The Lodge (★★★)
I liked “The Lodge” a lot, but more so after simmering with it for a bit. It’s slow, it’s dreary, and operates in a bleak world. There are plot turns that I couldn’t quite commit too, but this is the kind of film that creates a mood and an atmosphere and it achieved that in many ways.
The Whistlers (★★1/2)
“The Whistlers” is a solid thriller. It has French New Wave vibes and sprinkles in some light humor throughout. One thing that really separates it from the dozens of films like it is the way it is put together. How we learn so much about each character without separating ourself from the core plot.
Phil Tippet: Mad Dreams and Monsters (★1/2)
I love a solid documentary about filmmaking, but this one is as textbook as they come. If you already have an idea of Phil Tippet’s massive talent and influence in stop-motion animation, then you’re just getting refresher course. The movie is solid and a good way to introduce those non-converted to the man’s absurd talents, but it is void of depth.
The first true bust of the festival for me. “VFW” wallows in its grainy, blood-soaked grindhouse style, but shoots itself in the foot with choppy editing and dark filmmaking. It’s part of the style, I get it, but it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the gore or the action when the camera cuts every second and you can barely see what’s on screen in the first place.