Thursday, 1 November 2018

Critical Week: Chasing monsters

It's been another eclectic week in the screening rooms around London. First up, there was Slaughterhouse Rulez, a blackly comical horror romp that mixes pastiche with nastiness. The idea is great, but the film is a little choppy. Juliet, Naked is a gently engaging British comedy-drama with romantic inclinations featuring nicely understated turns from Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O'Dowd. And Monsters and Men is a provocative American drama about three young men in Brooklyn who are pushed into a corner regarding white-on-black police violence. Its light touch makes it notable.

We had a festive Halloween screening of Hell Fest, a throwback teen horror romp so bog-standard that it's neither scary or funny. Lars Von Trier's The House That Jack Built is an epic-length exploration of a serial killer (a superb Matt Dillon), expertly made and fiercely provocative. And from France, Boys [Jonas] is a finely acted low-key drama about a young man confronting an event in his past through a series of encounters that won't let him go.

Over the next 10 days, I'll travel to Greece to be on the international critics' (Fipresci) jury at the 59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival. While there, I'm also planning to catch some festival films I've missed so far, including Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, Berlin winner Touch Me Not, London winner Joy, Lazlo Nemes' Sunset and Ben Wheatley's Happy Birthday, Colin Burstead.

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