We’ve been profiling the seven horror films that dropped in on the Tribeca Film Festival this year cause we love to make sure you’re informed. If you were within driving distance, we know you tore ass down to New York to catch at least a couple of these. There are still two days left to the programming, but our trek across the city is over for now. Here’s a little taste of what we got to see…
The Last Man (read our preview piece here) :: This is a Middle Eastern tale of a man who finds himself slowly…very slowly…oh so painfully slowly…turning into a vampire. We watch our main character deep in introspection, walking down the nondescript streets of his city while random explosions occasionally go off, reminding you that this is still a war torn country. More important than that though, you are watching him walk…for a very long time. This walking is broken up with occasional scenes of a fiercely passionate step dancer and the main character scuba diving. Yes, I’m sure this one wasn’t French. In short, this movie is low on vampirism and high on super silent art house scenes. Not my cup of tea.
The Matrimony (read our preview piece here) :: This is the story of a man and a woman in love. Just before he can propose to his lady, she is struck down in a horrible accident. Now, some time later, the man is struggling to recover from his heartache and is forced to accept a new wife of his mother’s choosing. All seems fairly normal but hardly happy when strange things begin to happen. It seems the fallen girlfriend is haunting this house. The question becomes, is she still there to see her would-be husband find happiness, or are her motives more sinister? This is probably the best ghost story I’ve seen in a very long time with moments that are flat out creepy. Let’s hope it gets picked up soon!
Unearthed (read our preview piece here):: Something has awoken under a small desert town in Anywhere, USA. When an “accident” closes off the main road, several strangers are forced together and soon find themselves defending themselves against a fast-moving, unrelenting, unseen terror with only a small town alcoholic, hotty female sheriff to defend them. There’s a whole bunch of cliches all in one place! This is strictly SciFi Channel fare. Nothing groundbreaking here.
Rise: Blood Hunter (read our preview piece here) :: Lucy Liu is a news reporter looking into the nocturnal habits of a city’s youth. Lucy is a little too good at her job. After a run in with some unmerciful, bloodthirsty baddies, she awakens on a slab in the morgue … a changed woman. Naked and pissed off, our heroine finds a mentor who knows the score and trains her to get the only thing that means anything to her now: REVENGE! This is a very realistic depiction of modern day vampires reminiscent of The Hunger, but way less artsy. With a healthy dose of action movie one-liners, a very naked Lucy Liu (did I mention Lucy Liu is naked??!!) and free-flowing red stuff throughout, I couldn’t help having a damn good time! Watch for an upcoming release date on this one.
Mulberry Street (read our preview piece here) :: Holy shit! This was the surprise of the show for me. This is a perfect little New York tale of an outbreak that tears quickly through the city with blood curdling results. Is this a zombie tale? Nope. Our infection is carried by rats and transforms the carrier into … RAT CREATURES! So now you are thinking Troma movie, right? Not by a long shot. This is a Troma movie premise shot with a gritty, indie movie eye and played to the hilt by fantastic actors more real than most big Hollywood outings. You’d almost think the actors aren’t aware they are in a rat monster movie!! If this film doesn’t at least get a healthy DVD release, it would be a crime.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes (read our preview piece here) :: This is a documentary style film detailing a police investigation into a brutal serial killer who left behind a mountain of video tapes showing the sadistic torture and murder of countless people. The film strives to set a tone of authenticity but often gets caught up in its own urgency to convince you that you are going to be scarred for life by what this man has done. In a sense, the mythos they are building is creepier than the actual scenes they shot. Forced bad “serial killer-cam” scenes do sometimes serve up a full plate of the creeps, but they more often served to frustrate me as I struggled to figure out what was going on. This was a fair premise with a lackluster execution and comes off more like a made-for-TV film than the big screen cringefest it would love to be.
Sit tight for full reviews on each of these films very soon. Until then, enjoy our pics shot at several screenings and red carpet events across NYC at the Tribeca Film Festival!
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