Challenge Totals to Date:
Movies Watched Today: 4
Total Movies Watched: 29
Total First Time Views: 5
Amount raised: $143.55
Today's showcased SCARE-A-THON Charity:
ACT ONE ARTS INITIATIVE, sponsored by Becca M. Engle
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Jug Face (2013) d. Kinkle, Chad Crawford (USA) 82 min
“The pit wants what it wants.” Pregnant teen Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) learns she is next in line for sacrifice within her backwoods community and so tries to escape her fate. What’s interesting is that as writer/director Kinkle’s story progresses, we find ourselves morally conflicted as to whether Ada’s life is more precious than those of her neighbors’ as they are offed one by one by the temperamental spirit residing in a muddy, bloody pit. After all, they were actually playing by the rules. A marvelous dark fairy tale, with a Who’s Who of indie horror cinema assembled before (Carter and Sean Bridgers of The Woman, Larry Fessenden, Sean Young, The Girl Next Door’s Daniel Manche) and behind (producers Lucky McKee, Andrew van den Houten, and Robert Tonino) the lens.
Babadook, The (2014) d. Kent, Jennifer (Australia) (1st viewing) 93 min
A troubled widow (Isolation’s Essie Davis) wrestles with her own mental and emotional stability as well as that of her seven-year-old son (Daniel Henshall), a struggle exacerbated by the titular malevolent presence invoked by the reading of a children’s book. A well-crafted tale of haunting and psychological breakdown, one that nearly does itself a disservice by amping up the chills so early that it has nowhere to go. Davis is outstanding in a showcase role, with the young Henshall providing marvelous support. Expanding her terrifying 2005 short film Monster , which concerned a similar creature residing in a boy's closet, writer/director Kent seems poised to take her rightful place within the hearts of the horror faithful.
Battery, The (2012) d. Gardner, Jeremy (USA) (2nd viewing) 100 min
After having praised it so highly last year and conducting an enthusiastic interview with Gardner for H101 and HorrorHound Magazine, I was a little leery about revisiting last year’s festival fave. My concerns were unwarranted, as it holds up extremely well a second time around. Granted, some of the dialogue comes off a little stilted and it probably doesn’t need to go on quite as long as it does, but it’s still one of the finest independent undead efforts in the last five years.
Tools of Ignorance: Making The Battery (2014) d. Bacco, Matt / Stella, Elise (USA) (1st viewing) 90 min
A terrific homespun reflection on the creative process, battling budgets and one another, the cast and crew assemble to dish on one another and collectively celebrate their surprise success. Makes for a great double header (or double tap, depending on your tastes).