TIFF Day 06: back to the movies

Arrived back from Boston at around 12.00 p.m. and throw myself back into the movies and opened the days screening with The Unloved (2009), UK, is an the directorial debut by accomplished english actress Samantha Morton who gives us a quiet but dramatic film.  The film is about an 11 year old girl, Lucy who finds herself in foster care due to physical abuse by her father and with her estranged mother wanting nothing to do with her.  Morton has shown real care and patience with her shot selection that adds to realism that haunting elements to the story.  The foster car home has a sinister side that is gently reveal but without being graphic. It depicts real sense of honesty in the story and each scene.  Morton is not searching to plant the blame but to move the audience to understand the world that faces many of our most vulnerable children.

The Hole in 3D (2009), USA, the return of Joe Dante (Gremlins) to the horror comedy genre unfortunately it's not a triumphant return.  The story of a troubled family on the run from their abusive father rent a house with a mystery hole in the cellar floor that has been padlocked shut.  The two children of course of the hole and spooky things start happening revolving around each person fear.  The action is very familiar to Joe Dante's style from the Twilight Zone: The Movie segment crossed with Dolls, Puppetmaster and Chucky.  The 3D was hardily used in the film and could have add another dimension to this film but sadly it wasn't.  This is one of the weakest films so far in the program will probably slip from memory quickly.

Vengeance (2009), Hong Kong, Johnnie To serves up revenge hitman film and playing in the Triad sand pit again.  The film opens with the execution of a whole family.  We learn the only survivor the mother is gravely ill and her mother Costello (Johnny HALLYDAY) arriving from France to seek revenge.  Costello soon engages a hitman team and they track down the culprits and start an ultimate battle with the killers and their boss.  Costello initially portrayed as restauranteur who once was a cop but is also suffering memory loss and takes polaroid photographs and writes notes to help him remember (Memento).  To unfortunately does deliver one of his best film on this occasion and has a lot to do with HALLYDAY who just lack any rhythm in the role.  On the flip-side this film does contain a very memorable shoot out sequence that is work the viewing at least.

The final screening of the day was another film in the Midnight Madness program, REC2 (2009), Spain, the highly anticipated sequel.  The story continues 15 minutes after the last film and we head straight back into the apartment block with a SWAT team and government official.  This film delivers more information on the mythology of the original and really adds to the story.  The team behind the original has improved upon the shock value and keep those terrifying moments rolling.  The crowd at TIFF were going nuts for this film and it simply works while advancing the story.