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So What's The Big Genre Film Everyone's Talking About At Sundance This Year?

Nordling here.

Every year there's a movie that plays at Sundance that gets everyone all in a tizzy.  Last year it was Lucky McKee's THE WOMAN, when a Sundance attendee went in full-on rant mode after the screening and during the Q&A, calling the film reprehensible and evil.  Here's a clip of it here:

This year, we have another movie that could be getting some buzz coming out of the festival.- V/H/S, reviewed by Quint hereDrew McWeeny at HitFix called it "one of the scariest movies I've seen in recent memory," and Drew knows his horror films.  I can't wait to see it myself - I'm not too keen on "found footage" horror but everything, when done right, has the potential to be amazing and V/H/S follows a long tradition of horror anthologies with 21st century technology, and the result is... well, one of the moviegoers in last night's screening fainted during the film's first horrific sequence.  He later got to meet the directors of the anthology -  Ti West, David Bruckner,  Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence, who have to be ecstatic at the reaction from audiences so far.  I hope V/H/S plays SXSW, because I'm really anxious to see it.  I love hearing about films like this that come out of nowhere and deliver a solid asskicking.  I especially love to be proven wrong about a type of movie like a found footage film, which I've been critical of in the past but I'm always open to new movie experiences and I'll happily eat crow if that's the case here.

So is V/H/S the one to get all of the Sundance midnight excitement?  THE RAID also played to tremendous reaction, but since that's played Toronto most people knew going in that they were in for an aamzing movie.  I'm also really curious to see BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and THE SURROGATE.  In other words, I reeeeeeally wish I was at Sundance this year.

Stay tuned for further coverage from Quint at the festival - it sounds like it's a particularly good year at Sundance.  Next year, baby.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    damn, netflix doesn't even have a listing for "The Woman"

    by Simpsonian

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Nicol Williamson R.I.P.

    by thelordofhell

    Goodbye Merlin

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Man, I Really Want to Know What That Guy Is So Upset About

    by Crow3711

    I mean, no matter what the film depicts or endorses, no matter WHAT it is, no matter how reprehensible, I could never get behind this guy saying they should "burn it" and "its not art" with "limits in civilization." It's just a movie, you hate it that much, encourage people not to see it. But you can't be an actor (as he says he is) and EVER, ever act like that about anyones film. There is place in civilization for censoring and burning of films, no matter what. He's an idiot. But I'd love to know what he's so upset about. I'd probably hate it and be disgusted by it too...but I could never condemn it.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    there is NO place in civilization and burning of films*

    by Crow3711

    ha, almost fucked it up myself

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Somone FAINTED during a screening?

    by schadenfreudian

    Jesus, what a pussy.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Sounds right up there with Human Centipede II.

    by Bob

    Both are movies I have no interest in ever watching. There's plenty of disgusting and pointless films out there (A Serbian Film), that are only out to shock and generate controversy. I don't feel the need for them to be burned, because such films will easily be ignored and forgotten in the massive sea of todays video market. Those that want to watch such crap, can sit in their basement and not bother people with better taste. :-)

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Fainting = "luck" for filmmakers

    by Collin Armstrong

    I've actually been to Park City (not to Sundance) and can tell you straight up that if you're not used to the elevation there, it'll fuck with you. I'd say that, coupled with what I understand is a week-long orgy of partying and film-going without a lot of sleep involved, might have had more to do with somebody fainting than anything they saw on screen. Hey, who knows - but to me, I'm thinking it's just an odd, "lucky" break for those trying to promote the film.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    oh, and that WOMAN reax clip...

    by Collin Armstrong tremendous. Looking forward to seeing it now that's finally out and readily available.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Boy I hope we get more sundance coverage...

    by Bass Ackwards

    ...from people who aren't there talking about films they sure would like to see.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    any movie that someone thinks should be burned is a must see

    by Michael Lunney

  • Jan. 25, 2012, noon CST

    Well, The Woman is readily available now, Deacon

    by vetepalapinga

    I would post the site so you can see it but it'll just get erased from the TB. I haven't watched it myself so how good it is. What's stopping me? The Woman is actually a sequel to Offspring which in turn is a sequel to a book called Off Season. I have the book but I still have to finish reading Heart Shaped Box.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    My only problem with "The Woman" (HUGE SPOILER)

    by darthliquidator

    ....the nasty little climactic twist..(the Will-Ferrell-George-W-Bush asshole already has another feral girl tied up with his two dogs..) me, that rendered the rest of the movie senseless....why is the whole family making such a big goddamn deal out of the Feral Woman in the barn (as if it's a new experience for them all)...when they've already got one tied up with the dogs??) Almost as stupid as the "twist" in 'High Tension". Anybody have any thoughts or explanations on this?

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST


    by Michael Lunney

    post it- it won't get erased, unless you are just making it up

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Yay Ti West!

    by kurtisaurus

    I like that guy's slow-burn style in House of the Devil and The Innkeepers is now on VOD so I gotta check it out.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I'm not making it up.

    by vetepalapinga choke on it.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST


    by KilliK

  • as if they were the same person? Because they're not. Heart Shaped Box has nothing to do with Off Season or The Offspring. Unless you think there's a connection because Joe Hill's last name is really King (that Stephen guy is his daddy) and Ketchum also starts with a "K". <P> Not getting the correlation. Although it's nice to see somebody actually reading good Horror authors.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    kurtisaurus, but is The Innkeepers worth the $10 rental

    by SoylentMean

    on VOD? Because I could just wait and buy the movie and have it forever, for just a little bit more.<P> $10 is not a reasonable asking price for a rental, even if the film is still in theaters. <P> If studios really want that shit to catch on they'll lower the prices.<P> Shit, you can spend $10 on Netflix per month and watch as many available for streaming films as you want. <P> Why the fuck would I spend a similar amount (perhaps more) for a single rental?

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    i don't get it!

    by lovesamuelfuller

    Why get upset about The Woman. Maybe i've seen too many horror movies but i thought it was nothing more then a silly and not very well made film. I laughed a few times between long moments of boredom....

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 1 p.m. CST


    by lv_426

    Sad news to hear. He slumbers with the dragon now. Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Horror Anthology(win)+Found Footage(fail)=MEh

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    @ darthliquidator (RE: The Woman SPOILER)

    by GQSioux

    The twist was great and I didn't think anyone in the family made a big deal about the NEW feral woman in the basement, they just went along with it. Reason being? Well, the women in the family were clearly beat down, verbally abused, stuck in a corner, pretty much forced to keep their mouths shut and just do what they were told. It was clearly a "lets keep our mouths shut and just do what dad says" sort of thing (up until that intense kitchen scene when the mother speaks up). They just went along with yet another one of his twisted projects or hobbies. So the way I saw it was, they were just going along with it out of fear. Obviously, the previous girl in the barn was another project with a completely opposite goal...likely a normal girl once, forced to turn into a wild dog girl. The new feral woman, was the dad's 2nd project...turn a wild woman into a domesticated woman. The dad was just FUCKED UP.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Torture porn

    by Ryan Dawson

    This man is certainly in the wrong because as he well knows the 1st amendment protects the filmmaker's rights as long as the material in question is not deemed obscene. Those filmmakers have a right to make the most fucked up corners of their imagination come alive on screen, and if one doesn't like that kind of thing one should avoid it. That being said, I think the modern horror genre needs to take a look at itself and bring itself back from the brink of torture porn. If the narrative of a film only exists to justify extreme depictions of sadomasochistic torture then I think it is a soulless and defunct medium. The best horror can shock us by tells us a deeper tale about ourselves. Cronenberg's films are probably the best horror because he can shock us with gore, but the biggest shock in his films is intellectual, the shock of understanding something darkly disturbing about human nature. This film "The Woman" actually seems pretty interesting, but I haven't seen it so can't comment at all on its value. I am in no way shape or form for censorship, and there should be no limits in terms of what consenting adults put onto film (alas porn is not treated with the same respect as yet). But people who get excited and turned on by cruel depictions of torture should not try to legitimize it as art.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Yeah, 'torture porn' horror movies are weak beer.

    by Orbots Commander

    They're inherently flawed as horror movies per se, because they all lean on the gross-out crutch. I bet even Stephen King thinks that they're a lesser form of the horror genre. Real good horror fiction and films rely on built tension and suspense through character development, and keeping the audience fearful to the fate of the protagonist..... like every other genre, and good storytelling in general.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Best Horror film of the 21st century is Fincher's Zodiac.

    by SoylentMean

    Because that movie actually horrified me. Truly unsettling shit.

