Fantastic Fest 2017 Day 3

Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix (short film)

A supercut of movie bath scenes, especially in horror movies. Related scenes from all aspects of bath-taking are interspersed, from turning the water on to undressing to getting in to soaking, and then to pleasure and pain. It’s fun to be reminded of many of these films, and it’s an entertaining if insignificant work.



Psycho is one of the greatest films of all time, horror or otherwise, and the shower scene is its centerpiece. This documentary focuses on that one scene, both in the context of Psycho itself, as well as its impact on and influence over other films. It’s got everything you’d expect to see in a documentary about that one scene, from a breakdown of the shots to Bernard Herrmann’s score to what exactly is and isn’t shown, but it’s also full of interviews with film lovers putting it into both historical and personal context. It’s clearly a labor of love and a must-see movie for anyone who loves Psycho, Hitchcock, or film in general.


Your Date Is Here (short film)

A mother and daughter sit down to play a game, and it’s an old game the daughter found in the closet that looks like it’s from the 1950s. It’s got a telephone that you can use to talk to potential dates, and they start getting weird, creepy calls. It’s a light, fun short with a good ending.


Haunters: The Art of the Scare

Some haunted houses are more extreme than others. Most of them just have people walking through a maze with monsters jumping out at them, but others have more aggressive treatment where people are restrained, waterboarded, shocked, and otherwise tortured. Most of them have a safe word, but at least one doesn’t. This documentary focuses on those extreme haunts, the people who make them, and the people who go through them. It starts off very funny and highly energetic but then becomes increasingly problematic as the lines between fright, assault, and torture get blurred. They seem to attract people with questionable intentions, and there is a glaring lack of discussion on whether or how some of this is even legal, while at least one of them (the one with no safe word, whose proprietor is in it primarily for the videos of terrified people) must repeatedly close down and try his luck elsewhere.


Super Dark Times

Zach and Josh are best friends. They’re hanging out with acquaintances Charlie and Daryl when it comes out that Zach’s older brother, who’s joined the Marines and moved away, has a sword in his old room. The boys get the sword and go outside to engage in some ill-advised horseplay, which ends in Daryl getting accidentally stabbed and killed. The other three hide the body and make a pact to keep it a secret. But they still have to deal with the knowledge of what happened. Each of them does that poorly in his own way. It is indeed a dark time, but one well worth seeing for the performances and the conclusion.



There’s a serial killer on the loose in South Korea and elsewhere, and the police are after him. The only problem is that his father is a higher-up from North Korea, and his son is believed to have information about North Korean/Chinese bank accounts, so the Americans (led by Peter Stormare) really want to get their hands on him. Written and directed by Park Hoon-jung (perhaps best known for writing the incredible I Saw the Devil), this film is much more procedural than revenge-driven but is still well worth watching.


The Drop-In (short film)

A hairdresser is cleaning up her shop after closing for the day when a woman arrives, asking if she could still get in. The hairdresser relents but soon realizes that the woman isn’t really there for a haircut. Her past has caught up with her. In the span of only a few minutes, the film undergoes multiple transformations into different stories, and while I’m not sure I love where it ends up, it’s definitely an interesting journey to get there.


The police arrest Playboy, believing him to be the head of a criminal organization, only to learn that he’s just a stooge. But he agrees to make a deal with them and reveal the identity of the woman who’s really in charge in exchange for protection. So the cops take him to prison to put him in solitary confinement until he can testify and the gang can be taken down. But the real head lady doesn’t care for that and uses her connections inside the prison to orchestrate a riot to get to Playboy. The handful of police officers who had been escorting him are trapped inside the prison and must use their martial arts skills, especially the Cambodian bokator fighting style, to first get to Playboy, and then to get themselves to safety. It’s like a Cambodian version of The Raid, and while it’s not as skillfully made, while the attempts at comedy fall pretty flat, and while the fighting isn’t as creative or intense, it still offers a good time and at least a couple of cheer-inducing moments.