Category Archives: Film

“VAUGHAN, STEVIE RAYE— 1984-1989: LONESTAR”— Quieted Too Soon

“Vaughan, Stevie Ray – 1984-1989: Lonestar”

Quieted to Soon

Amos Lassen

I must claim ignorance here. I do not know anything about Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was out of the country during his popularity and later death so this documentary is all I really know about him.

In the mid-1970s, when Stevie Ray Vaughan first emerged as a modern blues guitarist with great ability and passion. These two qualities distinguished his playing from that of just about all his contemporaries. His kinds of blues, however, did not really impact the mainstream in terms of buying his music via CDs etc. and so he struggled to nail a record deal. But by the time his debut album, “Texas Flood” was released in 1983, things changed and Vaughan became an international phenomenon and an artist of great importance in the revitalization of the blues genre.

This documentary gives us the up till now untold story of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s best years— that period between the release of that debut album and his tragic death in a helicopter crash in 1989. The documentary is made up of rare film footage, exclusive interviews with many close friends and confidantes, contributions from the industry professionals and music writers who documented his career as it unfolded. Included are seldom seen photographs and other features and this is an excellent way to enjoy the performer whose life ended too soon. This film is the sister feature to Sexy Intellectual’s previous documentary, “Rise Of A Texas Bluesman – Stevie Ray Vaughan 1954–1983”.

“DOWN ON THE FARM”— A Clever Animated Film

“Down on the Farm”

A Clever Animated Film

Amos Lassen

When a bale of hay goes missing on the farm, mystery-solving Oink The Flying Pig and his know-it-all pal, Boink the Owl, set off on an adventure to discover which of the farm animals is responsible. In order to discover who took the hay, Oink and Boink have to first learn all there is to know about all the suspects. We join them on their mystery-solving

They work together to uncover clues and inform the other animals of their findings. Directed by Kostas MacFarlane from a script by Lisa Baget, this story contains facts about horses, rabbits, chickens, and many other farm animals. It is educational and entertaining for the intended audience. We are proud to award it the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages. We hear the voices of Bobby Catalano, William MacNamara, Bill Oberst Jr., Jason Pascoe, KJ Schrock and April Rose.

“FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE”— Unspoken Resentments and Visual Mtaphors

“Five Nights in Maine”

Unspoken Resentments and Visual Metaphors

Amos Lassen

  Sherwin (David Oyelowo) arrives at the coastal home of his cancer-stricken mother-in-law, Lucinda (Dianne Wiest) while in the midst of grieving the sudden death of his wife, Fiona (Hani Furstenberg). He does not understand why he is there but it could be for any number of reasons. Maybe he is hoping for closure or looking to stop his recent reliance on cigarettes and alcohol or maybe he is just curious about his wife’s past claims that Lucinda disapproved of Fiona having a black husband.

“Five Nights in Maine” is a film that is full of the unspoken resentments and visual metaphors that propel any solemn drama about grief and mourning but even more interesting is that there is also a sense of gothic horror in it. Lucinda’s white, mansion home seems to give an idea that it has been coastal abandoned and Lucinda only greets her son-in-law during candlelit meals and then appears as regal and loud.

Lucinda and Sherwin’s uncomfortable dinners take place after we see long views following Sherwin as he washes dishes, explores the local woods, or interacts with Lucinda’s part-time nurse, Ann (Rosie Perez). The film tries to speak of his race without speaking its name and we see that Sherwin receives long glances from strangers at the grocery store, and he panics after hearing gunshots in the forest. These buttress Sherwin’s alienation from the film’s rural setting, but we had already felt that when he first entered Lucinda’s.

The film’s central characters are complex and difficult to understand. Through flashbacks we see the love and tension in Sherwin’s relationship with Fiona, but there is little about life outside of their marriage. Sherwin has lost his center while we do not see a center in Lucinda. Their brief relationship is uneasy and elusive.

We follow following Sherwin as he silently washes dishes, paces slowly through sparsely furnished rooms, smokes, and makes egg salad as the film captures the internal process of mourning.

Sherwin had only one tender moment with Fiona before learning that she had been killed in a car accident. Marooned in his home with a liquor bottle, and too paralyzed to deal with funeral arrangements, when Lucinda invites him to come to her home in Maine, he goes. Lucinda is very cold and dying from cancer. We do not know much about Sherwin’s life before the accident, although there were clearly some rough patches in his relationship with Lucinda. Fiona visited her shortly before her death, and we sense that this didn’t go well. As the two share dinner-table encounters over the next five nights, Sherwin’s depression slowly becomes quiet anger with the way Lucinda is treating him.

In the absence of much understanding of either of these characters, it is up to the audience to fill in the details by themselves. Director Maris Curran does not prod her characters into exposition and this is very clearly intentional. Grief is an emotion that is internal and one rarely sees it for what it is. Sherwin appears to be the only black person in this particular county and while this is never directly addressed, we see it in the way others stare at him.

Oyelowo gives a precise and controlled performance. Wiest never quite locates a middle ground between Lucinda’s terminal vulnerability and her use of verbal cruelty.

This is gut-wrenching drama that looks at the stages of grief and troubled communication. With his wife’s death, Sherwin is destroyed, unable to process the loss. He almost refuses to function as the process and only finds support from his sister, Penelope (Teyonah Parris). Accepting an invitation from Lucinda, Sherwin enters an uncomfortable situation, receiving guidance from her caretaker, Ann. Lucinda is a guarded woman struggling with terminal illness, leaving Sherwin in a difficult position of engagement. He is unsure how to discuss issues with Fiona’s mother and often remains distant as he takes in the remote location and the intense introspection it causes to happen.

Fragmented memories play an important part in the picture as the character breaks down his heartache into psychological puzzle pieces. When we meet Sherwin, he appears to be a happy man in a loving marriage. This idealized representation of the pairing from his perspective, the film breaks down the reality of the domestic situation with Sherwin, who grows more sensitive to past arguments and behavioral blockage as he grieves. He then surrenders to depression after losing his spouse, cutting off contact with the outside world as he lives in denial of what happened.

Visiting Lucinda clarifies that he is both family but also a stranger. There is dysfunction and unresolved issues between Lucinda and Sherwin and they play with pain and contempt that is very much like a blame game. We see the hostilities and confusion that are all tied to Fiona’s behavior over the last few years and her final exchange with her dying mother. There’s always something brewing beneath the surface here— tensions are taut and vulnerabilities are exposed.

The power of the belongs to Wiest and Oyelowo, who deliver portrayals of anguish and a tentative partnership in grief. Oyelowo captures the mental process of a man who doesn’t know what to do with himself and looks for any opportunity to exorcise his boiling feelings. Wiest plays a woman with a specific reason for social resistance as she holds the feature’s mystery. We as the audience eventually understands her isolation and hesitance to bond with Sherwin. It would have been enough just to watch these two but Curran has prepared something special, transforming a simple tale of reconnection into a maze of confusing emotions.

“MR. GAGA”— A Look at Cultural Expression”

“Mr. Gaga”

A Look at Cultural Expression

Amos Lassen

I was lucky enough to spend some of this weekend with Israeli documentary director Tomer Heymann who came to Boston to show three of his films, two of which I had not seen before, one of which I had seen before, “The Queen Has No Crown” reminded me just how much I miss being in Israel. The other two, “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now” and “Mr. Gaga” cemented Heymann’s place as a Israel’s most documentary film director .

“Mr. Gaga” looks at Ohad Naharin, choreographer of the Batsheva dance company and if you have seen any of their programs then you know that it is a powerful dance troupe that was founded in 1964 by Martha Grahame and Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild. Naharin was appointed artistic director in 1990 and not only influenced the state of dance in Israel but universally as well. Heymann takes us into his life and gives us his history both with and before Batsheva and we see how he shaped his work and learn of the personal tragedies that have made him who he is.

Now in his mid-60s, we learn here that Naharin served in the Israeli Army during the Yom Kippur War, (in an entertainment unit because an injury kept him from being assigned to combat assignment). After his release from the army, Naharin’s mother pushed him to continue dancing and even though he thought it be a bit strange to begin professional training as late as age 22, he did so. He soon was dancing in the companies of Martha Graham and Maurice Bejart and those experiences, unhappy as they were for him, were the sparks that caused him to discover dance variations that were meaningful to him personally. While in New York, he fellow dancer Mari Kajiwara, who left her spot as a starred dancer in Alvin Ailey’s troupe and began to participate fully in her husband’s projects.

