Downhill

All the news, gossip and information about FrightFest 2016
jonbly
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Downhill

Post by jonbly » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:28 pm

4/10 - ...is where this one went. Bonus points for cute goats. They were probably supposed to be creepy, but goats are lousy actors. Many scenes shot in either poor light with a bad camera, or filtered. Tried a big finish, but...

...and knocking off another point for the obviously paid review below. You're not fooling anyone...
Last edited by jonbly on Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jon H
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Re: Downhill

Post by Jon H » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:34 pm

Awful. I think the Director was trying to retrive the woefully derivative and uninteresting first 70 min by throwing the kitchen sink at the last 20 mins. It just ended up being a mess.

I also feel Valladares is problematic in his portrayal of female characters. Hidden In The Woods suffered from this problem and sadly, it was on display here too

hingethunder
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Re: Downhill

Post by hingethunder » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:57 pm

He also seems to have a bit of a toilet obsession! So many scenes of people pissing thati thought it would be a plot point

(Says the man who had posted multiple times about the gents loos at the Vue :roll: )

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Re: Downhill

Post by djwoody » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:19 pm

Trash. You could tell it would be bad by the terrible artwork and tag line! Not worth any more words....

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Re: Downhill

Post by thatcambridgebird » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:31 am

God, this was a mess, but I did feel really sorry for the cast and crew in the Q&A at Arrow, who watched basically the entire cinema empty out at the end. For me it was just absolutely bad (and I fell asleep at one point) whereas something like Blood Feast was just entertainingly, laugh-at-and-along bad.

It was a muddle of random, unassociated plot points: why were we meant to care that the guy's mate had died in a freak BMX accident and what bearing did it have on the later plot of him deciding to go to Chile? Couldn't we just have opened with him going to Chile?! Why was he shagging his mate's missus? Again there was nothing later on of him being confronted about it by the main female character, or somehow having to choose between them in a life-or-death situation. What were the cult/satanists/whatever they were actually trying to achieve? The different numbered experiments obviously meant something? Were they trying to summon the antichrist? Presumably so, but aaaarggghhhhh messy!!!

Also goats are cute. These filmmakers clearly haven't been following the latest adorable animal internet trends. :green:

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Re: Downhill

Post by Seat@theBack » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:00 am

I absolutely loved it! For me, among my favourite films of the festival so far: maybe the favourite...

*** MASSIVE SPOILERS UP THE MOUNTAINSIDE AHEAD: ALL THE WAY TO THE END! SO READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW MORE! ***


A group of sporty best friends split up following the death of one of their mountain bike team, but they are soon persuaded to regroup in Chile for even more competitive downhill action. When the Lycra-clad group, out riding across the mountainous and rugged terrain, discover an injured man involved in a collision - they put a rescue plan into operation. But the injured man's face is also covered in strange blisters. And he is being stalked by a local crime kingpin and his pals: could the man be part of some kind of drug-dealing setup? The young bikers soon discover that it's not drugs these people are dealing in: it's something much less human.

The Chilean location was spectacular; those waterfalls and mountainsides and the eeriness of an abandoned, concrete construction ski lift-framed resort in the middle of rampant overgrown natural landscape really made for an unsettling and lovely backdrop to increasingly depraved and bloody horrors; a set-up stuffed with creature FX and littered with gunshot wounds. The mix of fantastical, demonic and criminal was a mash-up made in some kind of happier Hell than the one we enter in the film's heartless, hard-hitting and deeply creepy finale.

And the sense of unease and threat from the lurking locals was seething and relentless; the gunshots loud enough to blast your eardrums out.

