Welcome to our Day 2 coverage of Celebration of Fantastic Fest 2020. Let’s chat about what we watched to
Blocks - one morning a mom starts throwing up legos and she cannot figure out why till one night she has an epiphany and figured out not only how to cope with her husband and kids, but also how to fix her lego problem. Nice commentary on what it is like to be a new parent and how everyone needs a break sometimes. I Love Your Guts - Two girls working late at a fast-food restaurant have one awkward encounter after another, but end up better for it. A cute little dark comedy about friendship and the stuff that makes it stronger.
Solution for Sadness - A sad lady finds a gorilla mask that changes her life and the reason why will blow your dang mind. A conspiracy of epic proportions, this short is a funny and cheesy little story that will have you laughing, but also wondering, "Am I sad?"
Jack and Jo Don’t Want to Die - Follows a janitor at a reanimation clinic the last day before his suspension, but one of the people he reanimates may teach him a lesson that will change his mind about everything. This is by far one of the most heartwarming shorts I have seen in a long time.
Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran - A very emotional, intense story about a female lead in a metal band in Tehran and her struggle to follow her heart, but at a cost. This was a very uncomfortable and real look at how women are treated in a different part of the world and is a must-see if you don’t know what I am talking about.
Please Hold - A terrifying example of what happens when automation goes too far, and not the good kinda automation...the bad, stupid kind. Imagine if an automated call center ran every human interaction in the world. Scary stuff huh? A terrible accurate and scary depiction of modern-day life that makes one rethink a lot of things.
(You’ll Make It In) Florida - A very strange short about Florida. Was this paid for by Florida? A very confusing addition, but some funny jokes along the way.
I was sold on watching Girl (directed by Chad Faust, who also stars in it) when I saw Bella Throne and Mickey Rourke were headlining this film. I have generally loved the stuff I have seen Bella Thorne in; The Babysitter series being my favorite. And Mickey Rourke is..well... Mickey Rourke. The movie called Girl has no character names in it, which I found kinda fun and generally loved the movie. Review over! We’re done! Just kidding, let’s chat about Girl and why it is a very enjoyable entry into the crime/mystery/revenge/backwoods genre.
Girl is about a...well...girl, or lady rather, who is on the hunt to kill her father, against her mother’s wishes. Once she arrives in a desolate, run-down, and frankly weird town. She very quickly finds her father has been killed and decides that she needs to investigate further. This investigation uncovers the secrets of this strange town and puts her life in danger numerous times. It is a pretty well thought out film where the plot is not groundbreaking but is still intriguing till the end. However, sometimes they hit you over the head with obvious clues to the hidden mystery. I think they should have left a bit more for the watcher to figure out, which I don’t say very often, so it means something!
In its purest form, Girl is about family and how unresolved issues can really mess you up in the long run. We can see the cascading effects of the girl’s parents and family’s decisions on Bella’s character, the people in the town, and the town itself. But in a beautiful juxtaposition, we also see how one can get out of the cycle of messed up stuff our families can do to us. I really think this is what kept me interested the whole time. Not just the intrigue, but the motivation.
Okay, now that we have all the sappy stuff outta the way, let's talk about the cool stuff. Bella’s character is a mega badass. She was trained as an ax thrower and knows how to take care of herself. So watching her survive in this movie versus the people in the town was pretty epic. She doesn’t make a lot of stupid decisions and is very surgical about her purpose. But not so much that the tension breaks, as I was still on the edge of my seat in some scenes.
I am very glad that in this scenario, good casting didn’t overshadow the quality of Girl. I think it is a good movie for both general horror fans and anyone who just likes really good stories. The action is also really, really great and totally immerses you into the film. Check out Girl if you get a chance during Celebration of Fantastic Fest 2020!
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier 8/10
Horror Rating 6/10
Film QUality 8/10