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All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:15 pm
by mamawaldi
Unless I'm missing it somewhere on this forum, I can't see any feedback from the Halloween allnighter. Can anyone tell any of us not lucky enough to go what were the hits and misses of the night?

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:53 pm
Yeah, seems a shame if people stop debating what the films are like. Thought the Halloween event was great fun as per usual, although the films were a mixed bag....

1.Excision (well acted, american mary meets donnie darko with a bit of Carrie chucked in, but not my cup of tea 5/10)
2.Gallowswalker (Wanted to love this, but hated it with a vengeance, for a proper horror western try anything but this 1/10)
3.The Tall Man (Stunning, Shocking, Surprising, 10/10 Good to see Pascal Laugier in attendance)
4.Bait 3D (Cheese... but Great Fun 8/10)

5.Zombie Flesh-eaters (You can't beat a retro classic... 9/10)
6.The Helpers [Gorno, badly acted, and with a twist that is badly explained. A Poor man's Panic Button 4/10]

Top Night, really enjoyed three of the films, 1 was ok, 2 poor. You can't like everything.
Ignore the people who are berating the Tall Man. A Really clever piece of cinema.

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:17 pm
by thatcambridgebird
I went to the Cambridge version of the AllNighter. It actually ended up relatively well attended, the staff at the Picturehouse were lovely and also seemed to be enjoying themselves despite the lack of sleep and having to cater to 30-40 odd increasingly dishevelled and droopy-eyed punters.

Here's what I thought:

1 - Excision: I loved this. I thought the lead actress was fantastic, particularly after I googled her and saw how incredibly glam she usually looks in the real world. The plot was just teetering on the right side of believable, and the ending was well played enough to leave a nasty taste in my mouth after the slow build up of dark comedy. 8/10

2 - Gallowwalkers: Freaking APPALLING. Wesley Snipes should have had this added to his rap sheet, along with tax evasion. The plot was scattershot, every character was unconvincing, it was anger-makingly bad and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I'd have walked out, but I really wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. However, it had nothing redeeming about it, and the 'special' effects in the end standoff were just terrible. It gets 1/10, and the 1 is only awarded as a 'thank christ it ended'.

3 - Bait 3D: This was really silly, really formulaic, but lots of fun. It's the kind of stupid movie I'd watch with mates for a laugh, so it gets a 6/10 for doing what it said on the tin.

4 - The Tall Man: I was so looking forward to this, and I was so sorely disappointed. Quite what it was doing here I'm genuinely not sure. It felt more 'Winters Bone' than a true, suspensful thriller/horror/mystery. I didn't leave feeling unsettled but satisfied with a job well done from Pascal Laugier, I left feeling beaten about the head with moral and social issues, and almost as if I'd been told off for a couple of hours. There were some nice flashes of suspense but overall it felt far too much like a moral tale rather than a suspense. Compare it to Sleep Tight - another mystery/thriller as opposed to outright horror - and for me it just doesn't stand up. There was no tenseness, and no slow burn of dread/confusion/call it what you will. 5/10 for me, all around how beautifully shot it was and the decent job Jessica Biel did, but nothing else.

I'm afraid we wussed it at this point, and left just after 6am. One of my friends stayed for Zombie Flesh Eaters, which he enjoyed. We didn't get The Helpers in Cambridge, which is a shame, as I was looking forward to that.

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:53 pm
by streetrw
I tend to put all my reviews on my blog these days!

I'm really in the middle on EXCISION: it's hugely uncomfortable but nicely done. I loved the spaghetti western feel, the visuals and Namibian vistas of GALLOWWALKERS though I don't know that the film made anything like complete sense. THE TALL MAN was easily the best film on view: it's not Martyrs and it's nothing like Martyrs, and I thought it was terrific. BAIT was just another CGI shark movie, of which we've more than had our fill in recent years. THE HELPERS was occasionally pretty nasty but really nothing remarkable. ... lkers.html ... l-man.html

I fell asleep and wandered off at various points in ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, but I had seen it several times before so that didn't really bother me too much (though I did wake up for the splinter bit and the coming-out-of-the-graves bit).

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:26 pm
by thesavageintruder
I was also at the Cambridge event, and agree with the earlier comment : the venue was perfect for this kind of thing, and the staff showed a genuine interest in what turned out to be a bit of an under-supported event. I liked that the line-up was very diverse : there's nothing worse than ending up with two torture movies or a pair of found-footage movies : everything shown was completely different to everything else.
EXCISION deserves the plaudits it's been getting from prominent genre critics. Wonderfully eclectic cast with probably Traci Lords' best ever performance...and a script that was smart enough and perceptive enough to find heart and soul in its often unsympathetic characters, ensuring it doesn't end up as one of those smug, arch wannabe-cult movies.
GALLOWWALKERS was a bold attempt at a quirky horror western that didn't pan out thanks to Wesley Snipes phoning it in, an embarassing po-faced narration and a total lack of momentum.
It's easy to dismiss BAIT as dumb or patronise it with the kind of "check your brain at the door" dismissal unimaginative critics are fond of employing, but it did exactly what it set out to do. Never taking itself too seriously, it was a slick, well paced and sometimes suspenseful of (slightly tongue in cheek) disaster movie and shark-chomp-horror.
THE TALL MAN sees Pascal Laugier cleverly covering some very similar themes to those at the heart of MARTYRS in a way that deliberately subverts our expectations - and indeed contradicts the predictably lame Hollywood-style trailers & posters that portray it as YET another small-town-haunted-by-supernatural-force mainstream chiller. This unpredictable, beautifully restrained mood piece had a stand-out performance by a deglamourised Jessica Biel and, without relying on visceral action or cheap shocks, in its own quiet way came close to being as bleak and thought provoking as Laugier's earlier movie.
ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, of course, is always a delight to watch though it had that "i'm not going to fight sleep anymore so long as i get to see the zombie vs shark scene" last slot.

