Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fearless Cinema: Here’s the Best of This Year’s NYC Horror Film Festival

One of the things that kept me busy lately was writing this review of the NYC Horror Film Fest for The Indypendent. Below is an excerpt.

New York City Horror Film Fest
November 12-16, 2008

Halloween may have come and gone, but as movie ticket sales and rising rentals point out, horror is timeless. And this year’s New York City Horror Film Festival, now in its eighth year, showcased a cornucopia of the interesting, unexpected and the traditional.

Modern monsters (psycho-killers, zombies, urban legends, etc.), a staple of the genre since the 1960s, were well represented in notable films like the action short First Kill, the eerie feature From a Place of Darkness, psycho-short Drip, and the apocalyptic short Antibody. Bmovies — a volatile blend of horror, gusto and laughs — excited audiences with Frank Henelotter’s Bad Biology winning Best Feature and Zoe Polley’s teen gorefest Devil’s Grove. The horrific whodunit Surveillance by Jennifer Chambers Lynch and the monochromatic, antiwar, pantomime Hold Your Fire by Jesse Gordon spoke to fans of intense horror.

Multi-genre films, particularly the sci-fi/horror hybrid, pushed expectations and won audiences over with each showing. The 1980s scifi satire/homage short Martians Go Home follows a sci-fi nerd’s battle with hostile space zombies. Harry Owen can’t escape his short-film existence in the humorous meta-fiction The Glitch. Eel Girl is a sleek and humorous horror- short-cum-music-video. Audience Choice-winning feature Time Crimes (Cronocrimenes) by Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo is a mind-bending mystery that brings out the best of both genres.

Surprisingly, absurd and humorous horror films dominated the fest with provocation and by connecting with audiences. Read rest of review.

© Frank Reynoso, Dec. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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