Bruges, Belgium – October 5, 2016 – Celebrating its ninth consecutive edition, the Razor Reel Flanders Film Festival has revealed a full slate of high-caliber movies. True to its roots as a fantastic film festival while unafraid to cover some new ground, the Flemish fest still takes place in the historic city center of Bruges, in the Cinema Liberty. Film fans are welcome to attend from 10-15 November.
Beginning the festivities on Thursday the 10th of November, Razor Reel looks to Belgium-born Johnny Galecki for inspiration by hosting the national premiere of THE MASTER CLEANSE. Following its opening film with another screening at midnight, Razor Reel presents the long-awaited Belgian premiere of THE DEVILS CANDY, Sean Byrnes ode to heavy metal Satanism. Closing the festival in style on Tuesday the 15th of November is South-Koreas zombie-outbreak horror TRAIN TO BUSAN, which has delighted audiences around the world since its Cannes 2016 premiere.
In between these genre fest regulars Razor Reel opted once more for an eclectic program that brings a mixture of the expected, outré and cutting edge, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. New for 2016 is a thematic spotlight on both creature features and coming of age films with a darker or fantastical twist.
Among other horrors, the first category will experiment on Noomi Rapace in Steven Shainbergs sci-fi abduction thriller RUPTURE, while also unleashing the space bugs of Takashi Miikes TERRA FORMARS and the dark denizens of Justin Seamans monster movie throwbackTHE BARN. The second thematic focus is aimed at both teens and adults and is intended in part as an illustration of how the label fantastic cinema entails much more than random carnage and senseless bloodshed. Included in this category are Clay Lifords superbly acted sci-fi dramedy SLASH, Stephen Dunns wildly imaginative coming-out tale CLOSET MONSTER (with Isabela Rossellini as a talking hamster!), John Carchiettas thrilling take on high school romance, TEENAGE COCKTAIL, and also THE TRANSFIGURATION, Michael OSheas faux-vampire horror drama. Comfortably straddling the line between supernatural creature feature and dark coming of age thriller is Billy OBriens atmospheric chiller I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER.
In addition to these two themes Razor Reel also celebrates German language film with a double bill of Nikias Chryssoss DER BUNKER and Michael Krummenachers SIBYLLE on Sunday the 13th of November. While the former Belgian premiere is a bizarre comedy all about sheltered underground existence and unconventional teaching, the latter hauntingly recalls classics like The Shining as an atmospheric ghost story with psychological shades. Both directors will attend as guests.
This years Young Blood competition for best directorial debut or sophomore film includes Christophe Deroos SAM WAS HERE, a Twilight Zone-esque mystery about a door-to-door salesman who ends up in a strange and hostile version of California where the word of local radio host Eddy is law. Also featured in competition is Dan Pringles socially poignant, cannibalism horror K-SHOP. Fellow contenders include Geoff Redknaps THE UNSEEN, a novel take on the invisible man mythos, and Adam Tsueis THE TENANTS DOWNSTAIRS, a darkly comedic ode to perversion. Aforementioned titles like THE TRANSFIGURATION, CLOSET MONSTER and TEENAGE COCKTAIL round out the nominees for the international award.
Collected from all corners of the world and completing the 2016 feature film line-up are:
– Vardan Tozijas hard-hitting AMOK, a coming of age crime drama from Macedonia that takes aim at the failings of the social and judicial systems and posits each society is responsible for the creation of its most undesirable subjects.
– Joel Potrykuss THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK, a slow-building, expertly sustained exercise in minimalism that gradually encroaches on viewers with a story of a Faustian bargain, madness or both. Arguably one of the most original and captivating horror experiences of 2016.
– Patrick Reas ENCLOSURE, a camping trip nightmare that pits Fiona Dourif against unspecified entities that roam about a midnight forest.
– Stephen Fingletons THE SURVIVALIST, a dystopian thriller that weighs the price of loyalty against the instinct to survive at all costs.
– Sevé Schelenzs PEELERS, a midnight delight set in a nightclub that treats moviegoers to a showdown between spunky strippers and infected patrons.
– Jiri Sádeks THE NOONDAY WITCH (POLEDNICE), a metaphoric take on the grieving process that scales back the horror of The Babadookand transposes the story to the lushly captured Czech countryside.
– Carles Torrenss PET, a psychological thriller driven by strong performances from Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo that presents the roles of predator and prey as constantly in flux.
– Andreas Climent and André Hedetofs ORIGIN (BIEFFEKTERNA), a Swedish sci-fi that examines the cost of hacking ones own genetic code and anchors its tale of immoral science with emotional resonance.
Other than feature films, Razor Reel 2016 boasts a strong roster of European and international genre shorts. From the Katharine Isabelle-starring, Cube-meets-Groundhog-Day mash-up that is ITERATION 1, to Tim Egans genuinely unnerving CURVE, Quarxxs stellar, Fantasia-winning UN CIEL BLEU PRESQUE PARFAIT and Belgiums own meta-horror homage ICE SCREAM, fans will be treated to some of this years top shorts.
For more information about the feature films, the full short film line-up, the competitions and guests, head on over to the Razor Reel website.