The film deliriously crossed local evil cult barons and a bloodthirsty she-devil with roughed-up intimidation and menace with a sci-fi slant of an unexplained virus lurking - possibly - in the river and a demonic, progressively building evil cult that exists and thrives in everyday homes (the number on the door was a neat touch: normality above chaos; like Hell below ground) but exists mainly underground; in carved-out caves. The sacrifice scene at the end of the film was intense and a good contrast with the chase thriller above ground in the glare of cold sunlight of the first half. Facial pus, blisters, transformation and mutation (don't drink from the lake) were suitably disgustingly realised: the addition of body-dwelling creatures; waste products almost; as part of the cult's evil rituals - was a blast. The soundtrack was also pulsing and angry and the final song over the credits was deliciously beautiful (the director likes to contrast the brash with the occasionally wistful and melancholic to destabilise the senses).

I thought the finale was a riot. The cellar orgy unexpected and icky. The escape from the sacrifice and vengeful strength of the lead (female, by the way) pure kick-ass punch and ice-eyed cool. The blistering lightshow of an ending was a trademark playfulness that few horror directors get to show off. Chilean director Patricio Valladares has admitted he isn't too happy making films not in his own language and wants to get back to home grown cinema (although this may not be possible due to commercial demands). The London-based screenwriter Barry Keating told us on stage at the Q&A that director Valladares likes to cut out chunks of dialogue wherever he can, which reminded me of Dario Argento's preference for visuals over script. And I thought the goats in their demonic cameo at the end of the movie rocked the shack!

As for the accusation that Valladares doesn't have decent female characters in his films, or treats them as less important to the 'more aggressive' supposedly male characters: the clear lead in DOWNHILL was a woman (eventually with a shotgun) who made her male companions look fairly pathetic and the gangsters too at some risk of having their heads blown off. Male characters in this director's movies may have ideas of power and greatness, but without realising that it's on a small scale and always localised; and they don't last long. In fact, the film's two main characters were women: one demonic and the other human. Men were seen mainly as sex pests or thugs and extensions of their own big guns (which they rarely aimed at anyone very well; except for the biggest shock moment of all, mid-point in the woods, where the unexpected blast of gunfire is bum-off-seat raising).

This is punk mentality filmmaking: hardcore horror cinema on a fairly low budget. DOWNHILL was filmed in two weeks, and with a big dollop of spite, attitude, blood and guts. Nathalie Burn as lead Stephanie performed all her own stunts and gritted down teeth with vigour in the film's delirious final showdown. Ignacia Allamand as Magdalena was less feisty but more devious (cheating with her best friend's boyfriend and telling him, when he had doubts mid-intercourse, that: "It's only sex", was hilarious). Both female leads oozed charisma and grit. The male leads deserved all they got: and boy did they get it!

DOWNHILL was a real blast to the brain and the final flashing montage of light and noise - a shotgun of assault on the senses - is really just a screw you to doubters (at the Hidden in the Woods screening at FrightFest a few years back, the director just found the criticism - amid, it has to be said, also quite a lot of rabid praise - all part of the fun). Yes, Valladares probably does need to return to making films in his own language and ditch the co-productions he now works within to truly showcase his raw ability, but DOWNHILL is a risky and daring ride for those new to the director's work: blistering, brutal and bloody good fun!

[As a bonus treat, at the early morning screening I went to, the film ended and Patricio Valladares was introduced, but: no director in sight - or any crew or cast! They were all missing somewhere down the red corridors of doom at VUE for up to 5 minutes; probably even longer in fact. Alan Jones bravely ad-libbed until the guests were eventually found; just at the point our 'beyond the call' host seemed about to give up: "Ok," he said, "this is getting boring now!" In walked Valladares, screenwriter Barry Keating and star Natalie Burn, possibly a little subdued at first: out of breath? I heard VUE organisers apologising to Valladares in the corridor on the way out for the "mix-up" and Alan Jones making the joke: "It's all downhill from here!" He apologised for the joke before saying it though, to his credit... ]

OK, off to Monday FrightFest now to watch brutal bank holiday murder in a lovely windmill and other delights ... :p

Mark Gordon Palmer
// Seat at the Back - Cinema Magazine //

Oswald Cobblepot
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Re: Downhill

Post by Oswald Cobblepot » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:00 am

After Hidden in the Woods I was expecting this to be dubious trash, so even though it was indeed totally rubbish and made no sense I actually found it quite entertaining and fun. A total mess from start to finish, and had no idea what it was trying to do, so chucked in a ton of different ideas and resolved none of them.

