Film fest update.

Hey, here's a belated update on the films that I saw at the CIFF:

Creep (2014) is another pseudo-doc / found footage indie film, but this particular movie has a great big fat advantage, in that it co-stars Joe Swanberg as the titular Creep. His very first appearance sets the mood for his character: an always-smiling guy who hires another guy (the camera man) to do some film shooting at his house. Things, as you would expect, don't go exactly as planned, and the tension increases as the camera man makes bad choice after bad choice. But it's not his fault: he thinks he's dealing with a real-life situation, when he doesn't realize he's in a found-footage horror film.

The Babadook (2014) was the one that I was really hoping to see this year, and it did not disappoint. An Australian film that's only just getting US distribution after a series of festival appearances, it concerns a mother who's dealing with her 6-year-old son, who's obsessed with monsters to such a degree that (a) he's not sleeping at all, which of course affects his mother, and (b) he's making traps and weapons to fight the monsters off, which scares his mother and the head of his school. With such a set-up, you know that the kid's going to have to deal with an actual monster in the course of the film, and it shows up in the form of a creepy pop-up book that foretells the arrival of The Babadook.

I was also hoping to see It Follows, but I ended up getting sick and missed it. Of the two that I saw, The Babadook is definitely the one to shoot for when it shows up, but Creep is also worth seeing if it shows up on streaming video or in a theater near you.

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