Fantastic Fest – Let the Right One In, Alien Raiders, Astropia, The Burrowers Reviewed

Vampires, aliens, monsters, and RPGs on Day three of Fantastic Fest. The earlier secret screening was Appaloosa, and I swear I’m going two hours early tomorrow to try to get into the last two secret screenings. So my fave of the day:

Let The Right One In – If Gus Van Sant at his best made a touching and sweet vampire movie in Sweden, then you would be close to imagining what this film is like. The more I think about this coming-of-age story, the more I like it. It just captures the innocence of youth in such a unique way that you can hardly believe it is also masquerading as a horror film. Initally I thought it was too slow, but, yeah, I really want to see some of this again. Rating: 9/10

Alien Raiders – Here’s a workmanlike alien action movie set in a supermarket that gets great performances from the actors and stays entertaining throughout. Unfortunately, people with flashlights searching dark corridors got old on the umpteenth time, and there’s really no need for it here. The ending is predictable too, but it’s clever enough to be the only real solution. Recommended. Rating: 7.5/10

Astropia – This Iceland film about the ‘geek’ community may not be as cool as the picture above suggests (girl with the swords), but it is certainly a crowd pleaser. Pretty incredible that it was number one at Iceland’s box office, because it seems VERY low-budget. The lead actress, Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir (yep – girl with the swords), has star potential, and carries this production on her back to the promised land. Or is it the Enchanted Swamp?.  Rating: 6/10 

The Burrowers – For every interesting development in this movie, there is something equally banal. You have to applaud its ambitious cross of the horror and western genres. But then, I’m not sure the monsters are all that scary in this, maybe gross, but scary? I can see this one improving if they somehow found a way to improve the pacing of the movie in the second half. It just dies in parts it should be cookin’. Also, it makes you wonder who the real monsters are/were.  Rating: 5/10

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