Friday, November 9, 2018

Bloody Ballet

Ok, I'm going to come out and say the one "flaw" that I had with BLOODY BALLET (2017) - the plotting was strange and confused. I was scratching my head through the whole film. "Wait...we're back at this guy? But...ok....  Oh...and now we're back with her? Gees...ok..." :::sigh::: That being said...I really enjoyed everything else immensely!

The aforementioned plot revolves around a woman in the ballet and a man doing...ghost research? ANYWAY...people start dying in horrible ways. Don't get your hopes up for a bloody ballet - there isn't one. And, if you choose to give this a watch, stick with it through the one of two parts where it seems to be running off the rails. They get back on track rather quickly. Moving on!

I'm not 100% sure they were going for this (though, if they weren't, they nailed it like a blindfolded bullseye!) , but they nailed the "70's girl think she's going mad as people die around her in horrible ways at the hands of a creepy killer" film style that I love. They really hit many of the marks.

She visits her psychiatrist trying to work out answers.
She keeps getting reports that her friends and fellow ballerinas are dead.
And, she wonders if her past is playing into all of it - the gruesome murder of her parents at the hand of an unknown killer.

It's 70s Italian thriller style perfection from this American thrill. The film also slips some wild synth score nuggets into the mix that drives the vibe home expertly.

And they go for it on the gore front as well. They really go for it. There are some nasty little bits and some creepy crap scenes that really made me smile.  Bloody Ballet manages to slip through several genres rather expertly - the main thing that held my attention all the way through the film.  Slashers, ghosts, some gialli love...all twisting around a little psychological horror. It was a lot of fun!

The cinematography is fantastic and the production quality is grand. The acting is solid and fights through the storyline flaws managing to make the film work even if there are some odd holes and disjointed story connections. I totally get what they were going for and by the end I did find myself nodding and shrugging like, "Why...they got there..." , but there were some funny WTF moments in there for me.

All in all, BLOODY BALLET was a lot of fun. It felt like my VHS days. Well worth a viddy!

Oddly, I couldn't find it on IMDB.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Witch in the Window

Well well well....
Every once in a while you get a little film that ticks all the boxes without having major cash behind it. THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW manages to tell a great story, showcase some solid performances, and hums along at a wonderful pace. It's like a good book. The gothic tale spins out at one our and seventeen minutes and is now on my WIN list for small, atmospheric films like I AM A GHOST, THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN, I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSETHE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH, and THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL .

The tale is small and simple. A man and his son move into an old house to fix it up. The Father hopes that it may mend things between him and his wife. A place to rekindle their love and their lives. But, as usual, there is something in the house that might ruin all of those hopes and dreams.

The direction and cast are so solid here. The acting is rock solid and the turns the story takes are fantastic. Like a warm blanket, the film wraps itself around you and snuggles you in tight as you feel warm and cold all at once. The scares are pretty good and there are some moments that sent a chill up my spine.

Andy Mitton wrote and directed the film and I was really happy to see him behind the wheel. I loved WE GO ON and YELLOWBRICKROAD and was eager to check this offering out. And, BOOM - loved it. He writes characters that feel real. Interactions and events feel really. And, with the acting of people like Alex Draper (also from YELLOWBRICK) and the young man Charlie Tacker ( who really nailed it, thank the heavens ) Mitton was able to get a very solid spooky offering into the mix on the SHUDDER lineup. Seeing Tacker in this made me get a little excited about the LADY IN WHITE remake, too.

If you want a slow burn ghost story to watch one chilly night this fall, give THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW a look...and stay.  :)

Interview with Mitton from the FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL can be found here.