Monday, September 24, 2012

Frightfest 2012 Day 2: 24.8.2012

Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut opened the day with a work in progress directed by Russell Cherrington. Claiming to present Clive Barker's true vision rather than the limited cinematic release, this effort combines two European work prints with the DVD and the theatrical release. Unfortunately, what was shown was a mix of almost unwatchable footage which would have disgraced a fourth generation video copy mixed with some much clearer footage, the whole providing a near unintelligible mess. What struck me was that Barker's imagination was as much submerged by the flat acting as by the unwatchable interpolations. I thought there were computer programmes to clean up tape footage. The Dario Argento interview which followed was hampered by Argento's limited English and would have been better served by using a translator - surely not too difficult a procedure to arrange. He did come across as a man of some wit. Hidden in the Woods directed by Patricio Valladares tells of two sisters raised in an isolated cottage in the woods who are abused by their drug dealing father. When he is reported, he chainsaws to death the two police sent to arrest him but is caught and jailed before he can tell his drug lord boss where he has hidden a recent shipment. The drug lord sends his men to find this but the two girls and their mentally handicapped brother kill them and then the drug lord before the final scene of the three of them gambolling in the sea. Unredeeming splatter. V/H/S followed which is a six director found footage compilation. This demonstrates beyond doubt that found footage has had its day (possibly except in thrillers using CCTV footage sparingly to advance the plot) and is, by and large, an excuse for a lack of both talent and imagination. The outcome was that we then left without seeing the UK premiere of [Rec}3 Genesis which was probably a better film.

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