Fantasia 2024: It’s Heeerrreee (almost). Genre’s best of the best is about to begin.

Fantasia 2024 posterFANTASIA 2024

It’s no secret that Fantasia is the festival I gush about the most. If you want to call yourself a genre film fan you have to know about the buzziest films coming out of the fest each year. Once again, Quebec will host a plethora of premieres, a gaggle of talks with the industry’s best, and scare the pants off of you. Would you expect any less? Fantasia 2024 is the 28th edition of this wonderfully wacky cinephile playground.


IN OUR BLOOD Fantasia 2024

IN OUR BLOOD

Nothing is as it seems when filmmaker Emily Wyland (Brittany O’Grady) teams up with cinematographer Danny (E. J. Bonilla) to shoot an intimate documentary about reuniting with Emily’s estranged mother after a decade apart. When her mother suddenly goes missing, possibly succumbing to the addictions that first tore her family apart, Emily and Danny must piece together increasingly sinister clues to find her before it’s too late.

Directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Pedro Kos (Rebel Hearts, Lead Me Home) in his first narrative feature, IN OUR BLOOD masterfully blends psychological mystery with chilling horror. The film weaves a twisted tale of reconciling with the ghosts of our past and confronting the complicity we share in creating a world that preys on the most vulnerable.


HELL HOLE Fantasia 2024

Hell HoleA road trip through Canadian oil fields conjured up fantasies of secrets deep in the dirt for the Adams family, and inspired them to create HELL HOLE, an indie rock-n-roll monster movie set at a far-away fracking site. Known for their DIY ethos, John and Lulu Adams and Toby Poser, partnering with Shudder, have joined the team behind The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and FX legend Todd Masters to shoot their latest in Serbia with a local cast and crew. Absurd, mutinous, and transgressively comical, Hell Hole is old-school sci-fi horror, yet in typical family fashion, they subvert the genre with textures of biological and environmental horror in tandem with questions of gender and bodily autonomy. This will be the fourth time Fantasia World Premieres work from the gifted filmmaking family, following launches of THE DEEPER YOU DIGHELLBENDER, and WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMSWorld Premiere.


THE BEAST WITHIN

The Beast Within Fantasia 2024

The haze of childhood is a magic lantern that throws light on the wall through a veil of dark both frightening and exciting, and nowhere is this better articulated than in THE BEAST WITHIN (previously titled WHAT REMAINS OF US). Kit Harington (GAME OF THRONESETERNALS) is a father with a secret that he is desperately trying to keep under control. His mysterious excursions at night leave his ailing daughter (Caoilinn Springall, THE MIDNIGHT SKYSTOPMOTION) plagued with questions. The old, timeless house in the woods that she lives in with her caring mother (Ashleigh Cummings, NOS4A2) and absent father feels more like a haunted castle than a loving home. As she investigates her father’s bizarre and dark behaviour, a monstrous figure emerges from the shadows, terrorizing those who encounter it. Supported by her grandfather (James Cosmo, HIGHLANDERBRAVEHEART), she attempts to unravel the mysteries of the creature, and the revelations that she discovers will rock her family and leave her forever changed.


FRANKIE FREAKO Fantasia 2024

Frankie FreakoAfter the success of PSYCHO GOREMAN, FX artist and director Steven Kostanski hits back with the zany, over-the-top FRANKIE FREAKO! Starring Conor Sweeney and Adam Brooks of Astron-6 fame, the film follows a nerdy man who just isn’t cool. In an attempt to impress his wife and boss, he’s lured by a 1-900 TV ad to party with a strange little creature called Frankie Freako. All hell breaks loose when Conor calls and Frankie and his two friends wreak interdimensional havoc in Conor’s life. Kostanski fans will flock to his latest imaginative adventure, saturated with throwback cartoonish fun à la GHOULIES, wildly creative puppets, big laughs, and a helluva good time! Septentrion Shadows section. World Premiere.


THE CODE Fantasia 2024

The CodePeter Vack (ASSHOLES) and Dasha Nekrasova (THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST) star as couple on the rocks during the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic in American filmmaker Eugene Kotlyarenko (SPREE)’s latest, THE CODE – a generation-defining, wickedly dark comedy that blends post-New Wave French sensibilities of aesthetic disillusionment with a singularly alien view of contemporary American life. A transgressive and singular experience, nothing is off limits in this surveillance-heavy narrative, which uses multiple formats, points of view, and cameras to create a visionary collage-like experience of modern life. An epic poem for our post-pandemic world. Underground Section. World Premiere.


BLACK EYED SUSAN Fantasia 2024

Black Eyed SusanIt’s been 21 long years since Scooter McCrae (SHATTER DEAD) released a new feature, and he’s lost none of his smart, transgressive bite. Desperate for work, Derek (Damian Maffei, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT) accepts a job at a shady tech start-up, working intimately with Susan (Yvonne Emilie Thälker in a powerful debut role), a bleeding-edge BDSM sex doll meant to receive and appreciate sexual punishment as an integral part of her evolving AI. Shot on Super 16, BLACK EYED SUSAN counterbalances its dark, vulgar core with a surprisingly tender vulnerability, creating a lo-fi science-fiction landscape infused with surprising fragility, as legendary Italian composer Fabio Frizzi (THE BEYOND, ZOMBIE) lends the picture a lush, atmospheric backdrop. Not for the faint of heart, BLACK EYED SUSAN delves into themes and questions that will only become more pertinent with the continued evolution of artificial intelligence. World Premiere.


CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING Fantasia 2024

Chainsaws Were SingingA true DIY passion project from Estonian filmmaker Sander Maran, CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING is a zany, blood-soaked musical about lovers split up by a chainsaw-wielding killer. Over a decade in the making, Saran not only directed but wrote, scored, shot, and edited this colorful murder-fest that’s part gory horror movie and part ridiculous musical. The camerawork is inventive, the editing slapstick, and the tone truly absurdist. Most importantly, though, the songs are incredibly catchy, with Sander clearly deeply indebted to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL and Frank Oz’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Underground Section. International Premiere.


THE CHAPEL Fantasia 2024

The Chapel Fantasia 2024The stunning sophomore feature from award-winning director Carlota Pereda (PIGGY), THE CHAPEL marks the fantastic return of atmospheric, character-driven supernatural Spanish horror. Emma (Maia Zaitegi) wants to learn how to communicate with the spirit of a little girl who has spent centuries trapped inside a chapel. She tries to convince Carol (THE ORPHANAGE’s Belen Rueda), a cynical and fake medium, to help her in the hopes that contacting the spirit may help her to remain close to her dying mother after she passes. What Carol doesn’t suspect is that Emma really does have “the gift” and, if she keeps on trying to use it without her guidance, she will be putting her young life at terrifying risk. Winner: Best Actress, Belen Rueda, Cinefantasy 2023. Official Selection: Sitges 2023. North American Premiere.


BORN OF WOMAN 2024 Fantasia 2024

https://fantasiafestival.com/en/program/born-of-woman-2024

Fantasia 2024 - Born of Woman 2024 - fantasiafestival.comMy favorite shorts collection of the year, this wildly eclectic and insanely talented group of female filmmakers aims to please, shock, and gag audiences. You never know what you’ll get with each passing year and I get giddy in anticipation. Fantasia 2024’s Born Of Woman lineup includes the following films:

IZZY

Nahema Ricci stars in this sharply staged build piece expressionistically conveying a person’s realization that they’d rather not fit in, if it means continuingly giving in.

 


the_bleacher_poster_THE BLEACHER

An outright bonkers stop-motion freakazoid about a woman, a laundromat, and a missing sock. From the makers of SEXY FURBY.

 


wildflower posterWILDFLOWER

A reclusive woman gives everything she can to a blood-sucking flower that she’s devoted every waking minute towards caring for.


Mosquito Lady poster Fantasia 2024

MOSQUITO LADY (see our previous coverage)

A sharp intersection between Filipino folklore and the ever-devolving issue of bodily autonomy in the U.S.

 


Dead Tooth posterDEAD TOOTH

A stylishly inventive and considerably bloody take on the one-terrible-day film.


LES YEUX D’OLGA

A senior vampire who moves herself into an elder care facility so as to feed solely on those already at the edge of death.


I'm Not A Robot posterI’M NOT A ROBOT

We’ve all had the annoyance when forced to solve wonky online captchas to convince a website that we’re real-deal human. What if we were to repeatedly fail it?


BERTA

Following the extraordinary DANA, Spanish filmmaker Lucía Forner Segarra returns to Fantasia with BERTA, a tensely compelling new work that continues her explorations of accountability and empowerment following gendered violence.

(You can find past Born of Woman coverage here) Fantasia 2024


You can find more info on Fantasia 2024’s lineup and tickets by tapping HERE


Fantasia 2024 Dates:
Thursday, July 18 – Sunday, August 4th

For previous years’ FANTASIA coverage, click here!

‘BLACK EYED SUSAN’ first-look trailer drops prior to its Fantasia 2024 World Premiere

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TRAILER PREMIERE

BLACK EYED SUSAN


Black_Eyed_Susan_POSTERLegendary underground filmmaker Scooter McCrae (SHATTER DEAD, SIXTEEN TONGUES) returns after a 21-year absence from feature filmmaking with the bold, vulgar, and deeply thought-provoking BLACK EYED SUSAN. Simultaneously brutally challenging and deeply vulnerable, the latest from the New York-based provocateur appropriates bleeding-edge science fiction concepts to address the seemingly-endless lengths that men will go to satisfy their darkest impulses without questioning the consequences of their actions.
 
In the film, down-on-his-luck Derek (Damien Maffei, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT) is hired by a shady tech industrialist to “test” Susan (Yvonne Emilie Thälker, in a striking feature debut), a lifelike robot built for the purpose of receiving and “enjoying” sexual abuse. Initially hesitant to take part, Derek accepts, but quickly finds himself drawn to Susan’s developing personality and inquisitive nature. As the robot’s expanding humanity chips away at him and he learns more about his own secret desires, he questions if what he’s been tasked to do – even to a robot – should ever be condoned.
 
Black Eyed SusanHere is the first-look trailer for Scooter McCrae’s dark sci-fi drama BLACK EYED SUSAN, which World Premieres at Fantasia on Friday, August 2nd.
 

