Michael Myers Returns to Sitges on the Day of the World Premiere of 'El Páramo (The Beast)'
'Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes', 'Limbo' and 'Eight for Silver', among the featured films for this Festival Monday
In Halloween Kills, the direct continuation of David Gordon Green's renewed vision of the Carpinterian saga, the inhabitants of Haddonfield, fed up with the masked killer's persecution, unite to confront him to the cry of: "Evil dies tonight!” But in Sitges, we love evil as long as it is accompanied by an iconic psycho like Michael Myers, which is why each and every stabbing is celebrated as a group triumph by the audience.
The start of the week in Sitges once again places Spanish cinema in the spotlight with the premiere of the feature debut from David Casademunt, director of El páramo (The Beast), a rural horror drama included in the Official In Competition Selection. The film, starring Inma Cuesta, Roberto Álamo and Asier Flores, follows the story of a family that lives isolated from society until one day, the presence of a terrifying creature puts their relationship to the test. This morning the director and cast of the film appeared at a press conference where Casademunt explained: "It's a horror film but it's also very emotional. It comes from a very personal place, because when I was very young, I lost my father and El páramo speaks of these fears. The name of the work itself generates an atmosphere of its own, one of the clearest ideas we had in the creation process was to enhance isolation and a lack of communication" added the filmmaker. Meanwhile, Roberto Álamo commented that "the film speaks of a lack of affection, what happens when love disappears, and darkness arrives."
The black and white Chinese noir Limbo, directed by Soi Cheang, a thriller and fantasy genre veteran, was presented today at the Auditorium in the Official Selection, a sordid thriller about two policemen chasing a brutal murderer of women. From the same section and very much in line with this 54th edition's leitmotif of the beast within, Sean Ellis' disturbing Eight for Silver, an original rethinking of the werewolf archetype set in the late 19th century, was also screened. Preceded by accolades at festivals like Toronto or Sundance, also arriving today in Sitges was Violation, the debut feature from Madeleine Sims-Feweri and Dusty Mancinelli, a hard-hitting rape & revenge movie with a cruelty that has been compared to Lars Von Trier's existentialism.
The crop of films from the rest of the Festival's sections was also remarkable today. Starting with one of this year's major revelations, the Japanese Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes by first-time director and screenwriter Junta Yamaguchi, an endearing comedy and sci-fi production in line with the low-budget spirit and good intentions of the acclaimed One Cut of the Dead from 2018. In Panorama Fantàstic, three very stimulating entries were programmed this Monday. The Colombian Llanto maldito, from director Andrés Beltrán, which presents a supernatural thriller where the presence of a mysterious woman starts to destabilize the family core. In The Boy Behind the Door (David Charbonier and Justin Powell), the thriller escalates to give way to a short story of kidnappings and disappearances in a troubling and disturbing context that takes the litmus test of the ties of friendship to the limit of their consequences. And finally, Knocking (Knackningar), Swedish director Frida Kempff's debut feature, a veritable sensory experience revolving around a woman who escapes from a psychiatric hospital after a nervous breakdown, and when she gets to her apartment, she starts to hear a series of weird noises. Meanwhile, Sitges Documenta welcomed the arrival of a piece dedicated to a subgenre that seems to have been revived in recent years following the success of films like Midsommar or The Witch: Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, by genre expert and Festival friend Kier-La Janisse. And featured among Brigadoon's screenings this Festival Monday was the premiere of Justin Lee's Hellblazers.
The industry meeting machine in Sitges never stop. A large number of diverse activities were held today. On the one hand, the presentations of the official books of the 54th Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia: La bestia interior. Hydes, licántropos y otras figuras teriantrópicas en el imaginario audiovisual (The Beast Within. Hydes, Lycanthropes and Other Terianthropic Figures in the Audiovisual Imaginary), coordinated by Ángel Sala and Jordi Sánchez-Navarro and with texts by Lluís Rueda, Violeta Kovacsics, Marta Torres, Diego López and Mike Hostench, and Tres piezas para el asesino (Three Pieces for the Killer), by Pacus González Centeno. In addition to the official ones, in the afternoon the new Scream Queer by Javier Parra was presented in the FNAC marquee. There was also a Coming Soon pitching session and a meeting with Paco Plaza, Alberto Marini, Rodrigo Cortés and Alejandro Ibáñez, screenwriters of several episodes of Historias para no dormir, to analyse the process of writing the screenplays for the remake of Chicho Ibáñez Serrador's series.