Ramaskrik 2018 was held Oct 19 - 22 of that year. This post is based on the reviews I did on my social network profile during the festival.
Day 1: Thursday
One Cut of the Dead (2018, Japan): Interesting and well executed. The premise is quite different than what you expect from the first 40 min of the movie. Original and refreshing. A bit unlucky with the version we got as the subtitles did not sync with the audio and was by the end leading with several minutes. I’m sure it will be even better when you can actually follow the dialogue.
Framed (2018, Spain): Another social media critique/exploitation film. Probably misses the mark as any sensible critique, but is a well executed violent home invasion film. Quite worth watching imo.
Halloween (2018, USA): This is a movie for the fans of the first movie, but has little to offer anybody else. Not that it’s a bad movie, just not very interesting either.
Satan’s Slaves (2017, Indonesia): A charming and rather creepy take on a ghost story set in a secular muslim setting. It’s a tad longwinded at times, but otherwise well executed. The unfamiliar (to me) setting and cultural frame helps the film imo.
Day 2: Friday
Another really great day at the Ramaskrik Horror Film Festival yesterday. Managed six films, so was pretty baked by the end of the day.
What Keeps You Alive (2018, Canada): Very beautiful, and quite surprising plot. A tad long, but highly recommended!
Killungard (2018, Norway): Some of the key people behind O’Hellige Jul has made a traditional ghost story. It is an amateur production, but a very good one at that! Refreshing to see a pure ghost story in this setting.
The Dark (2018, Austria/Canada): Refreshing and very different take on what falls a bit between a zombie and monster film, but in the end is neither. I liked this a lot, highly recommended!
You Shall not Sleep (2018, Spain/Argentine/Uruguay): Another film that goes it’s own ways. A tad slow to begin with, but it really picks up as it progresses. Original and again a rather surprising story.
Terrified (2017, Argentina): Well executed ghost/monster/haunted house film that still end up being a bit too traditional for my taste. It’s far from a bad film, but I think it hits better for a slightly younger audience.
Ghost Stories (2017, UK): An antology film that I feel did not deliver on it’s premise. Again, not a bad film, quite entertaining at times, but a bit shallow and simplistic compared to what it promised. Some others liked this one very much though, so depends on your tastes.
Day 3: Saturday
Saturday, third day of Ramaskrik Horror Film Festival!
I started the day with I’ll Take Your Dead (2018, Canada). A big surprise for my part, a film that’s both sweet and somewhat brutal at the same time. More of a thriller with horror elements than a pure horror film, but a very good one at that. Highly recommended!
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018, USA). A horror/splatter complete with comic geeks, nazi puppets, collectors and a mad scientist. What could possibly go wrong? A very entertaining movie with a great number of fantastic splats!
Mandy (2018, USA) was a film that didn’t quite catch me. Nicholas Cage plays Nicholas Cage as usual, the scenography, the cinematography, the sound and the music is all very beautiful, but it lacks the actual movie.
The Cleaning Lady (2018, USA) on the other hand, was a fantastic movie which managed to surprise and captivate on many levels. A great flick that will keep you thinking for quite a while afterwards. Highly recommended!
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017, UK). Ending the day with a wee bit of singing and dancing seemed like the obvios choice. While I usually enjoy musicals, especially the horror kind, this one failed to rock me. The songs are too forgettable, and the story is too traditional to captivate. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, it has it’s moments, but falls short of being the partystarter I was hoping for. Others loved it though…
Day 4: Sunday
Sunday was the fourth and last day of the Ramaskrik Horror film festival. Only two more films on my programme until the festival was over, and there was time to catch the train back home.
The House That Jack Built (2018, Denmark): Lars von Trier is an artist, and has always been one of my favourite directors. So I was quite excited about this one. The film does not disappoint. This is probably the most lighthearted film he has made since The Idiots (1998, Denmark), but as always there’s a dark shadow the underlines everything. Humorous, philosophical, dark. Well worth the two and a half hour of your life!
Videomannen (The Videoman, 2018, Sweden): A trip down nostalgia lane for those of us who grew up with VHS, 80’s horror films and video rental shops. As director Kristian Söderström said himself when introducing the film, this is not a horror film, but a film about horror and VHS fans. A great film and a great ending of the festival on my part.
Then it’s all over. The big empty sets in, and it’s time to look forward to Ramaskrik 2019! Which according to unconfirmed rumors is to happen at Oct 17 - 20, 2019. Hope to see you there!