  • kind of defeats your whole prior argument. If the narrative of a film only exists to justify extreme depictions of (humiliating sex) then I think it is a soulless and defunct medium

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    torture porn..........

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    I'm not for censorship.....but that doesn't justify lazy horror movie film makers who rely on mindless torture porn/gore.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Fincher's Zodiac put me to sleep.

    by Bob

    I've seen better procedurals on TV that were far shorter and more entertaining than Zodiac.

  • But I admit my post was horribly written. Buuut..English is my second language so I think I'm pretty fucking good.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Darth Meh I think you misinterpret my point about porn

    by Ryan Dawson

    My point was not that extreme porn is in the same category as modern horror, although there are similarities. If a film only exists to show sadomasochism it IS soulless and defunct. But here is the crucial point: that doesn't mean the government should be able to call it obscene and censor it. There are a lot of types of porn I'd never go near, but that doesn't mean I believe those works should be censored if they are produced and consumed by consenting adults. The only point I was trying to make is that I don't think it's appropriate for films that are really about torture porn to masquerade as art. I have less of a problem with porn on this score because fucked up porn producers don't go to artsy film festivals and tell everybody that their stuff has all kinds of social values apart from its clear focus on torture. If you want to go see a bunch of torture and subjection of women and body parts etc etc, that is fine because we live in a free country. Just don't aggrandize it above what it is.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    awesome marketing

    by David Cloverfield

    Guy is very good. Or if he`s real, he just earned a great deal of money for The Woman.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    My review of The Woman (2011)

    by wintocha67

    Going back to my review journal and quoting myself: "Incredibly stupid."

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST


    by TheBringerOfRain

    Right on about American Psycho, great horror and a spot on 80's yuppie sendup.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Creepythinmanrises(how many of you are there?) Those are all good...

    by SoylentMean

    examples of Horror done right, and all were effective on my psyche as well. Requiem is fuckin' haunting, American Psycho shoulda given Bale his first Oscar, and Perfume is so beautifully fucked up I don't know why more people haven't seen it.<P> But Zodiac had me searching around the theater for somebody paying too much attention, acting furtive, fuckin' smiling. Even though I knew I wouldn't have any idea if a real life psychopath were in the audience with me. <P> Because what got me about Zodiac that didn't get me about the three films you mentioned was this, that shit fuckin' happened. It's an unsolved case. The asshole got away with it. While I'm sure certain liberties were taken with the story (for Cinema's sake) it was based on real life events.<P> For all the Horror movies I've seen in my life I've never had a problem with the supernatural or fanciful aspects of the genre. Hell, I can even take the super realistic gore and downright nastiness some Horror films rely on. As long as I know it's fiction, it's cool.<P> But when I have the slightest inclination that what I'm seeing is the real deal (or merely a representation) I get the Screaming Mimis riding the Heebie Jeebie Express.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    darthvadersbadside, examples please!

    by SoylentMean

    The Wire was some gut wrenching stuff, but what else fits the bill.<P> I had the opposite happen to me after watching Zodiac, I couldn't fuckin' sleep. <P> To each their own and such.

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    vetepalapinga, no worries, I just thought you had 'em confused

    by SoylentMean

    I really wish this fuckin' site did something with genre books (besides the comics, er, graphic novels and manga).

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    How does every conversation about horror...

    by Mr. Giant

    End up being about torture porn? The movie mentioned above seems more like a Paranormal Activity styled ghost/creature flick. I know at least one of the stories involves a ghost. I swear, if Re-Animator came out today everyone would just be talking about how sick it is, and not how awesome it is.

  • Jan. 26, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Publicity stunt?

    by fireclown

    I want to be the first to call shenanigans.

  • Jan. 26, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by buggerbugger

    Absolutely deserves more love than it seems to get.