And now we have my favorite film of Sundance 2022 Resurrection! The film will most certainly not be for everyone, as it is a disturbing film that takes it’s time to develop the plot. However this film absolutely worked for me, Rebecca Hall’s performance is both incredible and haunting, her performance here truly adds to the film’s atmosphere and truly brings a bizarre energy as well. There’s one particular scene where Rebecca Hall has a 10 minute monologue all done in one take that is absolutely haunting yet beautiful at the same time, it shows how insanely committed she is as an actress. The atmosphere of the film is disturbing and very tense especially combined with the cinematography that feels like it’s from another world, I’m not sure how I would describe it but that’s the best way to put it. It’s such a haunting and focused feel that really captures the film’s bizarre nature, all of this builds up to the final act which completely loses it in the best way possible. It goes from being disturbing and bizarre to being completely horrifying as well as being even more disturbing. It’s truly fantastic to see the film go through many transformations throughout the running time, Resurrection heavily reminds me of something that David Cronenberg would make, it uses some elements of Cronenberg but makes them it’s own. Resurrection is a film that must absolutely be seen when going in knowing as little as possible. It’s such a disturbing yet fascinating experience I did not want to end!
Resurrection currently has no release date but will be released by IFC Films and Shudder later this year!
Palm Trees And Power Lines is the equivalent of watching a huge crash in slow motion happen at least 10 times, this film is a lot and very very disturbing. The film is about child grooming and how sneaky and the stages of it, the film doesn’t shy away from any details and tells you how it is. There’s no sugarcoating at all, first and foremost the performance from Lily Mclnerny (who plays Lea a 17 year old girl) should absolutely be praised. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to even do this, she gives such a realistic performance that just adds to why the film is so disturbing. She captures the emotions and actions of a 17 year old girl who is disconnected and someone who has been groomed. Jonathan Tucker also does one hell of a job as well, he plays a 34 year old man who has all of the traits of a child groomer. Pretends to your friend at first and slowly tries to get into relationship territory and then become manipulative and so on, each of those actions are shown in the film what that ends up leading to is the destruction of Lea, it completely destroys her feelings, thoughts and health. There’s tons of heartbreaking and disturbing moments in this film that absolutely got me. The filming is shot in this style that absolutely fits the film, it doesn’t have a clean look to it which keeps things more grounded. The writing is very grounded and only adds to how disturbing the film really is, it captures everything about child grooming what words groomers like to commonly say and so on. But then there’s the third act which while yes the film was disturbing before the final act turns it up quite a lot, there’s a very uncomfortable scene that goes on for about 5-10 minutes this scene will make you feel disgusting after watching it which was definitely the attention. It’s a scene that is very disturbing to watch but brings the message home very well. It should go without saying that this film is most certainly not going to be for everyone, as I said earlier the film is about how sneaky and disgusting child groomers are and what effect they leave on their victims. Jamie Dack did such a fantastic job with this film, I do recommend watching this film only if you know what you are getting into.
Palm Trees And Power Lines currently has no release date.
I’ve been wanting to see The Worst Person In The World for the longest time, last year I didn’t get a chance to see it due to either having a lot going on at festivals it was shown and the film not releasing in America. Luckily Sundance 2022 showed the film and all of that wait was well worth it. This film is a huge gut punch in every single way possible, it tackles a lot of subjects and really gives this theme of what happens in life and sometimes you have to move on. Renate Reinsve’s performance is absolutely incredible, she delivers one of my absolute favorite performances so far this year. The amount of emotion, depth, energy and power that’s put into her role is truly mesmerizing, the cinematography combined with the music really gives this film it’s own identity as well. There’s a lot of focused shots that really make each scene it’s own, splitting the film up into chapters I think was such a brilliant move, it gives each chapter it’s own story to tell as well as it’s own identity. Even with the shorter chapters they add so much to the film and really tell you a whole information in a short amount of time. The writing keeps things very realistic, which makes a lot of moments all the more powerful, it’s a huge deep dive into Julie’s (Renate Reinsve’s character) thoughts, emotions, what she’s going through, her life and so much more. The film also does a fantastic job of focusing on the people around her as well, it explores each of the characters really well and truly delivers. The Worst Person In The World is a film I can’t recommend enough!!
After Yang is a film I’ve been wanting to watch for a very long time, for awhile it went without a release date. It premiered at Cannes 2021 and then just kind of disappeared for awhile until it was announced it will be shown at Sundance 2022. The wait did not disappoint because After Yang is truly something special, first off the film itself is both hypnotic and meditative everything from the cinematography, writing, acting and direction it really takes you into it’s own world that you follow really closely. The performances were all incredibly strong here particularly Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja and Haley Lu Richardson. They all give a raw performance that really brings you into the film leaving you in a meditative state, plus the characters are given some really strong development that helps build the world of the film. The cinematography does a fantastic job of giving information about the world of the film, it pays attention to every single detail and adds to the story being told. The writing tackles family themes in very unique and interesting ways, it talks about the emotions of a family and goes much more in depth with those themes. After Yang is a much different Sci-Fi film that is bound to make you feel tons of emotions, make you think really hard about what the characters and each of the scenes and what the film means overall. After Yang is a beautifully told story that Kogonada absolutely mastered easily one of the best films so far this year.
After Yang will be released in theaters and on Showtime March 4th!
