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Telluride Horror Show, Day 3 Feature Films

Sickle and I saw some crazy good stuff today, if you have not checked out the review of the shorts then please do. One of the awesome things Telluride Horror Show does is have secret shows on Sunday, and these secret shows were evidence enough that sticking around for the whole day Sunday is a must. I am going to go over the two secret films we saw today:

Raw

Raw is a French horror film by Julia Docournau, following Justine (Garance Marillier) and her ‘initiation’into veterinary school in the foot steps of her mother and sister. Justine is a vegetarian established by her mother's eccentric behavior in a restaurant early on in the film. However, during a hazing ritual she is forced to eat meat and something in her is awakened. She moves from cooked meat to human fingers faster than you can say, “holy hell, a cannibal story is happening!”

One of the best parts of this film spawns from my love of good cannibal stories. Zombies are nice, but there is something about a person choosing to eat another person that makes your heckles rumble. The scenes around the cannibalism are not over the top, despite what people have been saying. The scenes of cannibalism are done to progress the story and are not done for the necessity of gore in a movie. It is nice and refreshing to see a film use gore, flesh and blood as a kind of storytelling technique instead of way to spend the entire FX budget.

One criticism I have dug deep to find is that some of the scenes that leave you feeling that this isn’t really our modern day world, but more of a dystopian one where everyone seems to want to be a vet. The school is run down in some places and kind of advanced in others. Suffice it to say that this was probably more of a cultural misunderstanding than a real problem with the film. In the same way, the scenes that appear to be dream sequences are a bit jarring to the viewers, but again I am not an aspiring vet living in France.

This movie is definitely one to watch if you can find it and I feel like the gore is not too much for most people. One of the main themes is discovery in the sense of college and moving away from your nest. The changes we experience in those times can be things our parents either never thought to prepare us for or aspects of ourselves that have been hidden until it was too late. This combined with the cannibalistic nature of the protagonist family results in a very enjoyable horror movie!

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Many films we love have scenes in morgues. From Final Destination to American Horror Story we see morgues usually as a single scene location for an event in a story. The Autopsy of Jane Doe, directed by Andre Overdal and written by Ian B. Goldberg and Richard Naing, takes this trope and flips it on its head. This movie takes place entirely in a morgue, and boy does it make it even creepier.

We start off with police investigating a house where they find the body of the title character. Then we move to the Tilden Estate and start establishing Austin (Emile Hirsch) and his father Tony (Brian Cox) as damn fine coroners. Then these two things collide and we find our heroes opening up our antagonist (?) Jane Doe. The autopsy gets weirder and weirder and we find our hero coroners confronting the darker sides of not only humanity but the things the dark side of humanity can create. I think this was one of the best films we saw this weekend. It combined the best parts of an investigative suspense film with the terror of jump scare classics.

One small criticism I have for this movie is that I think they may have left too many strings hanging

throughout the film. So much so that we struggle to infer alternative happenings with regard to the plot. Some will come out of this move knowing exactly what happened, but I would like to take a quick second to discuss an alternative possibility. One is that Austin and his father are suffering from some kind of hallucination. Whether that is from Austin being exhausted or the fumes of any number of chemicals used in the process, we can see a few things that would lead to this with Austin urging his father to believe what is going on or the end state of all the things that happened in the basement we can make some interesting assumptions to lead us to a very different kind of film here.

I personally enjoy the film being supernatural, but much like our viewing of The Hallow last year Sickle and I had some very intense discussions on the walk back home. This is not a huge thing; in fact I find it pretty great that we were able to both legitimately discuss what the Hell happened in this movie. The way they ended the movie basically promises a few sequels which

makes my horns tingle! When we look at this film as a hole we see an awesome setting, an interesting plot, and a scary story that is not yet finished. Please make another, I dare you!

In the end, staying for all three days of the horror show not only allows you to have a good dose of horror, but allows people to see acclaimed films before anyone else. The two films above have only been shown at a few other festivals in the world, and Telluride Horror Show is one of them. Thanks again to all the staff and people that made this weekend one of the greatest times outside the realm of the damned. We will be seeing you again next year!

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan