What’s Up 2019: Week 48

Welcome! Its the next weekly recap of What’s Up. Week 48 lands is in the first day of December already. Its hard to imagine how quick 2019 has gone by. This week was a lot of wrap-up: festivals and podcast prep material. Things need to head into Christmas and winter holidays mode soon.

READING

love potions and other calamities

Currently reading: Love Potions and Other Calamities

Reading in a low right now as festival and the wrap-up consumed most of my time but we will be getting on track next week with more reading time.

PLAYING

Afterparty

  • Afterparty

Currently playing: Rusty Lake Roots

Im anticipation of the upcoming recording for Game Warp, my main focus has been on completing Afterparty. For gamers who have played Oxenfree before, you also know that one playthrough is never enough because they have such a cause and effect choice based storyline that from my research, at least 3 endings to this. So second playthrough is happening for sure, somewhat debating to stream it although I haven’t streamed in a long time (always depends on time).

WATCHING

Freaks

  • Freaks (2019, Review)
  • Lady Bird

Its been a good batch of viewings this week. Its nice to get to the end of the year and have a string of good films. Usually, I just make really bad choices. Freaks was an early screener in anticipation of its digital and bluray/DVD release and a very good scifi film of sorts. On the other hand, Lady Bird is more my type of movie as a dramedy with Soairse Ronan (one of my fave actresses) and the coming of age of her character heading to college on the road of love and friendships.

Blood in the Snow Festival

Z

BLood in the Snow Festival ended in the middle of the week, just when I had a writers block so everything got pushed back for a week in order to wrap everything up. I luckily did go back to watch the last feature film, Z because it ended winning the festival awards for Best Director and Best Feature and I can somewhat agree with it.

BINGING

Nailed It! Holiday

  • When I Grow Up (Season 1, 2019)
  • Lipstick Prince (Season 2, 2019)
  • Nailed it! Holiday (Season 2, 2019)
  • Sugar Rush Christmas (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Who’s the Murderer 5, The Brightest Star in the Sky, Put Your Head on my Shoulder, Viva La Romance (S1, 2, 3)

As I dive into a lot of rewatches because of its landing on Netflix or some other Youtube channel, the variety/reality shows that I’ve been watching all gradually wrapped up its season. Lipstick Prince Season 2 was a short 4 episodes long, which is barely half a season but it seems like they will have a next season from how they ended this season. At the same time, When I Grow Up, which I’ve enjoyed a lot with some famous fathers and their kids going on trips to reconnect and discover different cities and cultures in China with some pretty subpar living conditions to much better ones by the end.

HOWEVER, as touching and funny as those previous ones are, Nailed It! Holiday is always the one that captures me especially this year was very much some great amateur bakers that they chose. Some truly hilarious moments. Just slightly more than Sugar Rush Christmas, even though the latter is more in the whole traditional Christmas festivity. Either way, some fun baking shows both amateur and more professional baking competition Netflix shows that fits well with the season. I’ll have the TV binge for those up soon for the December month line-up!

That’s it for this What’s Up!
Next week’s recap will be more festive, I promise!

What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

BITS 2019: Dark Visions Shorts Program

BITS 2019 banner

The last shorts program to be presented at Blood in the Snow Festival 2019 is Dark Visions which features 10 Canadian short films which are dark, scary, moody and intense. 9 of which I was able to check out remotely.

BITS 2019 Dark Visions

Romi (2019)

Romi

Director: Robert Cuffley

Cast: Camille Sullivan

Romi is a 10 minute short about a woman who is terrorized by her virtual assistant Romi after it keeps refusing to let go of her past. This short is fantastically well-executed. In terms of building up the horror of technology and meshing somewhat with the paranormal to add it all together to make it a scary world when technology manages every aspect of everyday life that its malfunction or abnormality will cause uncontrollable consequences. Romi also shot really well with each frame capturing so much in it, giving it space to anticipate something that may or may not happen. This short is every bit scary the event of her past starts to reveal itself again as she tries to push it away and forget it.