A Vinegar Syndrome Production in association with Not the Funeral Home and Moose + Squirrel, the feature was filmed on Super 16mm film and features a luscious musical score from legendary Italian composer Fabio Frizzi (THE BEYOND, ZOMBIE). 
 
The film’s cast includes Damian Maffei (THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT, 2023’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Game), model Yvonne Emilie Thälker, Marc Romeo, and ex-WWE Superstar Scott Fowler.


Black_Eyed_Susan_02

For all things Fantasia 2024 stay tuned to Reel News Daily and be sure to check out our bestie, Steve Kopian, at Unseen Films

Fantasia 2024 poster

Follow along with our festival coverage as it rolls out by searching Fantasia 2024

‘TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX’ (DWF:LA 2024) Brilliantly funny sci-fi with a side of self-love. No, really.

DWF-LA logoTIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX

https://danceswithfilms.com/tim-travers-the-time-travelers-paradox-2/

TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX posterStimson Snead takes us on a comedy of trial and error in DWF: LA sci-fi feature TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX. This film is a story of a mad genius’s guide to what if, get ready to have your mind blown.

The badass credits come in hot from the first frame. The production design is outstanding, and the camera work is sharp and gorgeously lit. Within minutes, you understand that seeing this film in cinematic form and on the largest screen will make your day.

Filmmaker Stimson Snead plays Helter, a mercenary soldier of sorts. His bumbling actions add another level of hilarity. He lights up the screen.

Felicia Day is Delilah, the firecrackers radio producer to Joel McHale‘s conspiracy theorist radio host. Day is exactly how I imagine her to be in real life as a fandom icon. She is magnificent.

TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX still 1Samuel Dunning is Tim Travers. He is funny, charming, and owns this role. Travers is stubborn as hell and honest to a fault. The character has authentic mad scientist vibes. The number of alternative death scenes and distinctly unique versions of the same character is Multiplicity on crack. Dunning eats it up.

The dialogue is whip-smart and relentlessly hilarious. If you’re going to make an autism joke, the approach is approved by this neuro-spicy matriarch. The editing is a smash. The music is perfect. Bravo to the SFX team for their top-notch work.

The screenplay goes to places you will never see coming. Pun is very much intended. It takes digs at certain Multiverse cinema, religion, and sexuality and obliterates every boundary that ever existed with genius-level wit. In the end, TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX is a sci-fi comedy about self-love. No, seriously. Genre audiences are going to go nuts.

TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX

WRITER/DIR: Stimson Snead
PRODS: Rich Cowan, Ben Yennie, Felicia Day, Casey Cowan, Kylie Walcuk, Stimson Snead
CAST: 
Starring Samuel Dunning, Co-Starring Felicia Day, Special Appearance by Keith David, With Joel McHale and Danny Trejo

It is called the Time Travelers Paradox. In which a scientist creates a Time Machine and kills their younger self. So now a man who should not- can not- exist, somehow does. That is the Paradox, and Paradoxes are impossible. And the man who has created it, is Tim Travers. A reclusive mad scientist whose stated mission in life is to stand alone with God at the end of time, and tell the bastard off. TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX

For more Dances With Films coverage, click here!

‘Invaders From Proxima B’ (2024) This sweet, family- friendly film is out of this world fun.

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Invaders From Proxima B

Invaders from Proxima B posterA celebration of family-friendly indie filmmaking, Invaders From Proxima B has arrived to delight the budding cinephile. Ward Roberts brings audiences a whimsical story of intergalactic mayhem.

This cast is outstanding. Playing a quippy father-son duo, Richard Riehle and Mike C. Nelson deliver laughs and add weight to the ensemble.

Sarah Lassez is quirky, alien-obsessed blogger Esther Terrestrial. Her excitable energy is infectious. Jeremiah Birkett is a director’s dream as animal control guy Nathan Droogal with an oddly religious inclination.

Invaders from Proxima B still 1Bo Roberts is a natural as daughter Ruby. Her comic timing is a hoot. Samantha Sloyan is effortlessly charming as Mom, Jane. We get both sitcom motherly goodness and slackstick joy from Sloyan. She is a dynamo.

Ward Roberts wears all the hats on this project. Besides writing and directing, he plays Howie Jenkins with a sweet, accessible enthusiasm as the bumbling Dad doing his best. His physicality wins the film.

Roberts also voices Chuck. It’s a hilarious turn that is entirely different from Howie. His sarcastic, gruff tone comes with genuine (otherworldly) guidance. Chuck looks like a softer version of Oscar The Grouch with large, purplish eyes. Chuck’s puppetry is comedy gold.

Invaders from Proxima B still 2The inspiration from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch is unmistakable, but Invaders From Proxima B has an edgier narrative. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you Chuck’s first line of dialogue elicited a genuine guffaw from my mouth. Incredible Seusian animation acts as transition storytelling. The editing and use of GoPro add to the kid-centric perspective. This alien invader, body-swapping comedy is a laugh-out-loud, enchanting watch for the weekend. Check it out!

Invaders from Proxima B Beams onto VOD May 31st Sci-Fi Comedy Starring Midnight Mass’ Samantha Sloyan Invading Screens Across the United States and Canada

Exclusively on Fandango at Home

Los Angeles, CA–Buffalo 8 is excited to slide into summer with the North American VOD release of Invaders from Proxima B, a family friendly science fiction comedy from writer/director/star Ward Roberts (Westworld, Agents of SHIELD) and Samantha Sloyan (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass). Invaders from Proxima B debuts exclusively on Fandango at Home May 31, 2024.

Invaders from Proxima B was directed by Roberts from his own script. Roberts produced under his DrexelBox Films outfit alongside Mike C. Nelson. The film had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival. The cast is rounded out by Sloyan, Mike C. Nelson (Shrinking, Black-ish), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Casino), Jeremiah Birkett (Black Cake, Euphoria), and Sarah Lassez (Nowhere, Lo).

BUFFALO 8

Founded in 2010 by partners Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor, Buffalo 8 is a full-service film and media company focused on production, post-production, distribution, design, and finance based in Santa Monica, California.

Buffalo 8 projects have been premiered and been awarded at Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and SXSW. At Buffalo 8, we are the fusion of an entrepreneurial culture fused with a love of storytelling and the creative arts and a passion for delivering original stories.

Buffalo 8 is partnered with industry leading BondIt Media Capital enabling streamlined packaging, production, financing, and sales opportunities.

For more Family Films, click here!

‘THE PRESENT'(2024) A beautiful combination of family fun and visibility

THE PRESENT

The Present posterOn the eve of their parents revealing a planned separation, a brilliant boy and his two older siblings use an enchanted grandfather clock to manipulate time and get them back together. Director Christian Ditter has audiences reconnect with his latest film, THE PRESENT. This lovely film, filled with silliness and life lessons, is a must for the holiday weekend.

It takes only a few minutes to realize that Taylor’s scheme is already underway. The film’s structure rewinds the day, allowing the audience to experience the time from the viewpoint of each family member.

I must mention a couple of stand-out performances from ensemble cast members Arturo Castro, as the marriage counselor, and Ryan Guzman, Jen’s new client and ardent admirer. 

The Present still 1

Greg Kinnear and Isla Fisher play the kids’ parents. Kinnear plays it close to the chest at first. His upright, arms-length parenting persona cracks as the plot progresses. He’s a solid foil for Isla and has fantastic chemistry with the kids. 

Fisher’s Jen is Taylor’s default parent. As a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum, I immediately identified with the way she speaks to all her children, carefully choosing her words but putting her whole heart into their interactions. Jen is a fierce feminist but constantly faces misogyny from every angle. She is the heart of the film. 

Mason Shea Joyce plays Max with a spirited middle-school energy. He, too, seeks attention, but from his siblings. He is a lovely spark in this trio.

The Present still 2

Shay Rudolph gives Emma a relatable sadness between high school drama and feeling ignored as a neurotypical eldest daughter. She is a touch rebellious, but only as a mechanism for control, Rudolph is engaging. She has genuine star quality. 

Easton Rocket Sweda is Taylor, a brilliant nonverbal boy who is happier tinkering in the basement than interacting with his family. Sweda delivers a grounded performance. His gentleness pours off the screen. He is a pro, anchoring the emotional truth of THE PRESENT

The score is full of wonder. The lighting and editing are spectacular. Screenwriter Jay Martel utilizes Taylor’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication device, or AAC, to communicate with his family. Martel also involves it as a creative mechanism in the siblings’ plans. Taylor manipulates the computer’s voice option to replicate his parents and celebrities. It’s a hoot.

The Present still 3

While the dialogue never explicitly states that he is autistic, parents of neurodivergent children will immediately recognize all of Taylor’s attributes. Sweda delicately presents the discomfort with physical touch, a genius mind, the brief appearance of stimming, and his hyper-focused nature. Visibility is everything. It moves us from awareness to acceptance. 

Each new attempt by the kids is funnier and more creative than the last, but there are consequences to messing with destiny. The script delves into the ripple effects of communication on so many levels. It’s a nuanced and accessible narrative. THE PRESENT is a bit of Parent Trap, a touch of Back To The Future, and entirely family-friendly shenanigans. 

The Movie Partnership is excited to announce that their new family comedy,
THE PRESENT, will be coming to UK & Irish cinemas on 24th May.

Featuring an exciting cast lead by Isla Fisher & Greg Kinnear, the film follows a young boy who discovers he can use an enchanted grandfather clock to go back in time. He teams up with his siblings on a quest to bring their separated parents back together again. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Christian Ditter (How to Be Single) and written by Emmy winner Jay Martel (Key and Peele), the film also stars Ryan Guzman (9-1-1) & Shay Rudolph (The Baby-Sitters Club).

The Present logo

For more Family Films, 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!

‘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

For all things SXSW 2024, click here!

