination with serial killers, true crime takes, and terror. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 5The film starts with a bang. Bravo to Casper Kjær Jensen for one hell of a performance. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau returns as Martin. We now know he and Kalinka married and had a daughter named Emma. After Kalinka’s suicide, Martin is distraught. Emma discovers the newspaper clippings about her parents’ traumatic ordeal. Seeking answers, she takes her father’s old job on night watch. 

I highly recommend watching both films back to back. You will immediately notice the perfect visual and dialogue callbacks. Coster-Waldau is not the only cast member to return. Most of the original actors are back. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 4Kim Bodnia is the same thoughtless jackass settling right back into the role of Jens. The character’s development feels darker and more insensitive than before, but Bodnia’s chemistry with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is still dazzling. 

Speaking of, this second iteration of Martin oozes fear. Coster-Waldau exists almost entirely in his unresolved trauma, soaked in alcohol and pills. When he steps out of his grief, it is contagious. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 11Ole Bornedal makes the sequel a true family affair. His daughter, Fanny Bornedal, plays Emma. She is a pro. Ole gives her characteristics of Martin and Kalinka. Emma is a bold, bright, and fearless medical forensics student. Fanny commands each frame. She’s a star.

Once again, the soundtrack is meticulously curated. “I Fink U Freeky” by Die Antwoord was my favorite choice. The practical FX are squirmworthy. NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER cleverly mirrors the original. Ole Bornedal keeps us guessing with complex storytelling choices. The script is a fresh take, delivering badass female characters to immortalize in the genre library. 

Streaming on Shudder May 17th

Screenwriter and Director: Ole Bornedal

Starring: Fanny Leander Bornedal, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kim Bodnia, Sonja Richter, Ulf Pilgaard, Casper Kjær Jensen, Paprika Steen, Nina Rask, Alex Høgh Andersen, Sonny Lindberg, Niels Anders Thorn, Tina Gylling, Casper Phillipson, Vibeke Hastrup, Christopher Læssø

Producers: Thomas Heinesen, Christel C.D. Karlsen, and Signe Baasch

Executive Producers: Katrine Vogelsang, Henrik Zein, Peter Nadermann, and Doris Schrenner

Language: Danish

Running Time: 113 mins

Synopsis

22-year-old medical student Emma (Fanny Leander Bornedal) has just taken a job as the night watch in the same forensic department where her parents were once almost killed by the famed psychopathic police inspector Wörmer. The events led to her mother’s suicide, and her father Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has turned to tranquilizers to suppress the memories. Determined to investigate what exactly happened to them, Emma tracks down and confronts Wörmer, only to unintentionally reawaken his bloodthirst and ignite a violent revenge on everyone who sealed his destiny years ago.

About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and Original Content is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last few years, Shudder has introduced audiences to groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films including Rob Savage’s HOST, Jayro Bustamante’s LA LLORONA, Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD, Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE, Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES, Josh Ruben’s SCARE ME, Kyle Edward Ball’s SKINAMARINK, Christian Tafdrup’s SPEAK NO EVIL, Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER, Demián Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS, and the latest in the V/H/S film anthology franchise, as well as the fan favorite TV series THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA, Greg Nicotero’s CREEPSHOW, THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS.

For more Shudder reviews, click here!

SHUDDER CELEBRATES HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN 2024 WITH A KILLER LINEUP

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SHUDDER CELEBRATES HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN WITH A KILLER LINEUP OF NEW FILM PREMIERES INCLUDING RECORD-BREAKING HIT LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL, CREATURE FEATURE INFESTED AND SUPERNATURAL HORROR BAGHEAD

Programming Event Timed to Shudder TV Launch on AMC+ with LIVE

Viewing Parties for New Films, Marathons and All-New Episodes of Popular Series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
Shudder Halfway to Halloween 2024

NEW YORK, NY – April 1, 2024 – April showers scare up new horror films and series on Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, for its annual Halfway to Halloween horror-thon. Too much fun to celebrate just once a year, the streamer celebrates the halfway point to Halloween every April with a killer lineup of Shudder Original Film premieres, LIVE viewing parties for Shudder’s Original series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, and more. The horror celebration is timed to Shudder TV’s launch on AMC+ with new events including marathons of signature series and LIVE watch parties for new film premieres.



Fans are invited to follow along on @shudder social for #HalfwaytoHalloween recommended films to watch all month long.



Shudder’s Halfway to Halloween highlights include:



Baghead (Shudder Exclusive Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 5

Following the death of her estranged father (Peter Mullan), Iris (Freya Allan) learns she has inherited a run-down, centuries-old pub. She travels to Berlin to identify her father’s body and meet with The Solicitor (Ned Dennehy) to discuss the estate. Little does she know, when the deed is signed, she will become inextricably tied to an unspeakable entity that resides in the pub’s basement–Baghead–a shape-shifting creature that can transform into the dead. Two thousand in cash for two minutes with the creature is all it takes for desperate loved ones to ease their grief. Neil (Jeremy Irvine), who has lost his wife, is Iris’ first customer. Like her father, Iris is tempted to exploit the creature’s powers and help desperate people for a price. But she soon discovers breaking the two-minute rule can have terrifying consequences. Together with her best friend Katie (Ruby Barker), Iris must battle to keep control of Baghead and figure out how to destroy her, before she destroys them.



The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs Season 6 (Shudder Original Series)
LIVE Watch Parties Continue Every Other Friday, April 12 and April 26, on Shudder TV and AMC+ TV

The supersized sixth season continues with all-new episodes rolling out biweekly on Shudder and AMC+.



Late Night with the Devil (Shudder Original Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 19; LIVE Watch Party at 9pm ET

October 31, 1977. Jack Delroy’s syndicated talk show ‘Night Owls’ has long been a trusted companion to insomniacs around the country, but a year on from the tragic death of Jack’s wife, ratings have plummeted. Desperate to turn his fortunes around, Jack plans a Halloween special like no other, unaware he is about to unleash evil into the living rooms of America. Starring David Dastmalchian (Oppenheimer) and Laura Gordon (Reckoning).



Infested (Shudder Original Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 26; LIVE Watch Party April 27 at 9pm ET

Director Sébastien Vanicek makes his feature film debut with a story that follows Kaleb, who is about to turn 30 and has never been lonelier. He’s fighting with his sister over a matter of inheritance and has cut ties with his best friend. Fascinated by exotic animals, he finds a venomous spider in a bazaar and brings it back to his flat. It only takes a moment for it to escape and reproduce, turning the whole place into a dreadful web trap. Starring Théo Christine (Suprêmes), Finnegan Oldfield (Final Cut), Jérôme Niel (Smoking Causes Coughing), Sofia Lesaffre (Les Misérables) and Lisa Nyarko.



Other Shudder TV Programming Stunts (all times are ET):
 The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula – All five seasons airing back-to-back beginning 6:00am on April 6 through April 9.

 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time – Back-to-back episodes airing 6:00am-9pm on April 13

 Creepshow – Seasons 1-4 airing back-to back beginning 6:30am on April 15 through April 16.

 Hell House LLC and V/H/S Franchises – All films from two iconic film franchises air back-to-back from 1:30pm-1:30am on April 17 and 1:45pm-1:30am on April 18.

 Nature Nightmares – Dig into the scary side of Mother Nature with nature-themed horror in honor of Earth Day beginning April 20 at 6:40am through April 22.

 The Last Drive-In Halloween Special Marathon – Check out all the tricks and treats with Joe Bob Halloween specials all day long beginning 5:30am on April 26, leading up to an all-new episode at 9pm ET.

 Halfway to “Halloween”– Celebrate the six-month countdown to our favorite holiday with two full days of Halloween-themed films beginning April 29 at 6:45am through April 30.



OTHER NEW ADDITIONS TO SHUDDER THIS MONTH



April 1



The Terror Season 2 – Full Series Binge

Set during World War II, the second season of The Terror centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese American community, and a young man’s journey to understand and combat the malevolent entity responsible. Starring George Takei (Star Trek).



Mute Witness – Streaming Film Premiere

From director Anthony Waller (An American Werewolf in Paris), a mute makeup artist working on a slasher movie being shot in Moscow, is locked in the studio after house. While there, she witnesses a brutal murder and must escape capture.



The Gates – Streaming Film Premiere

A serial killer has been sentenced to death by electric chair in London in the 1890s, but in his final hours, he puts a curse on the prison he’s in, and all of those in it.



Drag Me to Hell

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.



Ghost Stories (2017)

After receiving a file with details of three unexplained cases of apparitions, skeptical professor Phillip Goodman embarks on a terrifying trip.



