All posts by admin

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week, film critic Dennis Schwartz will bring us a very outside-the-box and obscure list of top 10 weird films. Meanwhile, we’ll continue our own survey of weird movies with continuing coverage of Redemption’s massive 2012 drop with a look at the “beach Gothic” horror The Demoniacs (1974). We’ll also  into the reader-suggested review queue for a peek at Jan Svankmajer‘s twisted folktale Little Otik (2001), and finish up the week with ‘s cult classic Poverty Row noir Detour (1945).

Despite rocketing Google traffic on the site, it was a poor week for weird search terms. We will award a special “lifetime achievement in weird searching” award to the guy who continues to look for “movie where kids where salves of senor”: after searching for this alleged movie for weeks on end, he gave up the hunt months ago, but his curiosity got the best of him and he’s back at it. In more recent news, we hate to think what the fellow looking for “to lock a porno with grandmother” was really after (to lick a porno with grandmother? To like a porno with grandmother?)—and we really don’t want to find out. And we’ll mention a couple of more comprehensible, but still quite weird, search terms in our survey of this week’s honorable mentions: “why old women should be killed videos” and “woman sitting on a midget.” Taking pride of place in a weak field is the search to find a “lesbian witch which goes crazy after being dumped animal head masks on a secrat colt movie mustry murder.” If you find it, let us know; we’re always curious to check out lesbian witch murder movies, but the animal head masks on a secret colt puts it over the edge.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader-suggested review queue stands: Little Otik (next week); The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra] (out of print in Region 1, but we’ll keep looking); Liquid Sky (re-review); Society; Final Programme; Sweet Movie; Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/14/2012

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

SCREENINGS (Weds., Sep. 19, Nationwide):

The Birds (1963): Although it’s known today mostly as the inspiration for James Ngyuen’s Birdemic, this Alfred Hitchcock movie about a series of relentless and unmotivated attacks by our fine feathered friends is sort of strange, when you stop and think about it. Universal has restored Hitch’s avian classic has been restored and will show it in theaters for one night only. Check with Fathom Events to see if it’s playing near you.

FILM FESTIVALS (Cambridge Film Festival, Sep. 13-23, Cambridge, UK):

One of the, if not the, largest film events in the United Kingdom, the Cambridge Film Festival hosts the British debut for a wide range of films—including, naturally, some weird ones that sneak by the screeners.

  • Holy Motors – A mysterious man named Monsieur Oscar drives through Paris one night, cycling through various personas. From too-infrequently seen director , and with an exciting cast mixing fresh faces with weird movie vets: , Edith Scob, , Eva Mendes… Screening Sep. 23.
  • The Night Elvis Died – The story of an amnesiac man and a woman putting on a troubled production of a Passion Play surreally collide; part of a series spotlighting Catalan-language films. Sep. 18.
  • Postcards from the Zoo – Indonesian film about a young woman raised in a magical realist zoo and what happens when she journeys into our drab world. Sep. 15 & 17.
  • Savage Witches – Two teenage girls romp about an experimental film landscape in a feature that unashamedly references the anarchic Daisies in a modern context; from Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais, who provided 366 Weird Movies with their top 10 weird movies list. Sep. 21.
  • Tony 10 – When a Tony’s parents file for divorce and his father is suddenly promoted from a crane operator to Secretary of State, the young boy puts two and two together and realizes his dad has been having an affair with the Queen. Sep. 22.
  • V.O.S. – A film-within-a-film meta-romantic comedy that follows the love lives of the characters in a movie and of the actors playing the parts; it’s said to be Charlie Kaufman-esque. Sep. 15.
  • Warsaw Bridge (1990) – Director Pere Portabella won’t release his films on video, so this may be your only chance to see this surrealist joke set at a literary cocktail party. Sep. 16 & 21.

Cambridge Film Festival home page.

NEW ON DVD:

Beyond the Black Rainbow (2011): Surrealist sci-fi in a midnight movie vein about a mute woman trying to escape from a mysterious enclave. One of the most anticipated weird releases of the year. Buy Beyond the Black Rainbow.

Dead Soon [AKA The Fugue] (2012): A woman loses her mind after being attacked near an abandoned well in this psychothriller cheapie. The name was changed from obscure to generic for the DVD release. Buy Dead Soon.

“Heroes of Horror”: This Pop Flix public domain collection features four movies alongside three from Boris Karloff. One movie is actually worth seeing (1932’s White Zombie); the others are Bowery at Midnight, The Invisible Ghost, Spooks Run Wild, Snake People, Island Monster, and The Terror. Buy “Heroes of Horror”.

Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011): Based on a Japanese TV show from the Seventies, the story features a karate robot fighting a crime syndicate. This is only the sixth feature film has directed in the past two years, but there’s still more than three months left in 2012. Buy Karate-Robo Zaborgar.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Beyond the Black Rainbow (2011): See description in DVD above. Buy Beyond the Black Rainbow [Blu-ray].

Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011): See description in DVD above. Buy Karate-Robo Zaborgar [Blu-ray].

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988): Read our capsule review. The popular spoof finally makes it to Blu-ray. Buy Killer Klowns From Outer Space [Blu-ray].

The Ring (2002):  starred in this Hollywood remake of the Asian chiller Ringu, about a mysterious killer videotape. Its success set off a wave of Americanized remakes of J-horror classics; but, this was the only one that was anywhere close to being good. Buy The Ring [Blu-ray].

Texas Rangers (2001)/Dead Man (1995): Read the Certified Weird entry for Dead Man. Bargain label Echo Bridge has bought up and bundled major studio back catalog releases in themed twin packs to double their saleability of marginal titles; it’s sad to see Jim Jarmusch‘s magical, mystical Western placed on a double bill with a flop “young gun” oater. Buy Texas Rangers/Dead Man [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Cinderella 2000 (1977): It’s the future (2000!) and Big Brother has outlawed sex in this Seventies softcore porn/sci-fi/comedy/musical, served up Al Adamson (Dracula vs. Frankenstein) style. Watch for the scene where a fairy turns two bunnies into early proponents of furry fandom. Painfully weird. Watch Cinderella 2000 free on YouTube.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Happy Wonderful Weirdos Day to all you wonderful weirdos out there!

There was a little television show back in the 1990s about the evil lurking under the surface of small town America, dwarfs who helped solve murders and advised FBI agents about gum availability by appearing in dreams and speaking backwards, and the search for that perfect slice of cherry pie. Starting tomorrow we’ll be paying a critical visit to the odd little burg that hosted these strange themes with a special feature we’ll be calling “Twin Peaks Week.” We’ll examinine the entire franchise, from the amazing pilot episode (including the alternate version released as a standalone feature in international markets) through the series’ sensational first season and less successful followup season to the feature film prequel, Fire Walk With Me. Fans of David Lynch‘s experimental foray into episodic television will want to take a “peak” or two (sorry) at our coverage. Hopefully you’ll stick around for Alfred Eaker ‘s study of ‘s overlooked Strange Woman (1946) on Thursday.

Sometimes when we look over the candidates for our Weirdest Search Term of the Week, we come across such bizarrely perverted queries that we find ourselves sympathizing with the person who pleaded with Google to “please remove all the porn movies from this earth.” You might realize where we’re coming from on this when you consider that among some of the more printable requests that brought people to our site last week were “between old legs clips,” “photo of a nude woman wearing dinosaur mask,” and “a short man in sleeping girl’s vagina in movie?” Given the evidence of twisted libidos that haunt the our server logs, it takes a really weird erotic request to impress the judges; therefore, we’re pleased to announce “women 2 leg middle nude parts give white water why” as our Weirdest Search Term of the Week. Give white water why, indeed?

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-but-slowly-shrinking reader-suggested review queue stands: “Twin Peaks” (TV series) (next week!); The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra] (out of print in Region 1, but we’ll keep looking); Liquid Sky (re-review); SocietyLittle Otik; Final Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 9/7/2012

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Branded: A man discovers an advertising conspiracy in what the press release describes as “a dark and mind-bending journey into a surreal, dystopian society.” Apparently there have been no advance screenings for critics, which is a bad sign. Branded official site.

Toys in the Attic [Na Pude] (2009): Good toys battle evil toys in this Czech stop-motion animation recently dubbed for American audiences. This looks like what might result if Pixar hired Jan Svankmajer to remake Toy Story; one reviewer says it “easily earns a capital-W for weird” (he was trying to warn audiences away, but it’s what made us add the flick to our “must see” list). Toys in the Attic official site.

SCREENINGS (Thurs., Sep. 13, Santa Monica, CA):

After the Triumph of Your Birth: A surreal, noirish spiritual road trip movie about a world-weary forty year old man searching for meaning in existence. This official premiere will be accompanied by a concert by singer/songwriter Maria McKee, who wrote and performed the film’s music. See the After the Triumph of Your Birth official site for more information.

FILM FESTIVALS: BUT (B-MOVIE, UNDERGROUND & TRASH) FILM FESTIVAL (Sep. 5-9, Breda, The Netherlands):

We’ve already missed the beginning of this festival that describes itself as “for the weird, the wicked and the bizarre,” but we couldn’t pass on commenting on the remaining slate.