‘CREEP BOX’ (2024) is massively disturbing

CREEP BOX

CREEP BOX Poster

If you’re a paranormal enthusiast, you’ve heard of the average ghost tour. If you’re a little more intense, you download the Ghost Radar app and casually track color-coded spirits wandering in your vicinity. But, if you’re serious about the other side, book a psychic guided tour on the Queen Mary for your first wedding anniversary, paying extra for the EVP Spirit Box seance, like I did. 5 stars. Highly recommend. Patrick Biesemans’ CREEP BOX pits science and grief against each other in a disturbing and psychologically unsettling manner.

CREEP BOXDr. Franklin Caul has created a simulated consciousness with the dead. The DOJ wants it, but Caul has ulterior motives. The tech uses data from the deceased to have conversations or seek answers. In the mix is a swirl of overlapping thoughts and confusion that get under your skin. You cannot help but listen to them, and they are chilling. Caul observes that when suicide is the cause of death, the deterioration of self slows.

Adam David Thompson (Here Alone) plays the voice of Adam. His interpretation of an unseen character gets under your skin. He is nothing short of magnificent. Geoffrey Cantor carries CREEP BOX will ease. As Caul delves into the mind of a particular simulation, closing in on a personal agenda, Cantor’s humanity seeps through the academic shell. Geoffrey Cantor’s stoic nature perfectly matches Caul’s turmoil. He settles into unresolved trauma. It’s a fantastic performance.

CREEP BOX stillWhat might sound crazy is that this tech already exists. Customers can pay several different companies worldwide to build an AI version of their past loved ones. A recent Sundance documentary, ETERNAL YOU, is entirely about these services and their potential effects, good and bad. CREEP BOX takes these concepts down the rabbit hole, gladly stepping into the darkness and staying there.

In CREEP BOX and ETERNAL YOU, things change once the entity you communicate with appears sentient. Questions of ethics and the potential emotional damage of these interactions hang like a black cloud above the viewer. It’s a film that will undoubtedly mesmerize anyone who has suffered from grief. It instills wonder, curiosity, and pure terror. CREEP BOX will haunt you whether you like it or not.


Creep Box next screens at April’s Philip K. Dick Film Festival, which takes place at The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

Matt Vesely’s intense ‘MONOLITH’ (2024) takes podcast storytelling to another realm.

well-go-usa-logo

Monolith 2024 poster

One suspect article takes down a once respected journalist. Holed up in her wealthy parent’s estate while they are on holiday, our leading lady tries to revamp her image by creating a conspiracy theory podcast. While wading through emails, she spots one that is particularly eye-catching. Following up on the information, she continues down a path of potential otherworldly objects influencing people around the globe. But truth and lies are closer aligned than you might want to believe. Matt Vesely‘s SXSW 2023 sci-fi feature MONOLITH pulls you into oblivion.

Lily Sullivan in Monolith The film takes place in a single location where The Interviewer records her podcast. The secluded and expansive modern mid-century estate allows her to wander, but most of the action happens at a desk or in front of the wall of windows that contain her discoveries. Our journalist creates an episode of her first phone calls. Editing the calls at her will, the audience questions her culpability. This small moment puts your morality compasses in a tailspin. It is a slick move from writer Lucy Campbell. Podcasts are my nightly ritual, cleaning motivation, and my travel companion. Since SERIAL, the industry has exploded. In MONOLITH, the story goes viral. People begin contacting her directly with their stories, always warning her to stop.

Lily Sullivan in MonolithAt some point, the danger reaches the front door of our journalist’s secluded location when she receives a package related to the mysterious story. The darkness attached to the object feels slightly Faustian and not of this planet. No one remembers how they received their object, but each reaches a point in questioning where they feel compelled to hang up out of fear.

Lily Sullivan plays The Interviewer. Her emotional arc is mesmerizing, acting as a therapist to her callers, a manipulator for personal gain, and a target of the unknown. As the only onscreen actor in the film, her ability to carry such an intense and mysterious film is quite a feat. Sullivan owns the audience.

Matt Vesely's MonolithIs this a case of mass hysteria? In many ways, the plot mirrors today’s conspiracy groups like QAnon. Our leading lady goes down the rabbit hole, and the audience follows. MONOLITH boasts a jaw-dropping final ten minutes. This is one hell of a sci-fi thriller. It is a must-see.

IN THEATERS AND ON DIGITAL: February 16, 2024 

 

For more Well Go USA film reviews, click here!

 

Review: ‘LAST PARTY’ (2024) shines in its camera work.

LAST PARTY

In Nicolas Dozol‘s LAST PARTY, one final hoorah to celebrate high school graduation takes a weird turn when four of its attendees experience subtle hallucinations.

Last Party (2024)Cleverly choreographed camera work by Aurel Ganz makes us think the film is one long take. Just as impressive is the actual shot list. 28, to be exact. It is one hell of a visual feat. The flip side of these takes is the narrative feels draggy even at 110 minutes. The sci-fi element does not seem necessary to the plot. Ultimately, it goes nowhere.

Last Party (2024) final scenePerformance is solid from our four main leads, each one bombarded by misogyny, judgment, and outright hateful behavior. LAST PARTY might be more successful as a series. There is much needed in character development, although the breadcrumbs are there. It feels more like a treatment for a larger project than a stand-alone piece.


“Last Party” the feature film debut of Swiss and French filmmaker Nicolas Dozol will make its US debut at Laemmle Monica Film Center from February 9 -16th in Santa Monica.  The film is being distributed by LA-based Synergetic and is the first feature film produced by the young Swiss company Lights Rush.

 

A mystery coming-of-age story, part horror, part fantasy, part thriller, the film takes place during a high school graduation party where four teenagers in the midst of an existential crisis are confronted with their angst. When they suddenly find themselves locked up, they wonder if it might be their last night ever. The film is choreographed by 28 long takes, giving the illusion of a single real shot and was shot in just five days.

“Last Party”, a New Breed Entertainment production, is directed by Nicolas Dozol, written by Leah Ladoux, Paul Tomasini, Chloe Vittenet and Dozol, and produced by Mathilde Errand and Dozol.  The film stars breakout newcomers Lucie Cecchi, Remi Gerard, Uma Condolo and Teddy Hardy.  Cinematography is by Aurel Ganz.


For more French film reviews on RND, click here!

Slamdance 2024: Peter Oh’s ‘LOVE AND WORK’ – a parallel what-if of haunting hilarity

slamdance 2024

LOVE AND WORK

Love And Work Slamdance 2024

Writer-director-editor-producer-cinematographer and obvious showoff Pete Ohs brings his latest genre buster, LOVE AND WORK, to Slamdance 2024. Reteaming with Will Madden and Stephanie Hunt from festival darling Jethica, this new film leans further into the absurd. Once again, gifting us with striking black-and-white cinematography, a voiceover hands us the immensely intriguing, near-future plot where AI has taken all the jobs and those seeking employment are outlaws.

Diane and Fox seek advice from a trusted local elder as he regales them with tales from his grandfather and the elusive concept of a weekend. Those who dare go against the grain find hobbies forced upon them as punishment. The backward nature of the plot sneaks up on you. It may not be so backward after all.

Stephanie Hunt plays Diane with an earned “cool girl” attitude that is infectious. Will Madden as Fox is a beautiful mix of awkward and charming. Their chemistry is electric.

Charles Watson‘s original songs are folksy bangers. There is a dry whimsy that I can only equate to British humor. A tongue-in-cheek look at societal norms and how humanity fumbles through the search for purpose and personal connection, LOVE AND WORK is a hilarious what-if and one terrifying step from reality.

  • Director: Pete Ohs
  • Screenwriter: Stephanie Hunt, Will Madden, Pete Ohs
  • Producer: Pete Ohs
  • Cast: Stephanie Hunt, Will Madden, Frank Mosley, Alexi Pappas, John S. Davies
  • Year: 2024
  • Runtime: 74 minutes
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Premiere: World Premiere
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Subtitle Language: English
Click for all our past Slamdance coverage
 
For all things Slamdance 2024 head here

slamdance logo


 

Slamdance 2024 review: Yes, the hilarious pilot episode of ‘RESTORAGE’ fixes everything.

slamdance 2024

RESTORAGE
Episodes-TV Web Pilot- Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Restorage at Slamdance 2024


SYNOPSIS: RESTORAGE is about a fractured group of siblings each
receiving a portion of their inheritance. Robert receives the business
legacy, Lisa is given the family estate and a priceless family heirloom, and
Chase, receives an old storage unit filled with junk. Chase and Robert
quarrel and he inadvertently breaks the vase causing a greater rift in the
family. Chase goes to the storage unit and discovers that it can repair
anything that has been broken that has been placed inside. Chase takes his
siblings to the storage unit in an attempt to fix the broken vase but
everything goes mysteriously sideways


Slamdance 2024 episodic pilot RESTORAGE is a knockout. It’s laugh-out-loud funny with a brilliant cast. Even the ancillary cast members deliver memorable and equally comedic performances. Jacob Daniels plays Robert with the self-righteous overachiever vibe to a tea. Olivia Clari Nice gives Lisa a motherly energy that grounds the trio. 

Connor Boyd in Restorage

Connor Boyd in Restorage

Outcast brother Chad lives in squalor. Everything in his trailer home is broken and filthy. He is the black sheep of the family. Connor Boyd is so compelling, with the confidence of Zach Galifianakis and the energy of Jack Black. He is a goddamn star.

Once we know the sci-fi plot, the mind races with theories. Screenwriters E’an Verdugo and Caleb Davis drop enough clues in the dialogue to infer deep injury between the siblings. You will be begging for more the moment the screen goes black! RESTORAGE is a damn treat that deserves a green light asap. I’m looking at you, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime! 


  • Director:
    E’an Verdugo
  • Screenwriter:
    Caleb Davis, E’an Verdugo
  • Producer:
    Caleb Davis, Alana Rood
  • Cast:
    Connor Boyd, Olivia Clari Nice, Jacob Daniels, Joan Deschamps, Stephen Miller, Francis Juarez
  • Year:
    2023
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes
  • Language:
    English
  • Country:
    USA
  • Genre:
    Drama, Comedy, Sci Fi
  • Subtitle Language:
    English

 

For more information on Slamdance 2024, click here!
 
To read more of our Slamdance coverage on Reel News Daily and over at Unseen Films!

 

Sundance 2024 preview: A film for everyone at the festival’s 40th Edition.