THE RENTALThe Rental

Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend getaway.



At the Devil’s Door

A real estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.



The Wind

A plainswoman faces the harshness and isolation of the untamed lad in the Western frontier of the late 1800s.



Summoning Sylvia.jpgSummoning Sylvia

A gay bachelor party turns spooky when sinister spirits are suddenly summoned.



Madman

A legendary psychopathic murderer stalks a summer camp.

*The Last Drive-In: Madman episode also available



Spookies

A wicked sorcerer tries to sacrifice a group of people inside his house with the intention of using their vitality to keep his wife alive.

*The Last Drive-In: Spookies episode also available



Creepshow (1982)

Five grisly tales from a kid’s comic book about a murdered father rising from his grave, a bizarre meteor, a vengeful husband, a mysterious crate’s occupant, and a plague of cockroaches.





April 4



Wake Wood

The parents of a girl who was killed by a savage dog are granted the opportunity to spend three days with their deceased daughter.



Emelie

A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.

 



April 8



Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic rite. It backfires with deadly consequences.



The Third Saturday in October

When a psycho goes on a murderous rampage after surviving a botched execution, only two survivors of his initial attack can stop him.



The Third Saturday in October Part V

Follow an implacable killer as he stalks and butchers the occupants of houses across the stretch of one lone country road while the residents prepare to watch a yearly college-football bout.





April 15



The Tunnel

An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story, it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.



The Tunnel: The Other Side of Darkness

On the 10th anniversary of the Australian found footage film The Tunnel, this documentary delves into the filmmakers endeavors to challenge how films are financed and distributed, and the lasting impact The Tunnel had internationally.





April 22



The House of the Devil (2009)

In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

*The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Dinners of Death: The House of the Devil episode also available



The Innkeepers

During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel’s haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay.



The Changeling (1980)

After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying in a long-vacant Seattle mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion’s attic.

*The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Dinners of Death: The Changeling episode also available



Final Cut (aka Death Games)

A reporter and his girlfriend follow around a famous actor/entrepreneur and discover some dirt on him to be made public.



13th Floor

As a child, a girl witnessed her father electrocute a young boy. When she grows into an adult, the ghost of the murdered boy appears to her, and together they set out to expose the crimes of her father.




About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and Original Content is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last few years, Shudder has introduced audiences to groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films including Rob Savage’s HOST, Jayro Bustamante’s LA LLORONA, Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD, Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE, Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES, Josh Ruben’s SCARE ME, Kyle Edward Ball’s SKINAMARINK, Christian Tafdrup’s SPEAK NO EVIL, Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER, Demián Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS, and the latest in the V/H/S film anthology franchise, as well as the fan favorite TV series THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA, Greg Nicotero’s CREEPSHOW, and THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS.


For Shudder reviews, click here!

Thrilling ‘SLEEPING DOGS’ (2024) Russell Crowe dives into deception and dementia

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SLEEPING DOGS

Sleeping Dogs Russell Crowe

In SLEEPING DOGS, Russell Crowe plays Roy Freeman, a former detective who has just undergone an experimental treatment for dementia. When an inmate on death row requests a sit-down with him, a series of unanswered questions from the case pull us down a rabbit hole of mystery and lies.

SLEEPING DOGS -Russell CroweUtilizing Alzheimer’s as a creative device in storytelling delivers a nuanced and intriguing film. It places the viewer in Roy’s shoes as clues to his past drop in real-time. Classic noir lighting, score, and clever casefile tape transition visuals add to the flashback-filled narrative.

SLEEPING DOGS - Karen GillanKaren Gillan plays Laura Baines, the obsession of a potential subject in the case. She nails the old-school detective ingenue style of dramatics. Gillan brings a vocal tone and cadence similar to Elizabeth Holmes. It’s jarring but effective.

Crowe is spectacular, fully embodying the internal and external grief of dementia. It is no surprise that he owns this role in all its complexity. While the cast is undoubtedly strong, he brings a much-needed weight with his presence.

SLEEPING DOGS stillDirector Adam Cooper and co-writer Bill Collage do an excellent job adapting the 2017 novel The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici, keeping the viewer guessing. We know something is off, but with each character’s perspective, we constantly question the truth. Boasting an intensely dark ending, SLEEPING DOGS satisfies the bibliophile and cinephile alike.

 

ONLY IN THEATERS: March 22, 2024

DIRECTOR: Adam Cooper
WRITERS: Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (written by), E.O. Chirovici (based on “THE BOOK OF MIRRORS” by)
CAST: Russell Crowe, Karen Gillan, Márton Csókás, Thomas M. Wright, Harry Greenwood, and Tommy Flanagan
SYNOPSIS: An ex-homicide detective (Russell Crowe) with memory loss is forced to solve a brutal murder he can’t recall. But as evidence uncovers secrets tied to his forgotten past, he is led to a chilling truth – sometimes, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.
RUN TIME: 110 minutes
RATING: R                               
GENRE: Action, Crime/Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: The Avenue

For more crime genre films, click here!

 

‘THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT’ (SXSW 2024) is sci-fi insanity.

SXSW 2024 color logoTHINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT

Things Will Be Different SXSW 2024

Writer-director Michael Felker teams up with indie gods and SXSW sweethearts Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to bring 2024 audiences the new film THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT.

Suspension of disbelief plays a vital role. The concept of the siblings hiding from police in a time-shifting hideout is a brilliant and bonkers idea, and Joe and Sid accept it without a moment’s hesitation. Surrounded by a Groundhog Day effect, but one that proves deadlier, brother and sister mentally deteriorate, and one small change triggers chaos.

Sid and Joseph throw theories against the wall in a way I can only imagine Felker did when concocting the screenplay. Nothing and everything is a clue, as the fear of a butterfly effect keeps them trapped.

Things Will Be Different SXSW 2024Riley Dandy (CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS) gives Sidney an anxious eagerness driven by the fact that her daughter is in the present. The longer she remains trapped in the house, the more she fears her daughter’s inevitable trauma.

Adam David Thompson (Here Alone, Creep Box) plays Joseph. Thompson does his best to remain even-keeled, but circumstances and ever-evolving complications make that challenging. Dandy and Thompson’s chemistry is a perfect balance of at arm’s length and trust. It is like watching a tennis match between two pros. They eat Felker’s script up.

THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT is a slick sci-fi about regret, redemption, and inevitably. With nods to Big Brother, it earns repeated viewings.


Credits

Director:

Michael Felker

Executive Producer:

David Lawson Jr., Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Producer:

Shane Spiegel, Jacob Rosenthal, Michael Felker

Screenwriter:

Michael Felker

Cinematographer:

Carissa Dorson

Editor:

Michael Felker, Rebeca Marques

Production Designer:

Zachary Thomas

Sound Designer:

Michael Huang

Music:

Jimmy LaValle, Michael A. Muller

Principal Cast:

Adam David Thompson, Riley Dandy, Chloe Skoczen, Justin Benson, Sarah Bolger, Jori Lynn Felker

Additional Credits:

Casting Director: Chrissy Fiorilli-Ellington, Associate Producer: Jourdan Thomson, Associate Producer: James Thomson, Costume Designer: Alissa Wehrli, Key Makeup Artist: Jessica Lynn, Re-Recording Mixer: Michael Huang

SXSW logo

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‘HUNTING DAZE’ (SXSW 2024) and its slow simmering rage

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HUNTING DAZE

Hunting Daze SXSW 2024Annick Blanc gives SXSW 2024 audiences something to chew on with HUNTING DAZE, a genre-defying tale of isolation, pack mentality, and self-preservation. Exotic dancer Nina finds herself stuck and calls upon a former client for roadside assistance. Without transport, he brings her back to an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Upon discovering it is a bachelor party, the eclectic group of men agrees to let her stay the weekend if, and only if, she can abide by an “all for one’ mentality.

Beautiful drone shots and an enveloping score draw you in immediately. Slow-motion dynamics and natural lighting have an immersive effect on the audience. The dialogue brilliantly hovers between misogynist and welcoming. Scenarios range from the absurd to fraught with danger. Blanc understands the constant din of fear a woman feels surrounded by exclusively male energy. It’s a volatility forced upon us and a visceral buzzing from head to toe.

Nina experiences ominous visions during the film, allowing Blanc to introduce magical realism into the script. These moments are some of the most extraordinary cinematically, taking us inside Nina’s subconscious.

Nahéma Ricci is a badass as Nina. She is magnetic, holding the audience in the palm of her hand. Blanc gives her one hell of an arc, and Ricci delivers. She is a star.