 

In 1990, Naharin received the offer from Batsheva and although Mari was not wild about moving to Israel with him, she did so and became the company’s rehearsal director. When Naharin began at Batsheva, the usual audience was made up of a conservative and older crowd although I do remember seeing quite a powerful and innovative program “The Green Table” in the 1980s. Before Naharin threw out the conservative programs that had once defined the company and brought in his own works that were truly innovative and new. Hr used movement that was unpredictable movement, added multimedia and spoken text, developed dance programs based on sociopolitical themes and by and large changed the company from the inside out, attracting new audiences as he did so. Batsheva became critically admired at home and abroad and its fame spread quickly. Israelis considered Naharin to be a “cultural hero” and many who had been uninterested in dance began to flock to performances.

Heymann takes us back in time via archival footage (Naharin entertaining Israeli troops, or dancing with his mother at the kibbutz where he was born), interviews with Naharin himself, and incredible dance excerpts, thus giving us the definitive portrait of the choreographer. We see his evolution as an artist through the development of his signature form of “gaga dancing,” by which dancers freely interpret the music, rather than focus on dance technique. It would be more than enough to say that this is a gorgeous and moving film that takes us into the mind of Naharin but it is so much more than that. It is also much more than a look at the creative process and the life of a man who changed dance. I believe I was in a state of awe as I watched the film.

The most exciting part of the film comes when Naharin faced censorship during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel. The program was an interpretative look at the song “Echad Mi Yodea”, a song that is traditionally song at the Passover Seder and it is, in essence, a song showing the Biblical history of the Jewish nation and the laws that are apart of it. The dancers were dressed in various stages of underwear and some of the organizers of the anniversary celebration demanded that the dancers be more modestly clad. Naharin was under extreme pressure and was invited to the home of the then president of the country, Ezer Weitzman, who tried to influence him to change the costuming. Instead of doing so, Naharin withdrew the program as a protest to censorship and in this act we see the importance of the arts in its role of interpreting and questioning the world. Religious Israelis and members of the Orthodox community objected to seeing the dancers’ limbs as they wore standard-issue military underclothes. Naharin today says that the influence of religious fundamentalism has become so powerful today that he is worried about the future of Batsheva. Having seen other occasions of attempted government censorship in the arts (stage productions of “Cabaret” and Hanoch Levin’s “The Great Whore of Babylon”), I totally understand how he feels.

This scene gives the film an unexpected socio-political side and is a paean to the right to cultural expression. Naharin provides commentary for a good deal of the film and I cannot help but admire his sincerity and wit.

Heymann spent eight years making his documentary on Naharin and take my word for it, it is worth the wait. I got the impression that Ohad Naharin is something of a private person who would rather use his energy in teaching his dancers than in speaking with the director yet we see that the two men have developed a sense of trust in each other and out of this comes this beautiful film. Naharin is a demanding dancer and choreographer who exhibits a gentle side and it is very easy to see why he is so respected. We also sense the determination of Heymann in getting this film made.

Tomer Heymann is a fascinating and interesting person in his own right and we see his compassion for his subject. In the Q and A that followed we learned a great deal about how the film was made and we sense his love for what he does. There is a lot that I did not say here so there is still plenty for the filmgoer to see when he watches this beautifully sublime film. I did not want it to end. I am so grateful of the relationship that has come about between myself and Heymann and I await the day that we can sit down and talk one-on-one.

“PROTEUS”— An Animated Documentary

“PROTEUS”

An Animated Documentary

Amos Lassen

“Proteus” is an animated documentary that was written and directed by David Lebrun in 2004. It looks at a 19th century understanding of the sea with emphasis on the life and work of German biologist and researcher Ernest Haeckel who was fascinated with one-celled microorganisms known as radiolarians and these are featured prominently here. To the thinkers of the 19th century, the single-celled marine organisms known as radiolaria (that are as dissimilar as snowflakes and just as beautiful) came to be the infinite variety of undersea mysteries waiting to be explored. But to Ernst Haeckel, the biologist and artist who discovered, drew and eventually classified 4,000 species, these ancient creatures were proof that nature itself was God.