The Thought of You (2019)

The Thought of You

Director (and writer): Elvis Deane

Cast: Avelyn Graye, Aundreya Thompson, Letréal Farquharson, Aziza Jaffer

A woman tries to move on from the events of a violent night, but finds that it’s not only trauma that comes clawing back. – IMDB

The Thought of You is almost completely filled in the beginning by a monologue that recaps the traumatic event that has happened and fills in the information with news headlines of what happened for a vague idea. On one hand, the distress of the woman is felt from the start but its easy to feel that the second half as the trauma comes back to haunt her that it makes it much more unsettling to watch. The tension built up in the second half of the short definitely seeps through effectively and the ending it chooses is also great for the situation, leaving a little space for imagination.

Abhorrent (2019)

Abhorrent

Director (and co-writer): David Scott

Cast: Stacey Iseman, Garth Wigle, Alex Friesen, Elliott Scott

Abhorrent is a 15 minute short film about a woman who learns about her husband’s sinister secret and decides to take action to prevent her sons from being badly influenced. Abhorrent is very odd. The way the characters talk are rather weird but then maybe its just the emphasis on the odd characters, making them feel more unsettling to watch. The story itself in the big reveal and all the secrets revealed in the 15 minutes are actually pretty decent. The story itself thought probably could have been done in less time. There’s definitely something more to the story and it leaves a little bit of questions at the end from the different elements of what has hinted at but never completely revealed until the end. The ending is more satisfying than the whole process of the short perhaps.

Polar Tour (2019)

Polar Tour

Director (and writer): Dustin McGladrey

Cast: Delphine Menu, Elizabeth Potskin, Matt Paynter, Crow Billy

Three university friends embark on an adventure they hope never to forget. They chose the Arctic to go polar bear sighting. On their first tour, the engine of the bus breaks down. Isolated, cold and in the dark; they wait for rescue. – IMDB

Polar Tour is a simple short film. Its one that shows three friends stuck in a van stalled in the Arctic. Its not exactly quite as refined and is definitely rather expected but somehow, the isolation and how it uses its territory and the dangers that come with it does work to a certain extent. It doesn’t pull anything out of the ordinary but I have seen a film that tries to use polar bears (even though unseen) as a danger horror element and not a lot of films will have friends heading down to the freezing Arctic instead of the beach or something. It definitely has its unique elements but maybe its just a tad short to have enough of the premise fleshed out to make it have more impact.

Pepper (2019)

Pepper

Director: Kate Felix

Cast: Stennie Bell, Jennifer Hardy, Mathew Chenuz

Pepper is a 7 minute short film about Fidelma who is desperately looking for a job and ends up finding one with Weylon’s farm as his assistant to help him out. When she gets sent to do her first task, it turns out that it might be more than she expected. Its an intriguing little short that plays a lot on the unknown. The mystery of finding Pepper is the main basis as she follows the barks throughout the barn and she gradually starts seeing different things that make her (and the viewers) wonder where it is and probably what twist there is (because it gets oddly suspicious).

Foret noire (2018)

foret noire

Director (and writer): Jean-Marc E. Roy & Philippe David Gagné

Cast: Pascale Montpetit, Charli Arcouette-Martineau, Joanie Guérin, Nadia Essadiqi, Fayolle Jean

Foret Noire is a 20 minutes short about the reenactment of a crime scene ordered by a judge in France to clear up inconsistencies in the murder case, bringing back the three women involved to relive the day step by step in detail. This short is definitely longer in length than most shorts produced and because of that it has a lot of depth to every element. The place that its filmed has this sense of isolation. At the same time, the characters themselves and the little details in their moments and reactions as well as what some of the outside characters observing the case and the Judge’s requests of the little details make the inconsistencies stand out and truly highlight what might actually have been the truth behind the situation or at least where the differences may have occurred without actually ever making it crystal clear on what the truth is. Leaving a little bit of mystery adds so much charm to the storytelling here.

Le otto dita della morte (2018)

le otto dita della morte

Director (and writer): Frédéric Chalté

Cast: Rose-Marie Perreault, Pierre Pinchiaroli

An homage to Italian giallo and an affectionate tribute to the genre in the form of a 70s theatrical trailer for a fantasized faux-film from that era with Italian voice-over pastiche. – IMDB

Structured like a music video of sorts and adding a lot of theatre and drama to each of the scenes adds a lot of style to this short film. Le otto dita della morte has a story that might not be wildly clear on what is going on exactly  but for its short length, it lands to a certain extent of what its trying to pay tribute to. While the music itself is not exactly and some of the style here isn’t exactly something that I particularly like, but the story has some nice elements to it.

She Must Vanish (2019)

she must vanish

Director (and writer): Kyle Martellacci

Cast: Anne-Carolyne Binette, Renny Jachowicz, Meri Spencer, Quinn Bennett, Valerie Taller

In a seaside town, residents succumb to the malevolence of a witch, who sets a fury in motion. – IMDB

Tales about witches are always fascinating to see where it can now take its stories and unique spins from the traditional knowledge of their existence. Meshing a bit of the old and new, this witch tale She Must Vanish has some subtleties as well as the first act that gives it a lot of style in how its all executed from its lighting to to the little details on the witch. However, a lot of the follow-up afterwards uses a simple town and normal everyday and meeting some incredibly cryptic woman along the way that ends up leading to a scene that becomes rather unsettling (and was meant to be) to a scene that felt rather set up but ends on quite a high note in how the witch is revealed. This short is somewhat of a wild ride.

Lady in the Shower (2018)

Lady in the Shower

Director (and writer): Chris Borgo

Cast: Laura Woodbeck, Jennifer Swistun, Chris Borgo

A woman with a shady secret is haunted by a mysterious entity, while taking a shower in a historic hotel. – IMDB

Lady in the Shower is one of the more predictable sort of horror shorts in this group. It has the normal tropes in horror films in general from shadows to what the woman’s secret is and the whole deal behind it even up to some of the ending little bit. At the same time, what does stand out in this short is how the cinematography really does help a more familiar sort of horror give it the style it needs to stand out and become visually appealing.

Short not reviewed from this shorts program:

Dreamcatcher (director: Michael Alexander Uccello)

My November Adventures!

November is here and gone! Compared to the crazy October, its much calmer, especially since this year I didn’t even think about NaNoWriMo at all. Its the first year in a long time that I haven’t done it (although last year I didn’t finish it). Either way, there are a few plans scheduled in and a remote coverage for a film festival and well, just preparing for December and other little tidbits.

Let’s check it out!

MTL a Table: Rose Ross

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Coregone, carrot mousseline, beluga lentilles, fennel and basil

First to kick off November is our first spot to check out for MTL a Table. This time was a more half the gang deal as it only appealed to ourselves and Phoebe and her family. Rose Ross is located in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Rosemont in the Promenade Masson and serves French cuisine but with a lot of the local ingredients available to them. It also has some vegetarian options and even had lactose-free dessert which always wins my heart over. The menu also had an Aeroplan privilege exclusive which was fun. The full recap of the meal is HERE.

MTL a Table: La Classe

La Classe

The second restaurant that the group (except my husband who had to work) went to was La Classe, a restaurant in College Lasalle with their students taking up the various tasks from host to servers to kitchen. Its one that we’ve been to before however they had changed their name this year to La Classe. The food here is always pretty good and its pricing is incredibly worth it for its quality and for French fine dining. You can check out the recap of the meal HERE.

MTL a Table: Taboo Cuisine Rebelle

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Salmon gravlax marinated in lemongrass and ginger oil, Asian sauce, wasabi, pomegrenate, fried capers, shoots

The last restaurant in the MTL a Table this year is a new find for the majority of us which turned out to be fairly disappointing. Its pretty much North American food in a lounge setting with a very prominent small finger foods and drinks. Its price point outside of the MTL a table was pretty high as we looked at their menus so MTL a Table gives a general experience of it. There was a lot left to be desired. You can check out the recap HERE.

The First Snowstorm of the season

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Coinciding with our week off from work, a lovely little staycation, much overdue for myself was the first snowstorm of this winter, well, late autumn to be accurate which brought in about 15cm of snow. Some neighbors told us about how most snow removal service contracts only started on November 15th, which this storm hit November 12th so some companies didn’t come around to remove snow, causing quite a few headaches. Luckily, while the storm did knock some of our road trip plans out, it did let us take our time with shovelling the snow, although we still did it in relatively one go in the morning.

Staycation Day Trip: Ottawa & Shopping Haul

Disney Store Ottawa

Disney: Christmas Eeyore

LCBO Rideau Center

LCBO

T&T Supermarket Ottawa

T&T Supermarket (without hot/cooked food)

Other than the shopping haul and just taking a moment out of town, we went to eat at Fatboys Southern Smokehouse. You can find the recap HERE.

An Afternoon with My Battle of Ingredient Co-Host

Kumamoto

PresoTea

The week of staycation is almost at an end and what vacation would it be without running an errand to the dentist to pick up (very expensive and makes me thankful for benefits) Night Guard and the much more exciting hangout for my good friend and Battle of Ingredients co-host for a lunch at Kumamoto and an afternoon tea at Presotea after she helped me out a great deal with something I’ve been meaning to do for a while (but needed a kick in the pants to do).

MEGA Expo

MEGA MIGS Festival 2019

Finally, to wrap up the staycation week once and for all was heading out to check out MEGA Expo which was held at Le Grand Quai, which is so new that I have never been in before. The venue was nice and we saw some nice games. The recap should be over at Game Warp..but it isn’t because I’ve just been hitting a writing slump and busy with work…Its still happening because there’s so many games that I really want to talk about.

Blood in the Snow Festival 2019

Blood in the Snow Festival took place on November 21 to 26 in Toronto. Of course, I didn’t have time to go but I was lucky enough to get remote coverage and it had almost all the movies available to review. Its a short festival but one that highlights a lot of Canadian genre films and while it had some meh films, there was still a lot to love and some really great stories and premise. The reviews should all be up on the BITS 2019 tab HERE. But as usual, I will do a top 3 (since there was only 8 full feature films).

  • Majic
  • Hunter’s Moon
  • Z

Marche Ephemere EtsyMTL

Black Friday – Shopping Haul

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I actually didn’t think about Black Friday until it was literally the week of as the flyers started coming in. Its been a goal to spend less so I’ve decreased a lot of expenses. With that said, I did take a look at the sales and got a little something here and there. Not a whole lot of physical shopping as I was stuck at work rushing a deadline but here’s the general list.

Amazon

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Crawl
  • Greenies Dental Treats (for cats)
  • Car phone holder

Steam

  • Blackwood Crossing
  • Batman: The Enemy Within
  • Yoku’s Island Express

Playstation Store

  • Spider-Man
  • Days Gone
  • God of War

Michael’s (shown above): Wreath and Wreath supplies

Decathlon: Water Pouch (for backpack)

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this November adventures!
A lot more packed than I expected but it had to do with the last minute vacation.

BITS 2019: Z (2019)

BITS 2019 banner

Z (2019)

Z

Director (and co-writer): Brandon Christensen

Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson, Sara Canning, Stephen McHattie, Chandra West

A family find themselves terrorized by their eight-year-old son’s imaginary friend. – IMDB

Coming in a year where Daniel isn’t Real (review) was an outstanding film with an well-crafted evil imaginary friend, Z takes on their own take on what can be done with the imaginary friends premise as well. Taking home the Best Director and Best Feature at the Blood in the Snow Festival this year, this movie does definitely pack quite a punch. 

Its easy nowadays to quickly assume that creepy children and evil actions and the whole lurking camera can bring a lot of general unsettled feeling. Z is a bit different. While it starts off in that familiar way, there is a hint of many great horror films and how it is execute from toning its scene into darker tones inside the house to create the atmosphere and playing with the off-scene sound effects while having the story scripted to progress in a well-paced delivery. These all add up to effective scares and a lot of them are land very well. There are quite a few startling jump scares that are delivered through its atmosphere, lighting and building the tension.