Each character is fully fleshed out, with their distinct quirks and personalities making for an unpredictable momentum. Blanc leans into the pack mentality quite literally with appearances by wolves. HUNTING DAZE is a spectacular metaphor for patriarchal power. My way or the highway structure assumes a male authority, especially if a woman attempts to rock the boat. This overarching sense of superiority we face from microaggressions to murder, HUNTING DAZE is a film of simmering feminist rage.


Film Screenings

Mar 9, 2024
10:00pm11:19pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
7:00pm8:19pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
9:00pm10:19pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
9:30pm10:49pm

 

Credits

Director:

Annick Blanc

Producer:

Maria Gracia Turgeon, Annick Blanc

Screenwriter:

Annick Blanc

Cinematographer:

Vincent Gonneville

Editor:

Amélie Labrèche

Music:

Peter Venne

Principal Cast:

Nahéma Ricci, Bruno Marcil, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Marc Beaupré, Alexandre Landry, Maxime Genois, Noubi Ndiaye

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For all things SXSW 2024, click here!


 

SXSW 2024 packs a punch. Here are 18 films we’re excited to see!

SXSW 2024 color logo

SXSW 2024 promises to kick up the coolness factor with more content than ever. This year films from every genre and corner of the world assemble to provide festival audiences thrills and chills, laughter and loss, mysteries and mayhem. Cinephiles look to SXSW for cool, creative, and wow films they can discuss all year. The 2024 edition will not disappoint. Here is a list of films we’re keeping our eyes on.

DICKWEED

Dickweed SXSW 2024

Two people got kidnapped. One man lost his dick. No-one got any money. This heist-gone-horribly-wrong led one Newport Beach detective on an international manhunt for the most twisted criminal he’d ever hunted. In 2012, Michael, a local weed dispensary owner, got home from work and plopped down on the sofa like any other weeknight. Three hours later he was zip-tied and eating dirt as three men tried to beat him into admitting where he’d buried the million dollars. And he would have gladly told them rather than endure what happened next. The only problem was, he hadn’t buried a million dollars, and after they tortured him and left him to die, he still had no idea who these men were.

I know. This sounds more like a mockumentary than a real-life occurrence. I had to go back and check twice to make sure I was reading the category correctly. SXSW 2024 documentary Dickweed delivers one of the most insane true-crime stories you will ever witness. Twists and turns and utterly unbelievable, this mysterious case will bewilder and entertain. Jonathan Ignatius Green does not disappoint. Get ready to tell everyone about this film, and be prepared for them to think you’re making it all up.

Director/Writer: Jonathan Ignatius Green (The Pez Outlaw, Social Animals

Producers: David Ricksecker, Jefferis Gray

Executive Producers: Amy Bandlien Storkel, Bryan Storkel

Running Time: 90 minutes

Film Screenings

Mar 9, 2024
2:30pm4:00pm
 
Mar 12, 2024
6:45pm8:15pm
 
Mar 12, 2024
7:15pm8:45pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
5:45pm7:15pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
 
6:15pm7:45pm

ADRIANNE AND THE CASTLE

Adrianne and the castle SXSW 2024

Inventive and whimsical, Adrianne & The Castle is a true story of great love and loss. Alan St-George is a mascot-maker and artist in rural Illinois who hand-made an ornate and elaborate castle with his late wife Adrianne. Since her death in 2006 he continues to put the finishing touches on Havencrest Castle, which stands as a “temple” dedicated to their transcendent love.

In one of the most stunning love stories ever told, director Shannon Walsh introduces us to a couple like no other, whose fairytale relationship lives on in an extraordinary mansion. 

Director: Shannon Walsh (The Gig Is UpIllusions Of Control) 

Producer: Ina Fichman (Fire of Love, The Oslo Diaries)

Running Time: 86 mins

Film Screenings

Mar 9, 2024
9:15pm10:41pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
5:45pm7:11pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
6:15pm7:41pm
 
Mar 13, 2024
11:15am12:41pm
 
Mar 13, 2024
11:45am1:11pm

TIMESTALKER

Timestalker SXSW 2024

“Timestalker” follows hapless heroine Agnes through time as she repeatedly falls for the wrong guy, dies a grim death, gets reincarnated a century later, before meeting him again and starting the cycle anew. It is one story told over many periods, all with the messy thrills and spills that come with daring to follow your heart. Or maybe your loins…
Agnes’ only hope in avoiding this violent fate is by finally reaching spiritual enlightenment; but how can she ever wise up when she’s destined to be a fool for love? Some lessons are just too hard to learn in one lifetime.

As a self-proclaimed Whovian, you had me at time-hopping. But a unique twist on angsty love is one of the many reasons why audiences come to SXSW 2024. This genre obliterating narratives promises to be one of the year’s best. And if you aren’t already familiar with Alice Lowe, boy are you in for a treat.

Directed by: Alice Lowe
Written by: Alice Lowe
Staring: Alice Lowe, Jacob Anderson, Aneurin Barnard, Tanya Reynolds, Nick Frost

Film Screenings

SXSW 2024
 
Mar 11, 2024

9:45pm11:21pm


AUDREY

Audrey SXSW 2024

Ronnie Lipsick (Jackie Van Beek), a former soap star and self-proclaimed Mother of the Year, gave up her acting career 18 years ago due to an unplanned pregnancy. Now she runs a suburban performing arts school, with a husband who has lost his zest for life, a youngest daughter(Hannah Diviney) who appears indifferent, and an ungrateful eldest daughter whom Ronnie (Josephine Blazier) tried to mold into the success she always wanted. When Audrey falls into a coma after an accident, Ronnie takes on her daughter’s identity, getting a second chance at the life she always desired.

Darkly funny and in three distinct acts of wackiness, AUDREY is everything you want it to be and way more.

Director:

Natalie Bailey

Screenwriter:

Lou Sanz

Principal Cast:

Jackie Van Beek, Josephine Blazier, Hannah Diviney, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor

Film Screenings

Mar 10, 2024
2:30pm4:07pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
5:15pm6:52pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
5:45pm7:22pm
 
Mar 15, 2024
2:15pm3:52pm

RESYNATOR

resynator


In unearthing the Resynator, the revolutionary synthesizer her late father invented in the 1970s, filmmaker Alison Tavel not only revives his mission to share it with the world, she unexpectedly forges a deep bond with the father she never got the chance to know. What starts as a curious resurrection of her dad’s invention soon becomes an insatiable, globe-trotting quest to unearth an authentic portrait of a man she never met. Featuring Peter Gabriel, Fred Armisen, Gotye, Grace Potter and more.

Director:

Alison Tavel

Principal Cast:

Alison Tavel, Grace Potter, Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson, Fred Armisen, Money Mark, Gotye, Mike Gordon, Brian Kehew, Christian Castagno

Film Screenings

Resynator at Alamo Lamar 4

Mar 10, 2024

6:00pm—7:36pm

Resynator at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center

Mar 13, 2024

6:00pm—7:36pm

Resynator at Satellite Venue: AFS Cinema

Mar 16, 2024

12:00pm—1:36pm


MALTA

Malta

Set in Bogotá, this captivating female character study narrates the story of a young Colombian woman who dreams of escaping her suffocating urban reality and traveling the world. However, an unexpected relationship with an unlikely man will make her question her true motives for leaving. 

A quiet purpose-seeking film with relatable themes is all you need to know about Malta. It will hit you no matter your personal background.

Director:

Natalia Santa

Principal Cast:

Estefanía Piñeres, Patricia Tamayo, Emmanuel Restrepo, Diego Cremonesi, Ángela Rodríguez, Edwin Riveros, Tonatiuh Ramírez , Raúl Cuellar

 

Film Screenings

Mar 9, 2024

2:15pm—3:52pm

Malta at Violet Crown Cinema 3

Mar 9, 2024

2:45pm—4:22pm

Malta at Violet Crown Cinema 2

Mar 11, 2024

3:15pm—4:52pm

Malta at Violet Crown Cinema 4

Mar 11, 2024

3:45pm—5:22pm

Malta at Alamo Lamar 8

Mar 14, 2024

9:45pm—11:22pm

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‘THE PRIVATE EYE’ (2024)- A neo- noir Matt Rife

THE PRIVATE EYE

THE PRIVATE EYE

A convoluted plot finds a down-on-his-luck detective becoming infatuated with his desperate new client. Jack Cook‘s THE PRIVATE EYE takes us on a twisty, often head-scratching ride through neo-noir weirdness.

