Wednesday, April 17

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Sunday, April 14th

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Sunday, April 14th

Coda’s ongoing coverage of the 2019 Phoenix Film Festival & International Horror Sci-Fi Film Festival. I'll be using these posts to recap the films I've experienced as part of these festivals.

TO TOKYO – Directed by Caspar Seale Jones

This is a metaphorical horror story about anxiety and paranoia in the same vein as some Lynch films. It actually reminded me visually of The Polish Brothers' NORTHFORK a bit. Lights, shadows, score and sound design all work together to create a hallucinatory depth of conscience. 

I would also add that I always appreciate a horror story that begins with the main character already afraid of the lurking figure. There are no expendables here to cast aside to get the tale started. We begin with the overwhelming feeling of dread that Florence Kosky's Al has seemingly been dealing with for some time already.

EXCURSION – Directed by Martin Grof

This is a very clever time travel plot that twists and turns in between present day and Soviet Moscow in the late 80's. Unfortunately, every aspect of the production value is distractingly bad, including the performances. 

I think the concept for this film would actually work very well for a long running Anime series or even possibly a Sci-Fi channel show. 

I'LL TAKE YOUR DEAD – Directed by Chad Archibald

William is a farmer that moonlights chopping up and disposing of dead bodies for gang members. As a result, his farm house is just riddled with ghosts. Then, when one of the bodies turns out to be a lot less dead than the others, he has to figure out what to do with her, attempting to keep himself on one side of the murderer line while still protecting his daughter. 

This is a well paced and excited film with an original concept. I was specifically impressed with the performance of Ava Preston, his 12 year old daughter. I just found the supernatural element around the whole thing a bit out of place. From a technical aspect, the ghosts were well done, with good makeup and startling jump-scares. But looking at the entire narrative, I can't really say that the story benefited at all from this realm. I'll probably still check it out again when it shows up streaming somewhere. 

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