21st HORROR AND FANTASY FILM WEEK
San Sebastián (Spain) (30th OCT - 5th NOV)
Two of the most widely-awaited horror films of the year, from Britain: Monsters (2010), by Gareth Edwards and from America: The Last Exorcism (2010), by Daniel Stamm, will be shown this year at the 21st San Sebastián Horror and Fantasy Film Festival taking place from 30th October to 5th November.
All the forums and websites are chattering excitedly about Monsters that has been heralded by some as one of the best monster movies of late. The Last Exorcism, on the other hand, produced by Eli Roth - director of Cabin Fever (2002) and Hostel (2005) - appears in the form of a documentary to tell the story of the last exorcism performed by the Reverend Cotton Marcus.
These two star attractions are accompanied, as every year, by a selection of some of the genre's most important films this year: oriental films such as the surprising Dream Home (2010), Australian such as The Clinic (2009), American such as the funny Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) and some of the most outstanding European films of the year, such as the German Die Tür (2009),Belgian Vampires (2009) or the wild A Serbian Film (Serbia, 2009), doubtless the most controversial film of the year, that everyone will have something to say about. (DonostiaKultura)
PREVIEW OF OFFICIAL FEATURE FILM SELECTION FOR THE FESTIVAL
Death Kappa (Japan, 2010). Tomoo Haraguchi
This is the new film by the Japanese master of special effects and Film Festival regular, Tomoo Haraguchi, who presented his two previous feature films as a director in San Sebastian - Sakuya: Slayer of Demons / Sakuya: Yokaiden (2000) and Werewolf Warrior / Bakko yokaiden. Kibakichi (2003)– and for whom an exhibition was held in 2008 featuring his work as a makeup artist and FX designer. Fun, prejudice-free and reasonably crazy feature that alternates karaoke videos (starring mythological monsters) with homage to Godzilla. There is always room for psychotropic Japanese cinema at the festival.
Dream Home (Hong Kong, 2010). Pang Ho-cheung
A bloody horror film looking at today's housing problems, in this case in China but it could be anywhere in the world. A young woman from Hong Kong wishes to buy a flat and leave home. She thinks the time is right to settle down and buy her own place but she soon discovers that this is easier said than done because the prices are extortionate. Nevertheless, she is not prepared to give up so easily and will do all she can to cling on to her dream and get a house. ALL she can. Surprising genre film reflecting current problems which just might give young people a few ideas about flat hunting in .....San Sebastián? Directed by Ho-cheung, who competed in the San Sebastian Festival in 2007 with Exodus / Ceot oi kap gei.
Monsters (United Kingdom, 2010). Gareth Edwards
Six years ago, a spaceship sent by NASA to collect possible signs of extraterrestrial life fell on Central America as it returned, bringing with it new forms of life. Half of Mexico is declared an "infected area" and put into quarantine. A journalist and a tourist from America must cross this area in this film directed by the almost beginner Gareth Edwards, receiving critical acclaim - "the best giant monster film I've seen in years", according to the prestigious website Ain’t It Cool News. This is doubtlessly a film that we're going to hear a lot about over the next few months.
A Serbian Film (Serbia, 2009). Srdjan Spasojević
One of the most extreme films of the year. One of 2010's surprises that has scandalised, charmed and provoked debate in all the horror festivals where it has been shown. This is the story of the most famous porn actor in Serbia, now retired, who is contracted to shoot a new film. It's a very well-paid job that will plunge him into his worst nightmares, making him live through hell as he delves deeper into his true heart of darkness. This film has revolutionised the horror scene this season; it's the one that everyone's talking about, even before they've seen it. Srdjan Spasojević's first work.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (United States-Canada, 2010). Eli Craig
A group of young people are preparing to go into a wood. Two Virginian country folk meet them in a shop before they begin their excursion. Ring any bells? Nevertheless, Eli Craig and his joint script writer Morgan Jurgenson manage, although with difficulty at times, to turn this well-worn approach on its head by producing a fun, original and refreshing film... Maybe this is the film that will finish off the sub-genre of "young people in woods hunted down by local murderers" once and for all. Doubtlessly one of the season's sensations and one of the sessions that will produce the most laughs.
The Door (Germany, 2009). Anno Saul
A painter –played by the well-known Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, star of films such as Brothers (2004) or After the wedding (2006) in his own country and who has taken his first steps in international cinema playing the "baddie" in the first film in the new Bond, Casino Royale (2006)– responsible for the death of his young daughter a few years ago is completely down and out, with no hope … until he discovers that maybe he can go back to the time of the tragedy and change the course of events. Is it possible to erase the past? Is it so easy to change destiny? Surprising mixture of thriller and fantasy film directed by the man responsible for Kebab Connection (2004).
The Last Exorcism (United States-France, 2010). Daniel Stamm
Reverend Cotton Marcus invites a camera crew to follow him and document his last days as an exorcist although his faith is soon put to the test right in front of the cameras when his last case (a possessed teenager) involves fighting the devil himself with all his force.
Vampires (Belgium, 2009). Vincent Lanoo
"They are not scary. They are not sexy. They are not fashionable. They are just.... Belgian". Now that vampires are back in the public eye, this is maybe a good time to look properly and seriously at them: how they live in a big city such as Brussels, their hopes and dreams, their fears, what they eat, their work ... How does a vampire live in the 21st century? This rigorous documentary takes a very respectful look at a family of vampires living in Brussels to find out more about their customs. It is directed by Vincent Lannoo, responsible for Ordinary Man (2005), a surprising film presented that year at the Festival by its stars, Carlo Ferrante and Vera Van Dooren, who also star here.