"When you are scared, you are more alive," says Victor Bariteau, the central subject of 'The American Scream,' Michael Paul Stephenson's follow-up documentary to 'Best Worst Movie.' The quote, a nothing special bit of pop psychology ubiquitous in any discussion of "the horror industry," comes as our hero is preparing to make a scary career change, and lands with an unexpected gravitas. Indeed, the final 20 minutes of this very micro documentary, which has less production value than your average episode of 'Ice Road Truckers,' is surprisingly emotional, as it celebrates the triumphs and agonizes over the burden of dreams. It slowly evolves from a quick expose on neighborhood kooks into something truly touching.
Everyone has regrets. Despite the time-shifting mixed-media razzle dazzle of Li Yang and Guo Fan's ambitious and exuberant film 'Lee's Adventure,' this universal truth can't be ignored. The attempts to change the past can sometimes consume an entire life, and exposing this in a grand, heartbreaking scale is what makes this film so unexpectedly tender and wise.
Horror movies don't necessarily need rules, but if they're going to go to the trouble to establish some, they might as well follow them... at least for a little while. The Argentine ghost slasher gorefest 'Memory of the Dead' sets up this whole conceit about a Satanic ritual and the dead rising from their graves, and it makes a big stink about how everyone will be safe from the ghouls as long as they stay inside their house. But no sooner have they laid all this out than they immediately throw it out the window. No one goes outside, but the ghouls get in anyway. So why bother explaining it if it doesn't actually matter?
Leos Carax's 'Holy Motors' is the best dream you'll ever have without actually falling asleep. It's a blast of pure, unbridled subconscious -- or maybe superconscious -- and a brilliant and melancholic love letter to movies, the craft of acting and life itself, which, 'Holy Motors' argues, are all kind of the same thing anyway.
We'd all like to think that if our backs were up against it and we had to fight for our loved ones, we'd all become Liam Neeson in 'Taken.' Of course, not everyone has "a particular set of skills." Or maybe your skill is to try and appease everyone as chaos escalates around you, praying that, somehow, everything will work out if you just keep bluffing? That would appear to be the strategy of 'Graceland's' Marlon, a recently fired corrupt politician's chauffeur whose daughter had just been kidnapped.
14 year old Sandy worships next door neighbor and senior classmate Ashley like the Earth worships the sun, she says. But when the two girls accidentally off one of Ashley's ex-lovers, the two become closer than either of them ever imagined in 'Besties,' a small scale coming of age story from writer and director Rebecca Perry Cutter.
Just when you thought the found footage genre was dead, along comes something like 'The Conspiracy' to shake things up. Unlike 'Paranormal Activity' or 'The Blair Witch Project,' the heroes at the heart of this faux-documentary aren't up against a supernatural force, but rather the secret organizations that control and manipulate the world...which may or may not actually exist. Check out the trailer below.
There are some films that choose to tell their story in a somewhat obtuse manner, staying one step ahead of the audience, making them work a bit to piece tother the logic of the story. Then there are others that just like to throw a bunch of crap up on the screen and hope it all comes together in the wash. (The wash being editing, music, sound design and special effects.) After a few hours of chewing on 'Here Comes the Devil,' the latest from Argentinian genre director Adrian Garcia Bogliano, I'm still not too sure into which category this film fits. I can say, however, that it is entertaining, even enjoyable in a twisted manner. This is a hardcore midnight cult WTF-fest that's odd, noisy and weird.
When a movie called 'Judge Dredd' is as bad as 'Judge Dredd,' the "dreddful" jokes write themselves. The original 'Dredd' movie starring Sylvester Stallone was so horrifically awful, it rendered the property more radioactive than the post-apocalyptic wasteland surrounding the title character's hometown of Mega-City One. The popular future cop from the long-running British series '2000 AD' finally returns to the big screen with 'Dredd,' a significant improvement over the Stallone vehicle with a vastly improved storyline and a far darker tone.
It eschews the first film's colorful, over-the-top action and wacky comic relief for the sort of grimy, sadistic ultraviolence found in the '70s exploitation films that inspired the creation of the Dredd character in the first place, and it's a surprisingly entertaining movie for something that's so unsettlingly violent. You've never had so much fun watching people get shot in the face in super slow-motion.