Sunday, April 14

International Horror-Sci-Fi Film Festival - Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead

Written/Directed by: Thea Hvistendahl

Why do we have film? To share a story, to drive change, to create an escape, to tap into our emotions, to find a connection.

As film lovers, we can always find films that hit all the points above, and we usually have our annual favorites that we can’t stop talking about and insist others view too.

I know it’s still early in the year for film but HANDLING THE UNDEAD is that film for me.

Hvistendahl’s film starts on a hot summer day in Oslo, Norway – the least expected way to see Norway. And this particular time and setting decision really sets the tone for this film.

Because this is not your typical undead, zombie flick. This is a slow burn journey into the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance from the perspectives of three different families.

The undead just happen to eloquently help the narrative explore these themes. And by the third act, viewers get gut punched as they witness how acceptance for each family looks. The ending in particular is one of the most beautiful endings I’ve seen.

Now, full transparency on why this film hit me so hard.

Like many horror fans, I was expecting something else with the story but I got something even better. It just happens that I was informed two days before my Sundance viewing that my uncle was going into hospice.

This uncle was like a second father to me and a huge part of my childhood. There wasn’t a weekend that went by where we didn’t hang out with him and my aunt. I have countless stories – many I’ve already highlighted in a tribute to him my personal social pages.

I lost it when I found out he was giving up his fight against neuroendocrine cancer. He fought hard for 7 years but 2023 was rough on him. He was ready to move on. I wasn’t.

HANDLINE THE UNDEAD helped me to recognize my own grief and created a blanket of comfort as we waited for his passing.

That is how powerful film can be.

This Sunday is your chance to see this story play out. Go in with an open mind and an open heart. See where this journey can take you – and maybe heal you too.

Sunday, April 14 at 5:15 p.m.


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