Sundance Film Festival 2024 Color Logo
The Sundance Film Festival has launched the careers of indie film directors, writers, and actors now for 40 years. Back with in-person and online screening opportunities, this year’s iteration boasts new and bold storytelling from every genre. Here are a handful of films we’ll track in 2024.

 

For more information and tickets to Sundance 2024, click here! Be on the lookout for shared coverage with our good friend, Steve Kopian, at Unseen Films. To see all of his reviews and what he’s looking forward to this year, head over to his home base.

(World Cinema Dramatic Competition)
SUJO

S till from the Sundance film SUJO
When a cartel gunman is killed, he leaves behind Sujo, his beloved 4-year-old son. The shadow of violence surrounds Sujo during each stage of his life in the isolated Mexican countryside. As he grows into a man, Sujo finds that fulfilling his father’s destiny may be inescapable.

A movie about time and trauma, this beautifully acted and hauntingly written film from the directors of Identifying Features will be sure to captivate audiences. 

This film contains strobe effects.
Available in person. Also available online for the public (January 25–28)


40th Edition Celebration Screenings And Events

DIG! XX

DIG! XX tracks the tumultuous rise of two talented musicians, Anton Newcombe, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Courtney Taylor, leader of the Dandy Warhols, and dissects their star-crossed friendship and bitter rivalry. Through their loves and obsessions, gigs and recordings, arrests and death threats, uppers and downers, and ultimately to their chance at a piece of the profit-driven music business, they stage a self-proclaimed revolution in the music industry.

DIG! premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary Competition, where it ultimately won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary category. DIG! XX, which will premiere at the upcoming Festival, is not only a digitally enhanced, remixed, and remastered version of DIG!, but also a special 20th anniversary new edit of the film culled from footage shot over seven years, and brought to you by the original sibling team, Ondi and David Timoner.

*Digitally enhanced and featuring new footage


(Premieres)

And So It Begins

Amidst the traditional pomp and circumstance of Filipino elections, a quirky people’s movement rises to defend the nation against deepening threats to truth and democracy. In a collective act of joy as a form of resistance, hope flickers against the backdrop of increasing autocracy.

Available in person. Also available online for the public (January 25–28)


(World Cinema Documentary Competition)

Eternal You

Startups are using AI to create avatars that allow relatives to talk with their loved ones after they have died. An exploration of a profound human desire and the consequences of turning the dream of immortality into a product.

“I wanted to see if he was okay,” explains Christi, one of the users of Project December. With this innovative software, users can communicate with a virtual version of the deceased through a chatbot that simulates the dead person’s conversation patterns. Hers was an attempt to check on her first love. Others may simply miss someone, seek permission to move on, or want to rid themselves of guilt.

At this point, I think we’ve all seen the app that turns photos into moving images. The idea feels equally sentimental and disturbing. Eternal You takes this tech further, begging the question, “How far are we willing to go to feel connected to those we’ve lost, and how might that affect our brains?” 

Available in person. Also available online for the public (January 25–28)


World Cinema Documentary Competition

A New Kind of Wilderness

In a forest in Norway, a family lives an isolated lifestyle in an attempt to be wild and free, but a tragic event changes everything, and they are forced to adjust to modern society.

Silje Evensmo Jacobsen mixes home movies and a carefully intimate approach to the Payne family, whose isolated existence gets shaken up quite suddenly. This beautiful portrait of connection and resilience in the face of grief will touch your heart.

Available in person. Also available online for the public (January 25–28)


(NEXT)

REALM OF SATAN

An experiential portrait depicting Satanists in both the every day and in the extraordinary as they fight to preserve their lifestyle: magic, mystery, and misanthropy.

Filmmaker Scott Cummings is no stranger to Sundance, having edited many highly acclaimed festival premieres over the past decade, including Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Monsters and Men, and Wendy.

When I tell you that you aren’t ready for this doc, I mean it in the best way possible. Created to ruffle feathers and dispel right-wing hypocrisy, Scott Cummings titillates with gorgeous framing and a touch of tongue-in-cheek magical realism. 

This film contains graphic sexual content. Audiences must be 18 or older.

Available in person. Also available online for the public (January 25–28)


(Premieres)

My Old Ass

Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza in Sundance film MY OLD ASS

Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza in the Sundance film MY OLD ASS

The summer before college, bright-yet-irreverent Elliott comes face-to-face with her older self during a mushroom trip. The encounter spurs a funny and heartfelt journey of self-discovery and first love as Elliott prepares to leave her childhood home.

The concept alone should get your butt into a seat, but filmmaker Megan Park casting Aubrey Plaza is chef’s kiss in indie cinema.


(Midnight)

I Saw the TV Glow

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine  in I SAW THE TV GLOW

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine in I SAW THE TV GLOW

Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

Writer-director Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021 Sundance Film Festival) gave us one of the coolest genre-bending films with a breakout performance from star Anna Cobb. I cannot wait to see how this one twists my sanity and senses. 

This film contains violence and gore.

This film contains strobe effects.


Sundace Film Festival 2024 Black and White logoTo find out more information on all things Sundance 2024, head to https://festival.sundance.org/

 

Review: Dark Star’s genre-bending ‘TROPIC’ shoots for the stars. Now on VOD & DVD

TROPIC

Twin brothers Tristan and Làzaro are aspiring astronauts. During a late-night swim, Tristan becomes infected with a mysterious physical and mental ailment when a bright green asteroid plummets into the water. Lazaro must understand his brother’s drastic changes as he tries to maintain an elite physical and psychological state.

Marta Nieto plays the twin’s mother, Mayra. Her performance is like a gut punch. Writers nail the invisible labor and isolation in motherhood and its inevitable breaking point. Nieto lives in the skin of Mayra and earns a standing ovation. Pablo Cobo and Loius Peres are magnificent. Cobo’s brooding anger equally matches his deep adoration for his twin. His performance as Làzaro is an emotional roller coaster, riddled with survivor’s guilt. Peres leans into palpable fear and trauma, giving audiences a complete 180 in physicality. TROPIC’s costume and makeup departments lend a hand here as they switch gears for Tristan from tailored clothes to ill-fitting outfits, as well as his elaborate facial fx. He is spectacular.

As a special needs parent, this is a brutal but honest watch. Feeling “othered” as an individual and a family is viscerally devastating. The cinematography, particularly the underwater footage, is mesmerizing. The sci-fi elements combined with a perfect synth score create a timeless feel. TROPIC defies a single genre category. The volatility of this unique story is riveting, but its gravity lies within its intimacy.


TROPIC.
Following its world premiere at Fantastic Fest, in competition play at Sitges, and theatrical release earlier this month, the film hits VOD and DVD on December 19.

Distribution Company: Dark Star Pictures
Theatrical Release Date: December 1, 2023
VOD/DVD Release Date: December 19, 2023
Director: Edouard Salier
Writers: Edouard Salier, Mauricio Carrasco
Starring: Pablo Cobo, Louis Peres, Marta Nieto
Synopsis: Lázaro and Tristán (19), twin brothers and best friends are training together for the Astronaut Academy entrance tests. One day, Tristán is contaminated with some mysterious residue which makes him monstrous physically and weakened mentally. This disaster forces Lázaro to let go of how he remembers his brother and learn to love him as he is now, in a world where there is no room for monsters.


Year Two is a Go! Dances With Films NYC 2023 announces lineup with 64 world premieres

2nd Annual Dances With Films – NYC 

announces films and events

(November 30-December 3)

 

The celebrated true indie-focused film festival returns to New York City
with three times as many films as last year’s debut. 
 
64 World Premiere Screenings Featured
  
Dylan K. Narang’s TAPAWINGO is the Opening Night 
selection, and Nicholas Gyeney’s THE ACTIVATED MAN 
will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night selection.

   

TAPAWINGO

 

New York, NY (November 9, 2023) – Dances With Films announced the film lineup for the return of what has become LA’s largest purely indie film-focused film festival over the past 26 years to New York City (November 30-December 3) for the second time featuring a film lineup nearly three times the size of last year’s NYC debut. DWF alum Dylan K. Narang’s Tapawingo is the Opening Night selection, and Nicholas Gyeney’s psychological thriller The Activated Man will make its world premiere in the Closing Night slot.

 

Among DWF NYC’s lineup of 136 films, including 20 narrative features, 9 documentary features, 19 television and streaming pilots, and 88 short films (73 narrative and 15 documentaries), are an impressive number of world premieres. All screenings will take place at Regal Union Square (850 Broadway).

THE ACTIVATED MAN

 

Among the 64 world premieres are Gyeney’s The Activated ManEtana Jacobson’s Advanced Chemistry, Kevin Interdonato’s The Bastard SonsMichael Groom’s Between The Lights, Isaac Hirotsu Woofter’s Bound, Sara Katarina Burke and Aaron Andrew Keene’s Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, Ryan Moore’s Influence, Michelle Bossy’s Nobody’s Home, Brendan Boogie’s Tallywacker, Micah Khan’s The Zombie Wedding, Justin Best’s Sheryl, and Wynette Yao’s District Of Second Chances. Hanna Vastinsalo’s Palimpsest will make its North American Premiere at Dances With Films NYC.

 After becoming the leading beacon for true indie films and filmmakers in Los Angeles over the past 26 years, this will mark Dances With Films’ return to New York City for the second year. Dances With Films’ Founders and Directors Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent, said, “This year’s theme is “the color of imagination” and that imagination, by its various definitions, exemplifies what Dances With Films will be highlighting this December. We could not be more excited to return to NYC and debut so many wonderful films and help provide a platform for all our indie filmmakers and their projects under the spotlight of this great city.”

 Thursday, November 30 will feature the Opening Night presentation of DWF alumni Dylan K. Narang’s Tapawingo. Previously at DWF with his feature All I Need (2016), Narang’s Tapawingo is a lighthearted coming-of-age comedy stars Jon Heder as an eccentric young man who lives with his mother and works in a mailroom. However, when he must pick up his boss’ son from school, he discovers the kid is the subject of relentless bullying. at school, Naturally, he assembles a team of misfits to ensure the boy’s safety, but the good deed takes an unexpected turn when they discover that the network of bullies they are guarding against wields more power and influence than they initially thought. The film also stars Gina Gershon, Billy Zane, John Ratzenberger, and Amanda Bearse.

