Monday, April 11

Theresa's 2022 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap

Ilkin Zeferli/Shutterstock

I've been attending the Phoenix Film Festival and International Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival for a very long time. Every year, it's like coming home for the holidays - in a feel-good, nostalgic way.

It's great to catch-up with friends, converse about films and relish in the cinematic experience. 

And there's nothing like being blown away by really good storytelling.

This year there was so much to see yet so little time on my schedule. But it was still memorable thanks to these films.


Directed/Written by Pierce Berolzheimer

This year's winner for Best Horror Feature Film is A grade, B movie fun.

It feels a bit reminiscent of BIRDEMIC but with better writing, better acting and whoa, amazing puppeteering.

Parts showcase appreciation towards 80's and 90's favorites such as GREMLINS, JURASSIC PARK and MIGHTY MORPHING POWER RANGERS.

But it was the character Radu who made this feature stand out.

This was a crowd favorite and an absolute joy to watch in the theater with an audience. 

3.5 stars out of 5


Directed by Fong Nickson

Talk about a complex film. BASHIRA is the brain-child of Fong Nickson, the effects technical director for MATRIX RELOADED and MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. It is an artistically accomplished film.

But the main story gets lost among all the special effects and Fong's ambitious storytelling. In the beginning, you're not quite sure if it's trying to be a musical, horror film or ghost story. 

It doesn't quite hit its stride until the 2nd protagonist, Lela, makes her way to Japan. Then the real action starts and an incredible story inspired by the ancient Japanese tradition of Hitobashira comes to life.

The film could be something amazing if it hit the editing table one more time and condensed itself a bit.

3 stars out of 5


Directed by Samuel Gonzalez Jr. & Bridget Smith

This film took itself way too seriously. And I just couldn't get behind it.

Revenge-type films are getting stale in my book and on top of that, there were too many rock stars wanting to be actors in this film.

It's a great concept but the music killed what could've been a decent film.

I'm talking to you Five Finger Death Punch. 

2 stars out of 5


Directed/Written by Gaspar Noé

There's nothing like a Gaspar Noé film. It's always an experience. This one was intended to be a quarter-hour TV ad for Yves Saint Laurent, but ended up being 55 minutes of pure mockumentary filmmaking chaos. 

It was beautiful, claustrophobic, and infuriating from a woman's perspective to watch the events go down.

It was a ride I'm not sure I'd like to get back on but has forever left its mark on me.

3 stars out of 5


Directed by Tom Gormican

Somehow I was lucky enough to score a ticket to THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT before it sold out.

And I am glad I did.

Nic Cage is, well, Nic Cage. But it's Pedro Pascal who makes this movie come together to be something special and lovable.

This film will be the easiest for you to see and you need to do it in a theater with an audience. You'll get all the good movie-going feels that you've missed over the last 2 years.

4 stars out of 5

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