For my final Fantastic Fest recap, I figured I’d fit the rest of the week’s standout films/events into one piece. Days 4-8 were filled with some off the wall films, intense parties and a vibe in the air that gave off a feeling that we were all there to have fun and treat everyone as equals. That’s what sets Fantastic Fest apart from every other festival: the lack of egos. Filmmakers, stars, writers, fans, it’s just one big celebration of all things film in which everyone in treated the same, and that is with friendliness and one hell of a PR staff in Fons PR.
Standout films during the last few days would have to be Sean Byrne’s follow up to THE LOVED ONES, a heavy metal horror fest titled THE DEVIL’S CANDY. It was a hybrid of many subgenres of horror, all seamlessly wrapped into one effective and scary package. Ethan Embry plays a metal head painter/ father and husband that talks his wife into buying a country home that is mysteriously cheap. Of course we find out that a man who heard the voice of the devil had previously lived there with his parents, and eventually murdered them with his flying V guitar. When Embry’s family moves in, the voices begin to tempt him into painting horrific paintings of evil things that will come to fruition. Part demonic possession film, part home invasion film, THE DEVIL’S CANDY is a terrifying and absolutely solid film that will hit twice as hard if you have children of your own.
A FIELD IN ENGLAND/KILL LIST director Ben Wheatley blew audiences away with his chaotic and epic feeling film HIGH RISE, which was based on the novel by Crash scribe J.G. Ballard. A film about the battle between the lower and upper classes who both live in an ambitious high rise, HIGH RISE is full of exceptional performances from Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss and quite a few others. It’s chaos on screen, with blood, trash, alcohol and orgies all front and center.
Kurt Russell’s cannibal western, BONE TOMAHAWK made its premiere at the festival, and from the buzz surrounding it, it was definitely one to check out, especially with its supporting cast of Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins and Captain Spaulding himself, Sid Haig. It’s interesting to see Russell jump back into westerns again, with BONE TOMAHAWK and the soon coming Tarantino film THE HATEFUL EIGHT on its way as well.
As far as events go, the fest closed out with Nicolas Winding Refn signing “The Act of Seeing,” his new book about his exploitation poster collection Karaoke fests, and interesting closing party which took place at a ghost town, and quite a few other interesting happenings. It was a year that impressed many fans and filmmakers, with so many enjoyable films and events that made Fantastic Fest 2015 one for the books. Thanks to Tim League and the kind folks at Drafthouse, the group at Fons PR and everyone else who made this year quite the epic year.