I’ve been trying to expand my horizons a bit more with the latest couple of titles that I’ve been seeing. There’s so much great work from everywhere that it always feels like I’m catching up to everyone else. I made it a point to see more stuff from around the world along with the usual mainstream fare that I enjoy. From a devastating Italian trilogy following World War II to a quietly effective thriller from Canada, and from a chilling character drama involving an escaped cult member to a dying high school teacher trying to make an extra buck for his family, there’s never a shortage of content to fill my unquenchable need to sit in a chair and stare at a screen for hours on end.
By Guest Columnist Steven Sheehan, writer for FilmScope:
The horror scene finds itself in a similar situation to that of the late ’90s, where the originality factor was low and far too many repetitive stories were hitting the screens, making the outlook for the ’00s look pretty grim. Far too many serial killers had flattened the audience’s interest in spending their money at the cinema, and it took films like The Blair Witch Project and 28 Days Later to offer a new alternative, where the film’s power surprisingly came from its realism. Alongside the rise and fall of torture porn, the zombie subgenre has powered on full steam ahead, and whether it is ’80s parodies or serious attempts like the TV show The Walking Dead, a dead end is fast approaching. Pontypool quietly arrived on the scene a few years ago and offered a fresh approach, and whilst obviously restricted by its smaller budget, like all good films, it maximized the effect due to that very reason.