[Cinepocalypse 2019] Keep an eye on these six films
We’re coming up to the end of my Cinepocalypse 2019 coverage and I wanted to take a moment to recognize some of my favorites this year. What sucks, covering a festival remotely, is that some movies aren’t allowed to be screened and some screeners are embargoed until later. But I managed to see a whopping twelve films and these are the ones (not in any order) I think you should keep on your radar as they travel to other festivals or get releases soon. Click the titles for the full review.
This movie blew me away. It’s definitely not going to be for everyone, much in the way other movies with idiosyncratic and singular voices like Hagazussa, The Witch and Mandy aren’t for everyone. But the way the cinematography mixed with the action and sound design is an experience that I won’t soon forget. My only regret is that I didn’t get to see this in a theatre, devoid of distractions. Because this is one I would recommend viewing in a darkened theatre on a loud and huge screen.
I was not prepared for how devastatingly powerful Dean Kapsalis’s familial drama would be. Some will call this one horror adjacent, but the tone and the score shows just how horrific it really is. It’s a tension-filled exercise in guilt and hopelessness and how terrible families can actually be. Azura Skye’s performance is one to see and experience. This movie will gut you in the best way possible.
Attack of the Demons was the first screener I requested and honestly it set the expectations for the rest of Cinepocalypse. Utilizing brilliantly conceived paper-cut animation in a similar (though much, much better) way that South Park does, this movie brings in a huge helping of 80s horror vibes while still creating its own voice. Add in a closeted and subtle gay lead and some tremendously inventive kills, body-explosions, mauling, mutilations and genuinely goopy creature designs and you have a fantastic movie that I want everyone to experience.
This madcap and manic Russian movie surprised me as it incorporated Looney Tunes-level violence with Tarantino-styled bloodbaths. It’ll make you wonder just how much blood a human body can contain while making you laugh at the ridiculousness on display. From thrown TVs to butts-bursting-through-walls it somehow tells a cohesive and non-linear story that is full of twists, turns and downright dubious characters. I loved this one more than I ever expected to.
This movie is a bonkers treat that allows the likes of Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Donovan to go creeptastically campy as a couple who have a secret in their basement that they will do anything to keep, well, secret. Add into this mix a clumsy pair of thieves looking to make their way to their Happy Ending in Florida and you have a recipe for some hilarity.
The latest from Lucky McKee takes us to the glorious 90s where pyschosexual thrillers like Single White Female ruled the day. It showcases a campy villain with Please Like Me’s Caitlin Stasey giving a fantastic performance and one particularly gruesome gag. It’s probably McKee’s most accessible film and, if I’m being honest, probably my favorite of his.
So there you have it. The six movies I really think you should keep on your radar from Cinepocalypse 2019. They aren’t the only good ones, that’s for sure, and you can read the rest of my Cinepocalypse coverage here or skim through them below.