I don't know about the other screens but Natalie Burn's Q&A in the Arrow Screen where she said that she basically had no clue what was going on at any time on set, and no one would explain the plot to her was awesome. Slightly concerned about the dubious scene where she was going to take a piss, and the director thought it would be a good idea to have extended shots from 2 different angles of Natalie with her arse out.

Plus we got a variation on endless horror films starting with annoying characters in an SUV with a shaky camera - annoying characters on BMX bikes with Go Pros !

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Re: Downhill

Post by Alex J » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:15 pm

As others have pointed out, yes there are a few scenes that feel uncomfortably gratuitous, but I enjoyed this one.

It has a good pace to it and some effective sequences and I have always been a suckered for
Spoiler:
a mad cult!
Kudos for the inclusion of the White Philips too!

It goes a little bonkers at the end, but I felt this kind of enhanced the experience. 7.5 / 10
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

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Re: Downhill

Post by DJBenz » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:44 pm

Downhill mountain bikes, not BMXs. Please.

Batshit bonkers, still don't know if I liked it or not but it was certainly different from the usual formulaic stuff we get as horror fans.

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Re: Downhill

Post by killer guinea pigs » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:09 am

1/10 this years why would you show this film entry was crap for a number of reasons. the main one is they have no talent.

in the splice screen we too couldnt exit fast enough from the screen for the q and a.

to the filmakers please stop making films and to frightfest dont incourage them by showing them............adam mason anybody ?

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Re: Downhill

Post by Alex J » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:28 pm

Spoiler:
Interestingly I thought that in both Hidden in the Woods and Downhill that the portrayal of male and female characters reflects South American culture - the men are macho and see the women as sex objects, but ultimately it is the women who make it to the end of the film and turn out to be the strongest - but maybe I'm reading too much into it?
In terms of the gratuitous shots - a couple of very brief ones at that - then I hope anyone upset by them didn't see We Are the Flesh !

I also liked the
Spoiler:
infected - they were suitably icky and the effects were better than those on display in a number of other films at the fest.
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

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Re: Downhill

Post by gazadams » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:45 pm

didnt really go much on this one

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Re: Downhill

Post by Tyrannosaurus » Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:47 pm

It was weird. Thats basically all I could think of it.
jonbly wrote:
...and knocking off another point for the obviously paid review below. You're not fooling anyone...
I was going to say "this isn't IMDb, people can have opinions without an alterior motive"...

...but that review really is conspicuous, isn't it?
killer guinea pigs wrote:
to the filmakers please stop making films and to frightfest dont incourage them by showing them............adam mason anybody ?
If you're really serious about this, you shouldn't have been so lazy and immature in presenting your point. No sensible person would take you seriously.

killer guinea pigs
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Re: Downhill

Post by killer guinea pigs » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:53 pm

Just giving my opinion of the film and whoever wrote that positive review (not the director of course) must be deluded, on drugs or working for the film so it wont wash...............and for the record i do believe in global warming........some other people on here are clearly deluded as well

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Re: Downhill

Post by Tyrannosaurus » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:54 pm

Alex J wrote:
Spoiler:
Both the rapists in Into the Woods and the cultists in Downhill wanted the female victims alive. Surviving someone trying not to kill you is not a sign of personal strength and
Spoiler:
how long did the female lead survive after the cultists found out she wasn't useful to them? Exactly. Fairly sure the male characters stayed alive longer than that by themselves.
So yeah, you're certainly looking too much into things.

Also, your implication that objectifying women and raping them are the thing is kinda disturbing. Being a rape victim is not "being portrayed as a sex object"

[Mod Edit: Removed personal attack]

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