Day 2 begins bringing us three full length films and two blocks of shorts, a total of 21 films. We started the day with the full film Camp Death III in 2D! If you believe it sounds ridiculous already, you’re correct. Camp Death III has a reputation for “dividing the judges”. It contains many aspects that I loved including hilarious puppet use, insults that would wow a middle schooler, and very unique and well defined characters. Though many of the ridiculous or cringeworthy aspects of the movie include, exaggerated acting, though I am sure this was intended, a musical number, and some very cheesy effects. It is an experience that requires a very open mind and a loose sense of humor.
Of the short films, again a variety of themes and styles graced the screen, so I would like to address just a few of my favorites. Latched, a story of mythical creature in the woods has a taste for human breast milk, I found to be very well shot. The creature is tastefully designed and created a great atmosphere for the role of the mother figure. Baghead follows a grieving man as he utilizes a unique medium to seek a different kind of closure. It has an ending that will satisfy anyone who has ever wanted to be the giver of justice.
In Cat Box, Lady Macbeth is a very special cat, and when the cat sitter gets curious, he finds himself in a very dangerous situation. After he violates the stipulation of “respect my privacy” he discovers what is so special about the Lady Macbeth in a puzzle that once solved leads to fulfilling the roles of the position. I loved the construction of the story and the hints that build the mystery.
Portraits(s) is a great short coming from the UK which explores relationship dynamics and how the soul of person reside in their photograph. The toxic relationship between mother and son can have dire consequences especially when another woman gets involved.
Red Tape serves as a warning of the consequences of the progressions of technology and what role humans play in controlling that technology before it controls us. In this fully animated film, the themes of "Twilight Zone" and "Black Mirror:" explore a new idea where our lives should become better turn into a nightmare.
After the short blocks we gained a quick Q&A with the directors of Red Tape and Girl Trip. They discussed their challenges in creating the films and how they overcame those challenges in regards to artistic direction, development of themes, collaboration, and production.
The God Inside My Ear (trailer below) was easily my favorite film of the day. After a break up, Elizia starts to experience a world full of voices, hallucinations, and paranoia. Despite her friends’ best efforts Elizia takes a journey into madness as she tries to piece her life back together through a psychedelic experience filled with shots of Mod styles and oil projection trips with great doses of humor. Though the ending felt a bit rushed, it's a great combination of wonderful ideas pulled into a complex mystery.
We finished the day's collection with The Night Sitter. The Christmastime setting helped create a gorgeous lighting palette with humorous characters, wonderful artistic visions, and though the ending seemed a bit drawn out, it has the classic construction of an entertaining horror film that is worthy of recognition.
Again, I must emphasize the variety of these films and the commendable vision ingrained in all of them. Sin City Horror is not just about the passion for horror, but also the support of independent film. Throughout my discussions with the individuals at this festival, I find that appreciation for the craft is alive and strong because we partake. Officially more than halfway through, day 3 is upon us, and I am ready for more!