Fantastic Fest 2017 Day 2

Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

Believing her to be a witch, people don’t regard Albrun all that well. She’s harassed whenever she goes out, and the one woman who talks to her doesn’t seem that nice after all. The plot is virtually nonexistent and the pacing glacial, so the film depends entirely on atmosphere, and that is created primarily through bleak imagery and a soundtrack comprised mostly of droning tones. If you saw The Witch and wish it weren’t so modern, cheerful, or action-packed, then Hagazussa may be the movie for you. It is not the movie for me.



A hilarious Canadian TV show about a farmer named Wayne (show creator Jared Keeso), his sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), and his best friend Daryl (aka Dairy, played by Nathan Dales). They live in Letterkenny, Ontario, where jocks play hockey, and the skids do drugs and breakdance in goth attire. We watched a selection of six episodes from the first two seasons:

  • S1E1 — Wayne is bummed after the end of a long-term relationship. Dairy suggests that he go to a church group to meet girls, while Katy suggests Tindr, which is confused with Grindr.
  • S1E2 — Wayne must repeatedly defend his title as the best fighter in Letterkenny while he and Katy plan a “soft” birthday party for Dairy.
  • S1E6 — Wayne discovers marijuana growing on his property and has trouble getting rid of it. Meanwhile, the skids incur the wrath of a lady meth dealer for everyone in town.
  • S2E1 — Dairy convinces Wayne be should be president of the agricultural society, Katy starts dating the head skid Stewart, and a couple of hockey jocks move up and find they’re out of their league.
  • S2E3 — Katy hires a matchmaker for Wayne, and he goes on a series of dates. Stewart gives Katy the silent treatment but she doesn’t notice, and the skids kick Stewart out of their group.
  • S2E6 — Wayne tries to find a stud to impregnate Katy’s dog Stormy, but she keeps attacking all comers. Stewart deals with having been kicked out of the skids, and the hockey jocks find they’re not having as much fun as they used to.


Anna and the Apocalypse

It’s Christmas in Scotland, and high school senior Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends are dealing with all the usual drama, including a theater teacher with a god complex. They frequently deal with it by breaking out into singing and dancing, which is good because they’re putting on a Christmas program at school. But this year is a little more tense than usual because there’s also a zombie outbreak, and the singing and dancing are accompanied by running and fighting and decapitation. It’s a highly entertaining film, especially when it’s in full-on, high-energy mode with creative kills, clever songs, and unexpected turns. It does seem to lose a bit of steam heading into the end of the second act, and they missed a huge opportunity to have singing and dancing zombies, but it’s still a must-watch movie for anyone who thinks that a Christmas zombie musical might be a must-watch movie.



Maude and Cleo are identical twins (both played by Adelaide Clemens). Cleo goes missing and is presumed dead, but Maude keeps having visions of her location and captors. She convinces Cleo’s fiancé and a friend to accompany her on a trip to find her, and they eventually end up at a trailer park where they find a couple who claims to have seen her. Then things go in a different direction. It’s a fascinating film that seems to go off on a tangent for a while before reinventing itself into a different kind of movie, and I like the second more than the first.


The End of Decay (short film)

A man confined to a wheelchair has decided to use himself as a guinea pig for a procedure he hopes will allow him to walk again. The treatment is successful but has side effects. It’s a well-made short with some good effects, although it does seem like there’s a little too much unnatural exposition used to let the audience in on what’s going on.



Casey (Brea Grant) has planned a family trip to a mountain cabin in the hope that it will do some good for her ailing husband James (AJ Bowen). But shortly after they arrive, they find a woman (Barbara Crampton) lying in the snow in need of resuscitation. They don’t know who she is, but we do thanks to a political advertisement on TV: she’s running for president. And also thanks to television programming in the form of a true crime program, we’re also clued into some bad things that are about to go down at the cabin. It’s a good concept for a modern kind of Rashomon story with multiple perspectives, and the show within the movie is particularly enjoyable as it’s dripping with satire, although I probably would have liked the movie more if they had relied less on the supernatural.