In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DIFF Short Cuts

As I stated yesterday, the Diabolique International Film Festival was rife with amazing content, the bulk of which were several genre shorts programmes on the Saturday. Here below, is a rundown of my favourites from the festival.

Entity - A spirited cross between Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey, this French sci-fi tale from Andrew Desmond sported some impressive visual effects and a wildly dark sensibility.

Strange Thing - Alrik Burrill's yarn about a couple that finds a door has appeared in their house overnight was hugely entertaining with a balanced mix of fan service, action and creature effects.

The Pride of Strathmoor - Einar Baldvin's starkly haunting tale told through stark black-and-white animation that reminded of those old pieces from the NFB. What is perhaps most disturbing is that the story is actually taken from excerpts from a pastor's journal in 1920's Georgia.

Kvistur - This Canadian short film from Alexandre Roy had a fantastic look to it. Its weird combination of live-action and stop-motion reminded me of the work of Jan ┼ávankmajer. It was truly bizarre and surreal.

The Banishing - I loved this Iceland/USA co-production. I have to tip my hat to director Erlingur Thoroddsen who capped off a solid haunted house short with one mother of an ending!

Timothy - Great genre cinema has been coming out of Spain for decades now, and this effort from Marc Martinez is just more gas on the fire. It is absolutely fantastic in tone, presentation and execution.

Sadly, I wasn't able to see all of the shorts playing. I skipped out on the fourth block to grab some chow and visit the local video store (which I'll get to tomorrow), but I heard that Ben L. Gordon's The Carriage, Nicholas Peterson's The Visitant and Christopher Rohde's Odd One Out were the highlights.

My favourite of the fest though, was Stephen W. Martin's Dead Hearts. I adored this short film. Its storybook narrative charmed the pants off me, as did its comedic timing. Who knew I was such a romantic?

It was such a wondrous day of short films. You can check out the full programme by going here.

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