Playing the central character in a film he calls a “Hitchcockian type drama,” Spiral co-director Joel David Moore told the packed Fantastic Fest audience Friday night that the filmmakers had to do “a lot of ‘this isn’t a crazy horror flick’ talk” in advance of the movie’s release. That was because his directing partner Adam Green made the crazy horror flick Hatchet, which played at Fantastic 2006. And he’s right, the two are completely different, and Spiral is better. Moore, who we’ve seen in films such as Art School Confidential and Dodgeball, expertly plays a nervous artist whose infatuation with women is creepily similar to Hitchcock’s oft-imitated Psycho character Norman Bates. But it works, as does his chemistry with co-star Amber Tamblyn (TV’s Joan of Arcadia).
Unfortunately, Gary Oldman’s performance can’t save The Backwoods, a film that leaves us hanging with even more mysteries than we started with.
Mixing The Exorcist with Saw, this Vancouver thriller almost overcomes its over-the-top performances and flat cinematography.
One of the best shorts of the festival so far, this dark comedy centers around four friends’ pursuit of a fifth player for their weekly poker game. Who would think serial killing could be this much fun?
King of the Box
In this hilarious short, the Jack in the Box restaurant chain title character gets a trick-not-treat Halloween visit from his Burger King rival.
Coming soon in Paste's ongoing Fantastic Fest 2007 coverage: an interview with Uwe Boll, proud master of distaste and director of Postal.
To read Tim Basham's first dispatch on Fantastic Fest 2007, click here.