Sunday, April 3

Emery's 2022 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Saturday, April 2nd

 Coda’s ongoing coverage of the 2022 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.


By Emery Snyder - @leeroy711

CRABS! – Directed by Pierce Berolzheimer


It’s Prom Night on a sleepy coastal town in California that’s got a recent influx of new visitors, murderous mutant crabs!!! But wait, the community’s only hope lies with a group of nerdy pothead locals, defending their town from impending doom.

This film was so much fun. The effects are cheap and at times so is the writing. But it’s entirely forgivable due to the characters we’re spending time with. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that comedy doesn’t always need clever wit. Sometimes, it’s fun to just hang out with goofy characters doing goofy things. This film is endlessly satisfying in that respect.

A lot of people will remark on this film’s similarities to Joe Dante’s GREMLINS, and for good reason. Especially in the first two acts, the crabs scurry about and make noises very obviously inspired by the great Christmas family film.

A massive amount of this movie’s success is due to Chase Padgett’s Radu character. The ambiguously foreign exchange student? I’m not sure. Although the film doesn’t give us his back story, it is clear that the filmmakers have richly developed this character. It actually feels like Radu likely existed as a character (probably developed by Padgett) long before this film. He has his own specific mannerisms and well developed, unspecific but obviously deliberate and well-practiced broken English. For all of its foolishness, it feels like something that a lot of care was put into. And it makes the film easy to love, in spite of all other imperfections.


PIGGY – Directed by Carlota Pereda



An overweight teen is bullied and ridiculed by her classmates while she takes a dip in the local pool during her town’s festivities. They steal her things and take off. Her long walk home however will detour however. Changing the paths for both her and her tormentors.

There is a whole lot to love about this film. I was struck, specifically in the first twenty minutes or so, by how sure-handedly this was directed. Such a great economy of storytelling was on full display here. Using very little time and frugal dialogue, Pereda tells us the film’s first act visually with amazing use of background and foreground space, supported beautifully by fantastic performances. I was quite blown away.

I’m not sure how well I feel the following two acts live up to the promise of the first. I’m not really saying that anything specific was missing or off about the rest of the film. I just never got that “oh-wow” feeling back throughout its duration. I’m really not here to complain about what turned out to be a very good film overall. It deserves all of the praise it has received post Sundance and will likely get a great reception when it is released later this year. I’ll revisit it then and see how I feel.

I can’t end this blurb however without mentioning how absolutely engrossing I found the film’s lead, Laura Galán (Sara). She played the same character in the short film that this feature was based on. I haven’t seen it but her performance here a very significant part of what works about this film. She draws you in, her internal conflicts are now yours to share, so nothing that she does later, seem out of character… Because, you were thinking it too.


Follow us on Twitter @CodaReviews


No comments:

Post a Comment