2014 BLOOD IN THE SNOW CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL: DAY 3
Heinous Acts (screened with the short film Trick or Treat)
Tim Hannigan's Heinous Acts is a horror anthology feature in the vein of Tales from the Crypt. Unravelling the case files of a county which has witnessed some of the most atrocious crimes imaginable, this is an imaginative, effectively creepy and well paced film. Due to the fact that Heinous Acts is evidently low budget, the film is weakened because it does not look as sharp as it could, as well as some limitations that arise in regards to set and quality in acting. Although it has its flaws, Heinous Acts is still a great example of what can be done when the filmmakers have their hearts in the right place and a strong script in their hands.
Ara Sagherian's Trick or Treat follows one lonesome man at the end of his rope. Almost entirely without dialogue, this short is highly dependent on the emoting from the lead actor as well as its thoughtful and well-shot scenes. Although the lack of dialogue may make the plot unclear for some, this is an ambitious little piece that accomplishes an atmosphere of sad, dark horror.
Trick or Treat:
Black Mountain Side (screened with the short film The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine)
Going into Black Mountain Side, I was expecting yet another film that depicts how scientists in horror films should definitely stay the hell away from snowy areas, and that is exactly what I got. Black Mountain Side is a very atmospheric picture that feels like The Thing meets The Shining in regards to cinematography, but unfortunately not in script. Although very aesthetically pleasing and occasionally creepy and unsettling, the latter half of the movie definitely falls apart due to plot clichés that make it come off as an unintentional satire.
The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine follows an undying evil entity that resurrects itself continually throughout time. Although it is a relatively tired idea, it had potential to be something successfully eerie if the plot was a little tighter, which is unfortunately not the case. It has a murky story that could be much better with some choice editing; but due to some fleeting moments of promise, it becomes forgivable and not regrettable.
The Resurrections of Clarence Neveldine:
Kingdom Come (screened with the short film Domestic Blood)
Probably my least favourite film of the weekend, Kingdom Come follows a group of people after they have found each other in an asylum that will evidently not let them leave, even though they have no idea how they have all gotten there. This is a uniformly poorly acted film that is laden with so many horror clichés and moments of unintentional cheese that it becomes extremely self-parodic and predictable. Anyone who has seen enough horror films will correctly guess the ending to this movie within a few minutes.
As with all films at Blood in the Snow, this movie screened with a short called Domestic Blood. This short follows a young couple after the boyfriend finds his girlfriend in the bathroom covered in blood. Terrified, he dives for the phone to call 911 – but she calms him when she says that it isn't her blood. This is a humorous and genuinely witty piece that focuses on dialogue over all else, which is very effective.
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