(L-R) Denzel Whittaker and Matt Rife in Illusion Islands' THE PRIVATE EYE photo courtesy - Illusion IslandsMort and Michelle’s dynamic feels incredibly forced. The dialogue is a bizarre mix of awkward bad jokes and deeply personal romantic words. It is a baffling mix. The story is a mess, and there are innumerable superfluous scenes. The pace is glacial. At an hour and fifty-six minutes, this could have been eighty minutes at the most. 

Michelle’s character has no consistency, and by the end of the film, the casting choice feels entirely out of place That is not Clare Grant’s fault by any means. Matt Rife (Don’t Suck) does his best, actually giving audiences a taste of his surprising flair for the dramatic. If the right people see this film, it could open the door for more serious roles.
Matt Rife and Clare Grant in Illusion Islands' THE PRIVATE EYE photo courtesy - Illusion IslandsThe most successful aspect of the film is Eric Roberts‘ soothing narration, but there are too many inconsistencies for the final twist to go down smoothly. This is one of those times where a flashback montage of all the clues would greatly benefit the film.


THE PRIVATE EYE will be In Theaters Nationwide on Friday, February 9, 2024

Starring MATT RIFE, CLARE GRANT, ELLIOT, DENZEL WHITAKER, ERIK GRIFFIN, LEXY PANTERRA, JAY REEVES, ELIJAH BOOTHE, EUGENIA KUZMINA, ALEX KAGIANARIS, PETRI HAWKINS BYRD, ERIC ROBERTS, JOSIAH JACK KALIAN, JT PALMER, and CORY KIRK 

 

Directed by JACK COOK

Written by JACK COOK, PATRICK ROE, HOPE AYIYI, and ROSALINDA BOOKS

Produced by HOPE AYIYI, STREAM GARDNER, and ALEX KAGIANARIS

Co-Produced by RAAJ RAHHI and ELIJAH BOOTHE

Associate Produced by JAMES FRIEDHOFF

Executive Produced by JOE HEBELER, JOHN HEBELER, MARK DOC BERRY, STAN PARIS, JEFF SCHOENLING, TIM DOUGHERTY, CHIP TURNER, and BILL MCCLOY

Edited by WAYAN PALMIERI

 

Mystery/Romance/Comedy | 114 Minutes

 Rated R for language, sexual content, and brief violence.

 

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Film Website: https://www.illusionislands.com/

Review: ‘THE SEEDING’ is disturbing.

XYZ logo

THE SEEDING

The Seeding Poster

 A man comes upon a lost boy in the desert. In his efforts to assist, he becomes trapped alongside a woman held captive by a group of feral boys. The film opens with a disturbing image thrusting you into a slow-burn den of madness. Barnaby Clay‘s Tribeca 2023 film THE SEEDING is finally in theaters and on VOD today.

the-seeding-kate-lyn-sheilKate Lyn Sheil (She Dies Tomorrow) is spectacular as our mystery woman. Questions swirl about her complicity throughout the film, but Sheil is perfection, playing coy, never giving us answers until the end. She has a magnetic presence on screen and somehow manages not to age.

the-seeding-scott-hazeMy love for Scott Haze knows no bounds. From his breakout performance in Child of God to his work in Old Henry and What Josiah Saw, he is one of those actors who live in the skin of his characters. As Stone, his swings into toxic masculinity mirror the feral behavior of the boys above. He is undeniably compelling.

the_seeding_the_boysThe ominous score by Tristan Bechet sometimes grates in a way that makes you subconsciously cringe. The continuous low din instills pure fear. Stay through the entire end credits for more eerie ear candy. THE SEEDING has echoes of The Hills Have Eyes horror and Midsommer folklore. All said it is an upsetting watch, and that’s what genre fans show up for.

In theaters and on VOD nationwide January 26th!

 

Written and Directed by Barnaby Clay
Produced by Brian Etting
Starring Scott Haze and Kate Lyn Sheil

In THE SEEDING, a hiker lost in the desert takes refuge with a woman living alone, and soon discovers that she might not be there willingly. Directed by music video legend Barnaby Clay (SHOT! THE PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF ROCK), the picture stars Scott Haze (VENOM, JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION) and Kate Lyn Sheil of the horror hits YOU’RE NEXT and V/H/S.

94 minutes
#TheSeeding 

Review: ‘THE PORTRAIT’ succeeds in its psychological trickery

THE PORTRAIT

After her husband is devastated by a tragic accident, a devoted wife obsesses over a mysterious portrait that resembles him as he was; but when it starts to terrorize her, she must decide if it’s possessed or if she’s losing her mind.

Immersive editing and camera work immediately draw you into Simon RossTHE PORTRAIT. Fipsi Seilern creates stunning paintings that captivate and disturb. David Griffiths‘s screenplay leads us down a path that appears to be bit Dorian Gray, but the joke’s on us in the end.

Mark-Paul Gosselar plays Brookes, the groundskeeper. His dominant physical presence and the fact that he bears a resemblance to Alex make him an intriguing addition to the narrative. Virginia Madsen plays cousin Mags, a woman who knows more about the family history than Sofia wants to hear. She delivers a precise amount of eerie mystery. Ryan Kwanten is Alex, Sofia’s husband. Kwanten gives the role a frightening aura while simultaneously settling into the physical trauma left behind by the accident. These dual traits allow his acting chops to shine bright, especially considering the little dialogue Alex has. Natalia Cordova-Buckley gives Sofia a perfect balance of determination, frustration, and emotional trauma to keep you perched on the edge of your seat. Her raw vulnerability takes you on a journey that most women will find surprisingly relatable.

THE PORTRAIT pits hope against grief and science against the supernatural in a psychologically menacing manner.


Check out a clip below:


 

The Official Trailer for

THE PORTRAIT

 

Distributed By:

Saban Films

On VOD & Digital:

December 8, 2023

Directed By:

Simon Ross

Written By:

David Griffiths

Produced By:

Christian de Gallegos , David Griffiths

Starring:

Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Ryan Kwanten, Isidora Goreshter with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Virginia Madsen

Rating:

R for violence, some sexual content, language and brief drug use

Run Time:

86 Minutes

Review: Ira Rosensweig’s ‘SHARE?’ is one of the smartest genre films of the year

SHARE?

Disturbing, funny, and undeniably thrilling, SHARE? is an intriguing human experiment. The premise is slick, a mix of social commentary, the dystopian role of influencer culture, and the disease of instant gratification. The film opens with a man (Melvin Gregg), dubbed #14, in an empty room wearing nothing but a pair of underwear. Once he hears the ping of a rudimentary computer interface, SHARE? unfolds like gangbusters. 

Bradley Whitford is a veteran “participant” craving interaction. Each man gains knowledge from the other’s vastly different strategies for survival. Gregg discovers rewards flow when he either embarrasses or hurts himself. As one coaches the other, a mutually beneficial relationship develops. Alice Braga enters the scene as a woman on a mission, determined to find a way out. Her fiery passion counters Whitford’s stubbornness and Gregg’s growing popularity. When best intentions backfire, and another very influential participant butt heads with her, the consequences prove unthinkable. 

The performances are magnificent. Whitford’s energy is manic. It is like hypnotic live theatre. Alice Braga brings her usual fierceness, rattling the day-to-day flow of events. Melvin Gregg is a one-man show that gets better and better by the minute. His flawed vulnerability pulls you into this mesmerizing plot. He is magnificent. 

The first feature film to be shot entirely from one fixed camera angle, SHARE? is a wonder. The structure demands your undivided attention, as each captive, like Pavlov’s Dog, learns and responds to obtain food, water, clothing, nonessentials, and social interaction. Desperation, cancel culture, isolation, and voyeurism drive SHARE? headlong like a freight train and with a finale so fitting it’s breathtaking. You’ll scream at the screen.


ARRIVING IN SELECT THEATERS & ON DIGITAL AND VOD

NOVEMBER 10, 2023

 

SHARE?

Directed by: Ira Rosensweig

Screenplay by: Benjamin Sutor

Story by: Ira Rosensweig & Benjamin Sutor

Producers: Carissa Buffel, Kevin Matusow, Ira Rosensweig

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English

Genre: Sci-fi Mystery

Distributor: XYZ Films

Cast: Melvin Gregg (The Way Back, The Blackening), Bradley Whitford (Get Out, The Handmaid’s Tale), Alice Braga (The Suicide Squad, Hypnotic), 

Danielle Campbell (Tell Me a Story)

 

OPENING IN SELECT THEATERS ON NOVEMBER 10th

AND NATIONWIDE ON DIGITAL / VOD

NYC: Alamo Drafthouse, Lower Manhattan, November 6th (one night only)

Philadelphia: PFS Bourse Theater – November 7th (one night only)

Chicago: Alamo Drafthouse, November 8th (one night only)

Austin: Alamo Drafthouse, November 9th (one night only)

San Francisco: Alamo Drafthouse, November 10th

Los Angeles: Arena Cinelounge November 10th (full week run)

Los Angeles: Alamo Drafthouse DTLA, November 11th

Richmond, VA: BTM Movieland at Boulevard Sq, Richmond, VA, November 10th

Columbia, SC: BTM Dutch Square Cinema 14, Columbia, SC, November 10th

Oaks, PA: Oaks Center Cinema, November 10th


 

Review: Murder mystery romp ‘HELEN’S DEAD’ opens to Theaters and On Demand today!

