Thursday, April 11

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Wednesday, April 10th

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Wednesday, April 10th

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.

ASSASSINAUT – Directed by Drew Bolduc

The most common problem I've found with low budget sci-fi is that it seems that the filmmakers tend to focus so much on concept and world building, they forget to develop interesting characters. This film suffers a bit from that problem as well. It's not unforgivable, I just think that it would have benefited from an outsider taking a 'once-over' on the screenplay. 

This film also suffers from some pretty rough performances from its child actors. This is something that can often be easily overlooked, especially when we're talking about a festival film with a shoestring budget. In this case, it was a bit more glaring because the four main characters are all children. Again, I tend to grade festival films on an entirely different curve, and I've seen far worse. But it was a bit distracting and it would have been less so if the dialogue was more organic. 

These points aside, there were some definite positives about this film. First of all, Vito Trigo's performance was a lot of fun to watch. Virtually all of the film's charisma comes form him. And I was surprised how well made the Cronenbergian and Troma-esque body gore practical effects were. 

THEY'RE INSIDE – Directed by John-Paul Panelli

This is the film that has disturbed me the most at IHSFFF.... so far. It wasn't the violence or gore on display, although it has plenty of both. It was this film's multiple depictions of abusive relationships that I found hard to watch. Karli Hall's performance is to credit for the weight of these scenes in particular.

The whole construct of this found-footage is over the top and far-fetched. And I'm not sure that the narrative does a sufficient job in giving the antagonists any sort of motivation. But we are treated to some creepy and unnerving imagery from its mostly static and voyeuristic camerawork. I could see myself rewatching this one, on at least an academic level.

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