Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fantasia 2015 Capsule reviews: BITE (2015) and THE DEMOLISHER (2015)

The husband of a police woman wounded in the line of duty decides to dish out justice  on evil doers- particularly the ones that hurt his wife. However as time goes on the lines blur. And we watch as a young woman is mistaken by the husband as being  part of the gang who injured his wife.

Not so much an action film or thriller, the filmmakers instead focus on the internal struggle of the characters, and the "demolisher" in particular. This is a film that wants to be about the cost of revenge and what some people mistakenly do to try and heal.

It kind of works and it kind of drifts into pretentious territory. The desire to do something different keeps the film from completely ever being the psychological thriller its striving to be. At the same time the lack of dialog and insistence about being more than an exploitation film keeps it from being a satisfying drama. I completely under stand what the filmmakers were going for, but I don't think they achieved it.

Girl on a bachelorette party trip gets bitten by something and begins to mutate.

Okay horror film is cursed with a couple of things working against it.

First it's similar to any number of other horror films (say BLOOD GLACIER) with the result that there is very little here that we haven't seen before.

Second the way the film is told isn't all that compelling. The film starts off as some kind of found footage tale and the changes to a traditional story as we see life after the girls get home and the changes come.The craft of the filmmaking is adequate but never compelling. It looks like a so may independent dramas that there is nothing to excite. Worse the pacing is off. It doesn't move the way it should with the result that it seems to take forever to get to the good stuff  in the second half .Bythat point things seem a bit jumbled.

I'm going to say something I probably shouldn't but I know my reaction to the film was influenced by all of the films I saw previously at Fantasia. There are so many other good films playing at the festival, that by the time I saw this, somewhere around the 25 film mark, this film this film was going to have to knock it out of the park. It had to do something to stand out, and it didn't quite to that. (And before the producers and director hunt me down I promise to try this film again when it gets a regular release)

BITE isn't a bad film. Its just nothing we haven't seen before.

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