Saturday, 23 August 2008

Scary edamame

Two blogs for the price of one, to make up for my neglect.

Another August Bank Holiday, another Frightfest! Which means the usual congregation of lovely weirdos in a corner of leicester square, the usual struggle with the Odeon's booking procedures (even in person, you can only get tickets for one film at a time - really good plan for a film festival guys...), and the usual excessive consumption of meals at Satsuma. What could be more comforting that prosaic and salty green edamame beans before the nerve-shredding tension of a films such as 'The Strangers"?

The strangers is not fun. Particularly if you are not a fan of scary masks. It is however an excellent film which avoids trite explanations. A couple return home late, somewhat fragile as she has just refused his proposal. A creepy girl knocks on their door, and it all escalates from there, never letting up for a second. Mid way through I discovered that my shoulders were nuzzling my ears and had to force myself to breathe and think about those wholesome edamame beans. A very good suspense movie, so much so that I almost wish I hadn't seen it - when the neighbours knocking in shelves makes you jump you know you're in trouble.

'King of the Hill' is also an excellent (Spanish) suspense movie. Not quite so painfully tense, maybe because it's open air and daylight, but with really excellent character acting. Our handsome hero 'encounters' a girl in a petrol station bathroom then gets lost while attempting to follow her car. They are both hunted by mysterious gunmen all over a very beautiful hill. The cinematography does full justice to the really stunning autumnal landscape, as our 'hero' falls to bits in a convincing and sometimes funny way. Initially when the shooters are revealed as children I was not impressed, but the film manages to carry it off. And kudos for making the dog, whose barking has heralded terror throughout, a big soft family pet in the end!

The first film we saw was 'I know how many runs you scored last summer'. This one was a world premiere and to be honest it's not really ready for a wider audience. Barely full length, and barely a plot, it still manages to be a horribly gory but often extremely funny film. They could make even more of the cricket motif, but their use of 'howzat' had to be seen to be believed. The main plot flaw, though, is that if just one of the characters screamed when they ought to, all the rest would have been forewarned. Oh and the directors are very proud of their soft porn shower scene - personally, I think that their body double for a british / aussie cop should have had real breasts...

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