Fantasia International Film Festival is really heating up. I’ve got reviews for two great films that are playing today. Check them out!
The House at the End of Time
dir: Alejandro Hidalgo
I loved this haunted house movie from Venezuela. It’s scary as hell at times but also has a family centered heart that reminds me of films like Poltergeist. It’s rare to see a director so perfectly balance warmth and creeping dread (and on his first feature if IMDB is correct) as Alejandro Hidalgo does with this film. He also wrote the amazing screenplay that I will not go too deeply in to for fear of spilling the film’s wonderful secrets.
Thirty years ago Dulce was a mother of two boys who was trapped in an unhappy marriage and a giant but rotting home. One night someone or something killed her husband and took her son Leopoldo. Dulce was blamed and put in prison for thirty years. Finally she is given a senior citizens release and returned to serve house arrest in the place where her husband was killed. Now she is back to revisit what happened and try to find her son, but she is not alone.
This is one of the best parts of genre film festivals, finding a gem like this that was nowhere on my radar. There is so much more than meets the eye, both hopeful and heartbreaking. We see young boys at play and a mother’s grief and it comes together seamlessly. I was completely entranced with the mystery of what happened to Leopoldo, but did not dare jump ahead and miss a single beat of the film. With shades of The Shining, Poltergeist, and Amityville Horror, I strongly recommend this movie to anyone who loves a great haunting tale. Do not see it alone!
The Infinite Man
dir: Hugh Sullivan
Dean’s anniversary plans aren’t going very well. A meticulous planner, dean has laid out an exact recreation of his last anniversary with Lana; from the meals and music, all the way down to what type of sex they’ll have and when. However, he failed to discover that their anniversary motel has gone out of business, and to make matters worse Lana’s ex-boyfriend Terry shows up to steal her away. Dean is undefeated though; he is a scientist who has managed to preserve a moment in time before the anniversary went to hell. One year later he plans to return to that moment in time and set things right. Sounds simple enough, but really it’s just the beginning of his complications.
The Infinite Man is a time traveling masterpiece from first time Australian writer-director Hugh Sullivan. The film itself is simple enough; more or less a single setting and just three actors, but the story is wonderfully complex. The director masterfully weaves the characters in and out of a single moment; laying their actions so you quickly learn not to take what you’re seeing at face value. The three stars, Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall, and Alex Dimitriades do a fantastic job of portraying the bizarre love story.
At its core the film really is a romance; it’s boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, over and over. There are shades of many other time travel films and romantic comedies, but The Infinite Man is really something special. I really enjoyed its thoughtfulness and the intelligence of its story. I need a couple more viewings just to trace all the paths the film takes. It’s a truly beautiful movie that I predict will be massively successful and a stunning debut for its director. Do not miss The Infinite Man if you have the opportunity to see it.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.