Here are my Arrow FrightFest 2021: Day Five micro reviews for: SLAPFACE / GREYWOOD’S PLOT / THE ADVENT CALENDAR / THE SADNESS
SLAPFACE d. Jeremiah Kipp, 2021/85mins
“I saw a monster today.”
A remarkable film about what happens when trauma gets too much… anchored around an extraordinary performance from young August Maturo.
I was left sat there shaking as the credits rolled and the perfect play out track blasted through the auditorium… “Turn down the voices” indeed.
My best of the fest so far, SLAPFACE was introduced by director Jeremiah Kipp, rejecting that tired “it’s not really a horror movie” trope by quoting the zen of Cookie Monster: It’s a cookie. You eat the cookie. You enjoy the cookie.
GREYWOOD’S PLOT d. Josh Stifter, 2019/78mins
“The world may be dull and grey, but we continue to push forward, attempting something fresh.”
I’ll have to find time to write something smart about GREYWOOD’S PLOT later, but for now, it’s a seriously fun DIY movie made for almost zero dollars over weekends that delivers something that far transcends its budget, references and inevitable limitations. This is what happens when filmmaking has serious heart.
THE ADVENT CALENDAR d. Patrick Ridremont, 2021/104mins
Who doesn’t love a high concept prop at the cenobite-flavoured centre of their French genre confectionary?
THE SADNESS d. Rob Jabbaz, 2021/99mins
“We are fucked.” [written on whiteboard in virologist’s office]
High octane gore, unhinged depravity and enough eye socket rape to see you through til (next?) Christmas. I have a hunch this plays best when seen on a big and loud IMAX-sized screen, where the film’s lack of subtlety will shake your bones like the old dark ride it really is. But still, after a cancelled 2020 and the inevitable drama of staging this 2021 event for a live audience, this was surely FrightFest’s way of saying “fuck you” to our very own pandemic. Thank you guys! I think we all needed that…