Category Archives: Leeds Film Festival
Hi, North East America, enjoying the weather?! Whilst you were getting ready preparing for Halloween, Mother Nature decided to spring a blast of Winter on you early, so now you’re enjoying or rueing the snow! But don’t fret, there are plenty of Winter-themed scary films out there, so you can stay inside, cozy-up in front of that roaring… um, jack o’lantern, and check out some of these for your traditional Halloween night…
Black Christmas (1974)
Usually reserved for Christmas Eve, there’s no reason why the sight of Margot Kidder being slaughtered by a psychotic escaped mental patient (who is hiding up in the attic of a college Sorority House) in front of an audience of creepy glass unicorns whilst a choir of children sweetly serenade Olivia Hussey with their rendition of Silent Night won’t fit in perfectly on your snowy Halloween night. Just be sure you stay away from the 2006 remake at all costs.
Jack Frost (1996)
By no means as creepy and frightful as my last suggestion, this film is still a slasher flick about a serial killer on the loose at Christmas… the twist is, he’s a snowman. A foul-mouthed, perverted mutant-snowman! Yet with the most innovative ways of torture I’ve seen since Charles Lee Ray was reincarnated as Chucky the Good Guy doll! And yes, that is Shannon Elizabeth – check out the Psycho reference during her death scene! Again, be sure to stay away from the 1998 film of the same name – you will just be left very confused.
Let the Right One In (2008)
This film will sit right with you on a blizzardy Halloween, as the cold country of Sweden plays host to this story about a child vampire who is befriended by a lonely, bullied boy. Based on the novel, Låt den rätte komma in, this is more of a slow-paced horror, building up to a bloody finale. Ultimately, it’s quite a sweet tale, perhaps one you can watch in the company of a dear friend and not be left too traumatised – as long as you, say it with me, stay away from the remake! I don’t care for it, as it relies too heavily on CGI effects and (gasp) fake snow! Read my full review, written after my first viewing of Let The Right One In at the 10th Leeds Young People’s Film Festival.
Whatever I was saying about staying away from remakes, forget it, as this is a story that has survived two remakes, and continues to stand strong. My favourite is John Carpenter’s 1982 incarnation – but that’s simply because I haven’t seen any of the others! If you get the chance, go see the version released in cinemas soon, as it acts as both a prequel and a remake (I don’t know how that works, but I’ll tell you after I see it next week). Still horror, but with a sci-fi edge, as a group of scientists in the Antarctic begin to doubt each other when it becomes apparent an Alien has infiltrated their base by murdering and imitating one or more of their group…
Forgive me for not including The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I do really think that is more of a Christmas-themed film and not a horror in any sense of the word despite its connections to the celebration of Halloween. Still, if you want, you can always watch that instead of those I just recommended. Whatever you do, have a Happy Halloween!
My third year at the Leeds International Film Festival has been underway since last Friday, and I have seen a record 15 films in six days. I’m seeing another 18, and am posting immediate reviews on my new tumblr blog, which syncs to my twitter. Here are the 15 tweets, containing the relevant links to my reviews.
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After my first successful Film Festival, last year, I was a bit aprehensive about whether this year could match, or even better the quality of screenings I’d previously attended. Like last year, I kicked off my Film Festival experience with a French film, but this time, French-Canadian!
West of Pluto follows the lives of a group of teenagers who have just started a new term at high school. The story makes use of Pluto’s declassification from a planet, to a Trans-Neptunian Object; relating a once prominent feature in our solar system, that has now been downgraded to a just a number, to the lives of several teenagers, who are all struggling to find their identities within the busy social-life of high school. I thought the location of the shoot, set in the early Autumn, was beautiful, and the film was able to capture all the rich colours of Autumn superbly, and made good use of its scenic location.
Later, I saw my second film of that day, My Girlfriend is an Agent. It was a big transition, but luckily I’d come prepared to see a Korean blockbuster! The film focuses Su-Ji, the Girlfriend/Agent in question, and Jae-Jun, her soon to be ex-boyfriend. After three years apart, they meet up again accidentally (in one of the films most hilariously disgusting scenes inside a men’s bathroom), and decide to stay in-touch, but keep up the premise that they live normal lives, with normal jobs. But the truth is, both are now undercover secret agents (working for different agencies). Jae-Jun’s background in computing makes him ideal for the job, yet his lack of suave shows him up whenever he’s in combat; unlike Su-Ji, who is very skilled when it comes to fighting.
What might sound like a Korean adaptation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (a film which I actually can’t stand), I found the film to be much more like the US TV show Chuck, in which a computer nerd is accidentally integrated with the secrets of the CIA, and then ends up falling for his assigned handler, who is a proper highly trained agent. The film is unbelievably hilarious, and very sweet at times. I really hope this is available on DVD soon, as I know it’s a film that a lot of people would enjoy, but might overlook because of the simplistic title.
No. I’ve actually been living my life for a while rather than noting things of interest. But it’s time to set the record “straight”! I made a sort of New Year’s Resolution at the beginning of the month, which was to overcome all past obstacles and unfinished targets! I’ve been relatively amazing at seeing it through, and some awesome things are happening in my life right now as a result of this. It’s such a relief to know that even though I’m not physically my best at the moment, a whole host of worries have been taken off my mind! I really can’t wait for this year’s Film Festival to start! I’m hoping to expand my social circle and finally find someone or maybe even some people to enjoy and share these amazing and rare films with. I’ve gotten into a reading pattern, which I appreciate. I just ordered two new books online (and one graphic novel)! Musically, the band is still non-existent, but The Wise One has mentioned it for the first time in 4 months so I’m not giving up. I’ve been writing down lots of ideas for songs that I want to share with you all. I can’t believe I’m writing this blog post at 5 o’clock in the morning, but we just bought a Tassimo machine and I’ve had two cappuccinos tonight so I’m a tiny little bit alright okay so totally buzzing right now that I can’t sleep but the sugar and caffeine is slowly being spent and soon…..I……will……..fall…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…