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Blasco (Ramiro Blas), a former bullfighter, drives a van that transports people across Spain. He’s a bore who doesn’t like feminists, and that doesn’t sit well with his three passengers one fateful day: Mariela (,Cecilia Suárez), a religious woman who has cancer, and Lidia (Cristina Alcázar), who takes her crazy teenage daughter, Marta (Paula Gallego), to live with Lydia’s ex-husband.
But Blasco’s macho drive is the least of the group’s worries. As night falls, they encounter a gurgling organism that spits a juvenile worm into Marta’s finger, and shortly thereafter, Blasko plows his van into a disfigured woman standing in the road. As he takes her to the hospital, she fires a translucent gob that turns Mariela into a snarling killer. From then on, it’s a toss-up between humans and evil.
This dark horror comedy from Spanish directing duo Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez is more than just a gut-wrenching infection film. It’s also a surprisingly moving look at how people, especially parents and their children, forgive each other when trauma is a sticky-fingered parasite. I don’t know how much the sloppy makeup effects cost, but the directors got their money’s worth.
I admired, more than enjoyed, this folk horror fable set in the lush rural landscapes of 19th-century Macedonia, where the supernatural and the ordinary share a painful coexistence.
When she turns 16, a mute girl named Nevena (Sarah Klimoska) is taken from her mother by a Freddy Krueger-like demon (Anamaria Marinka) known locally as Old Maid Maria. With irresistible cruelty, Maria guides her new child in the ways of a shape-shifter, a life that requires Nevena to slaughter the people she wants to become, including a young villager (Noomi Rapas).
Macabre and visually stunning, the film moves in a folk horror style that is just this side of pretend. However, writer-director Goran Stolevski and cinematographer Matthew Chuang teamed up to make a film about a young woman’s quest for self-discovery that includes beautiful passages of sensuality and joy as well as shocking acts of brutality. There’s also a subversive weirdness: When Nevena becomes a handsome young man, she explores the male body and the expectations that come with it.
Clayton Witmer’s film is an intensely moody and moving character drama masquerading as an old-fashioned creature feature.
Ethan (Drew Matthews) is an introverted locksmith who lives alone in an American suburb near his brother (Ryan Davenport) and his family. Driving one night, Ethan comes across a deer carcass and inside he finds a crazy little creature, a cross between a spider and a lobster. He takes it home, where the cub escapes from its cage, eventually growing to monstrous size. When a neighbor turns up dead one morning, Ethan figures out who the killer is.
At just under two hours, the film is too long to sustain its chilling ambitions. But it’s a spell. I was particularly drawn to how Witmer takes a monster metaphor in unexpected directions as he explores what it means to grow up and never leave a small town. Ayinde Anderson’s fine cinematography makes the North Carolina suburbs where the film was shot seem humble and sinister.
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This feature film from Niko van den Brink is a conventional supernatural folk-horror drama that nevertheless delivers a good night’s fright and a sad ending.
Set in the Netherlands, the film begins as Jonas (Alexandre Willaume) and his team of researchers work near a peat bog where Betriek (Sallie Harmsen) lives with her young daughter. They make a strange discovery: a dead body of a woman whose throat was slit vertically. Meanwhile, Betriek’s father sets up a sensor in the yard after an agitated man yells “They’re making me do it!” as he attacks the family.
As Betriek and Jonas begin a romance, she tells him that the chilling events may have something to do with a family curse that followed her grandmother’s unsolved murder. She is right and the curse has its claws for her and her daughter.
I don’t quite understand the demonic myth that fuels “Moloch”. it has biblical roots and has something to do with a hungry female spirit. But that’s okay, since van den Brink’s film oozes with suspense and freakish scares, like a strange scene in which Betriek encounters a haunted child in an elevator. The strange final scene is chilling.
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Although it borrows from “Ju-On: The Grudge,” “The Vigil” and other horror films, DM Cunningham’s thrilling, low-budget ghost story still scares on its own terms.
The film opens on a stormy night in a cell, as James (Peter Tell) recounts the harrowing events of a terrible day to his prison counselor (Cheryl Despres). In flashback, James explains that he was a police officer who once had to protect a body found near a cabin in the woods. He started seeing red poppies and a woman in a red dress — clues, he says, to why they were there, who the victim was and what a fellow officer (Haley Heslip) had to do with it all. As he recalls the horrific horrors that followed, we learn that James harbors terrible secrets that a sheet could never conceal.
From the pacing to the chronology, this film is flawless. dream states and reality share space in scenes that do not flow from one to the other. But Tell’s darkly comic performance and Cunningham’s adventurous direction make it work. That is, until the film’s many detours — from zombie comedy to sci-fi thriller to Hallmark romance — lead to a confusing ending.