nevermore 2012

As I try to every year, I took some time last weekend to visit the Nevermore Film Festival at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Nevermore is my big chance to check out lesser known horror movies on the big screen rather than waiting until they hit Netflix or some other streaming service. I made it to three different movies and enjoyed them all.

First I saw Playback, which is about a young man who uncovers something dangerous when he investigates a local true-crime story. The haunted film concept is hardly new, but Playback makes itself a little space in that genre by letting its antagonist victimize a camera's subjects in addition to the more usual ability to reach out from a recording. Christian Slater nailed a small but highly creepy role, and I also liked the actress who played the main character's mother. The villain seemed generically evil despite his cool backstory though, and a couple of the younger actors were distracting at times.

Next up was The Whisperer In Darkness, a black and white adaptation of the classic Lovecraft story. This was from the same folks who made that amazing Call of Cthulhu silent film a few years back, so I had high expectations. Whisperer was just what I'd hoped for in terms of look and style, and a lot of the details were spot-on. I liked the actors and the setting, but it started to feel a little draggy in the middle. It also hit my "too many endings" pet peeve, but those were my only complaints.

The final screening I hit was Some Guy Who Kills People. It's about a former mental patient who struggles to move on from his dark past. It's got sharp dialogue, great atmosphere, and the sheriff was amazing. It was surprisingly fun for a serial killer movie, but not in that typical horror-comedy way that can sometimes emphasize humor over story or character. This one was my favorite of the bunch, and I guess I wasn't alone - it won both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award for the festival.

Just like always, I was interested in some of the features and shorts that I wasn't able to see, and this time I even remembered to write their names down. Hopefully I'll be able to catch them all before next year's Nevermore.

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