In “Proteus”, director David Lebrun draws on science, art, myth and poetry to express that period’s fascination with all things oceanic. Central to his narrative is Haeckel, who while struggling to reconcile this newfound and creative passion with his desire for order and rationality, finds his answer in the fantastical geometric shapes of the radiolaria. To him, they are a perfect communion of the systemic and the aesthetic: nature’s own art forms. As he looked into his microscope, he drew, in detail, the intricate forms that eventually appear in his 1862 monograph, “Die Radiolarien.”

“Proteus” is about the historical context of the matter. We see the significance of the radiolaria as explained by earnest narrators that remind us what it was like to study at the time of Charles Dickens and every once in a while, we hear a stanza from Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Background music by Yuval Ron is heard as the organisms pulse and we are both dazzled and disoriented by what we see. Director Lebrun credits Haeckel’s with his influence on many movements and thinkers, but he ignores his theories of evolutionary biology. It has been generally accepted that Haeckel committed scientific fraud in his 1868 drawings of embryos and his endorsement of eugenics is believed to have been a major influence on the political philosophy of the Nazi Party. The exclusion of these disputes leaves us with an incomplete portrait of a complicated man.

In the 19th century, the world beneath the sea was both the ultimate scientific frontier and the home of imagination and the fantastic and the documentary explores the century’s engagement with the undersea world through science, technology, painting, poetry and myth.

Regardless of theory the film is a gorgeous visual feast. You only see cinematography like this once or twice in a lifetime.

“SHALLOW WATERS”— A Deconstruction of a Life and a Death

“SHALLOW WATERS”

A Deconstruction of a Life and a Death

Amos Lassen

I am always amazed by filmmakers who can show us in a short film what many others cannot do in epic length movies, In just 32 minutes, Jaime Longhi looks at how a mentally ill person can drown himself in a few feet of water on a crowded Memorial Day beach. We see a tall, middle-aged, fully dressed man walks up to his shoulders into the cold shallow waters of San Francisco Bay; and then waits. Soon many police and fire units arrive at the scene in response and they wait. A crowd watches and waits as the man succumbs to the tide and within an hour loses consciousness. His body slowly washes back to shore and still, they wait. “Shallow Waters” deconstructs the events of that hour as a way to understand what happened and why as what everyone was waiting for. It also asks important questions about the value of life and the social contract and it truly gives us a lot to think about.

The man was Raymond Zack and the incident of his public drowning is a deeply disturbing event. As we look at that day that was to be his last, we have real questions about what being human means. I find the entire business hard to believe. No one, not one person tried to help and I am just not sure what this says about morality. The documentary says nothing about it either and like the people who were there that day, it just waits. However, it waits it gives us some serious and ethical questions to think about. It always says something about how we feel about the mentally ill and those less fortunate than we are. In watching this compelling film, we ask ourselves about the ethical responsibility we have for each other and why bureaucracies today do not work as they should. I try to imagine what was going on in the minds of those that waited and did nothing. Where was the quality of trust here and what about the funded community services that have been created to protect us. Even more important is that I am sure that everyone who sees this brilliant film will ask him/herself when he/she would have done if they had been there.

“DEAD OR ALIVE TRILOGY”— Outrageous and Dramatic

“DEAD OR ALIVE TRILOGY”

Outrageous and Dramatic

Amos Lassen

“Dead or Alive” trilogy is made up of three of Takashi Miike”s most outrageous moments and some of his most dramatically moving scenes.  The films were made between 1999 and 2002 and essentially gave Miike’s reputation overseas a boost and we see him as one of Japan’s most talented and innovative filmmakers.  The trilogy begins with six minutes ofsex, drugs and violence, and end with a phallus-headed battle robot taking flight.

Takashi Miike ignores the taboos diligently observed in mainstream Japanese and totally freaks out his audiences with his taste for perversity. We see such things as a woman’s body plunging off a roof onto the street; cocaine being snorted down the length of a bar; a stripper grinding through her gyrations; two men having sex in a restroom soon covered with blood; and gunmen pulling machine guns out of a supermarket’s vegetable crisper before a slaughter.