HELEN’S DEAD

Helen’s Dead follows the story of Addie (Dylan Gelula). After a terrible breakup with her boyfriend, Addie goes to confront her best friend about cheating allegations and accidentally steps into a murder scene.


HELEN’S DEAD is an ensemble comedy filled with familiar faces. Several uninvited guests throw Leila’s curated entertainment plans out the window. HELEN’S DEAD turns a whirlwind of lies and a spoiled dinner party into a chaotic murder mystery. 

Tyrese Gibson plays Helen’s vengeful boyfriend on the hunt for his lady and some loot. Gibson is equal parts scary and charming. Beth Dover, whom I feel is simultaneously everywhere and not enough places, plays Girl Boss journalist and Leila’s supposed ticket back into the mainstream. Dover is as great as ever. Annabelle Dexter-Jones is our ambitious Leila, looking for the perfect dinner party to weave a small-town comeback tale for the masses. Her nightmarish perfection-driven micromanaging is everything you’d hope for. Brian Huskey plays Leila’s partner, but more importantly, her therapist. His turtleneck-wearing, effected speech character work is fantastic. 

Emile Hirsh is a manic misogynist and one catalyst in the chaos. Matilda Lutz plays the titular Helen. She is a star. Her presence is magnetic, and you cannot take your eyes off of her. Dylan Gelula, whom I adored in Cooper Raiff‘s Shithouse, gives us high millennial manicness for the gods. Gelula embodies Addie to a tea. Oliver Cooper steals the show with his portrayal of Cameron, a local theatre actor smitten with Helen and roped into an elaborate charade by Leila. Cooper is a joy to watch. If you aren’t smirking at his every syllable, check your pulse. 

While the film goes slightly off the rails an hour in, what remains of HELEN’S DEAD is a revenge plot gone awry and a twisted tale of reconciliation. 



In Theaters & On Demand November 3, 2023

Directed by K. Asher Levin
Written by Amy Brown Carver
Story by K. Asher Levin and Amy Brown Carver

Produced by Levin, Daniel Cummings, Robert Dean, Roy Scott MacFarland & Todd Lundbohm



Review: ‘A Haunting in Venice’ is a spooky shot in the arm for Branagh’s Poirot

A Haunting in Venice

It is rare for a film series to improve its footing 3 movies in. But that is precisely what Kenneth Branagh has accomplished with this year’s A Haunting in Venice, his 3rd directing / starring outing as Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot (after 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and 2022’s Death on the Nile.) This is a focused and taut film that benefits immensely from both its gorgeous location and more supernatural tone compared to past films. While Agatha Christie obsessives may leave wishing for a more of a standard murder-plot adventure, many will find this a thrilling kick-off for the 2023 Halloween season.

The film directly follows 2022’s Death on the Nile and finds Detective Poirot enjoying retirement within the canals of Venice. His services are still in great demand (as evidenced by the constant line of hopeful clients) but he has lost his faith. When he is approached by his old friend and novelist Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey, in a thinly veiled nod to author Agatha Christie), we know it can’t be long before the body count begins to climb.

As with the previous 2 films, the cast is stacked top to bottom. Despite the big-name actors, the characters outside Poirot are all thinly drawn. Kelly Reilly smolders as the grieving mother. Tina Fey gets a good laugh line or two as the Agatha Christie stand-in. Michelle Yeoh is the standout as the potential medium Joyce Reynolds, the only character that is really allowed to go toe to toe with Poirot (and even then, only briefly)

While the characters are thin, the atmosphere and cinematography of the film are incredibly lush – they are the real stars of the show. I would have bet you good money this film had a different cinematographer from the last two – the difference in style is night and day. But it is still Haris Zambarloukos at the helm, so all I can say is keep it up! Venice does a lot of the heavy lifting, of course, but there’s more to it than that. The first two films leveraged green-screen extensively, whereas Haunting is grounded and has a sense of place. The tone of the film is much more focused, and almost every scene contains rich imagery. I loved the way the suspense of the potential supernatural was implied in every scene – walls and windows of the palazzo creak and seem alive in a manner reminiscent of old Hollywood. No need for CGI thrills here. How great was the imagery? I could watch this movie with absolutely no dialogue and still enjoy myself immensely.

For many, the joy of a mystery film is in figuring out the solution before the detective. The case at the core of Haunting may not be complicated enough to satisfy all the sleuths in the theater, but the film is good enough they’ll certainly get another chance to see Poirot in action very soon. Here’s hoping the arthouse vibe of the series is here to stay!


The unsettling supernatural thriller based upon the novel “Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie and directed by and starring Oscar® winner Kenneth Branagh as famed detective Hercule Poirot, will open in theaters nationwide on September 15, 2023.

“A Haunting in Venice” is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, “A Haunting in Venice” is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.

Reuniting the team of filmmakers behind 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile,” the film is directed by Kenneth Branagh with a screenplay by Oscar® nominee Michael Green (“Logan”) based upon Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe’en Party. The producers are Kenneth Branagh, Judy Hofflund, Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg, with Louise Killin, James Prichard, and Mark Gordon serving as executive producers. A brilliant acting ensemble portrays a cast of unforgettable characters, including Kenneth Branagh, Kyle Allen (“Rosaline”), Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent”), Jamie Dornan (“Belfast”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Jude Hill (“Belfast”), Ali Khan (“6 Underground”), Emma Laird (“Mayor of Kingstown”), Kelly Reilly (“Yellowstone”), Riccardo Scamarcio (“Caravaggio’s Shadow”), and recent Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).


 

TIFF 2023 review: Christian Sparkes’ ‘THE KING TIDE’ spins fear and fanaticism to create one hell of a small-town mystery.

THE KING TIDE

Ten years past the discovery of a baby on the shores of their small New England fishing island, residents have avoided sickness and death through the girl’s mysterious ability to heal those around her. Young Isla is essentially the town’s diety. With her mysterious power, she holds the balance of life and death in her presence. Because of this, the adults have sheltered the children, telling stories of mainlanders as evil outsiders. They know nothing of technology or books from off the shores, nothing of illness that Isla cannot cure. Following a traumatic experience, her talents come into question, launching the village into panic and chaos. With elements of The Village and The Green Mile, themes of isolation, paranoia, morality, and magic pull the viewer into a swirling mystery.

The cast is strong, particularly Alix West Lefler as Isla. She has a purity to her performance that is nothing short of mesmerizing. The overcast skies, neutral costumes, and lantern-lit sets keep us unsettled. The foreboding cello-heavy score makes you catch your breath. The tension builds into an uncontrollable monster. The film culminates in a shocking and award-worthy finale. THE KING TIDE is inarguably one of the best-written films of the year. It deserves a prequel and a sequel. It is a must-see.


Directed by 

Christian Sparkes

Writing Credits  

Kevin Coughlin … (story by)

Ryan Grassby … (story by)

Albert Shin

William Woods


 

Review: ‘MADELEINE COLLINS’ overflows with complexity.

MADELEINE COLLINS

Judith (Virginie Efira)’s life is split between two households in two countries. In Switzerland, she is Margot, a translator who lives with Abdel (Quim Gutierrez) and the little girl they are raising. In France, she is known as Judith and lives a glamorous life with acclaimed orchestra conductor Melvil (Bruno Salomone) and their two older boys. This fragile balance, based on complex lies and tightly scheduled back-and-forth trips, gradually begins to crack and veer dangerously off the rails. The mysterious reasons for her lies, and the complications that ensue from her efforts to keep the two lives separate, propel the third narrative feature from Antoine Barraud anchored by a virtuoso turn from Efira in all of her character’s many guises.
 

Judith/Margot’s curated existence managing two identities and two families begins to crumble, exposing her lies, motives, and underlying trauma.

Virginie Efira wows audiences as a woman wearing all the hats. Effortlessly embodying each distinct persona, Efira proves, once again she is a star. It is a balancing act of power structures, dangerous satisfaction, and unusual sacrifice.