Z

The cast here also delivers some solid performances. The most notable comes from lead actress as Beth played by Keegan Connor Tracy who plays the mother who realizes that her son’s imaginary friend might actually be real and causing him to do troubling things. Beth has a lot of depth and character development and its a fairly subtle performance most of the time with little reactions and expressions running the show until the bigger moments happen. Taking on the creepy child aka the troubled son role as Joshua is Jett Klyne (who we also saw in another BITS 2019 film in Puppet Killer) who definitely delivers on this without any overacting and making it very unsettling. Finally, two actor and actress, Stephen McHattie and Sara Canning respectively, always appears in the most unexpected places and also puts in some great performances as the respective roles of psychiatrist and sister of Beth. 

A family is terrorized by their eight-year-old son's imaginary friend.

Perhaps the one thing to criticize about Z would be that that possibly its budget limited its polish of its effects. In a fire scene, there was some very apparently unreal fire and smoke circling the screen. The appearance of some of the scares while landed really well, also had the after effect of suffering one or two times from having this goofy CGI as well that took about the scare afterwards by a little. This is where we need to talk about creature design of Z, the imaginary friend in question. Z is revealed step by step and there’s a few creepy scenes that works however, there are some moments in close-up or in faster motion that gives it less of the finesse and fear that it should instigate. Luckily, the horror is maintained by how the scene was built up in advance to play up the moment, giving Z’s appearance more of a fleeting jumpscare moment. It is most effective and also frequently, remaining as the unseen presence.

Z

Overall, Z is quite a breath of fresh air. Director Brandon Christensen crafts a movie with very good horror atmosphere. There are some tropes and predictable elements at the beginning but it quickly also increasingly adds in some surprises that startles whether as jump scares or traumatic scenes or simply finding a way to change it to have its own unique elements. Despite some minor CGI effects falling short, this indie horror film takes an innocent imaginary friend concept and breaths a lot of life and builds the tension using its atmosphere and all the surrounding elements as well as great performances by Keegan Connor Tracy and Jett Klyne. A lot of Z’s charm lies in its surprises and unique twists that it takes leading into unexpected territory.

BITS 2019: The Nights Before Christmas (World Premiere 2019)

BITS 2019 banner

The Nights Before Christmas (2019)

The Nights Before Christmas

Director (and co-writer): Paul Tanter

Cast: Simon Phillips, Sayla de Goede, Keegan Chambers, Meredith Heinrich, Jennifer Willis, Kate Schroder, Michael Coughlan, Anne-Carolyne Binette

The Nights Before Christmas is the sequel of 2017’s Once Upon a Time at Christmas. I have never seen the first movie so there is no comparison or expectations going into this one. Alternate Christmas movies are always a welcome a sight and choosing psycho killers who call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Claus is a pretty decent angle to take. There are some very obvious choices here that feel familiar like Mrs. Claus channels a lot of a character like Harley Quinn. There are some scenes that remind of movies like Silence of the Lamb between Clarice and Hannibal Lecter. And then there are elements that fall in the path a little like Halloween with Loomis. Less refined versions of it. There are some good and some bad in The Nights Before Christmas and it applies to almost every aspect of the film which leaves it less memorable than it probably could have been.

The Nights Before Christmas

Let’s start with the positives. The villainous psycho killers are the definite positives here. Mr. Claus specifically, played by Simon Phillips is a wild character that truly takes the whole crazy killer to a whole new level. His character with his blind eye and even the first scene as she commits his crime in the asylum already shows off the type of killer that the story is about to embrace. There is some character in the film that makes a point about him being equal crazy and equal smart and that very well rounds up the character and adds a little more to the story as the unexpected plan comes into play and what his endgame is or even where it all starts. Mrs. Claus is similar to what Harley Quinn is to Joker, who pales a little to the greatness achieved by Mr. Claus. She has the unsettled character but never seems to command the scene the same way but because her character also is rather crazy, nothing really has to make too much sense.  Other than that, the story and twists here are actually scripted relatively well especially when it concerns the scenes with Mr. and Mrs. Claus on the killing spree.

