Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Sundance Film Festival

The Witch

The first trailer for Sundance winner Robert Eggers new film, The Witch, out in 2016.

Writer/director Robert Eggers’ debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (and won the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition), painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions and pagan folklore famously clashed. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin – in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy – and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.


Knock Knock – Trailer

The new psychological sex thriller from Eli Roth made it’s bow at Sundance, here is the official press release:  Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is living the dream. Just look at his beautiful, successful wife, his two wonderful kids, and his truly stunning house—which he designed himself. Of course he did. Things are going so well, Evan doesn’t even mind spending Father’s Day alone while the rest of his family heads out for a beach weekend. And then there’s a knock on the door.
The two young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) standing on Evan’s doorstep are where Evan’s dream takes a nightmarish turn. Given co-writer/director Eli Roth’s well-deserved reputation for creating cinematic discomfort, it should come as no surprise what happens next: Things get weird, and then dark, and then much, much, much darker. But this is no splatter film, so Roth keeps the horror nice and psychological as Evan’s life—and house—get ripped apart, piece by beautiful piece.


Young Ones – Futuristic Western

Young-Ones_posterYoung Ones is set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from the macro of political policy to the detailed micro of interpersonal family and romantic relationships. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle.

Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) lives on this harsh frontier with his children, Jerome (Kodi Smit McPhee)and Mary (Elle Fanning). He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But Mary’s boyfriend, Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult), has grander designs. He wants Ernest’s land for himself, and will go to any length to get it. From writer/director Jake Paltrow comes a futuristic western, told in three chapters, which inventively layers Greek tragedy over an ethereal narrative that’s steeped deeply in the values of the American West. Rango anyone..?


I Origins – Sundance Trailer

I-Origins_Poster_Big-eyeI’d like to tell you the story of the eyes that changed this world.” 

I Origins is written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth). Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a PhD student studying molecular biology with a specialty in eye evolution has an intense, but fleeting, encounter with a mysterious, masked model (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who escapes into the night. With only a picture of her stunning and iconic eyes, he tracks her down, and they fall in love. Their fundamentally different beliefs about life only serve to intensify their connection, and they vow to spend forever together. Years later, Ian and his lab partner, Karen (Brit Marling), make a stunning discovery with profound existential implications. The film premiered at Sundance 2014 and Fox Searchlight Pictures plans a limited release in July this year.


Red Lights

Rodrigo Cortés made a name for himself with a film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Buried, based on Chris Sparling’s black list script about a man buried alive who has to figure a way out of his coffin before his air supply is used up. The film starred Ryan Reynolds, and was critically praised for it’s direction, a tough task considering the 95-minute film takes place completely inside a casket.

Cortés returned to Sundance two years later with the $15 million thriller Red Lights, which he also wrote. The story follows Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they study and disprove paranormal activity, parascience and psychics. But can they take down world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has come out of retirement after three decades?

According to /Film: “Red Lights has great fun building your expectations with sound science and skeptic-based theories, and later playing with these ideas, making you question if extrasensory perception might be possible (if only in this movie). The film also sets up a few great scares and jumps, which had the Eccles theatre screaming.”