Antoine Barraud gives audiences a film almost best viewed without prior knowledge of the plot. Enticing the audience and challenging their sense of morality, MADELEINE COLLINS hypnotizes with twists, turns, and deep complexity. Barraud and co-writer Héléna Klotz carefully weave an unmissable commentary about beauty, unrequited male infatuation, and childhood trauma into the narrative. The film overflows with nuance, and its final reveal changes everything. It is a wildly elaborate hurricane of grief.


Directed by Antoine Barraud
Written by Antoine Barraud and Héléna  Klotz
Starring Virginie Efira (Revoir Paris, Other People’s Children, Sibyl, Elle, Benedetta)
Co-starring Bruno Salomone, Quim Gutierrez, Jacqueline Bisset, Valérie Donzelli, Nadav Lapid 
 

Opens on Friday, August 18 in NY (IFC Center) and LA (at Laemmle Royal and Laemmle Town Center, Encino)


 

Vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein, Time Travel, and Fever Dreams. Oh, is that all? Nope. What to Watch at Fantasia Festival 2023, coming this week!

Fantasia Festival 2023 logo

Fantasia 2023 is almost upon us, or as we like to say, “It’s Christmas in July, Motherf*ckers!” But, we usually keep that on the inside. Now that you have a taste of how demented we naturally are, here is a handful of films we are stoked to check out at this year’s fest. It’s the stuff we’ll undoubtedly be buzzing about for the remainder of the year. We have been lucky enough to have seen a few of the titles already making the rounds. You can catch our reviews for the following films:

With Love and a Major Organ

Suitable Flesh

Satan Wants You

Paiffe

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

Talk To Me

Molli and Max in the Future


Now, onto the films that we cannot wait to get our eyeballs on for the first time…

 

LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP

lovely dark and deep poster


LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is the hotly anticipated directorial debut of Teresa Sutherland, screenwriter of THE WIND and a writer on MIDNIGHT MASS. Laced with stunning visuals, this ominously beautiful, deeply frightening nightmare is anchored by a captivating lead performance from BARBARIAN’s Georgina Campbell. Campbell plays a park ranger in an isolated forest outpost, the site of multiple mysterious disappearances, and she is plagued by visions blending the past and present with something even more sinister. This transfixing film oozes an immersive, fever-dream atmosphere. Also starring Nick Blood, Wai Ching Ho, and Edgar Morais. World Premiere. 

You had us at Georgina Campbell and the woods. Teresa Sutherland understands how to create atmospheric chaos, both physically and emotionally. We’re betting on this one.



APORIA

Sophie’s (Judy Greer, HALLOWEEN) life takes a sudden hard turn when either fate or a terrible chance of circumstance sees her husband Mal (Edi Gathegi, THE HARDER THEY FALL) killed in a drunk-driving accident. Left to parent her grief-torn teenaged daughter (Faithe Herman, SHAZAM!) on her own while trying to keep things together with an emotionally taxing nursing job, her breaking point might be coming up fast and it takes every bit of her remaining strength not to fall apart. One day, her husband’s best friend (Payman Maadi, A SEPARATION), a brilliant former physicist, approaches her with an experimental machine that he’s secretly been working on for years. One that’s capable of bending time in specific ways. A device that could — perhaps — bring a version of Sophie’s old life back to her. She understands that by taking a chance with this, the consequences will be entirely unforeseeable. It’s an impossible choice to make. And a lifeline that’s all but impossible to resist.

As a self-proclaimed Whovian, time-bending is my jam. Add in Judy Greer, whose career is a delicious buffet of eclectic tastes, and you’ve got my eyeballs for however long you want them.


STAY ONLINE

Stay Online poster

STAY ONLINE, the feature-film debut of Ukrainian filmmaker Eva Strelnikova, follows Katya (Liza Zaitseva), a volunteer from Kyiv who is fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While using a laptop donated to the resistance, she comes into contact with the original owner’s superhero-obsessed son, who is looking for his lost parents. In an effort to make a positive change in this boy’s life and pull herself out of a destructive cycle, Katya risks all that she holds dear to locate his parents.

If your heart isn’t pumping, palms sweating while watching this film, check your pulse. Told through the lens f a laptop screen, this political thriller set during the early days of the war in Ukraine will have you on edge from start to finish.


BLACKOUT

A still from Larry Fessenden's Blackout

In a small upstate New York town, artist Charley Barrett (Alex Hurt) checks out of the motel that’s been his recent home and sets out on a series of personal missions. These include exposing the corruption of ruthless developer Hammond (Marshall Bell), and reconciling with former lover Sharon (Addison Timlin), Hammond’s daughter. Another is connected to his tragic secret: Charley is a werewolf, recently infected with the curse and responsible for a series of gruesome murders. The local residents have scapegoated one of the Latino workers on Hammond’s construction site for the killings, and as a full moon rises, their desire for justice hits a fever pitch while Charley succumbs to his transformation once more.

Larry Fessenden, Ladies and Gentlemen, and All Genre Fans. This horror legend not only appears in every single instant cult classic but writes and directs slick horror through his production company Glass Eye Pix. Fessenden’s Monster Mania takes a new turn in werewolf form this go around. 


WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS

Darkest prayers will be answered, in sawdust and sacrilege, when Fantasia goes WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS. This astonishing new feature from cult favourites The Adams Family (Toby Poster, John Adams, Zelda Adams), follows a family of traveling sideshow performers as they traverse Depression-era America on a bloody search for eternal life. As in THE DEEPER YOU DIG and HELLBENDER, both Fantasia World Premieres, the gifted filmmaking family’s latest creation continues their inspired explorations of familial power dynamics through the prism of horror. Haunting, poetic, sometimes funny, frequently freakish, and told with conviction through a deeply personal lens. World Premiere. 

Filmmaking phenoms The Adams Family has been rocking my world for years with their uniquely smart storytelling and jarring imagery. Fellow born and bred New Englanders, I love them and their work on a deeply personal level. If you check Twitter notes, they have publicly accepted me into the family. They can do no wrong in my book.


EMPIRE V

EMPIRE V

A disaffected student (Pavel Tabakov) follows an invitation to join “the elite” and finds himself forcibly transformed into a vampire, joining a supernatural ruling class who exercise an anonymous dictatorship over humans. Celebrated Russian-American director Victor Ginzburg (GENERATION P) demonstrates a striking visual imagination, perfectly complementing a story that reinvents nearly every aspect of vampire lore in clever and fantastical ways. This is the MATRIX of vampire cinema. Years in the making, EMPIRE V is both next-level blockbuster storytelling and megabudget anti-Oligarch satire, electrified with breathtaking visuals from the great Aleksei Rodionov (COME AND SEE). Co-starring Miron Fedorov, AKA rap star Oxxxymiron, whose anti-War benefit concerts led the Russian justice ministry to condemn him as a “foreign agent.” EMPIRE V itself has been banned by Russia’s Ministry of Culture, ensuring that the citizens of its home country may never see the film. World Premiere. 

I don’t care how many vampire films we’ve seen, I’m a Child of the Night, an Anne Rice, Stephen King lover. And yes, even Twilight, baby. Vampires will get me through the door every single time. Empire V looks slick as hell, and I’m all for satire. Especially when it involves Russia and all forms of revolt. This new take clearly has teeth.


BIRTH/REBIRTH

Rose (Marin Ireland, THE DARK AND THE WICKED) is a morgue technician with little patience for the living. Brilliant and obsessively driven, she also has a personal side-project that’s consumed much of her waking energies: The reversing of physical death. Celine (Judy Reyes, SCRUBS) is a hardworking maternity nurse who gives her all to patients shift after shift, the emotional intensity of her work only finding reprieve when she comes home to her effervescent six-year-old daughter, Lila (A.J. Lister). Fates take a horrific turn that smashes the lives of both women into each other, dropping them down a gruesome rabbit hole of desperate choices and ascending moral compromise that will shake you to your core. We’ll reveal no more.

Female-driven horror storytelling with motherhood at the center, Birth/Rebirth may connect with childbearing audiences that don’t usually go for this kind of fare. Risky, visceral, and unafraid to shock, audiences cannot prepare for what they are about to witness. Mary Shelley approves. 


WHITE NOISE

white noise short film still

Ava’s debilitating hyper-sensitivity to sound is becoming unliveable. Her doctor’s prescription of exposure therapy backfires as she descends into a fit of panic in both her class and the subway. When her attempt at suicide fails, she pleads with her doctor to enrol her in an experimental trial involving an anechoic chamber: the world’s quietest room. The doctor has his reservations, but Ava is convinced this is the ticket to her salvation. In this soundless space, her euphoria quickly mutates into madness when she begins to hear the inner workings of her own body.