The Nights Before Christmas

This horror film struggles with depth (as a lot of horror films do). Perhaps its the watching it from the second film where I’m going to give it some benefit of the doubt as this one does go back to the roots of where Mr. and Mrs. Claus seems to have started their killing spree after burning down the asylum and surprisingly, it links back to the Woodridge massacre of the previous film. How the timeline all works is something that is a bit fuzzy. Another issue is the script for everyone else is very flat and sometimes illogical or clunky. There are dialogues that don’t quite fit their role, especially for the rather unconvincing FBI special agent role. It leaves quite a lot to be desired in terms of depth to the character itself. While the survivors of the Woodridge Massacre do come into play here and try to build it back up to something intriguing, they don’t appear quite as often to save it and is supposed to have this twist element that doesn’t quite land as none of the characters seem to have enough depth to care about too much.

Its hard to truly give an accurate review of The Nights Before Christmas mostly because the first film may or may not add to the experience here. There’s a certain level of stand-alone to this one where the first movie is not required to understand the story of this one, but maybe it might help. The story is singular to this story. Dialogue is a really important element in a film and somehow its what broke the experience the majority of the time here. Luckily, the villains do glue this film together and gives it some entertainment value. I may come back to this review and further it after seeing the first one to complete the experience but for now, its a tad lacking.

 

What’s Up 2019: Week 47

Tranquil Dreams (49)

Wow! Time is flying! Especially with festival coverage hanging in the air! Another week is done and we’re only 5 weeks away until the year ends. Its crazy to think about that!

This past week has been very heavy on WATCHING and trying to catch up on some gaming, although a lot of straying off path. Let’s check it out!

READING

love potions and other calamities

Currently reading: Love, Potions & Other Calamities

Zero progress in reading this past week! I did try to but it has been a lot of the other things taking over the usual reading time I would have.

PLAYING

Rusty Lake Hotel

  • Cube Escape: Paradox (Review)
  • Rusty Lake Hotel

Currently playing: Afterparty, Rusty Lake Roots

Gaming has been moving forward a little more. I really wanted to wrap up the Cube Escape: Paradox completely before continuing anything else. And I got that done and even managed to take a breather from writing to start and finish Rusty Lake Hotel. It was a playthrough but still so much fun to play. Its a lot more grounded in the puzzles than Cube Escape: Paradox and that is why I prefer it over to Cube Escape: Paradox. With that said, the Rusty Lake world is a fun place to dive into with all its twists and oddities.

WATCHING

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

  • Paradox: A Rusty Lake Film (short, 2018)
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)

Not a whole lot of normal viewing as expected. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a continuation for recording for Movies and Tea. We still have a few episodes until we get there so I’m not going to say much about it but I definitely appreciate it a lot more this time than the last time I saw it back in the theatres in 2000 when I was much younger.

Blood in the Snow Festival

Majic

  • Funny Frights (Shorts Program, Review)
  • She Never Died (2019, Review)
  • Dead Dicks (2019, Review)
  • Sky So Blue (short 2019, Review)
  • One in Two Place (short 2019, Review)
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me (short 2019, Review)
  • Break In Break Out (short 2019, Review)
  • The Nights Before Christmas (2019)
  • Emerging Screams (Shorts Program, Review)
  • Majic (2019, Review)
  • Hunter’s Moon (2019)
  • Giltrude’s Dwelling (short 2019, Review)
  • EXT (short 2019, Review)
  • The Remnant (short 2019, Review)

Blood in the Snow Festival started a bit iffy for myself but its been a very strong last few movies so far. I wrapped up the week watching two very solid films: Majic and Hunter’s Moon. Both are unique in their own regards. The first with a great script and you can read the review now, so I won’t go too much into it. The second is a unique premise and how it was executed and also had a nice level of fun. I’m a bit behind on the reviews for the Festival but it’ll be done very soon.

