Saturday, December 4, 2021

Three Films Make A Post: Don't let the holidays eat you alive

Black Friday (2021): This horror comedy by Casey Tebo about an alien parasite type of zombie outbreak in a giant toyshop recommends itself with a lot of nice gooey effects (and a truly adorably bad looking kaiju), fun and snarky performances by Devon Sawa, Ivana Baquero, Bruce Campbell, and the rest of the cast. The script is more competent and effective than great, but its practical realization is fast and fun enough to make this a properly entertaining ninety minutes in the tradition of your favourite pieces of fun horror from the 80s or 90s.

Which does make for a nice change from all the ghost movies about demons as well as all those earnest and slow horror movies about grief.

The Shadow Side aka La Parte Oscura (2020): Speaking of demons and an entertaining time (though it’s not even an hour here), this quarantine zoom conference POV horror movie from Argentina as directed by Max Coronel features the former as well as the latter.

The film is just as long as it needs and should be. It quickly and highly efficiently establishes characters and situation and then goes through a series of escalating and equally efficient horror set pieces, generally staged and shot as nicely as its production circumstances allow. Clara Kovacic makes a fine main characters/victim of your usual evil occult powers, and the rest of the cast is doing exactly what (and as much of it) as they need to.

Mad God (2021): Unlike these other two films, film Tippett’s insanely creative and capital-W weird feature-length stop motion animation isn’t efficient or simple yet effective genre work. Instead, this is a deeply strange trip into aesthetic netherworlds that feel intensely personal, lacking in explanation, plot, and character to make room for incredible, and sometimes deeply disturbing, visual worldbuilding.

I’ve honestly never seen anything quite like it, and certainly not in a shape that actually manages to keep up aesthetic thrills and intensity for nearly ninety minutes like this does.

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