  • Gallino: The Chicken System – It’s the world premiere of ‘ latest effort, which he describes as a “pornophilsophical film.” No idea what it’s about, but chances are 100% that it will be weird. Screening Sep. 8.
  • Remington and the Zombadings –  It’s a Filipino comedy about a boy who gradually becomes gay due to a drag queen’s ancient curse. Even the name says “weird.” No info on whether it is subtitled in English, however. Screening Sep. 8.

BUT Film Festival homepage.

FILM FESTIVALS: CINCINNATI FILM FESTIVAL (Sep. 6-14, Cincinnati, OH):

Although you can find interesting and offbeat alternative films at any regional film fests, these events rarely make our radar unless there’s something unusual and rare playing there. We’ve got a particular interest in one film on Cincinnati’s slate this year…

  • FDR: American Badass – Franklin Delano Roosevelt fights Nazis and werewolves from his wheelchair. Next up in the Presidential B-movie sweepstakes: Herbert Hoover: The Shark-Hunting Years. Screening Saturday, Sep. 8, at midnight (naturally).
  • Thunder-Sky – 366 contributor Alfred Eaker‘s documentary (co-directed with Ross Eaker) about autistic artist Raymond Thunder-Sky—who frequented construction sites dressed as a clown wearing a hard hat—will play at the Cincinnati Film Festival this September. Screening tonight (Sep. 7) at 11:00 PM; also screening Mon., Sep. 10, and closing the festival in a double feature with a documentary on country icon Charlie Louvin. If you go, say hi to Al for us.

Cincinnati Film Festival homepage.

FILM FESTIVALS: TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Sep. 6-16, Toronto, Canada):

Possibly North America’s most prestigious film festival, major Hollywood films debut at the TIFF, and the red carpet often hosts mainstream stars like Kristen Stewart, Tom Hanks and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Still, TIFF makes space for smaller, more interesting, and weirder films, and if we were there we’d be skipping the lines for Anna Karenina and scooping up tickets for some of the movies listed below:

  • The ABC’s of Death – 26 directors each tell a short story about death based on an assigned letter of the alphabet. Some of the mini-auteurs whose work is featured: and (Amer),  (Hobo With a Shotgun),  (RoboGeisha), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl),  (Deadgirl),  (A Serbian Film), and (Yakuza Weapon). The letter “T” was reserved for a contest winner.Screening in the “Midnight Madness” category Sep. 14, 15 & 16.
  • The Act of Killing – A strange and disturbing documentary in which members of Indonesian death squads unapologetically re-enact their real-life murders for the cameras in the style of the American movies they loved; and were so impressed with the concept they signed on as executive producers. Sep. 8, 10 & 16.
  • Antiviral – Here’s a bizarre premise: adventures in an underground trade supplying fans with viruses taken from their favorite celebrities. The directorial debut of Brandon (son of David) Cronenberg. Sep. 10 & 12.
  • Berberian Sound Studio – A neurotic British sound engineer used to working on quiet nature documentaries goes mad when he takes an assignment designing the audio for a 1970s Italian horror film. Sep. 10 & 11.
  • The Fifth Season [La cinquième saison] – All we know about this Belgian film is that the magical realist premise is that one year spring does not come to a rural village, and the social order disintegrates.Sep. 12, 13 & 16.
  • John Dies in the End – Cult director adapts a popular webseries about two losers saving the world from a psychedelic drug being used by aliens to take over the planet. This on has been on the festival circuit for almost a year now. Sep. 15 (midnight showing) & 16.
  • Krivina – A Bosnian emigrant returns to his homeland in search of a missing friend in what programmers describe as a “quietly chilling and finely surreal meditation on confronting traumas of the past.” Sep. 9 & 11.
  • A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman – 12 animators adapt and illustrate late Monty Python alumnus Graham Chapman’s 1980 fictionalized autobiography.  Sep. 8 & 10.
  • Peaches Does Herself – Described as a “wild transsexual rock opera,” it’s the first feature film from Peaches, a singer known for her sexually explicit lyrics and gender-bending avant-garde stage shows. Sep. 13, 15 & 16.
  • Post Tenebras Lux – From Mexico comes this kaleidoscopic, non-linear portrait of a family in crisis. Sep 12, 13 & 16.
  • Room 237 – Documentary about people who believe that ‘s The Shining contains hidden messages revealing vast international conspiracies.  One loony theorizes that the entire movie is Kubrick’s coded confession that he helped fake the footage of Americans landing on the moon.Sep 13, 15 & 16.
  • Spring Breakers – The bikini publicity photos make it look like a typical teen-sex comedy, but with at the helm we’re guessing this story of four college girls who get into criminal trouble on spring break will be anything but conventional. Squeaky clean Disney alums Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens will try to de-habilitate their images with this project. Sep. 7, 9 & 14.
  • Yellow – A substitute teacher escapes the drudgery of her life by indulging in bizarre psychedelic fantasies. Sep. 8, 9 & 16.

