Cinema Junkie Podcast 202: The Role Of Horror In A Scary World
Horrible Imaginings Film Festival goes online to showcase horror and genre films
Horrible Imaginings Film Festival's Miguel Rodriguez discusses the role of horror in a scary world.
Rodriguez has been running Horrible Imaginings for more than a decade now. Each year themes emerge that reflect the current state of the world and this year filmmakers seemed to conclude that the source of horror is a lot less about immediate bodily harm or running away from a killer and more about ill-defined dread and not know what is real.
That said, there are also a fair share of slasher films, monster movies and good old-fashioned ghost stories.
Ten years ago, I saw post on social media or a meet up group, I can’t remember which, but it was someone new to San Diego who had this idea of starting a horror film festival and he wanted to know if anyone would be willing to help. As a fan of horror, I said sure. That person was Miguel Rodriguez and his dream project became Horrible Imaginings Film Festival.
As one of this year's juror for festival awards, I saw close to 30 hours of films. I was impressed by both the diversity of styles and by the diversity of the filmmakers themselves. My two favorite features come from opposite ends of the artistic spectrum. "Luz: Flower of Evil" is a slow burn, gorgeously shot tale a severely dysfunctional family from Colombia. Then there is what's being billed as Panama's first horror film "Diablo Rojo PTY," a low-budget, wildly over-the-top tale of witches and monsters rooted in folklore with a measure of Catholicism thrown in for good measure. "Luz" impresses with its artistry while "Diablo" endears itself with its passion to make a film with limited resources.
As for the shorts, "Milk Teeth" is my favorite with its Guillermo del Toro sensibility, creepy monster, and cringe-inducing moments. I also loved the clever ingenuity of "RING," which told its story through a security camera; "Night Crawl," which delivered a tense prison drama with a horror twist; "The Last Day of Spicy Jack," which was just off the rails wacky; and two wildly different but equally seductive animated tales, "Lenses" and "Malakout."
Check out my full list of recommendations below.
Beth's Top Picks
"Luz: Flower of Evil"
"Diablo Rojo PTY"
"The Last Days of Spicy Jack"
"Smile for me"