Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Something DIFFerent

The Dublin International Film Festival wound up on Sunday. I managed to get to 3 films....

Funny Games U.S.
A straight remake of the original German film, Funny Games U.S. is a fairly disturbing look at the
hunger and fascination that modern audiences have towards cinema violence. The reason to remake it in such an exact way is to make it's point more direct, tangible and relevant then it was before. I left the cinema feeling horrible, so it did have the effect on me that the director wanted. It's a unique experience, but not one for anyone sensitive.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars)

The Orphanage
For the most part, The Orphanage is a brilliant horror film filled with moments of complete terror and pants-wetting suspense. Very well directed, written and performed, it keeps you engaged and alert with it's story of hauntings and a missing child. It's such a pity that the final 2 minutes of the film tear apart everything that it worked so hard on building. To go into it would be to spoil the film, so I'll just say this: it's denouement is so ethically skewed and uncharacteristic of the story that it actually offends deeply and gives the wrong message.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars, but it would be 5 if the ending hadn't been such a cop out)

The Escapist
This was the surprise film of the festival. If this is festival director Grainne Humphreys idea of what a surprise film should be then I'll be skipping it next year. The film itself has been done many times before and better too. We never get enough back-story or development from the characters, their motives are either shallow or non-existent, and the final twist is, while clever in some respects, completely hollow and meaningless. A poor effort, and a bad choice.
Rating: * * (2 Stars)

I hope the festival improves next year, as there's most certainly room for it.

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