The 37th Cambridge Film Festival, taking place 19th – 26th October 2017, has announced its full programme of 92 feature-length films, 127 shorts, with 18 UK premieres and 4 World premieres representing titles from 33 countries.
As ever Cambridge Film Festival 2017 presents a typically diverse and outstanding film programme and, for those who wish to venture into the weird, wonderful and downright strange world of cinema, another late-night, boundary-pushing selection of features and accompanying shorts at Arts Picturehouse cinema with the Lates @APH strand.
Icelandic horror RIFT directed by Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen and starring Björn Stefánsson, Sigurður Þór Óskarsson, Guðmundur Ólafsson is the first late-night treat on Friday 20/10 (and again on Monday 23/10).
After receiving a strange, distressed phone call from his ex-boyfriend, Einar. Gunnar drives up to the isolated cabin where Einar is holed up and they begin to dissect the remains of their broken relationship. Meanwhile, someone or something seems to be lurking outside the cabin, wanting to get in… Thoroddsen builds waves of queasy suspense to a spooky climax that redefines and refreshes the parameters of modern horror.
The accompanying short The Distant Sea (Nic Wassell) is set on the east coast of England where a scientific researcher’s day takes on a sinister tone when two young girls take her on a journey to a strange house nearby, with an even stranger inhabitant.
In TONIGHT SHE COMES (Matt Stuertz) a girl goes missing and two of her dumb friends plus a sinister set of strangers find themselves drawn to the cabin in the woods where she disappeared. They will laugh, they will drink, they will kiss, they will make love, and THEY MUST DIE. It all might sound reassuringly familiar (look out for a homage to one of Jason Voorhees’ best-loved kills) but prepare to be dazzled as the rednecks show hidden depths, the final girl is the first to die and jump scares are replaced by gleeful gore – complemented perfectly by a great Carpenter inspired score.
Plus, fresh from FrightFest, Kate Herron’s comedy horror Smear peeks behind the curtain at a not-so-routine smear test. Your appointment is confirmed for Saturday 21/10.
FASHIONISTA, directed by Simon Rumley, is set in the ‘weird’ capital of the world, Austin, Texas and stars Amanda Fuller, Ethan Embrie and Eric Balfour. April and Eric own a vintage clothing store and they’re happily in love – or so it seems. As things go awry with her relationship, April relies increasingly on her clothes as an emotional crutch. When she meets a handsome stranger in a random bar, her life starts to spiral out of control and she has to rely on her clothing fetish to maintain some kind of sanity. It screens on Sunday 22/10 along with short The Stylist (Jill Gevargizian the story of a lonely hairstylist with an unnerving desire to escape her disappointing reality.
Tarantino fans will love WELL’s violent and quirky style from Hungarian director Attila Gigor. A man arrives at a gas station which squats on a freeway in the middle of nowhere, hoping to reconcile with his estranged father. Their reunion is interrupted when a Swiss pimp pulls up to the pumps, accompanied by three charismatic, brooding sex workers. Their van has broken down, and can’t be fixed any time soon. The dusty outskirts of Csákvár look great on 35mm, and the cramped gas station is the perfect backdrop for the trouble that’s brewing, as each character’s suppressed emotions and guilty secrets bubble to the surface. Tuesday 24/10.
Manchester-set chiller HABIT (Simeon Halligan) stars Elliot James Langridge, Jessica Barden and William Ash. Michael divides his time between the job centre and the pub. A chance meeting with Lee, an introduction to her ‘Uncle’ Ian, and a heavy night on the lash, lead to a job working the door at a Northern Quarter massage parlour. After witnessing the violent death of one of the ‘punts’, Michael experiences blood-drenched flashbacks and feels himself being sucked into a twilight world that he doesn’t understand but that is irresistibly attractive. When he eventually finds out what goes on in the room below Cloud 9, Michael’s life will never be the same again. Monday 23/10
THE FOREST OF LOST SOULS is an elegant, modern gothic fairytale of the grimmest kind. Ricardo, a grieving father, and Carolina, a cynical young woman, meet in a notorious Portuguese suicide forest, where a mutual fascination develops. Carolina lends Ricardo a pen and paper so that he can write a farewell note to his family, and explains that the forest is a regular haunt. But does she really visit the woods to contemplate suicide – or is she an angel of death, stalking lost souls? Writer-director José Pedro Lopes’ debut feature balances black-and-white comedy with a wolfish charm and menace and brings the Lates @ APH strand to a chilling close on Wednesday 25/10.