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There are so many pivot points in Z for Zachariah that it becomes hard to nail down exactly what director Craig Zobel intended for it. At one point, it seems decidedly about gender politics, at another about race relations, and eventually it boiled down to themes of suspicion, greed and jealousy. Spliced with a domineering amount of ambiguity. All this from a cast of three. To call it thematically rich may be overly generous - maybe thematically crowded would hit the nail on the head more - but nonetheless, it strives for something thoughtful and great, even when it comes up just short.
Read more: Sundance Review || "Z for...
Last year, Patrick Brice showed up to SXSW with Creep. Devilishly crafty and expertly focused, it fell in with the usual suspects of found footage horror, even though it was so much more than just another point and shoot, "gotcha!" scare effort. The natural tension that Brice was able to tease out of a scene - the inherent discomfort and overarching ambiguity of character relations - made for a plucky and generously bewitching offering of horror comedy.
Read more: Sundance Review || "The Overnight"
There's a flicker of hope early on in Reversal. A scuzzy captive batters her captor, gaining the upper hand and chaining him in the very binds she was kept in for who knows how long. She scours the house for car keys, stumbling upon a folder filled with Polaroids of similarly imprisoned females. She rages downstairs, pistol cocked, face splattered with blood from their recent altercation. Tensions run high and the stage for a decent horror flick is set. And then she opens her mouth.
Read more: Sundance Review || "Reversal"
James White is a revealing ailment drama fastened by excellent performances and as smothered in bathos as cafeteria nachos are in fluorescent cheese. Marking the writing/directing debut for longtime Borderline Films producer Josh Mond, this nuclear family implosion bespeaks a turning point for the genre-leaning studio. In the wake of such cerebral thriller vibes of Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer, James White is the product of hawkish realism - an blemished, brave story that squares its audience in the midst of an emotional tornado.
Read more: Sundance Review || "James White"
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