Thanks to everyone who has checked out our reviews from Grimmfest 2020 Online Edition so far, here is our roundup of the features from Day 4.
While there have been many films about the legend of the sasquatch, the plot threads are usually quite similar. Monstrous on the other hand is a thriller that just happens to have the sasquatch in it.
A young woman goes searching for answers after her friend mysteriously vanishes in a town known for its Bigfoot sightings. She quickly learns that hiding in the woods is an evil more sinister than she could ever imagine.
What’s quite refreshing here is the LGBT spin put on proceedings as two strangers hit off a passion-filled relationship whilst being in bigfoot country. While the story does descend into a survival horror, everything is not what it seems which makes for a compelling watch.
Monstrous, despite the title has a real emotional core to it that will really hit you hard once the credits roll.
Triggered follows a group of nine former high school friends who are spending a weekend away in the woods when disaster strikes. They all wake up after being drugged to find bombs attached to them and the only way to survive is by killing their friends.
Sounds very Saw doesn’t it? The issue immediately with Triggered is that the ensemble cast is too large for you to follow each of the dramas and hidden secrets of them and care enough if they get blown up. Also, the majority of the characters are extremely unlikeable, making them harder to empathise with.
Once the film cuts the fat and gets down to a handful of players it really ramps up for a very slasher-esque finale which is bloody and entertaining.
Triggered feels like two ideas spliced together with each conflicting against the other for supremacy, to the detriment of the viewer.
I Am Ren
I Am Ren presents a very interesting anomaly as an android searches for her humanity as her ‘family’ look to have her deactivated following a malfunction.
Ren feels like the ideal housemate, being able to connect to all electronic devices and power them without lifting a finger. The interesting part of this feature is that we see most of what’s going on from Ren’s perspective, which shows how maybe she feels more than her human counterparts which is a theme tackled over many a sci-fi film over the years.
The cinematography is gorgeous wit the ice exterior and wintery setting akin to the cold interior of the android despite her need to feel things.
While part mystery, part character study, I Am Ren is a compelling watch that shines a light on the human condition and how we may shape up to android counterparts in the future.
It Cuts Deep
A lot of couples get to a stage in their relationship where they look at their lives and discuss the future. Whether this is having children or getting married etc.
From the outset this feels like a black comedy but as soon as we get a hint of what is really going on the comedic beats are shed like a snake skin.
It Cuts Deep really gets under the skin of relationships as we follow couple Sam and Ashley whose lives are interrupted by blast from the past Nolan.
From here paranoia ensues with Sam constantly suspicious of this new person in their lives. We also gets hints at a wider plot which hurtles us towards a dark and shocking conclusion.
It Cuts Deep starts as more of a mystery thriller before becoming and out and out slasher in its brutal final reel.
This 90’s set feature follows David, a lonely single man who is the sole carer for his mother who has dementia. He looks to escape his own personal hell by trying a dating agency, but along the way he discovers Rent-a-Pal, a tape which offers lonely people a friendly face and ear to listen to their problems.
The first thing to say about Rent-a-Pal is the absolutely stunning performance by Brian Landis Folkins as the tortured David. His portrayal of this timid home carer who longs for more from life is equally haunting as it is tragic.
Will Wheaton also gives an excellent performance as the host of the videotape and will certainly make you look at him in a different light. This could be his best performance since Stand By Me.
We get hints that this could go south at any moment but Rent-a-Pal keeps its cards close to its chest until the built up tension needs to explode. It is a compelling character study and more of a psychological feature than an out and out horror film. It shows the strain that adult healthcare can take on the carer.
Rent-a-Pal is harrowing at times and at times quite uncomfortable to watch but at the same time it is so compelling.
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