After Dark Horror Fest
Originally shown in theaters together last November, the After Dark Horror Fest pics (Unrated/R, 646 mins., 2005-06; also sold separately) offer a snapshot of what’s hot in low-budget horror. Like so many snapshots, it involves body parts being cut off. One notable beheading occurs in the Jamie-Lynn Sigler-starring Dark Ride, which, like ghost story The Gravedancers, reaches somewhat successfully for the bloody slickness of the Final Destination franchise. Wicked Little Things boasts imaginatively unnerving monsters in the form of cannibalistic coal miners; the nicely nasty hospital-set Unrest hints at what Grey’s Anatomy might resemble if those sexy bodies weren’t covered in skin; and the Hitchcockian Penny Dreadful takes place mostly within the confines of a car. The most accomplished film here is Takashi (The Grudge) Shimizu’s Reincarnation, which at times resembles a Japanese version of The Shining. However, the most haunting movie — if not in the strict, supernatural sense — is The Hamiltons, a crude yet compelling tale of a family torn between their desire to live peaceably with their fellow man and their desire to eat him.