Toronto International Film Festival home page.

NEW ON DVD:

Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948): Two bumbling baggage clerks accidentally revive the remains of both Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula; fortunately the Wolf Man arrives to help the buffoons defeat ultimate evil. This DVD/digital copy release is significantly cheaper than the Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy Universal put out last week. Buy Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

The Birds (1963): Although it’s known today mostly as the inspiration for James Ngyuen’s Birdemic, this Alfred Hitchcock movie about a series of relentless and unmotivated attacks by our fine feathered friends is sort of strange, when you stop and think about it. No word on whether this is an upgrade over the 2000 “Collector’s Edition” of the film, which was a very nice release. Buy The Birds.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Read the Certified Weird entry! This “Universal 100th Anniversary” edition appears to be essentially disc 1 of the now out of-print special 2-disc collectors edition Universal released in 2005; buy the 2011 Blu-ray if you want all the deleted scenes and other goodies previously found on disc 2 (curiously, the 2012 “100th Anniversary” Blu-ray appears to offer half the bonus content of the 2011 offering for the same price—something strange is going on…) Buy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Lisztomania (1975): Can celebrity virtuoso Franz Liszt (portrayed by rock star Roger Daltrey) fend off the hordes of groupies slobbering over his version of “Chopsticks” while simultaneously frustrating rival composer Richard Wagner’s plans for world domination? This oft-requested cult item from the irrepressible Ken Russell is being released on an el cheapo DVD-R via Warner Archives, which is better than no release at all. It is advertised as remastered, at least. Buy Lisztomania.

Re-Animator (1985): Jeffrey Combs is chillingly geeky as a med student who raises the dead in this outrageously sleazy and spoofy adaptation of a serialized shocker by H.P. Lovecraft . One of the first and best of the B-movie black horror comedies gets a severed-face lift from Image Entertainment. Buy Re-Animator.

Secret Beyond the Door (1947): An heiress marries an architect who “collects” rooms in which famous murders have occurred. A forgotten Freudian shocker from  Expressionist master . Buy Secret Beyond the Door.

Vertigo (1958): A detective suffering from the titular phobia uncovers even deeper psychological issues when he falls in love with a woman who dies before his eyes, then comes across her exact double… Universal’s re-release of this creepy classic comes just as Vertigo has displaced Citizen Kane on Sight & Sound’s critic’s poll of the Greatest Films Ever Made. Buy Vertigo.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Holy Flying Circus (2011): The story of the flap surrounding Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979; actors playing John Cleese and Michael Palin defend their movie against charges of blasphemy from a representative of the “Popular People’s Church” (one of many, many in-jokes). Made for BBC television, it tells the true story in a Pythonesque style of overlapping absurdist sketches, fourth wall breaks and animation. Buy Holy Flying Circus [Blu-ray].

Re-Animator (1985): See description in DVD above. Buy Re-Animator [Blu-ray].

Secret Beyond the Door (1947): See description in DVD above. Buy Secret Beyond the Door [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Maniac [AKA Sex Maniac] (1934): Read the Certified Weird entry!  One of the weirdest of the so-bad-it’s-weird genre—and maybe the most entertaining. Extremely quotable. “Vonce a ham… alvays a ham. You… an actor?” Watch Maniac [AKA Sex Maniac] free on YouTube.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 8/31/2012

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Tall Man: When her own son goes missing a skeptical nurse (Jessica Biel) investigates child disappearances blamed on a legendary figure called “the Tall Man.” This genre-busting entry from the director of Martyrs has been dividing early critics and audiences. The Tall Man official site.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Zero Theorem (est. 2013): Terry Gilliam‘s latest feature project will star Christoph Waltz and will shoot in Bucharest. According to the auteur it’s from a ” [v]ery original script about a man waiting for a telephone call that will give meaning to his life. Some other things happen as well.” Among the “other things” are naked people being sucked into a black hole. Get more juicy details in this Gilliam interview from Dreams.

NEW ON DVD:

The Living Dead Girl (1982): A toxic waste spill turns a beautiful naked corpse into a vampire/zombie hybrid. Redemption continues to exhume the weird works of with this exceptionally gory late entry in the director’s erotic horror cycle. Buy The Living Dead Girl.

“Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer: Eclipse Series 35”: Although many movie fans realize Pulitzer Prize winning author Norman Mailer directed the bizarre big-budget flop Tough Guys Don’t Dance in 1987, many still don’t know that he dabbled in making experimental films in the late 1960s. Here are his first three attempts: the improvised apartment drama Wild 90 (1968), the police procedural Beyond the Law (1968), and the most interesting effort, Maidstone (1970), a crazy fourth-wall-breaking satire about a movie director running for president. Buy “Eclipse Series 35: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer”.

Two Orphan Vampires (1997): Two teenage (lesbian?) orphan vampires terrorize the streets of Paris at night. One of Jean Rollin’s final movies before his death in 2010. Buy Two Orphan Vampires.

Zebraman (2004): A mild-mannered schoolteacher is forced to take on the persona of his childhood TV idol, Zebraman, in this wild but kid-friendly fantasy from none other than Takashi Miike. A rival company released a 2 disc special edition of Zebraman just 3 years ago, so this sub-sawbuck “Tokyo Shock Classics” re-release is aimed at bargain hunters rather than connoisseurs. Buy Zebraman.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948): Two bumbling baggage clerks accidentally revive the remains of both Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula; fortunately the Wolf Man arrives to help the buffoons defeat ultimate evil. OK, so it was a huge hit in its day and maybe it’s not super-weird, but this title does appear on page 1 of every cult movie reference book worth its salt. Available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack only; includes commentary and bonus features. Buy Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein [Blu-ray /DVD /Digital Copy].

The Living Dead Girl (1982): See description in DVD above. Buy The Living Dead Girl [Blu-ray].

Two Orphan Vampires (1997): See description in DVD above. Buy Two Orphan Vampires [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966): On the run from the law, Jesse James seeks refuge in the lair of Frankenstein’s granddaughter, who promptly turns one of his gang into a lumbering monster. Western director William Beaudine was known as “One Shot” Beaudine because of his refusal to waste money on second takes. Critics generally believe this one doesn’t live up to the high standard Beaudine set with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Here’s what we’ve got lined up next week: we’ll report on the British hit-man psychothriller Kill List (2011); investigate 1985’s Dreamchild, which explores the ambiguous real-life relationship between “Alice in Wonderland” scribe Lewis Carroll and his prepubescent muse Alice Liddell; and, bowing to public pressure, we grant David Cronenberg‘s disturbing gynecological fable Dead Ringers its rightful place on the List of the 366 Best Weird Movies ever made. We’ll even throw in a top 10 weird movies list from underground filmmaking team Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais; something for everyone!

We start off our survey of this week’s weirdest search terms used to locate this site with one that really isn’t all that strange, but is nonetheless newsworthy: “if you dont appreciate wierd movies, i dont like you.” Moving on to weirder stuff, we noticed “nipping out brides.” That’s a bit weird, sure, but the next search term weirded us out a little because it made us feel like we’d come in on the middle of someone’s dirty chat conversation: “a angel is in the bathroom. that babe watches herself in the mirror..” Still, among this week’s crazy queries nothing beats the winner of our Weirdest Search Term of the Week, “flaying love white doll sex.” The icing on the cake? Google helpfully suggests the searcher may have meant to look for “flying love white doll sex.” Sure, that makes a lot more… wait, what?

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-ever-growing reader-suggested review queue stands: The Hour-glass Sanatorium [Saanatorium pod klepsidra] (out of print in Region 1, but we’ll keep looking); Liquid Sky (re-review); “Twin Peaks” (TV series); SocietyLittle Otik; Final Programme; Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

READER RECOMMENDATION: ABSENTIA (2011)

Reader review by Jezella Pigott.

DIRECTED BY: Mike Flanagan

FEATURING: Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Morgan Peter Brown

PLOT: Tricia’s husband Daniel has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie

Still from Absentia (2011)

comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him “dead in absentia.” As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that Daniel’s presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ The ancient force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia … and Daniel might be suffering a fate far worse than death in its grasp.

WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Although fairly low budget, the story is told through the eyes of several different characters. It uses subtle camera angles and unusual noises coming from the walls and in the dark tunnel where some of the story is set. The director, Mike Flanagan, has a good understanding of how to create suspense and horror mixed with fantasy and folklore. This combined makes Absentia a memorable and haunting film, a must see for all!

COMMENTS: For me this film resembles some of the darker plotlines of Haruki Murakami’s novels such as “Kafka on the Shore” and “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” The theme plays on the idea of hidden worlds that exist within the context of everyday spaces and experiences—whether it’s down a well, in a forest, or in a tunnel—where one can become isolated and disoriented, causing ones mind to lose it’s basis in reality and discover all is not what it seems.