It’s time for the raddest film festival in Helsinki, Night Visions Maximum Halloween 3015. This time I skipped the all-night-long horror movie binge and focused on screenings at day/evening time. I guess I’m becoming old. So, without further ado, here are my 10 picks to watch at this autumns festival.
Eli Roth‘s Knock Knock is probably the most mainstream one from my selection. Just because Keanu Reeves. I haven’t actually seen any of his movies since the Matrix, so it will be interesting just to catch him on the big screen. The concept of Knock Knock is intriguing: A devoted husband is home alone for the weekend. Two young women knock on his door, asking for help. Then, as expected, things heaten up. We’ll see what the moral of the story is, but I’m sure it’s gonna get ugly.
A true horror camp classic from the 80’s. I simply couldn’t miss the chance of seeing it in a proper theatre. Jeffrey Combs does wonderful work as the crazy scientist Herbert West. I’ve recently started rereading Lovecraft’s stories, and I’ve also listened to the excellent H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcasts, which I strongly recommend.
The Real Miyagi
My 80’s theme continues. Karate Kid was one of my strongest movie experiences as a kid, and I also had a little Karate Kid action figure back then, the one with yellow karategi. However, Miyagi is a legend to me, and definitely a sort of mentor.
I don’t know if I know enough karate.
You sure know how to make a guy feel confident.
You trust the quality of what you know, not quantity.
What We Become
Hailed as the first zombie film from Denmark – ever! I just can’t believe it took them this long, even though the Danish are the “happiest people on Earth”. From what I’ve read, What We Become treats the subject of zombies on a more serious note. So I’m expecting a pretty dark and dystopian genre pic, concerned with some real issues.
Yakuza Apocalypse (aka Gokudou daisensou)
I remember seeing the director Takashi Miike’s Audition few years ago, and how it absolutely shocked me with its both stunning and disturbing visuals. This time he’s come up with a vampire action comedy, which sounds like a real mishmash, but in Miikes hands, you never know.
Takashi works like a madman, something in the likes of three films a year. With that work rate, you’re bound to produce some mediocre work every now and then. But also, some true gems.
Horror of Dracula
Another classic. Sir Christopher Lee‘s break through film is Hammer Film’s first Dracula, and shot in color. Aside from the iconic performance by Sir Christopher Lee, one big reason for this pick is that they will screen the British Film Institute’s stunning 35mm restored version.
Villmark Asylum 2
Norway has quickly become the horror center of Northern Europe, and that’s no wonder. Culture with strong roots in fairy tales is bound to produce excellent horror stories.
Villmark Asylum is a sequel, but I hear it stands firmly on it’s own feet. The setting is quite telling: old sanatorium, isolated forest in the mountains. As the tagline says: “They can demolish a building, but never remove the past.”
Horror film with a mystery structure strikes all the right chords with me. Latin American horror isn’t really my area of expertise, so this one’s about education as well. I’m expecting ruthless story telling and twisted dark comedy from the young Mexican director Adrián García Bogliano.
The Wicker Man
This is another honoration to Sir Christopher Lee and I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t seen the film before. However, I’m well aware that it is a classic and that Lee himself ranked it as the best film of his career. I also believe everything that’s worth saying about it, has already been said, so I’ll just shut up and enjoy.
Trust the Kiwis to bring you the most hilarious horror. The director Jason Lei Howden works at Peter Jackson’s special effects house Weta Digital, so influences are more than obvious: gory splatter first.
This one’s a safe choice to be my last movie at this year’s festival, as it’s sure to bring a stupid yet happily satisfied grin on my face.