All in all, a terrific night, hope the 'fest comes Cambridge way again...

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:52 am
by jonbly
Bristol here. Good support from the staff who really threw themselves into it.

Enjoyed Exicision. It was well done... but unfortunately fairly predictable, maybe because it started life as a short. Still a fun ride, though.
Blaise (a Bristol-shot short) was, unfortunately, not very good. Well enough made, but the plot didn't know what it was doing. Having the guy turn out to be infected just made the whole thing feel pointless.
Alan was cheerfully dismissing Bait, but ignore the silliness (two floors one above another, both flooded to about 50%, each with a shark?) and it was good cheesy fun. As usual, the 3D added nothing - though at least the active glasses seemed less intrusive than the others jonbly's tried.
The Tall Man was really good. Oddly, jonbly guessed the Tall Man's identity without actually twigging the main twist - not sure how that happened (other than process of elimination on male characters). The kid's comedy wig was really distracting, though - what the hell was that about? And maybe it got a bit too preachy at the end.

No Gallowwalkers for us, but that seems to have been a good thing.

Central Bristol at 2am can be summed up in three words - drunks, kebabs, and taxis. Ugh. Anybody have a zombie apocalypse we can borrow?

Skipped Zombie Flesh Easters (old) and The Helpers (wobble-cam zzz) in favour of sleeping. Mmm, sleeping...

And yes, forum mods, can we get some new categories set up for 2012?

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:29 pm
by Donut
thought The Tall Man was a steaming pile of pretentious, worthy, preachy horseshit. it's also one of the most boring films i've ever suffered through.

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:33 pm
by Alex J
I attended the London event - interesting that the Cambridge one sounds like it wasn't well attended, as there were many empty seats in London too.
In terms of reviews, Excision was offbeat and I wasn't too sure what to make of it. Not as good as American Mary IMHO, but it had its humorous moments in its story that centred around a dysfunctional family. Well acted in most parts, while I find it interesting how many US films feature prominent religious characters still. 7 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:37 pm
by Alex J
Gallowwalkers is a western where the dead don't stay dead. I felt there was a slight Mad Max vibe about this one and it had some striking imagery and outlandish characters. I thought some parts worked better than others - some scenes seemed distinctly underpowered. Still, a fair amount of action and it is always good to see the spinal cord rip put to gory use a few times. It did seem odd how long into the film it took to explain what was going on - after a number of characters were killed and we didn't really know why until later. A bit of a curio this one. 6 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:23 pm
by Alex J
The Tall Man *** Spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this one, my personal best of the fest, with an excellent lead performance by Jessica Biel. I liked the midpoint twist that didn't resort to the whole town being involved in a conspiracy protecting the Tall Man, but I can see that not all would have enjoyed the twist. Others may also have been put off by the move away from horror in the final third, but I thought this was highly accomplished and thought provoking film-making. 8.5 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:27 pm
by Alex J
Bait 3D
I had mixed feelings about this one, as I thought some of the tsunami sequences were quite effective, but the lighter tone of much of the film seemed a little out of keeping with recent real world horrors caused by tsunamis. I also enjoy sharks being in genre films, but some of the CGI wasn't very good at times - even cartoonish in places. The performances were of varying quality, although the script didn't always help. Some tense moments, gore and humour keeped it ticking along however. 7 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:30 pm
by Alex J
Zombie Flesheaters
I hadn't seen this for years, and this was my first time seeing it on the big screen, and I thoroughly enjoyed this with its iconic scenes (e.g. in Manhattan, the underwater segment, the eyeball piercing etc). A shame the director is no longer with us, as a Q&A could have been interesting, not just about this film, but the rest of his work too. 8 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:35 pm
by Alex J
The Helpers
An improvement on last year's closing film, although little originality to be found here (a cross between Vacancy and The Hitcher), while the lack of ideas was possibly reflected by the same death being done twice and the threat of another death mirrored an earlier one too.
It also suffered from the common US horror problem of the protagonists doing stupid things. Still, always good to see the old someone being ripped in half stunt, even though it didn't seem to show it properly. 7 / 10

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:30 am
by Wolfshade
So was it better or worse than last year then? Was dissappointed by last year's selection of films (Bad Meat, Livid, HC 2, Faces In The Crowd, Cold Sweat and The Watermen), so I gave this years allnighter a miss for the first time since 07.

Re: All Nighter Reviews...?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:46 pm
by The Soapmaker
I thought it was a definite improvement on last year. Nothing amazing, but nothing anywhere near as bad as The Watermen or Bad Meat (notable for having a Q&A which was much better than the film....)

I can see how some people might be disappointed by The Tall Man, but it genuinely surprised me by being nothing like what I was expecting (having a poster which looks like I Know What You Did Last Summer is really selling the film short!). No, it's not a "horror movie" as such, but the same could be said of many films we've seen at FF over the years. Very good Q&A with Pascal Laugier, too.

As an added bonus, everything somehow got delayed at some point during the night so I didn't have to spend an hour wandering the streets before the Tube stations opened in the morning....