It was truly an honor to receive this award from the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival , for TALES OF DARKENED LIGHT - "A Friendly Wager ". This award to me is something truly special; because it pertains to this WNY film community and let me tell you - I had the privilege of being in a room with other filmmakers who each had motivating and inspiring stories. I'm so thankful to be included within this community and like a I say all the time - it's our honor, duty, and privilege so support one another. I plan on coming back this week to check out some more of the great films and hearing many more inspiring stories. Thank you Gregory Lamberson and Chris Scioli , it's easy to understand why filmmakers love coming back every year. Please go check out some of the great films in this year's festival!
Thrilled to announce our film is an Official Selection of the 2017 Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival! Festival runs Nov. 2 - 12th. Details to come: www.buffalodreamsfantasticfilmfestival.com #BDFFF
'Shortwave' is an amalgamation of several different genres. It has elements of sci-fi, horror, drama, and human interest all methodically weaved into one intricate and cerebral narrative that will scare the living crap out of you, while evoking a visceral emotional connection. Dealing in Lovecraftian metaphors and a scientific authenticity that only adds to the depth, this is an incredibly tense and thrilling story that will leave you in a cold sweat. Expertly crafted, director Ryan Gregory Phillips channels his inner James Wan to dial up the frights, with a unique vision that leaves you hanging on every frame. The film carries some 3rd act continuity concerns, but the remarkable visuals and distinct story helps keep things in perspective. Simply put, 'Shortwave' is an emotionally charged, electric experience that will stay with you.
'Diverge' is a sci-fi drama revolving around time travel, the single messiest sub genre there is. There are a lot of heavy thematics at play here, but none are explored to a degree that leads to any true pay off. The bulk of the story drags its feet, leading to a lot of dull moments that offer little reprieve. The story is mired with plot holes and continuity concerns that measure from minor mishaps to full blown disorientation. The performances offer some relief, but the boorish narrative casts a dark shadow over the film. The climax doesn't provide any alleviation, and instead raises more questions then answers. The visuals are conceptually sound but lose luster as the film moves forward. This is an intrepid attempt, but it's many pitfalls appear to keep this film from achieving its goals.
2.25/5 Do Better Bro
'Midnight Delight' is an anthology conversation piece--revolving around strange encounters between various groups of people while at a smoking lounge. Comprised of 9 vignettes, the result is surprisingly exhilarating. Each encounter had its own unique perspective, and the arbitrary conversations are all organic, and flow as such. The characters all feel very real for the most part, and it's this unique authenticity that makes this play out like a humorous documentary. The performances don't really feel like performances at all, and the direction lacks flare, but bolsters a surreal look into conversations between strangers, who happen to be baked out of their minds. This feels like a much better, more surreal Gary Marshall film, all about pot, and the amusing encounters of real life strangers.
3.85/5 Pretty Cool Bro
'#Screamers' is a functionally well manicured found footage horror film, that uses the niche genre in a meta approach that provides a unique perspective. Electing to spend a bulk of the narrative on pertinent character development, the audience is granted passage to subtle nuances that similar genre films neglect to portray. The basis for the film isn't profoundly original, but it is still immersive enough to warrant genuine scares. The eerie atmosphere is bolstered by an impressively creepy setting and back story. The performances all ring organic, and the terror is condensed to a to a tension filled climactic third act that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is an impressively acted, genuinely frightening horror film with vibrant production and a surprisingly distinctive take on found footage.
3.9/5 Pretty Cool Bro
'Secret Santa' is a low budget grind-house style horror film, that nails the look and feel of the classics. It's absurd, over acted, funny, and even a little scary. Plenty of blood and carnage to be had here. While the story is thin, the antagonist is a little hokey and contextually makes very little sense, and the performances are delightfully laughable, that sort of seems the aim of the filmmaker. This is recycled story that re creates some of the magic of old school genre films like 'Black Christmas'. The sepia tone scratched up visuals, complete with some humorous cues from the score, only add to the mayhem. This is a fun little Christmas horror that envelops the spirit of its predecessors, and provides some nostalgia along the way.
'The Dark Tapes' is an immersive anthology style horror, akin the the V/H/S series. Comprised of a through line story, and another 4 shorts, this offering is both hit and miss. There are certainty some solid scares to be had, but as far as a developed plot, this anthology is batting .500. The production value and performances are all serviceable, but half of the anthology narratives are a complete wash. 'Cam Girls' is just no good, and the other poor insert is 'Amanda's revenge'. Even so, the shortened segments allowing for fresh perspectives every 10-15 minutes work. The sound design and make up effects are all solid, and this is a well manicured vision. 'The Dark Tapes' is a fun little horror flick that produces genuine frights about half the time.
3.45/5 Not Bad Bro
'Reunion' is a well meaning, well written story, whose execution become extremely problematic. Definitely not reinventing the wheel, the paint by numbers outline is bolstered with an excess of variable plot twists that create a unique vision of a classic genre. However solid the story may be, the film fails miserably on production. The sound design is a complete disaster, swapping from different ADR tack lines in one sentence, and eliminating any and all emotion that could have be feigned from the lackluster cast. 'Reunion' can take solace the performances of Maria Olsen and Ruth Reynolds who coincidentally play the same character. Both are amazing, and carry a sincere duality that provokes visceral emotional attachment. This film is a mess, but Reynolds and Olsen make it worth while.
2.2/5 Do Better Bro
'Attack of The Killer Shrews' is the definition of micro budget. A movie shot for almost nothing, proving the adage - you get what you pay for. The opening credits are fantastic. The stop motion claymation style is an eye catching method to draw the audience in, only to slowly let them down. The film has a perplexing pace which stops and goes so much, you'll need a neck brace. The story is an absurd rip on an absurd classic monster movie, and the effects, which are laughable by design, are still poor. The continuity is broken multiple times, and the acting, save for the performances of the two lead protagonists, is.. just bad. Even with all of that, this is somehow still fun. It's campy, ridiculous, over the top-low brow fun. One thing is certain, you won't soon forget this movie. Shrews will stick with you, one way or another, whether you like it or not.
2.75/5 Do Better Bro