Fresh is another pretty disturbing film from Sundance 2022, even if it’s also a dark comedy film as well. The mixture of being disturbing and the dark comedy compliment each other extremely well, Daisy Edgar-Jones is absolutely fantastic here and I have a strong feeling we are going to see much more of her after this film releases. Sebastian Stan is also really strong here, it’s definitely one of his more stronger performances his performance here heavily reminds me of John Goodman’s performance from 10 Cloverfield Lane. The film itself is suspenseful and has a very haunting atmosphere to it that builds up to the finale which kicks things up into high gear, Mimi Cave does a fantastic job especially with the fact this is her directional debut which I still find very hard to believe. She captures what makes a film disturbing, thrilling and understands how to balance comedy with disturbing moments. Fresh is one of those disturbing films that slowly builds up to the disturbing moments and completely catches you off guard, I won’t say much more because this is definitely a film where you have to go into it knowing as little as possible. Plus I don’t want to end up accidentally spoiling it, but overall Fresh is a disturbing yet mixes dark comedy that makes it stand out!
Who knew a documentary about two people sharing their love for volcanos would be one of my favorite films of the Sundance film festival. Fire Of Love tells the story of Katia and Maurice Kraftt two married volcanologists who share their love for volcanos, the film uses archival footage as well as Miranda July’s commentary to the tell story. Which both combined truly create something absolutely stunning, the beauty of the lava is truly captivating and really grabs you, there truly is something whimsical about watching the lava and hearing the story of two people who share their love for volcanos. It’s also an incredibly touching story that really get’s to you, Miranda July’s commentary adds so much to the documentary in every single way possible she has this beautiful voice that truly hypnotizes you. The archival footage is brilliantly used, it really shows the beauty of the volcano and adds so much layers to the documentary. Overall Fire Of Love is straightforward yet a absolutely fantastic documentary that I can’t wait to watch again!
Sundance 2022 had a lot of films that seemed simple enough but quickly dived into madness and some others went as far as being disturbing. Speak No Evil is one of the films that ends up being the latter, the film starts out simple enough with two families meeting each other. But as the film goes on it starts quickly paint a very dark picture, it quickly shifts into this very creepy atmospheric film that leads to some very brutal results. Some of which I’m absolutely shocked the film went into that direction, but I’m seriously glad that it did because the build up was ginormous, it’s such well written film that really captures in the writing. The performances from everyone in the film are spectacular, which I actually believe is partly why the film succeeds the acting feels incredibly raw and shows the characters as ordinary people you would see walking down the street. Which is the main focus of the film showing how everyday people can be truly disturbing, as I said earlier the build up is huge it’s very thrilling and keeps piling on the fear and disturbing element of it all. Until it completely explodes and turns into something very very different yet fascinating at the same time. I don’t want to say too much else, going into Speak No Evil knowing as little as possible is the best way to get the full experience, there’s so much to unpack about this film in all the right ways!
Speak No Evil currently has no release date but will be released later this year by Shudder.
I was prepared for Piggy to be yet another “victim of bullying gets revenge” movie that we have seen so many times at this point, however takes that concept and actually does something different with it. The film surprisingly ends up being a very good commentary on bullying and body shaming, it isn’t just one or two scenes that talk about these heavy subjects there’s quite a lot of discussion in the film. The film also questions mortality on both sides, which is definitely something completely different from a lot of other films like Piggy. Laura Galán does such a fantastic job as Sara, she really brings so much to her role and adds a lot to the character! Piggy is a french horror film (well and Spanish too) so you know what that means…lots of gore! Which the gore is really great, there might not be as much gore as there are in a lot of other french horror films. Piggy focuses much more on story and Sara’s life, but the build up is absolutely worth the wait. What makes Piggy successful is the character study type feel it does for Sara, we learn so much about her and what she’s been through. It all builds up to a very strong final act that ends the film on a very high note, the questioning of mortality is definitely one of the strongest parts about the film. Although the film does follow Sara it does question some of the decisions she’s made as well as the bullies as well. It’s a perfect balance that adds so much to a film that could have easily been nothing new.
892 was actually a film I wasn’t originally going to check out at Sundance, however word of mouth got me super interested in this one! 892 is based on a tragic true story that is a quite fascinating read. The film itself is very thrilling, it has a very suspenseful atmosphere that truly gets you on the edge of your seat, John Boyega gives such an incredible performance. He captures several emotions, you can see the anger, sadness and so on in his performance. It truly is something quite special, everyone else also gives wonderful performances that mix very well with the writing, rawness is the key factor here. Which is what separates this film from a lot of other films like it, the film explores backstories, the people involved, why this situation happened and at times how it could have been prevented. The final act of the film truly hits it out of the park, with tons of suspense and emotion it truly gives some very shattering moments.
892 currently has no release date but will release this summer.
Emergency definitely surprised me, it’s from Carey Williams who had a movie at Sundance last year called R#J (which still has yet to get a release date) I thought it wasn’t a very good take on Romeo and Juliet and was a bit of a mess. However this is one hell of a improvement, The most successful thing about Emergency is the blend of comedy and serious moments or when the film tackles racism. One does not out do the other it’s such a perfect balance that really works for this film, as far as performances there’s a lot of great ones such as RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins, Sebastian Chacon and Sabrina Carpenter (who gives a much different performance than she usually does.) they all do such a good job of really capturing the atmosphere of the film and dive pretty deep into their performances, the movie does have a lot of Superbad elements to it which works quite well here. Carey Williams takes those elements and makes something new with them, speaking of which Williams’s direction is truly fantastic. He actually makes the film quite raw at times which really surprises the viewer, there’s a lot of great characters bits throughout the film and ends up being a very entertaining yet quite intense ride. The final act is quite fantastic both when talking about the film’s themes and build up! Overall Emergency is quite fantastic, this is definitely something I recommend checking out when it releases!
Emergency will release May 20th in theaters and May 27th on Amazon Prime Video!