Drawing on producer Christina Saliba’s experiences, this short film from director Tamara Scherbak made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Suffering from the same affliction, this brilliantly torturous short places the viewer inside the body of someone with constant sensory overload. *Shiver and wince*


Last but not least, the annual goodness that is BORN OF WOMAN 2023 shorts program. Every year I look forward to the brutal, genius, angry, gorgeous, bloody storytelling from a handpicked group of female filmmakers. 130 mins, 8 films, from the United Kingdom, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, and Argentina. 

For all things Fantasia Festival 2023, click here.

 

Reviews will be rolling out as fast as we can watch and type!


 

DWF LA review: Christopher Beatty’s film ‘BIBI’ is hauntingly beautiful madness.

Dances With Films LA poster 2023BIBI

Bibi Poster

Writer-director Christopher Beatty gives DANCES WITH FILMS audiences a stunningly atmospheric film with BIBI. Stuck in a cycle of grief, Vivian experiences nightmares of her late daughter Ava. Seeking solace through a strained relationship with her eldest daughter Bibi, the nightmares bleed into her reality. Discerning between the two becomes a battle between good and evil, the past and the present.

Bibi stillStand-out editing from Benjamin Murphy keeps viewers on their toes, while John Paesano‘s score takes you to another world. The costume design by Kimberly G. Grader completes the picture of upper-echelon existence and ethereal madness.

Tammy Blanchard counters the mood with her brash persona. She is a necessary and memorable piece of this puzzle. Performances from Judith Ann DiMinni and Elizabeth Paige, playing Bibi and Vivian, respectively, are phenomenal. Beatty’s script gives both women the chance to show their acting chops. They wade deep into anguish, darkness, and mystery.

Elizabeth Paige in BIBIBIBI is a compelling supernatural thriller that is reminiscent of Jennifer Kent’s The Babdook, possessing a shocking final act you will not see coming. The physical manifestation of grief and trauma swirls into a hypnotic storm of emotional chaos. BIBI should not be missed.


For more information on DWF LA click here!

 

Tribeca Festival 2023 Curtain raiser: Films we are putting on our must-see lists before the festival begins

TRIBECA FESTIVAL 2023 brings thrills, mystery, comedy, fantasy, you name it, there is something for everyone. This year’s lineup features Joe Lynch‘s latest, Suitable Flesh, Gabriela Cowperthwaite‘s I.S.S., and David Duchovny‘s Bucky F*cking Dent. Let’s get into a few of the films we are dying to get our eyeballs on this year.

 

THE LISTENER – North American Premiere – Spotlight Narrative 
Directed by: Steve Buscemi
Written by: Alessandro Camon
Produced by: Wren Arthur, Steve Buscemi, Oren Moverman, Lauren Hantz, and Tessa Thompson
Executive Producers: John Hantz, Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, and Suzanne Warren
Co-Producers: Billy Mulligan, Kat Barnette, and Joyce Pierpoline
Associate Producer: Brian Miele
Starring: Tessa Thompson


An understated drama about a night in the life of a mental health helpline volunteer, The Listener is a stirring testament to the power of empathy.

Tessa Thompson continues her Tribeca greatness in a role that could easily translate from film to stage. This is a character study.


MAGGIE MOORE(S) – World Premiere – Spotlight Narrative 

In Theaters & On Demand June 16th

Directed by John Slattery
Written by Paul Bernbaum
Produced by John Slattery, Vincent Garcia Newman, Dan Reardon, Santosh Govindaraju, Nancy Leopardi, and Ross Kohn
Starring Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Micah Stock, Nick Mohammed, Happy Anderson, and Mary Holland

When two women with the same name are murdered days apart, small-town police chief Jordan Sanders (Hamm) finds himself wading through an unlikely collection of cheating husbands, lonely hearts, nosy neighbors and contract killers in an effort to put the pieces of the case, and his life, together. The film is inspired by actual events.

The cast alone should get you through the door. This bizarre tale, based on real-life events, is a wacky we-know whodunit, but it doesn’t lessen the impact.



THE MIRACLE CLUB – World Premiere – Spotlight Narrative Category (Sony Pictures Classics)



Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Vera, Call the Midwife)

Written by Jimmy Smallhorne, Timothy Prager, and Joshua D. Maurer

Produced by Joshua D. Mauer, Alixandre Witlin, Chris Curling, Larry Bass, Aaron Farrell, John Gleeson and Oisín O’Neill


Three close friends who have never left the outskirts of Dublin (much less Ireland) get the journey of a lifetime — a visit to Lourdes, the picturesque French town and place of miracles.

An absolute charmer about healing old wounds and forgiveness set in the gorgeous French countryside. Laura Linney and Dame Maggie Smith? That’s an instant yes.

Check out the trailer below:


SOMEWHERE QUIET– US Narrative Competition

Director/Writer: Olivia West Lloyd

Producers: Emma Hannaway, Taylor Ava Shung, and Eamon Downey

Cast: Jennifer Kim, Kentucker Audley, Marin Ireland, Michéal Neeson

Running Time: 98 minutes

In the ominous and tense Somewhere Quiet, a woman readjusts to normalcy after surviving a traumatic kidnapping — but her grounded sense of reality soon starts to deteriorate when she travels with her husband to his wealthy family’s isolated compound.

This solid thriller will catch you off guard, making you second-guess your sanity along the way.


OUR SON– Spotlight Narrative

Director/Co-Writer: Bill Oliver

Co-Writer: Peter Nickowitz 

Producers: Fernando Loureiro and Eric Binns

Key Cast: Luke Evans, Billy Porter

Running Time: 104 Minutes

Nicky (Luke Evans), a book publisher devoted to his work, lives with his husband Gabriel (Billy Porter), a former actor and stay-at-home dad, and their eight year-old son, Owen. Gabriel loves Owen more than anything; Nicky loves Gabriel more than anything. Despite appearances, Gabriel has been dissatisfied with their marriage for some time and files for divorce, leading to a custody battle that forces both of them to confront the changing reality of their love for each other and for their son.

This beautifully complex story of the growing pains of changing love.


I.S.S. – Spotlight Narrative

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Writer: Nick Shafir

Producers: Pete Shilaimon and Mickey Liddell

Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, Pilou Asbæk, John Gallagher Jr., Maria Mashkova, Costa Ronin

Running Time: 95 Minutes

Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station as a worldwide conflict occurs on Earth. Reeling from this, the astronauts receive orders from the ground: take control of the station by any means necessary.

A stunning look at loyalty. This intense sci-fi thriller captivates you with Ariana DeBose holding you in the palm of her hand.


SUITABLE FLESH –  Midnight (World Premiere)

Director: Joe Lynch
 
Screenwriter: Dennis Paoli
 
Producers: Barbara Crampton, Bob Portal, Inderpal Singh, Joe Wicker
 
Cast: Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, Bruce Davison, Barbara Crampton, Johnathon Schaech
 
Running Time: 100 Minutes
 

After murdering her young patient, a once-esteemed psychiatrist helplessly watches her life spiral into a nightmarish maelstrom of supernatural hysteria and gruesome deaths, all linked to a seemingly unstoppable ancient curse.

Let Joe Lynch direct all the Lovecraftian weirdness. Honestly, as a genre fan, you had me at Barbara Crampton.


BAD THINGS – US Narrative Competition 

DIRECTOR: Stewart Thorndike
 
PRODUCER: Lizzie Shapiro, Lexi Tannenholtz
 
SCREENWRITER: Stewart Thorndike
 
 
CAST: Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, Jared Abrahamson, Molly Ringwald
 
A weekend getaway for a few friends at a snowy resort becomes a psychological tailspin and bloody nightmare. Long-deceased guests and the space itself come to life in this haunting thriller.
 

There is always something to be said for a film that gets snapped up by Shudder before its premiere. The platform’s ability to spot great genre storytelling goes head-to-head with the major studios. Gayle Rankin‘s ability to live in whatever role she takes on is astounding. I have no doubt that she’ll kill it. *wink, wink*

**COMING TO SHUDDER (US, UK, IRELAND, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND) 
AND AMC+ (US, CA, ANZ) ON AUGUST 18TH, 2023**


BUCKY F*CKING DENT – Spotlight Narrative

DIRECTOR: David Duchovny
 
PRODUCER: Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman, Tiffany Kuzon, David Duchovny
 
SCREENWRITER: David Duchovny
 
CAST: David Duchovny, Logan Marshall-Green, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Beghe, Evan Handler, Pamela Adlon, Daphne Rubin-Vega
 
Follows Ted who moves in with his father Marty when he develops a fatal illness. To keep him happy and alive, Ted enlists Marty’s grief counselor Mariana and friends to fake a Red Sox winning streak.
 