 

Jojima (Show Aikawa), our protagonist, a taciturn detective investigating a case that involves Japanese and Chinese drug dealers. His home life is a mess with his daughter needing an operation he can’t afford, and his wife receiving late-night phone calls that require whispered responses.

”Evil, in itself, is not bad, as long as we keep the balance,” Jojima says, and he ends up corrupted and in the midst of thugs. His nemesis, Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi) has to deal with his treacherous Chinese partners and guilt for financing his younger brother’s American education with blood money.

”Dead or Alive” is about bombast and firepower. Miike is a skillful director who can rouse an audience and dazzles with his quick reflexes. Miike’s films contain explicit “portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess, which are definitely not suitable for all audiences”. We see murder, bestiality, sodomy and homosexuality (or as a friend of mine says, there is something for everyone). Beyond giving us creatively shocking films, Miike is a good filmmaker.

This film is very tough to follow with its many characters all speaking Japanese. This is made up of stories in which a bunch of characters together. Several factions of similar-looking criminals and a Kitano clone cop kill each other. I am unable to give more detail than that as each viewer will understand the films differently. There is a lack of clarity even though I was completely entertained by what I saw here.

Miike seems to have a bottomless reserve of negative energy and an urge to constantly top himself with the amount of gore in his films. My summary reads something like this—In Tokyo’s crime-ridden Shinjuko quarter, scores of Chinese Mafia members, Japanese yakuza, and corrupt cops constantly fight for power and settle old scores.

Bonus Materials include:

– High Definition digital transfers of all three films

– Original stereo audio

– Optional English subtitles for all three films

– New interview with actor Riki Takeuchi

– New interview with actor Show Aikawa

– New interview with producer and screenwriter Toshiki Kimura

– New audio commentary for Dead or Alive by Miike biographer Tom Mes

– Archive interviews with cast and crew

– Archive making-of featurettes for DOA2: Birds and DOA: Final

– Original theatrical trailers for all three films

– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Orlando Arocena

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Kat Ellinger.

“HOUSE”— Two Stories Limited Edition

“HOUSE”

Two Stories Limited Edition

Amos Lassen

“House” is an ’80s mishmash of gothic horror, goofy comedy, and rubbery monsters. Though the films are hardly remarkable, they are endearing and off-kilter enough to grab one’s attention.

Recovering from the trauma of a separation from his wife (Kay Lenz), struggling writer Roger Cobb (William Katt) moves into the spooky house owned by his aunt, who recently took her life by hanging. Roger attempts to turn his disturbing memories of Vietnam into a gripping memoir, but his creative efforts are stymied by an eager neighbor named Harold (George Wendt) and by inconvenient monsters like the unforgettable Sandy Witch and a decrepit old Army buddy, Big Ben (Richard Moll).

“House” works well as it brings together some strange ideas such as happy union of elements ranging from a surprising screenplay to a playful, diverse score. from Harry Manfredini. Cinematographer Mac Ahlberg captures every little shiny, menacing wooden detail in the house itself. The film has dated fairly gracefully, and as a Reagen era meditation on the aftermath of Vietnam, it’s a sensitive look at war. It was such a success that it was followed by “House II” although each film stands alone.

In “House”, Roger decides that he’s found the ideal place in which to get some writing done but the house’s monstrous supernatural residents have other ideas…  In “House II” we see young Jesse (Arye Gross) moving into an old family mansion where his parents were mysteriously murdered years before. Plans for turning the place into a party house are soon changed when Jesse’s mummified great-great-grandfather, his mystical crystal skull and the zombie cowboy stop at nothing to lay his hands on the house.

Both “House” and “House II” are era-defining horror classics and have been newly restored and loaded with brand new extras. The films are entertaining, campy treats. These are fun films that reminds us why we love the cheesy 1980s horror films as much today as we did then. These films aren’t great they are sheer entertainment.

