The Fantasia Film Festival proved again why it is one of the biggest and most important genre film fests of the year. This year’s lineup included some of the best genre fare of the year. We look back on some of our favorites and of course, horror is all over the list. But the movies below show just how varied genre filmmaking has become. This year’s films looked at themes that included social norms, coming of age, and the LGBTQ community. Here are some of our favorites.
Speak No Evil
When two families, one Danish and one Dutch, meet on family vacations in Italy, it seems innocuous – like any passing friendship one might form on a trip. When the Danish family is later invited to stay at the Dutch family’s cabin in the woods, they’re surprised but accept the invitation. What follows is an exercise in fraught discomfort, as the Dutch family pushes boundaries and the Danish family sheepishly worries about their manners above their own comfort.
Speak No Evil is not a typical horror film; the escalation is slow and steady, and it’s a near perfect slow burn. Moments of hope give way to crushing blows, and the slowly built dread crescendos in unforgettable terror.
Huesera, the debut feature film of Michelle Garza Cervera, is a supernatural body horror that will forever change the way you think about cracking your knuckles. Featuring a strong performance from Natalia Solián as Valeria, a young woman pregnant with her first child, Huesera takes what should be a joyful experience for Valeria, and turns it into a nightmare. Blurring the lines between thriller and full-on supernatural horror, Huesera will keep you stressed out and worried for Valeria for its just-over 90-minute runtime.
One look at the poster for Glorious will hint at what is to come. Colorful, funny, and a little gross, it is the definition of an eye catcher and the perfect way to describe the film. Filled with vivid colors, great comedy, and lots of blood, Glorious is impossible to look away from. A chance encounter in a roadside rest stop seems like it is rife for toilet humor and low hanging fruit.
Instead, filmmaker Rebekah McKendry delivers a clever film that boasts great chemistry and includes some funny banter. Sure, there is a dick joke along the way, but the real comedy is found in the strong writing. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons is a fantastic addition. In addition to his unsurprisingly outstanding performance, he brings credibility. Genre films – especially horror – have always been looked down on. It is nice to see a recent Oscar nominee have a featured role in this type of film.
Out in the Ring
Professional wrestling is rarely featured in the mainstream media in a positive light. There are the company driven PR appearances the WWE regularly participates in, but the sport has trouble developing goodwill organically. The recent news about Vince McMahon will probably cause a major change, but it is far from the first time the company has received bad press regarding how it treats its employees.
Out in the Ring is not all rainbows and lollipops. On the contrary, there is sadness and cynicism in it. But there is also hope that you just never see in wrestling. It is an eye opening look into the history of LGBTQ representation and where it stands today in the sport. Filled with inspirational stories and some interesting history, it is a documentary that can be enjoyed by fans and nonfans.
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