The idea for Colossal sounds exactly that: “colossal.” A woman in the US can sometimes, when she’s drunk and in the right place, become a giant monster in Seoul, South Korea. Add to that Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway, and it sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster. But that’s not what Colossal is at all.
As The Void begins, it’s impossible to guess where it’s heading. Initially, it seems to be about a weird cult in a small town. But then there’s a shot of something odd in the clouds. And a very strange creature-thing. Slowly, it becomes obvious what you think you’re watching isn’t the point at all.
The most amazing thing about Ben Wheatley’s High Rise is its tone. Its feeling. Some how it’s a film that’s intense, funny, scary, disturbing, and aloof all at the same time. Sometimes though, that mix gets very dark and makes things a little hard to follow.
In recent memory, I can’t think of a more bonkers premise for a movie than the Japanese film Assassination Classroom. Which proves I’m a little out of the loop. The film had its U.S. debut at Fantastic Fest, but is based on a mega-popular manga—which was then adapted to an equally popular anime series.
Nicolas Winding Refn doesn’t collect movie posters. And yet, he’s about to release a book of movie posters. It’s a typical curiosity from the director of Drive and Bronson, who was at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas to talk about the book, which is called The Act of Seeing.
Honestly, you never know what to expect at Fantastic Fest. One moment you’re sitting in the heat, the next you stumble into the bar and see four Alamo Drafthouse bartenders competing with Star Wars themed alcoholic beverages for the honor of being served at showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Sunday into Monday at Fantastic Fest, I watched three back to back movies where the Devil was represented by a farm animal. First was the New England period piece, The Witch; second was a heavy metal possession movie called The Devil’s Candy; and third, a slow burn called February.
If Guillermo del Toro wasn’t making movies, he’d be a Fantastic Fest attendee. He’s just one of those guys who lives and breathes, not just cinema, but weird, creepy, tense and gory cinema. So for him to bring his latest film, Crimson Peak, to the intensely genre film festival was a big deal.
The French, steampunk anime April and the Extraordinary World is the rousing, science-based adventure you wanted Disney’s Tomorrowland to be. It’s simultaneously an exciting roller coaster ride, while also stimulating your intellect by presenting a fascinating alternate history.
Two of the year’s best movies also happen to be among the weirdest movies we’ve seen in ages. Just insanely weird.
Fantastic Fest in Austin has become the premiere US film festival for genre films. For opening night, they buried people alive. Now they're unleashing dozens of new films, from thrillers to scifi. What are you missing at Fantastic Fest?