By Sean Boelman
It may have only been around since 2017, but the Overlook Film Festival has earned its spot in the horror community as one of the best festivals there is to see great horror flicks. From traditional terrifiers to other genre pictures that run adjacent to the horror genre like pitch-black comedies, Overlook has plenty to offer for every connoisseur of the macabre.
We at disappointment media had the pleasure of covering the Overlook Film Festival this year in New Orleans, LA. At the festival, we saw a ton of awesome films, including a few we missed at other festivals and some awesome world premieres that we expect to make a big splash when they are released to general audiences. Here are some quick thoughts on some of the films we saw at the fest!
Another in the recent trend of psychological horror films dealing with themes of race, Jenna Cato Bass’s Good Madam is undeniably a well-crafted film, but it does leave the viewer wanting more. Although some of the imagery in the film will create a sense of unease in the viewer, this never really builds into a feeling of tension. As a result, this turns into a movie that you admire more from afar — respecting its craftsmanship and the things it has to say in its social commentary, but never really immersed enough for this to be a great work of genre cinema.
Roger Corman, The Pope of Pop Cinema
In addition to being a showcase for genre films themselves, festivals like Overlook often serve as a way of shining a spotlight on some of the most influential voices in filmmaking history through documentaries. Bertrand Tessier’s Roger Corman, The Pope of Pop Cinema follows the career of one of the most prolific B-movie filmmakers of all time. While it may be a bit on the conventional side, its brief sub-sixty-minute runtime and the fact that Corman’s career is just so freaking extraordinary keep this documentary moving and make it a worthwhile watch for any horror cinephile.
The Senegalese action-horror film Saloum picked up a lot of acclaim on the festival circuit last fall, and Overlook audiences got the chance to check it out this year. It definitely has some striking imagery, and the aggressive energy it has is undeniable, but this story of three mercenaries who must fight to survive in the mythical plains of Saloum is perhaps a bit too much on overdrive. Regardless, Jean Luc Herbulot clearly made exactly the film that he set out to make, and it should certainly be admired for that.
Charlotte Colbert’s feature debut She Will is very much a feature debut in that it throws a bunch of stuff to the wall to see what sticks, and while the result may be a total mess, the things that Colbert does with it are so fascinating that it’s easy to forgive some of its flaws. Following a woman who attends a mysterious retreat with her younger nurse, there are a lot of moving plot points here, and not all of them work, but those that do are extremely good, especially when coupled with Colbert’s fantastic eye behind the camera.
Seeing horror movies from around the world is always awesome because each culture has a different perception of what “horror” should be. Zalava is less what we in the United States would consider a horror film, and more akin to a thriller, but this story of a community that is torn apart by paranoia surrounding a potential demonic possession is more unsettling than a lot of traditional horror movies. Co-writer/director Arsalan Amiri has penned several screenplays before, but this is his first time in the director’s chair, and it will be exciting to see what he does next.
The 2022 Overlook Film Festival ran June 2-5.
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The Snake Hole
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