Day 3: 23rd October 2011
“Whisper in Darkness”
Based on a novel written in 1931 by H.P Lovecraft; “Whisper In The Dark” incorporated the old school style of movie making in order to convey authenticity. The use of thunder and lightning sounds to suggest the unknown were fun and cheesy. There was a “Film Noir” edge in there. I wasn’t particularly a fan of the narrative and found the pace slightly dragging at times. Overall “Whisper In Darkness” was a nice homage paid to the 1930’s era.
“Interview” was an intense short film that cleverly plays mind games with its audience as well as characters; consistently challenging us. The characters prove interesting; as subtly they discuss the brutal concept of murder in a chillingly calm manner.
The short built itself up through a tense atmosphere working towards an unexpected twist. A theme addressed was attempting to understand the opposite sex used metaphorically for fearing the unknown.
To sum “Interview” up in two words: Thrilling and Ironic.
“Harold’s Going Stiff” + Q&A session
“Harold’s Going Stiff” won best feature film at the festival and most definitely deserved the honour. The title of the film is implicit but I can promise it defies expectations. Writer and Director Keith Wright has created a powerful film with strong a strong social message; cleverly using the horror genre as a metaphorical backdrop.
The film was based locally for Sheffield conveying the humour of the area. Audiences should not be misled by this film as even though it lies in the horror genre, it is a gritty British drama and uses a documentary style.
The opening is cleverly delivered and establishes the humorous side of the film as well as its horror sub-genre featuring very entertaining unconventional “Zombie Slayers”.
“Harold” is a very narrative film rather than visual with the characters describing the events to the viewers. It is also very empathetic; Keith Wright wrote the characters to feel like people we could know in real life resulting in a strong sense of empathy for what happened to them; the dialogue came across naturally. Stan Rowe (Harold) and Sarah Spencer (his nurse Penny) stood out the most performance wise and displayed believable on-screen chemistry.
The film proved to be a surreal look at British society, representing how mental illness such as dementia in old people is treated and a poignant depiction of suffering loss.
The Cast and Crew should be congratulated on contributing to such a touching, funny and memorable film which I hope will become even more successful in the future.
As a massive fan of urban legends and the kidney hoist being my all time favourite; it was awesome to see a refreshing spin on the tale in this horrifying sequence.
The UK premiere of Argentinean film “Cold Sweat” was a satisfying, cleverly constructed thriller. Intensity was created through the use of extreme close ups and slow motion. The villains of the piece were absolutely hilarious and unconventional; making situations both easy and challenging for the protagonists.
Definitely worth checking out for a fun edge of your seat thrill ride!
…and remember requesting help through your Facebook status isn’t a good idea!!
Secret Film and “Snowtown” Controversy
Regarding “Snowtown”, the Celluloid Screams secret film I am going to take a personal approach in order to talk about it. As I stated in my earlier video review; I was disappointed to have the film end the festival on a low note with this harrowing depiction of the real-life killings of John Bunting. I respect the film for its gritty portrayal and daring subject matter and I’m sure all involved worked hard to ensure the issue was dealt with as sensitively as possible. However for me I found the content too distressing and it’s something I would rather not know about or try to understand therefore made the decision to leave the cinema. I am against laws on censorship and believe that any film within reason can be made and it’s the choice of the spectator as to whether they choose to see it or not.
Interestingly, as a person who is mostly desensitised to blood, guts and gore I do have boundaries which depends on the subject matter of the film and how it’s portrayed on screen.
As I previously stated if you have a strong stomach see the film however I have been told by those who have viewed it the whole way through it’s a harrowing watch.
Conclusion and Thank You’s!
Celluloid Screams was a brutal weekend of gruesome sights and plenty of thrills and chills! I can honestly say I had the time of my life; the atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was so friendly making me feel very welcome as a first time attendee. Rob Nevitt deserves so much credit for working unbelievably hard on making this weekend possible and choosing a wide selection of films just for us. Thank You so much to everyone involved; my passion and excitement for horror has been re-ignited thanks to the festival. What’s left to say? Bring on Celluloid Screams 2012!!!
Hayley Alice Roberts.