Here are my Arrow FrightFest 2021: Day One micro reviews for: DEMONIC / THE KINDRED / CRABS!
DEMONIC d. Neill Blomkamp, 2021/117mins
So, now we know what the guy who usually directs high-concept sci fi movies with a flair for social commentary does in his pandemic-induced downtime: makes a truly risible Paranormal Activity movie with none of the sheen of his prior works (in secret, just in case his cover was blown…). The sort of horror film that makes you hate horror films, with dire horror movie logic driving it’s narrative (the big evil thing wants you to go there, so let’s go there!), a plot jump that fails to deliver any new pleasures, a Black character who fades into the background, and a deus ex machina that is literally hand-delivered, direct from the Vatican. I’m calling ‘bullshit’.
THE KINDRED d. Jamie Patterson, 2021/94mins
Beautifully shot and scored psychological thriller, bringing elements of THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE to London’s high rise council estates (with some excellent drone camerawork creating a compelling sense of place). Sadly, the eventual plot twist over delivers, resulting in some goofy genre folklore and a clumsy climax, not sustained by the thinner, more haunting fabric of the rest of the film…
CRABS! d. Pierce Berolzheimer, 2021/80mins
“You’ve messed with the wrong handicapable!”
Like HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP mashed into a saucy seafood cocktail with GOONIES and then garnished with a spectacular twist of PACIFIC RIM. Perfect first night midnight movie mayhem. 🦀❤️