BINGING

我们恋爱吧

  • Relation Ship (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: When I Grow Up, Viva La Romance (Season 2), Lipstick Prince (Season 2), Chase Me, Nailed It! Holiday (Season 2), Who’s the Murderer (Season 5)

I’ve started a lot of things that are ongoing or just finished but as the festival is taking up a lot of time, I just haven’t had as much time to catch up. Relation Ship actually wrapped up its first season of the reality show. While I have a few critics on the structure of it all and the feasibility, they did manage to give it a pretty fun time while feeling rather genuine. I’m ready to put together a huge post on this type of shows for fun. Its been in the planning for a while but decided for this to finish before discussing it.

That’s it for what’s up with me!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?

BITS 2019 Shorts: Giltrude’s Dwelling/EXT/The Remnant

BITS 2019 banner

The final batch of pre-feature short films are coming up with the last three! This time, its still some horror but a lot more fantasy and science fiction elements in the first two. The trio in review here is: Giltrude’s Dwelling, EXT, and The Remnant.

Giltrude’s Dwelling (2019)

Giltrude's Dwelling

Director: Jeremy Lutter

Cast: Kacey Rohl, Liam Hughes, Priscilla Faia, Jesse Hutch, Kennedi Clements

Orphaned at the age of 11, Giltrude, an interdimensional shut-in, has waited 15 years for her parents to come home. When a life or death dilemma comes knocking, Giltrude must look beyond her front door and face the outside universe. – IMDB

Giltrude’s Dwelling is a fantasy science fiction short. It is shot beautifully in different locations that centers around a home that literally disappears from a location every night. The color palette in each scene and each location makes the scene very atmospheric. It creates mystery by the unexplored grounds especially the ominous place that the house disapparates to every night, leaving a lot of questions as to what lurks outside or what is the evil that Giltrude’s parents talk about as well as what attacks the boy that shows up at her door. There are a lot of questions and not a lot of answers but perhaps, this story isn’t really about that so much as a story about Giltrude who must find a means to stop her routine and waiting game for her parents but find the courage to step outside to seek her path, despite the possibility of it being dangerous outside in the big unknown world.

*Giltrude’s Dwelling screens with Deep Six on November 25th at 9:30pm in the Blood in the Snow Festival*

EXT (2019)

EXT

Director (and writer): Adrian Bobb

Cast: Cara Gee, Zoe Doyle

200 years after humanity has abandoned the real world for a digital one, the system’s most talented security agent is forced out of retirement to recruit and lead a team of talented warriors to eliminate a threat from a world no one has seen for centuries. The real world. – IMDB

EXT is a futuristic science fiction action short. There’s a beautiful cinematography of this machine-filled world that has now entered into a battle. The visuals of the character and costume design as well as the mechanical designs are done very well. There is a wonderful control on usage of color as well as the snow-covered landscape that the fight is going on that adds a certain mood and tone that matches to its whole atmosphere. The dialogue exchange also is done well, however the story does get a little confusing. The premise though if given more time probably could give a lot of space of development for both the characters and the entire world building. There are already some creative ideas floating around here.

*EXT screens with Deep Six on November 25th at 9:30pm in the Blood in the Snow Festival*

The Remnant (2019)

The Remnant

Director: Navin Ramaswaran

Cast: Peter Keleghan, Kaniehtilo Horn, Grace Lynn Kung, Michael James Regan, Jill Frappier, Jennifer Dale, Joyce Rivera

A team of con artists posing as paranormal investigators steal from the home of an affluent elderly woman, only to find themselves unleashing a dormant malevolent spirit. – IMDB

The Remnant is rather interesting short with a nice twist of using its paranormal investigators as a front for their own business. It adds in how they make the little tricks and effects happen to make it convincing. Of course, the short goes for something with a more sinister turn of events. The reality of the smokes and mirrors that the team puts up gets a little mixed up with what could be happening as part of the actual paranormal ongoings. The characters are rather entertaining to watch and the whole set-up while the winning element is how it wraps up the whole story. Its a fun little short with a little bit of tension and some creepy elements to it.

*The Remnant screens with Z on November 26 at 7pm in Blood in the Snow Festival*