Abertoir Day Two

Following this entry I’ll be all caught up with my Abertoir highlights.  Five films played and pub quiz fun was had by all.  These are my personal highlights of the day.

Of the five films I went to three, those being ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’, ‘Village of Shadows’ and ‘Grave Encounters’.  With the exception of The Wicker Tree (showing Sunday at 2pm) and The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (shown Tuesday) I’ve not seen any trailers for any of the films showing.  It’s something I wish I could do more often, as I’ve found myself going in with no expectations of what I’m about to see and enjoying the films a lot more than I would have had I seen too much about them.  One of the most interesting things about Abertoir is the selection of films they have on offer to cater to every specific need.  The three films I saw were very very different from one another – ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ is a comedy/revenge film, ‘Village of Shadows’ is a ghostly drama and ‘Grave Encounters’ was another in the long line of ‘found-footage’ films.

 

My favourite film of the day was ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ and it deserves all the praise and publicity it can get.  A full review has been submitted to Altered Realities Radio and this entry will be updated with the link at a later date.  If you’re in the UK and looking for how you can see the film Newcastle Community Cinema (also on Twitter – @NewcastleCinema has a screening on Saturday 19th November at 8pm with tickets at just £5, which is a complete bargain for such a gem of a film.

The next film I saw was ‘Village of Shadows’, a french film about a town that nobody can leave.  The director Fouad Benhammou was on hand at the screening alongside Ornella Boule, who plays Marion in the film.  It is Benhammou’s first feature film and what a debut it is!  He stated in the Q&A after the screening that the French press had been rather unkind about the film and it had taken over 4 years to complete.  The main reason for the negative reaction to it is that it is so different to all the other horrors coming out of France at the moment.  Rather than being an ultra violent ‘extreme’ film, it is a tense ghost story without a single drop of blood.  It also uses genuine tension and frights rather than filling its soundtrack with sudden bursts of sound.  The results are unsettling.  It’s the kind of film that isn’t being made anywhere at the moment, but I really hope this starts a trend.  I am very much looking forward to whatever Benhammou comes up with next.

After a brief rest from watching movies (and going to answer questions about them in the pub quiz) it was time for ‘Grave Encounters’.  The best way to describe it is as a ‘Most Haunted’ episode gone wrong.  Television ghost-hunting team Grave Encounters head into an abandoned and haunted asylum and chaos ensues.  It’s presented as ‘found-footage’ but also subtly mocks the concept.  It has some good scares and tension-building but for me, even at a running time of 92 minutes (8 minutes shorter than ‘Village of Shadows’) it felt overly long.  It is unsettling and will definitely make you jump, but there’s nothing really memorable about it.  Watching it at past midnight definitely added a lot to the atmosphere.  It is scary though, which is the most important thing.

So that’s my Abertoir Day Two all wrapped up.  Tonight I will be watching ‘The Selling’ and ‘Kidnapped’.  I may even stick around for ‘Horny House of Horror’.

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