 As part of DWF NYC’s dedicated programming of horror, thrillers, and genre films, the Closing Night selection also comes from the film festival’s Midnight section. Sunday, December 3, Nicholas Gyeney’s The Activated Man will make its world premiere as it officially closes the film festival. In the film, a man, struggling with the grief from losing his best friend and beloved dog to cancer, begins to have strange visions only he can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it’s real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and he becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known as ‘The Fedora Man’. To survive, he must face his fears and confront ‘The Fedora Man’ as he uncovers dark secrets from his past, while finally embracing who he really is, and what he is meant to do.

ADVANCED CHEMISTRY

Additional feature films making their world premieres are Etana Jacobson’s Advanced Chemistry about a scientist whose attempt in the lab to help his lesbian best friend stop cheating on her wife backfires when the wife falls for him. Kevin Interdonato’s The Bastard Sons is a story of revenge by a group of men, when the man who raised them – the family boss – is murdered. Michael Groom’s British romantic drama Between The Lights follows askeptical scientist who falls for a reluctant medium, leading them on an odyssey of love, loss and discovery that turns her world upside down. Isaac Hirotsu Woofter’s Bound focuses on a young introvert who flees with her pet pocket squirrel to New York in order to escape her drug-dealing controlling stepfather. Making its North American Premiere is Vardan Tozija’s M. A multi-national production including            

Macedonia, Croatia, Kosovo, France, and Luxembourg, the film centers on a young boy who lives in the forest under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows until an encounter with a kind-hearted, helpless boy may open up a whole new world to him.

 Also making their world premieres at DWF NYC are Sara Katarina Burke and Aaron Andrew Keene’s Can’t Seem to Make You Mine about a recent parolee who tries to make amends with his ex and become a father to his little boy while staying with a stripper he met on a pen-pal website. Ryan Moore’s Influence focuses on a struggling female filmmaker who kidnaps a famous social media influencer to convince them to play the lead role in her latest project. Michelle Bossy’s Nobody’s Home follows the mind-bending journey of a young man after he is released from the psychiatric hospital with his girlfriend who may or may not be telling him the truth about what he is experiencing. Brendan Boogie’s buddy comedy Tallywacker takes us on a trip with 2 bandmates whose relationship gets tested when one of them gets a gig touring with a major rock star. Micah Khan’s outlandish comedy The Zombie Wedding illustrates the challenges one can have at a New Jersey wedding when the groom is a zombie, and the bride is not. Another film in the Midnight Features section making its world premiere is Justin Best’s Sheryl about a woman who goes on a bloody quest to create the perfect face after she’s dumped by her serial killer boyfriend for not being “hot enough”.

Highlights among the documentary section include one feature-length film making its world premiere, and a second making its U.S. Premiere. Making its world premiere is Wynette Yao’s District Of Second Chances, which follows the journeys of three men – all sentenced to life in prison during the 1990s – who have the possibility of being released and starting a new life thanks to sentencing reform. Making its U.S. premiere will be Emilio Di Stefano’s Denim Hunter. The road movie documentary follows a man whose obsession with really old jeans leads him through the deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada as well as up the snowclad Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Marc Saltarelli’s Studio One Forever is the untold story of America’s iconic gay disco, a kaleidoscopic excursion into LGBTQ+ history through the lens of Studio One and its adjoining live music venue, The Backlot during the 70s and 80s. Hoag Kepner’s Torched – The Story of Austin Torch tells the story of the Austin Torch, a wild and fiery group of women/non-binary athletes in Austin who are trying to legitimize and professionalize their fringe sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

 The television, web series pilots, and episodics also have a healthy number of world premieres. Those include Federica Marchese and Vinusha Sundaresan’s Chinese series pilot The Blind Zone about a faceoff between two teenage sociopaths after they set their eyes on the same target, David Antonio Martin’s absurd comedy The Selectman where two men are trapped in a picturesque world where the forces of learned behavior, arrested adolescence, and the quest for power forever collide, and Henk Pretorius’ British animated series pilot Travel Foxwhich follows the inquisitive Travel Fox and Bogie the Tortoise as they race across the world, chasing rainbows in search of a legendary pot of gold.

 Additional world premieres include Jon Da’s Ülom: The Primary Experiment is centered on a desperate scientist who undertakes a labyrinthian experiment he believes will locate his missing daughter. Jonathan Chao’s Xander teams a lonely high school student with a Genie. However, the student might lose his new best friend if he makes his one wish. Making its North American premiere will be Aaron Lewis’ Moments, a gripping 9-episode digital series, offering intimate glimpses into characters on the brink. Clarissa De Los Reyes’ Hot Angry Mom about a people-pleasing mom who must face her rage, as a video of her epic meltdown goes viral, and Dana Marisa Schoenfeld’s East about a New York City Corporate attorney who suddenly loses her job and catches her boyfriend cheating, forcing her to reevaluate everything and pursue her childhood dream of being an actress.

Highlights among the short films showcased at DWF NYC include the world premiere of Luke Black’s I Keep Bumping Into Candy Maldonado in which a man keeps bumping into the famous baseball player who is his childhood ideal each day until he’s inspired to make some life changes.

Rj Collins’ thrilling Dropping follows a young woman going through the rigorous “dropping” training which may just turn into a fight for survival. Actor Cynthia Gibb takes a turn behind the camera, directing Lux Freer, about a non-binary teen whose humiliating job of delivering a pizza to bully and aspiring prom queen Arabella Astor’s mansion sets in motion a plot to upend the social stratosphere at her high school. Nazrin Choudhury’s Red, White And Bluestars Brittany Snow as a single parent forced to cross state lines in search of an urgent and necessary abortion. Eleanor Morrison’s You Need To Process This stars Mary Holland and Matt Peters as a married couple who must discuss a sexual assault.

 DWF NYC will also present a series of filmmaker panels focused on current real world issues faced by today’s indie filmmakers at The Stand (116 E. 16th Street) Panels will include “Distribution: Navigating the Marketplace as Well as Forecasting the Future”, which will be moderated by Scott Macauley (Filmmaker Magazine), and is slated to include executives from Magnolia Pictures, IFC, and STX Entertainment, “Making the Sale: The Producer/Sales Agent Dynamic” moderated by Kate Erbland (Indiewire), and includes Carylanna Taylor (Head of Sales Film Sales Corp), Josh Braun (Founder & President, Submarine), and Jason Ishikawa (Sr. Exec. & Co-head of Sales, Cinetic Media), and “The Casting Director/Producer Dynamic” moderated by Michael Sladik (SAGindie New York), and includes casting directors Shayna Markowitz, Bernie Telsey, and Paul Schnee.

 

For more information about the Dances With Films NYC film lineup, events, passes, and tickets, go to: https://danceswithfilms.com/.

 

The 2023 Dances With Films NYC official selections:

 

OPENING NIGHT SELECTION

Tapawingo

Director: Dylan K. Narang

Country: USA; Running Time: 109 min

An oddball becomes the bodyguard for a misfit teenager and finds himself in the crosshairs of the town’s family of bullies.

 

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

The Activated Man World Premiere

Director: Nicholas Gyeney

Country: USA; Running Time: 115 min

As Ors Gabriel struggles with the grief from losing his best friend and beloved dog to cancer, the trauma brings on strange visions only Ors can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it’s real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and Ors becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known as ‘The Fedora Man’. Through torments and terror, Ors must face his fears and confront ‘The Fedora Man’ as he uncovers dark secrets from his past, while finally embracing who he really is, and what he is meant to do.

 

 ADDITIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURES

 

Advanced Chemistry                                                            World Premiere

Director: Etana Jacobson

Country: USA; Running Time: 96 min

A scientist injects his lesbian best friend with a compound he’s created to make her stop cheating on her wife (who is bi), but when the wife finds her new monogamous fixation suffocating, he injects the wife too, which backfires when she falls for him.

 

BASTARD SONS

The Bastard Sons World Premiere

Director: Kevin Interdonato

Country: USA; Running Time: 90 min

Life for a crew of organized criminals is disrupted when Vincent Damiano’s father, the family’s boss, is murdered. Vincent’s ‘bastard’ brothers (UFC legend Frank Edgar, Chicago Med star Malik Whitfield), a group of orphaned souls he raised together, have an idea of who killed their father…his partner Rome (TV/Film veteran Al Sapienza). In a valiant and calculated attempt to regain the business and enact vengeance on Rome over the course of one day, the Bastards wage an all-out war to get their pound of flesh.

 

Between The Lights                                                             World Premiere

Director: Michael Groom

Country: UK; Running Time: 104 min

When skeptical scientist Alice falls for reluctant medium Jay, she’s taken on an odyssey of love, loss and discovery that will turn her world upside down. Between the Lights is a romantic drama with a liberal dose of the supernatural, in which we visit our characters over three consecutive Christmases. It is set within the ancient walls of York and the stunning natural beauty of the Lake District.

 

Bound                                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Isaac Hirotsu Woofter

Country: USA; Running Time: 101 min

To escape her drug-dealing controlling stepfather, a young introvert flees to NYC with only her pet pocket squirrel. After successfully reinventing herself, she realizes she must confront her dark past, to truly be free.

 

Can’t Seem to Make You Mine                                            World Premiere

Directors: Sara Katarina Burke, Aaron Andrew Keene

Country: USA; Running Time: 102 min

A man who was just released from prison tries to make amends with his ex and become a father to his 6-year-old son while staying with a stripper he met on a pen-pal website.

 

Daruma

Director: Alexander Yellen

Country: USA; Running Time: 104 min

Patrick (bitter wheelchair user) must enlist the help of his cantankerous neighbor (double amputee veteran) to transport the daughter he never knew he had to live with her maternal grandparents on the other side of the country. 

 

Grounded

Director: Justin Chan

Country: USA; Running Time: 84 min

William Lee, a 30-something Chinese-Filipino American, introduces his Caucasian girlfriend to his overbearing, immigrant parents when a mysterious cosmic force takes hold of their day.

 

Home Free

Director: Aaron Brown

Country: USA; Running Time: 98 min

In 1997, a group of college misfits invite an unhoused professor to crash on their porch.

