Thursday, September 23, 2010

Frightfest 2010: Day 3

Again the Discovery Screen for 'Christopher Roth' by Max Sender (Maxime Alexandre) in which the eponymous hero is a successful thriller writer who wants to change direction and takes a villa in Umbria to find the peace he needs to do so. He
and his wife find a neighbour (though not exactly next door) is a fan and they dine together at times. A series of local murders by a serial killer called The Boar because his victims have wooden tusks forced through their cheeks complicates his
life and leads to a reality as scary as anything he has written. With a non-English cast (apart from Ben Gazzara in a cameo as the writer's New York agent). this seemed rather a Euro-pudding film with, as one would expect, beautiful cinematography.
'Fanboys' sees a bunch of teenage Star Wars fans setting out to steal a copy of George Lucas's 'Episode One - The Phantom
Menace' before it is released so that they can claim to be the first to have seen it. A series of adventures on the way to the Lucas ranch make this an example of the road trip genre, mildly amusing and predictable with Kristen Bell as the feisty girl who is one of the boys but really after love. What the ... was it doing here?
'13 Hrs' sees Isabella Calthorpe return to the family mansion after some time in this Jonathan Glendening film, another World
Premiere. Cut off by a storm, she and her family less the mother who is away purportedly either for work or with her lover
depending on who is telling it, plus an ex boy friend and a current girl friend, the bounteously endowed Gemma Atkinson,
are attacked by an unseen but bloody animal which proceeds to kill them off one by one, starting with the father. There is an
unexpected explanation which is revealed only after most of them are dead as are a local policeman and animal trapper. An
interesting premise well done and, for once, set in a milieu that is neither urban nor rural slum.
Steven R Monroe has directed a remake of the classic 'I Spit On your Grave' and has followed the basic story line but added at
least one twist which did not really improve matters. The humiliation and rape of Sarah Butler, the lead, are effectively done without much prurience and the revenge sequences show a certain imagination but the expansion of the film from the original does not enhance but rather diminishes.
Gareth Edwards debut film 'Monsters' is a road movie of sorts with a sci-fi basis. Alien lifeforms from a NASA probe have led
to much of Mexico being quarantined and a large wall built along the border with the USA. A reporter in Central America is
tasked with getting his employer's adult daughter back to the USA safely in order to keep is job. The film is the tale of their
journey which is far from straightforward and which, inevitably, leads to a romantic attachment before the end. The monsters of the title are almost incidental but are necessary to provide the pitfalls which befall them until the deliberately ambiguous ending. The mix of genres may tell against the film which is well made.

1 comment:

pppatty said...

It's a sad comment that the what-the-heck-is-it-doing here Fanboys was one of the more enjoyable of the day. I found "Christopher Roth" absorbing although it was somewhat flawed in its telling. I don't quite agree with your assessment of the remaining three flicks: 13 hours was a little unusual for a brit-flick but not I thought overly coherent; "I Spit..." on the other hand was possibly better than the average horror remake, certainly stronger on the gore once it got going; as for Monsters, I found it greatly over-hyped and not particularly involving. I suppose for a low-budget effort it managed to put a lot on the screen with the result that it was pictorially more interesting than the story being illustrated.