Limited edition contents include:

– Brand new 2K restorations of House and House II: The Second Story

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

– “The House Companion” limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the entire – – House franchise by researcher Simon Barber, alongside a wealth of archive material

HOUSE

– Audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley

Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham, Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz, and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Barney Burman, Brian Wade, James Belohovek, Shannon Shea, Kirk Thatcher, and Bill Sturgeon, special paintings artists Richard Hescox and William Stout, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder

– Stills Gallery

– Theatrical Trailers

 

“HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY”

– Audio commentary with writer-director Ethan Wiley and producer Sean S. Cunningham

It’s Getting Weirder! The Making of House II: The Second Story – Brand new documentary featuring interviews with Ethan Wiley, Sean S. Cunningham, stars Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Lar Park Lincoln, and Devin DeVasquez, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Chris Walas, Mike Smithson, visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder

– Stills Gallery

– Theatrical Trailer

“LATEST NEWS FROM THE COSMOS” (“Dernières nouvelles du cosmos”)— Helene’s World

“LATEST NEWS FROM THE COSMOS” (“Dernières nouvelles du cosmos”)

Helene’s World

Amos Lassen

For most of her life, Hélène, who lives with her parents in rural France, did not communicate. When she turned twenty-one-years-old everything changed. Despite having had no formal schooling or ever having been taught to read or write, she began to do both. By arranging laminated alphabet letters, Hélène created words, then phrases and finally a book, one letter at a time. And then she wrote another book. Using the pen name, “Babouillec Sp” (the letters stand for sans parole or non-verbal), Helene, a severely autistic woman writes poetry that can be “soaring and childlike, surreal and funny, dense with allusions and filled with insight”. Hélène’s latest book is “Eponymous Algorithm” and her parents helped her adapt if for the theatre. In the documentary, “Latest News from the Cosmos”, we are taken into Hélène’s world as the play is developed. The film was nominated for the 2015 Best Documentary César Award. As we watch it, we are challenge to contemplate the nature of creativity and communication as well as the hidden potential in humans of all abilities. This is what human creativity looks like.

“CHILD EATER”— A Confident, Disturbing Monster Movie

“Child Eater”

A Confident, Disturbing Monster Movie

Amos Lassen

I bet there is not one among us who was once not afraid of the dark. What’s more we remember that fear and even today we have strange feelings about venturing into absolute darkness. This is something of a communal feeling and director Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen and he creates something unforgettable here making us want to see what he comes up with next.

“Child Eater” begins with a young girl is holding her own severed eyes as she innocently says, “He hurt me.” The movie then jumps ahead some twenty-five years and the community is still dealing with the horror that happened there a quarter of a century ago.

The film centers on Helen (Cait Bliss), who has been hired to babysit Lucas (Colin Critchley) after the recent death of his mother. Helen’s babysitting session soon turns into a nightmare as Lucas goes missing and it’s up to Helen to find him before the worst takes place. We have a simple premise that complicates nothing. This is a simple and old-fashioned monster story.

Robert Bowery (Jason Martin) is the “Child Eater” and a terrifying monster. He suffers from an eye disease, so he kidnaps children and it becomes even more upsetting. Even just watching Bowery in motion is chilling with his twisted body language and cane. There’s a moment where Bowery grabs Lucas and it’s very, very scary. Aside from Bowery, there are other uncomfortable aesthetics throughout the film that keep the audience in a state on unease. Creepy dolls with missing eyes become even creepier, and there is eerie singing of children, mysterious calls to the Sheriff’s office, and the disturbing symbol of a fake glass eye that acts as a memento and symbol for Bowery’s destruction. We see Lucas staring at the camera and feeling small and powerlessness. The film also shows children’s fears of the basement and the dark and how overwhelming those things can be.

“Child Eater” takes place in Lucas’ house, the woods, and a hospital and these places frequently switch. Each time something new is added to the story in some way. We actually care about Lucas through all of this and the moments where you get to see him outsmart Bowery elate us and make us want to cheer for him.

The boogeyman is quite real in Thoroddsen’s film. He loves ripping out and eating his victims’ eyeballs in order to keep from going blind. His legend goes back decades, but it’s not until curious Lucas (Colin Critchley) goes missing that his babysitter must venture out into the woods to confront the child eater myth in person.

The mythology surrounding the killer isn’t exactly far-reaching but there’s just enough back-story and creature design to establish interest in the character.

This is a well-made, well-executed independent film with a compelling creature and some memorable shots and sequences. We tend to forget the more pedestrian and cliché scenes.