Home Free is a Trojan horse, a bold coming-of-age comedy aimed at reaching a mass audience, but also intended to be a catalyst for serious social change sharply focused on one of the most pervasive problems across America—the homelessness epidemic. Humor is our spoonful of sugar. 

 

Influence World Premiere

Director: Ryan Moore

Country: USA; Running Time: 83 min

A female filmmaker struggling with her career and her mental health reaches a breaking point and decides to kidnap a famous social media influencer in an attempt to coerce them into playing the lead role in her latest project.

 

Katie’s Mom

Director: Tyrrell Shaffner

Country: USA; Running Time: 111 min

A heartfelt comedy influenced by The Graduate but told from the perspective of a protagonist inspired by Mrs. Robinson. Set in modern-day Pasadena, California. Nancy Rosenfeld (Dina Meyer), a nurturing mom and recent divorcée, whose beloved Jewish/Christmas mashup holiday celebration with her adult children is derailed when she falls for Alex Rojas (Aaron Dominguez (Only Murders in the Building), her daughter’s charming new boyfriend. Their electrifying affair upends her status quo and sets her on a path to becoming who she was meant to be.

 

M                                                                                             North American Premiere

Director: Vardan Tozija

Countries: Macedonia/Croatia/Kosovo/France/Luxembourg, Running Time: 99 min

In a secluded forest, young Marko lives under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows. Marko seeks solace in his cherished picture book, finding comfort and answers within its pages. One day, an encounter with a kind-hearted, helpless boy named Miko, brings a glimmer of warmth and connection into Marko’s isolated world. As his curiosity grows, Marko yearns to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the confines of the wilderness. But, a cruel turn of events grants him his wish sooner than he expects…

 

Nobody’s Home World Premiere

Director: Michelle Bossy

Country: USA; Running Time: 83 min

When Luca is released from the psychiatric hospital where he and his girlfriend Theodora live, she escapes with him. To remain in control, she takes him to his childhood home, the root of his trauma. Time lapses. Consciousness is distorted. A dead body is discovered. Theodora insists Luca committed the murder in his sleep. Is she telling the truth? A knock on the door suddenly diverts them. Angelica and Jeremy show up, high on acid. Theodora invites them in to test Luca’s loyalty. Her jealousy increases to the point of danger. In the end, nothing is what it seems. Everyone has darkness inside.

 

Palimpsest North American Premiere

Director: Hanna Vastinsalo

Country: Finland; Running Time: 109 min

Two elderly roommates are selected for a medical trial that makes them younger. Given a second chance at life, with the memories of their past life intact, they realize that growing young is not just fun.

 

Space Baby

Director: Rex Dean

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Three friends fight fascist Nurse Nancy to rebuild the holy grail and get a new soul for the earth. Each friend is different. 8-year-old Sam (“Mental Man”) is a mad scientist and inventor; 6-year-old Sophia (“Nature Girl”) is a caretaker of the earth; 300-year-old Blue (a great ballplayer like Satchel Paige) was the keeper of the holy grail in Africa before he and his siblings were captured as slaves. With help from a squadron of ladybugs, they fight the “greed, intolerance, and just plain cruelty” that Nurse Nancy and her demonic crow inhabit. A story of courage, friendship, and love.

 

Tallywacker World Premiere

Director: Brendan Boogie

Country: USA; Running Time: 90 min

A rock and roll buddy comedy about 2 bandmates whose relationship gets tested when one of them gets a gig touring with a major rock star.

 

The Zombie Wedding World Premiere

Director: Micah Khan

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

A young Cumberland County, NJ couple decides to go through with their wedding – during the Zombie Apocalypse. Unfortunately, he’s a zombie and she’s not. Both families are fearful, but the humans’ behavior is brutish. When the Zombies begin feeling brain-deprived, the ceremony takes a turn for the weird. Weekly World News reporters are there to cover this wild wedding – while trying to get out alive!

 

 DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

 

44 Lights: Music from Ground Zero                                   

Director: Barbara Blackburn Tuttle

Country: USA; Running Time: 68 min

A musical journey to healing in the aftermath of 9/11. A story of pain, loss, and ultimately rebirth through music.

 

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam

Directors: Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus

Country: USA; Running Time: 97 min

This award-winning documentary is a decade-long follow-up of the underdogs who put their blood, sweat, and tears to overturn a 100-year-old policy, proving in the process that “a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world,” to quote Margaret Mead).

 

Brothers Broken

Directors: Geoff Levin, Lily Richards

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

This is the story of brothers Geoff and Robbie Levin, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the 60’s music scene including Jerry Garcia, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin. The brother’s band PEOPLE! had the hit record “I Love You” in 1968 and toured with The Who; then Scientology entered their lives destroyed their band and split up the brothers. After 46 years Geoff despite losing his children and friends to the cult, left the church and reunited with his brother and band. It’s a tale of breaking free from a modern-day prison of belief.

 

Denim Hunter                                                                        U.S. Premiere

Director: Emilio Di Stefano

Country: Sweden; Running Time: 87 min

In the road movie documentary Denim Hunter, we meet Viktor – a regular guy from Sweden but with a burning passion for really old jeans. The film follows Viktor on his wild journey through the deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada as well as up the snowclad Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where he hunts for denim treasures in hazardous run-down gold mines from the 1880s. On his journey, Viktor comes across an array of unlikely desert characters, like Indiana Jeans, Dynamite Dan, and Redneck-Mike. In various ways, they all lead Viktor from one failure to the next.

 

The Depths of My Despair

Director: Elizabeth Lawrence

Country: USA; Running Time: 68 min

The Depths of My Despair is a visceral rabbit hole toward the authentic self. Filmmaker Elizabeth Lawrence takes an emotional, first-person detour inward. Oscillating through saneness and psychosis; debris and lucidity, the film stares at depression dead-on.

 

District Of Second Chances                                                World Premiere

Director: Wynette Yao

Country: USA; Running Time: 76 min

District of Second Chances follows the journeys of three men from Washington, D.C., all sentenced to life in prison during the 1990s. Now, because of sentencing reform, they have a rare chance at release and new lives.

 

Meet Me Where I Am

Director: Grant Garry

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

Meet Me Where I Am explores the topic of grief through individual stories of loss, love, and hope. The film aims to normalize grief in our culture and explores how we can actively participate in helping others through grief. By accepting grief and its impact, we hope to help individuals find new meaning as they move forward with their grief.

 

Studio One Forever

Director: Marc Saltarelli

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

The untold story of America’s iconic gay disco, a kaleidoscopic excursion into LGBTQ+ history through the lens of this groundbreaking club. From 1974-1994, Studio One and its adjoining live music venue, The Backlot, became symbols of hope and community for gay men during tumultuous times. Amidst the rise of gay rights, disco’s heyday, and the devastating AIDS crisis, the club offered sanctuary from rampant homophobia and police oppression.

 

Torched – The Story of Austin Torch

Director: Hoag Kepner

Country: USA; Running Time: 66 min

Torched tells the story of the Austin Torch, a wild and fiery group of women/non-binary athletes in Austin who are trying to legitimize and professionalize their fringe sport of Ultimate Frisbee in a historically male-dominated sports industry. As we follow the Torch on the road and at home during their 2022 season, we realize that though the Torch might not always win, they never really lose, because it’s more than a team: it’s a movement.

 

 MIDNIGHT FEATURES

 

Sheryl                                                                                     World Premiere

Director: Justin Best

Country: USA; Running Time: 72 min

After she’s dumped by her serial killer boyfriend for not being “hot enough”, a beauty-obsessed woman goes on a bloody quest to create the perfect face, all while navigating her new relationship with the cop investigating the murders.

 

Wild Eyed and Wicked

Director: G.S. Foxwood

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Lily Pierce is sick of being haunted. She decides to reconnect with her estranged father, a disgraced history professor, and learn how to draw upon a time of steel and blade when armor-clad knights rode out and dueled their monsters to the death.

 

 TELEVISION AND WEB SERIES PILOTS

A Killer Service

Director: Gio Randazzo

Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min

The hapless daughter of an incarcerated con-artist finds she has inherited a substantial debt to a dangerous crime boss. Forced into a corner, Elliott discovers how to take control of her life while helping empower other women. 

Awesome

Director: Paul Munger

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

Every night, 20-year-old Joy gets a glimpse of the future. But with a dad on parole, a pill-popping boyfriend, and a recent lay-off, that doesn’t mean she can stop it from being shitty. That is until she foresees an event that will ruin the lives of her loved ones forever. She’ll have to figure out how to change her future–or live with the consequences.

The Blind Zone                                     World Premiere 

Directors: Federica Marchese, Vinushu Sundaresan

Country: China; Running Time: 32 min

Battle of wits and violence ensues when the separate worlds of two teenage sociopaths collide after they set their eyes on the same target.

 

East

Director: Dana Marisa Schoenfeld

Country: USA; Running Time: 32 min

When Ella Goldman, a New York City Corporate attorney, gets engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Josh, she is ecstatic to embark on the next stage of her life. With a wedding to plan and a blossoming career, Ella thinks she has it all. But when she suddenly loses her job and catches her boyfriend cheating, her world comes crashing down. This devastating turn of events forces her to confront the truth about her life – and what it is she really wants. Convinced that this is a “wake-up call,” Ella pursues her childhood dream of being an actress. 

Events At Hemlock Manor

Director: Katie North

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

At its core, this is a series about underdogs: a ragtag group of spooky weirdos with nowhere else to go. Hemlock Manor is not only a year-round haunted house with a terrible business model; it’s also a home. But what do you do when the thing you love is in trouble? You fight for it. Even when that means throwing a baby shower for a group of rich ladies who thought “the historic Hemlock Manor” was a charming country villa, not a haunted house open in July.

 

For Years to Come

Director: Micah Stuart

Country: USA; Running Time: 27 min

An irreverent and heartfelt romantic dramedy about a gay man who falls in love with his dead mother’s hospice nurse, while struggling to reconnect with his elderly father…who’s secretly a porn director.

Hit Man: Secrets Of Lies

Director: Elias Plagianos

Country: UK; Running Time: 19 min

A reflective hitman from New York City travels to small towns around the country trying to find meaning in his seemingly inconsequential life as he fulfills his contracts and eliminates his targets. 

