Saturday, July 09, 2022

Fantasia ’22: Curtain Raiser

Break out the Nongshim noodles and prepare to meow like kittens. Frankly, nobody really knows what cats have to do with the Fantasia International Film Festival, but for longtime fans, it is still a pre-screening tradition nonetheless. They also have a tradition of screening some of the best new horror, science fiction, action, and animated films from across the world, especially Asia. There will be plenty to look forward to when this year’s Fantasia opens this Thursday, in-person, the way it was meant to be.

You might have seen several remakes of the Spanish film
The Invisible Guest, like the Hindi Badla, but Confession from Korea promises to be different, because it will be different. While keeping the locked-room mystery structure, they have changed the ending, which alters the implications of everything else.

It is always worth horror fans time to check out the latest from Italian horror master Dario Argento, especially since his last film,
Dracula 3D from ten years ago, was not nearly as bad as critics made it out to be. Giallos are always well-accessorized, which should certainly sounds like the case for Dark Glasses.

Considering the dismal state of civil society in China and Hong Kong, it is important to support freely created Chinese-language cinema from Taiwan. The martial arts puppetry of Huang Wen-chang’s
Demigod: The Legend Begins also looks very cool, just like his previous film, Arti: The Adventure Begins.

Frankly, a serious documentary treatment of horror auteur Jean Rollin is long overdue, so fans revisit and reevaluate his work with
Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin.

Sadako films have been coming to Fantasia since the original
Ring in 1999. The 2019 not-exactly-reboot Sadako was pretty good Sadako DX could breathe new life into the franchise with its new take: knowing humor. If it works, it could be the best of the lot, like Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

Of course, Fantasia will be screening plenty more, so look here for frequent reviews.