As a born and bred Red Sox fan, Bucky Dent felt like the modern-day equivalent of “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” long before that reference was a pop-culture reference. I grew up sitting against The Green Monster. You can clock my age in successive photographs. Based on his novel, David Duchovny brings this father-son story to the big screens at Tribeca. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m pretty sure that for true fans, this one is destined to be a home run. 
   OF NIGHT AND LIGHT: THE STORY OF IBOGA AND IBOGAINE – Spotlight Documentary

DIRECTOR:Lucy Walker
PRODUCER:Julian Cautherley, Lyn Davis Lear, Laurie Benenson, Lucy Walker
CINEMATOGRAPHER:Sebastian Denis, Lorenzo Hagerman, Aaron Phillips
EDITOR:Parker Laramie

Of Night and Light: The Story of Iboga and Ibogaine tells the astounding unknown story of what might be the scientific discovery of our generation. Back in 1962, a teenage psychonaut in New York City named Howard Lotsof experimented with an obscure psychedelic from the root bark of a West African shrub and recognized its unique therapeutic potential. Together with his African-American wife Norma, a pair of outsider NYU film students, they dedicated their lives to convincing the scientific community and government agencies to research it, certain that it would be of great medicinal benefit, despite it sounding too good to be true – like the textbook definition of snake oil – and being written off as con artists.

Sixty years later, their dream is now materializing as clinics spawned from their original test sites have treated more than 100,000 people with opiate use disorder and now over 1,000 US Special Forces veterans, who have experienced dramatic relief from a spectrum of problems including traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, ptsd, addictions, and physical disabilities through the use of ibogaine. Now jaw-dropping new research, about to be published, is revealing that ibogaine is the most powerful therapeutic ever observed for the human central nervous system.

Psychedelics have a complicated past, but their present-day use is more prevalent than most people know. I can’t wait to dig into the history of this life-changing medicine because that’s what it is. I have family members in the medical industry who use them, and audiences will have family members with PTSD, so this one has the potential to be more personal than anyone expected.


THE FUTURE– International Narrative Competition (World Premiere)

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Noam Kaplan
STARRING Dar Zuzovsky, Samar Qupty, Reymonde Amsellem
PRODUCED BY Yoav Roeh, Arit Zamir
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY Shark de Mayo
EDITED BY Effi Cohen Vertes
MUSIC BY David Klemes

At 42, Dr. Bloch (Reymonde Amsellem), a profiler, wants a child. A future. Her only way is to find a surrogate mother. At the same time, her groundbreaking algorithm designed to identify individuals planning to carry out terror attacks fails and a young Palestinian woman (Samar Qupty) assassinates the Israeli minister of Space and Tourism. In order to ‘fix the bugs’ in her algorithm, Nurit faces the assassin in person. The sessions between these two brilliant women raise questions about their past, while the sessions between Bloch and the potential surrogate (Dar Zuzovsky) challenge Bloch’s decision about her future.

This near-future femme-centric drama from Noam Kaplan gives brilliant women the chance to challenge one another at every turn.  A futuristic collision within the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, THE FUTURE has more nuance than you are prepared for.


TO MY FATHER – Shorts (World Premiere)

DIRECTOR: Sean Schiavolin
PRODUCER: John Papola, Troy Kotsur, Justin Bergeron
SCREENWRITER: Sean Schiavolin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brody Carmichael 
EDITOR: Josh Meyers, Sean Schiavolin
COMPOSER: Hanan Townshend
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jessi Bennett
CAST: Troy Kotsur

 

To My Father depicts Deaf actor Troy Kotsur’s journey to winning an Oscar and his father’s inspiring influence on him, despite a tragic accident.

Grab the tissues and be prepared for the beauty presented by Sean Schiavolin. If you haven’t been living under a rock then you are familiar with the extraordinary Troy Kotsur. This twenty-minute short pierces your heart, once again, as we learn more about the deaf actor’s inspiration. Do Not Miss It.


CHASING CHASING AMY – Viewpoints (World Premiere)

DIRECTOR: Sav Rodgers
PRODUCER: Alex Schmider, Carrie Radigan, Lela Meadow-Conner, Matthew C. Mills, Sav Rodgers
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Winters, Bradley Garrison
CAST: Kevin Smith, Guinevere Turner, Joey Lauren Adams, Scott Mosier, Sav Rodgers, Andrew Ahn, Kevin Willmott, Trish Bendix, Princess Weekes, Regina “Riley” Rodgers

 

12-year-old Sav Rodgers watched the film Chasing Amy, and his life was forever changed. Developing a kinship — and maybe a slight obsession — with it as he grew into his queerness, he decides to fund and direct a documentary that examines its role in LGBTQ+ film culture. He makes significant progress, even garnering the support and collaboration of its director, Kevin Smith. However, as the production of the documentary continues, Rodgers realizes that the legacy of the film and his relationship with it might be changing. So where does that leave him?

Chasing Amy was a sexual awakening for more of us than we might like to admit. It felt like a narrative shock to the system in the most welcome way for audiences obsessed with Clerks and Mallrats. We were open-minded Kevin Smith nerds and we were ready to listen. This timely look at LGBTQAI+ issues is sure to spark conversation.


For all things Tribeca Festival, click here!

Keep your eyes peeled for shared coverage from us, Unseen Films, and AWFJ.org!


 

The Finale of ID’s 3-night special ‘THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE’ is as shocking as ever. Do not miss this unbelievable story.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE offers extraordinary access and exclusive insight into a mystery ripped straight from the headlines: Who is Natalia Barnett? Initially assumed to be a 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone growth disorder that can result in skeletal abnormalities as well as issues with hearing and vision, Natalia was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010. However, the happy family dynamic soured when allegations against Natalia were brought by the Barnetts who alleged Natalia was an adult masquerading as a child with intent to harm their family. In 2013, Natalia was discovered living on her own which ignited an investigation that led to Michael and Kristine’s arrest and a firestorm of questions.


To read Night One coverage, click here!

To read about Night Two, click here!

Michael Barnett and Kristine Barnett mugshots

In Episode 5, Barnett v. Barnett, the gloves are off between husband and wife as a case of neglect builds against Kristine with the assistance of Michael. He weaves a tale of abuse at the hands of Kristine. Intercut are pretrial interviews with Natalia. She contracts herself within minutes. Jacob shares ways his mother manipulated him to get back at Natalia. You understand the sickness of requesting a child on the spectrum to perform such heinous acts. The biggest victim in this wild case is undeniably Jacob Barnett.

Episode 6, the final chapter in this ID docuseries, picks up where Episode 5 left off; Michael’s trial. The legal language and coaching are both revealing and incredibly uncomfortable. Grab your popcorn because the volatility of this case hits new heights.

In its entirety, THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE is an emotional rollercoaster. This story is far from over.

 

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE will premiere across three consecutive nights on ID beginning Monday, May 29, airing nightly from 9-11pm ET/PT.

Night Two of ‘THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE’ shakes up the narrative in the 3-night special airing on ID

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE offers extraordinary access and exclusive insight into a mystery ripped straight from the headlines: Who is Natalia Barnett? Initially assumed to be a 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare bone growth disorder that can result in skeletal abnormalities as well as issues with hearing and vision, Natalia was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010. However, the happy family dynamic soured when allegations against Natalia were brought by the Barnetts who alleged Natalia was an adult masquerading as a child with intent to harm their family. In 2013, Natalia was discovered living on her own which ignited an investigation that led to Michael and Kristine’s arrest and a firestorm of questions.


To read Night One coverage, click here!

NIGHT TWO:

In Episode 3, theories clash, and the proverbial shit hits the fan. Kristine gets Natalia an apartment after legally re-aging her, and a tale of two villains emerges. Natalia’s new neighbors share their experiences with her and the Barnetts. It is an alarming collection of interactions.

Episode 4 highlights Michael Barnett‘s evolution on camera spans years. His earliest interviews from 2019 display a well-spoken man recalling a shocking family nightmare. In the latest interviews from 2022, we see a completely different man whose story changes. He is a man slowly unraveling. It is challenging to decipher if the tears are crocodile or not. Jacob hints at a broader understanding of fault. It puts some of Kristine’s footage of Natalia into question and puts Jacob in a precarious situation, emotionally and legally.

Stay tuned for Night Three’s coverage tomorrow!

 

THE CURIOUS CASE OF NATALIA GRACE will premiere across three consecutive nights on ID beginning Monday, May 29, airing nightly from 9-11pm ET/PT.