Hot Angry Mom                                   

Director: Clarissa De Los Reyes

Country: USA; Running Time: 34 min

A people-pleasing mom must face her rage, as a video of her epic meltdown goes viral.

I Could Eat

Director: Rick Bedrosian

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

A new TV/Web Series showcasing the cuisine & music that unites diverse cultures. Host, Rick Bedrosian (“George” in a Beatlemania stage show for 7 years, leader of Celtic music powerhouse, Hair Of The Dog, since 1993 and an international tour guide) spans the globe seeking out the finest food and the most interesting music makers.

L.I.F.E.: It’s Wonderful

Director: Dathan Smith

Country: USA; Running Time: 22 min

L.I.F.E. is an anthology series set in the near future where citizens receive a hand-delivered card notifying them the day they will die. Rose feels trapped in her new “home”. Emilia feels trapped by her daughter’s recent news. Bob is forced to deliver a card he has been dreading since joining L.I.F.E. Corp. as Diane adjusts to her new job.

Moments                                         North American Premiere 

Director: Aaron Lewis

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

Moments is a gripping 9-episode digital series, each under 13 minutes, offering intimate glimpses into characters on the brink. Driven by black trauma and mysticism, it unravels mind-reading and hidden truths through therapist Dr. Winston. An enigmatic narrator, Rutina Wesley, introduces time travel, adding layers of self-discovery. Momentshints at an expanded episodic journey, diving deeper into characters’ histories and relationships, while authentically addressing themes of healing and transformation within the mystical. Boasting a stellar ensemble cast and profound storytelling.

 

Morse Code

Director: Travis Nicholson

Country: USA; Running Time: 37 min

In the eccentric community of modern-day East Nashville, Simon, a talented but flawed thirty-something indie folk singer finds himself at a crossroads as he struggles to strike a balance between family and career.

Off The Menu

Director: Daniele Sestito

Country: USA; Running Time: 37 min

“Chef” is a perfectionist, Italian cook who works for an unordinary institution. Typically stern and grandiose, a new side of Chef is revealed when he is forced to make a meal that’s beyond his grasp. 

Q Train

Directors: Dionne Van Den Berg, Samantha Tran

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

A Brooklyn based DJ explores the queer dating scene.

Roboto

Directors: Mari Madrid, Keone Madrid

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

Ky loses his entire career as a highly successful choreographer when AI takes over the dance industry and the world by storm. This throws Ky into suicidal ideations until Mikah, a bright and optimistic 12-year-old boy, decides to disregard the latest craze of dancing with Roboto and instead asks Ky to choreograph for his school performance. While at first Ky reluctantly decides to help the kid, he begins to find a bit of light in his life again. And when it’s revealed that Mikah had a battle with cancer Ky’s perspective is completely shifted.

The Selectman                                       World Premiere 

Director: David Antonio Martin

Country: USA; Running Time: 26 min

In the wake of Selectman Joseph Allenby’s untimely death, this absurd comedy begins amid a memorial service in the small town of Picasquiddy, Maine. Subverting the idyllic nature of small-town New England, our protagonists are trapped in a picturesque world where the forces of learned behavior, arrested adolescence, and the quest for power forever collide. As two unlikely successors emerge as candidates for the Board of Selectmen, the town’s fate hangs in the balance. Does anybody have what it takes?

Travel Fox                                         World Premiere 

Director: Henk Pretorius

Country: UK; Running Time: 5 min

Get ready for a wild adventure in Travel Fox, the pilot episode of an animated series tailor-made for curious kids. Follow the inquisitive Travel Fox and Bogie the Tortoise as they race across the world, chasing rainbows in search of a legendary pot of gold. But here’s the twist – instead of gold, our friends discover something even more precious: a treasure trove of unique characters and unforgettable experiences.

 

Ülom: The Primary Experiment                        World Premiere 

Director: Jon Da

Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min

In Ülom, one can find anything, even meaning. A desperate scientist undertakes a labyrinthian experiment he believes will locate his missing daughter. Journeying ever deeper into the labyrinth, he must confront an invasive, fictional reality. Remember: what feels real, is real. Ülom is here.

Xander                                           World Premiere 

Director: Jonathan Chao

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

When lonely high school student Luke befriends Xander the Genie, he’s forced to consider if making his one wish is worth losing his new genie best friend.

 

 NARRATIVE SHORTS

 

(In)Convenience

Director: Alexandra Greenspan

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

#Pizzagate World Premiere

Director: Danny Piñeros

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

The 1971 Kitchen Grand Brie

Director: Ian Beckman

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Bisected                                                                                 World Premiere

Director: Danny Piñeros

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

Black Silk                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Patrick Michael

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Blight                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Markus Hoeckner

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Bloodworm                                                                            World Premiere

Director: Kai Wen

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Bounce House

Directors: Callie Bloem, Christopher Ewing

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Burraco                                                                                  World Premiere

Director: Isabella Tagliati

Country: Italy; Running Time: 14 min

 

Candice

Director: Tyler Martin

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Career Day

Directors: Jason Robinson, Chris Hooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Chauncey                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Reilly Anspaugh & Daniel Rashid

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Cheol                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Yeajoon Cho

Country: USA; Running Time: 19 min

 

Church Camp

Director: Andrew Bourne

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

The Chat                                                                                World Premiere

Writer/Dir/Prod: Artie Brennan

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Clownfish

Director: Clayton Henderson

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Dear Owner

Director: Jing Ai Ng

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Delta World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Coleman

Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min

 

Detox

Director: Alex Hanno

Country: USA; Running Time: 19 min

 

Dropping

Director: Rj Collins

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Echoes Of My Father                                                            World Premiere

Directors: Junko Kajino, Ed M Koziarski

Country: USA, Japan; Running Time: 18 min

 

The Electro-Rocker

Director: Chris Edgar

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Entrainment

Director: Bill Prokopow

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

Esperance To Fremantle                                                     World Premiere

Director: William Sebastian Turner

Country: Australia; Running Time: 18 min

 

Everything Goes Dark                                                          International Premiere

Director: Alex Casimir

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Fate Vs. Elena                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Laura Sedlak

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

 

From The Dark                                                                      North American Premiere

Director: Erika Sanz

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Hot Soda

Director: Nello Digiandomenico

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

How To Disappear                                                                World Premiere

Director: Milton Woods

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

I Keep Bumping into Candy Maldonado                            World Premiere

Director: Luke Black

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

In The Quiet                                                                           World Premiere

Director: Merle Dandridge

Country: USA; Running Time: 5 min

 

Interracial Couple In A Cheerios Ad

Director: Christine Lakin

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

The Invaders

Director: Erin Doyle Cooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

Itch                                                                                         World Premiere

Director: Mohammad Anwerzada

Countries: Pakistan/Canada; Running Time: 9 min

 

Letters To the Wind                                                              World Premiere

Director: Terrence Shu

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Lux Freer

Director: Cynthia Gibb

Country: USA; Running Time: 21 min

 

Man Baby                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Aaron Murtagh

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Music For A While                                                                World Premiere

Director: Kelvin Z. Phillips

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Nearly Never                                                                          North American Premiere

Director: Peter Franklyn Banks

Country: UK; Running Time: 15 min

 

Newbie

Director: James Skinner

Country: UK; Running Time: 8 min

 

Portrait Of a Cowboy

Director: Devon Wycoff

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Pretty As a Picture                                                               World Premiere

Director: Ryan Nielsen

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

The Pros And Cons Of Killing Yourself                             World Premiere

Director: Ravi Steve Khajuria

Country: Canada; Running Time: 21 min

 

Piano Man                                                                              

Director: Jay Zaretsky

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Purgy’s

Director: Robbie Bryan

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Rattled                                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Adam Linkenhelt

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

Red, White And Blue

Director: Nazrin Choudhury

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

 

Revelation                                                                             World Premiere

Director: Libe Barer

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Room 107                                                                              World Premiere

Directors: Steve Anderson, Leandro Imaz

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Sane Men

Director: Jess Fritz

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Skateboard                                                                            World Premiere

Director: Peyton Michelle Edwards

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Sonshine                                                                                International Premiere

Director: Corey Podell

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Speak Up Brotha!

Director: Wes Andre Goodrich

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Sugar                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Alyssa Brayboy

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Three Ways Out                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Lizzie Morgan

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Tips Up!                                                                                 World Premiere

Director: Leah Claire Borrie

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Tossou                                                                                   World Premiere

Directors: Melisande Mclaughlin, Sika Stanton

Country: USA; Running Time: 3 min

 

Used Chairs For Sale                                                           World Premiere

Director: Dylan Paffe

Countries: USA/Canada; Running Time: 14 min

 

We Love You Ray                                                                 World Premiere

Director: John Hays

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

You Need To Process This

Director: Eleanor Morrison

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

 DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

 

13 Driver’s Licenses

Director: Ryoya Terao

Countries: USA/Germany; Running Time: 27 min

 

Brothers For Life World Premiere

Director: Alon Juwal

Country: Israel; Running Time: 17 min

 

The Dancer: The Beautiful and Tragic Life Of Gerard Alexander

Directors: Ryon Horne, Tyson Horne

Country: USA; Running Time: 35 min

 

Family Trip                                                                            World Premiere

Director: Sean Dunne

Country: USA; Running Time: 26 min

 

Finding Fate

Director: Beth Toni Kruvant

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

 

How I Roll                                                                              World Premiere

Directors: Brianne Berkson, Miguel Gluckstern, BriGuel

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love World Premiere

Director: Susan Morgan Cooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 34 min

 

Kristin Dan Kuching Kuchingnya

Director: Michael Kam

Country: Singapore; Running Time: 6 min

 

Living Loud                                                                           World Premiere

Directors: Carin van der Donk, Isabella Vega, Sarah Teale

Country: USA; Running Time: 40 min

 

Paper Boats

Director: Jessica Pons

Country: USA; Running Time: 5 min

 

Rebirth                                                                                   World Premiere

Director: Olivia Burgess

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Revealing The Impossible World Premiere

Directors: Tony Chong and Marlene Millar

Country: Canada; Running Time: 29 min

 

 

This Is Why We Train: The Sea Girt Beach Patrol            World Premiere

Director: Kevin Nulty

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Tracing Imperfection World Premiere

Director: Chehade Boulos

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

Where Is America the Beautiful?

