The second day of THS is jam-packed with stuff, so let's not doddle on my introductions and instead let's jump right into what we saw today.
Let the Wrong One in
Every year there is a standout comedy, and for the last two Tellurides in person those have been from Ireland. Extra Ordinary was an amazing horror comedy with a pretty original story and gross and fun gags with lots of horror elements. Let the Wrong One In was very similar, but with more vampires and less ghosts.
We open with a guy named Matt who has a pretty mundane life. One day, his estranged brother returns not looking so great. They find out he is allergic to sun light, garlic, and has a lust for blood. As the day unfolds the story widens and the plot gets surprisingly interesting and interconnected until the final climatic ending.
This movie has the perfect mix of horror (mostly gore and blood) and comedy (mostly stupidity and farts). The cast does a great job of delivering humor in their own unique way. Matt's brother is just plain stupid, and it works. Anthony Head's character laughs at the most random and schadenfreude-esque moments.
One concern with this film is that if you don't have an aptitude for understanding Irish slang some of the comedy may go over your head, but you will still understand the story and everything else. In addition to that, there is some pretty sketchy acting, mostly on the part of the mother. Most of this is gun-to-head criticism as I still thoroughly enjoyed this movie and think it is the best horror comedy of this year's THS.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 6/10
Broadcast Signal Intrusion
It is not very often that I walk out of a movie with too many questions and that I also enjoyed the movie that is making me ask all of these questions. Broadcast Signal Intrusion was one of these films. I was thoroughly engrossed in this mystery/horror/mind-fuck of a movie, so let's dive into why.
Firstly, this movie started off slow but really steps on the gas within the first 30 minutes or so. By the time you realize the movie is kind of slow it has already started to speed up. Secondly the music/sound design was amazing. This movie centers around a single character and lots of time there is no dialogue, but the score basically makes this irrelevant. Finally, the creepiness of the mystery and the constant escalation makes it nearly impossible to not want to keep up with what is going on.
The Broadcast Signal Intrusions are creepy as hell and in addition to this they are full of crazy messages and clues. The loose faced robot woman will haunt your dreams and that is not a joke. As the movie plays out things get creepier and more confusing all at the same time leaving you talking to your fellow movie-goers about what was real and what was not.
Unfortunately, one of this movie's largest weaknesses was that the end is in no way fulfilling. After the full runtime, the end, after a single watch, does not make someone feel comfortable with what they know and still have questions. And while any number of subsequent watches may result in the end making a lot more sense, I don't think it is fair to a movie-goer to ask them to see a movie more then once to feel satisfied. At least not this movie-goer.
Besides this criticism I think most folks will like Broadcast Signal Intrusion and it is worth the watch to see if you are interested in seeing it multiple times to fully understand it. You can see it on Sunday October, 17th if you want to check it out or watch it again for more context!
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 7/10
Film Quality: 7/10
Cosmic Horrors Shorts Block
Below the Pines
Below the Pines is a tale as old as time...your significant other coming back after being missing and acting very strangely. I think the escalation of this short was good, but I did not like the resolution I was given and I think it leaves a little too much to the viewer to fill in the gaps of what happened. Also there is something about crickets happening and it seemed kind of random me to why they were involved at all.
I think the tag line for this short should be "with great exposition comes great rewards." There is a lot of just talking in this film and it bordered on over doing it. However those that stick with it were rewarded with some awesome visual effects and that is not bad for a short.
This was probably tied for my favorite short from this block with Sleep Talker. This short followed a military pilot who got shot out of the sky long ago by a mysterious object and spends the rest of his life obsessed with finding a way to prove he is not crazy and get his just desserts. The film is put together incredibly well and we get character depth and pay off which is usually not something we see in shorts.
Sometimes if you hear noises from your significant other in the bedroom upstairs it may not be them you are hearing. That is the premise of this short and it is pretty great as far as cosmic horror goes. I will say this probably could have fit in the Here Be Monsters Shorts Block as well cuz the alien is super creepy.
This was by far my least favorite short of the block. In Katu humanity loses its language and has to pay... you know what, I will just say it is a creative interpretation of the story of the Tower of Babel but with out any of the parts that make that story make sense. This short unsuccessfully tries to combine pre and post alien planet take over amazingly. I would pass on this if you ever see it somewhere.
Can't wait for Day 3 of THS tomorrow! Ready to finish the weekend strong!