Director: Fr3der1ck

Country: USA; Running Time: 30 min

 

 MIDNIGHT SHORTS

 

Bastard                                                                                  World Premiere

Directors: Haley Elise Pehrson, Gretta Wilson

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

The Custodian

Director: Colin J. Mason

Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min

 

D.O.D.

Director: Paul Davis

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

Dedly Wagons                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Martin Balaguer

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

Good Girls Get Fed

Director: Kelly Lou Dennis

Country: USA; Running Time: 21 min

 

Hevel                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: David Grace

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

Inner Demons                                                                        World Premiere

Director: Jasmine J, Johnson

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

The Mantis

Director: Wylie Rush

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Mattress Express

Director: Noah Morse

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

Night Shift

Director: Karlee Boon

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

 

Pee Pee Platter

Director: Jon Conklin

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

The Spirit Became Flesh                                                     World Premiere

Writer/Director: Jesse Aultman

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

The Worm                                                                              World Premiere

Director: Cameron A. Tubbs

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

 

 ABOUT DANCES WITH FILMS

Now in its 26th year, Dances With Films champions the unflinching spirit at the very core of the independent film scene. With most film festivals relying heavily on celebrity, we have relied on innovation, talent, creativity, and sweat equity that revolutionized the entertainment industry. And that reliance continues to prove successful with alumni moving on to write, direct, and produce celebrity-studded vehicles, star in blockbuster movies, and television series, produce multi-million-dollar film and create hot TV shows. 

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


 

Huge Genre News: NIGHTSTREAM is back in new form!

Digital Genre Film Fest NIGHTSTREAM Relaunched Yesterday as Year Round Curated TVOD Platform, Ft. Exclusive Title SUMMONERS, Films from Distros Including Oscilloscope, Utopia, Dark Sky & More


Christine Nyland and Larry Fessenden from Nightstream Exclusive SUMMONERS


(Brooklyn, NY | October 31, 2023) The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, in association with the Boston Underground Film Festival and the Overlook Film Festival, announces today the re-launch of Nightstream. The former virtual film festival will re-launch as a transactional VOD platform that will showcase acclaimed genre films. Nightstream enables at-home audiences to have a one-stop-shop for their favorite (and new discovery) genre indies in lieu of scrolling through offerings buried in other more overarching platforms. Viewers can expect the lineup to continue to grow over time but always remain curated by the festival programmers.

Nightstream was initially launched in 2020 when film festivals were shuttered at the height of the pandemic. These major horror festivals joined forces to satiate their audiences’ appetites for new, exciting titles even while they were stuck at home. Despite the fact that the world is back in action, Nightstream will give genre fans the curated festival experience 24/7.

Terence Krey and Christine Nyland, the filmmaking team behind 2020’s indie gem An Unquiet Grave, unveil Summoners as the very first Nightstream Exclusive. The film made its world premiere at Brooklyn Horror Festival last year and debuts exclusively on the platform as a launch title. Co-starring indie icon Larry Fessenden, the film focuses on a former witch who is plunged back into a world of witchcraft far more dangerous than ever before after her childhood friend seeks her help in performing a dark spell.

Spearheading the relaunch is Justin Timms, Director of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. “Finding a way to support new indie films along with keeping our collective festivals afloat during the pandemic was our priority and I’m thrilled that we can continue that for the long term,” says Timms. “Not only will we be sharing revenue with the films on the channel but a portion of the proceeds will also be split among the other founding festivals. We hope audiences around the country will see the value in supporting this effort and choose Nightstream when renting one of these standout titles.”

As of today’s Halloween launch day, the platform will feature over thirty titles, including those from indie distributors Oscilloscope, Dark Star, Dark Sky, Dekanalog, Utopia, Yellow Veil Pictures, and others. Titles include Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to World’s Fair (Utopia), Gaspar Noe’s Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil), Joel PotrykusBuzzard (Oscilloscope), and much more. The full listing of film offerings is available at nightstream.org.

Prices will vary per title, and users will have the option to rent or buy most titles with a default pricing of $4.99 to rent and $12.99 to buy.

Full information is available at:
https://nightstream.org/

About Nightstream
In response to the many challenges impacting the film community amid the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing concerns of safety and security associated with physical exhibition and festivals in 2020 and 2021, the collaborative online event NIGHTSTREAM was launched by organizers of a number of American genre festivals across the country to present a dynamic and accessible virtual film festival.

NIGHTSTREAM will live on, continuing as a curated hub for genre films where audiences across the US will be able to rent, buy and discover the latest indie films.

About Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Bringing the best of domestic and international genre cinema to New York City since 2016, the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is a premier East Coast genre festival that embodies the eclectic spirit of its namesake.

Brooklyn Horror not only provides the nightmare fuel that audiences expect but also prides itself on challenging those expectations, spotlighting films that push the boundaries of what is normally deemed horror.

Taking place in venues throughout the borough every October, BHFF compliments its ambitious features and shorts programming with exciting and unique live events, crafting a must-attend festival experience for industry members and film fans alike.


 

Review: ‘The Hive’ comes to Cable and Digital VOD tomorrow.

THE HIVE

Albie and Penny, a young couple with a failing marriage, try to rekindle the fire by having a night out by themselves. To make matters worse, the couple returns home to armed strangers. With no help from their neighbors or law enforcement, they attempt to get evidence of the intrusion. They’re captured by the intruders and tortured for information. There’s no hope until Albie escapes and saves Penny. So hellbent on revenge, he puts their marriage on the line. Unfortunately, all help has been compromised and there’s nowhere to run.


With a flailing marriage and erratic home invaders, THE HIVE has all the elements of a solid Twilight Zone-inspired feature. But this indie is more of a buzzkill.

The Hive still 2The performances swing widely. The score, while fine on its own, doesn’t match the over-the-top portrayals of everyone beyond Penny and Albie. Even Timothy Haug and Christine Griffin give us lackluster chemistry.

The set is not a house in which two small children reside. While the script states they’ve only been in their new home for two weeks, there isn’t a single toy on the floor or family portrait on the mantle, just a couple of balls in the backyard. But, an array of greeting cards hang on shuddered closet doors. Nothing makes sense.

The plot is glaringly apparent to everyone but Albie and Penny. Once revealed an hour and ten minutes into the runtime, the fact that our invaders have to explain and then begin to bicker while the score ramps up its intensity, things get increasingly eye-roll-inducing. I think there is supposed to be some overarching social commentary, but the film lost me, somehow flipping from thriller to comedy, and I wasn’t sure if that was the film’s intent.

Despite the classic sci-fi concept, THE HIVE could have been a 15-minute short.

The Hive will hatch on Cable and Digital VOD on October 27th, including Prime Video, Vudu, Vubiquity, Cox, and Comcast.

ICYMI- The extended trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest ‘POOR THINGS’ starring Emma Stone


POOR THINGS

From filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and producer Emma Stone comes the incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

Coming to theaters December 8th, 2023

#PoorThings


 

LA’s Screamfest 2023 review: Banned in Russia, ‘EMPIRE V’ is an original and juicy re-vamping of lore.

EMPIRE V

Based on his novel, author Viktor Pelevin and director Victor Ginzburg deliver EMPIRE V, a twisted tale of succession, seduction, and social satire. Arriving at SCREAMFEST 2023, it sucks you in from the very first frame. Rama awakens to find a masked man holding him captive, briefly explaining that he is the new heir of something sinister. Our protagonist soon learns he is now a child of the night, a revered member of the vampire elite. But the rules of their society are not so simple, and life after death comes with certain sacrifices.

In EMPIRE V, the two primary notions of Vampirism are Glamour and Discourse. They essentially break down to look and influence. Blood holds all the memories of the human it comes from and arrives differently than we’ve become accustomed to.

The CGI transition pieces serve as history lessons and sexy vampire propaganda. I’ve never seen anything like it outside of high-tech, immersive video games. Even the closing credits have an elegance and visual splendor akin only to Netflix’s The Crown.

EMPIRE VThe fight choreography is Matrixlike. The entire film echoes Neo’s training. It holds equal complexities, no doubt captivating a similar audience. If I didn’t know any better, EMPIRE V would fit perfectly into the list of films featured in the new doc SO UNREAL. Had it not been for the pesky detail that it’s 22 years after the latest film in their lineup. With a delicious camp of The Fifth Element and all the hallmarks of an epic sci-fi franchise meets social satire, Ginzburg could seamlessly develop the film into a series or become the latest cult trilogy. Entirely original vampire canon melded with science fiction, EMPIRE V has a built-in audience filled with hungry genre fans waiting to sink their teeth into this story.


Russian-set sci-fi horror film EMPIRE V is set to hold its North American premiere at LA’s Screamfest. The controversial film is directed and written by Victor Ginzburg. 

EMPIRE V is a social parody of modern Russian society being controlled by vampires. The film was set to be released by Sony on several thousand screens across Russia in 2022, making it one of the most hotly anticipated Russian releases of the year. After the start of the Ukrainian war and one week prior to the film’s release, it was pulled from theaters by the Kremlin, effectively making it a film without a country. The film stars popular Russian rapper Oxxymiron, whose anti-war stance has recently led to him being declared a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin, a designation used to attack the government’s critics and journalists. 

Based on the satirical and incisive novel by Victor Pelevin, EMPIRE V was produced by Heartland Films/USA and Kvadrat/Russia, and Andrey Trubitsyn, Maria Kapralova, Alexei Tylevich and James Steele. The film also stars Pavel Tabakov, Taya Radchenko, Miron Fedorov and Vera Alentova. EMPIRE V recently held its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival in July and will debut to Los Angeles audiences at Screamfest this October.  
 
In the film, a 19-year-old Moscow nobody is turned into a vampire, and thereby becomes part of an elite and powerful echelon of society who have controlled humanity since time immemorial. EMPIRE V is an astounding visual feast, featuring innovative and propulsive visual effects sequences that enhance and elevate its timely social commentary.