Horror Favourites from The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021

The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival, Berlin’s premier showcase of horror films directed and produced by women and non-binary filmmakers, will return in the new year for the 6th time and first virtual edition. To celebrate we asked a collection of directors, whose work is being featured, to tell us all about their favorite horror films.

The fest will run from February 4 – 7, 2021, and include features, short blocks, and an impressive slate of talks and special offerings. Feature films will be geo-locked to Germany while several short blocks and all non-film programming will be viewable worldwide. This will be followed by a planned second in-person event to take place over Halloween weekend, October 29-31, at City Kino Wedding in Berlin.

Listed as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 50 Genre Festivals in the World and named among Dread Central’s The Best Horror Festivals in the World, Final Girls Berlin has quickly announced itself as a leading international destination for genre fans and filmmakers alike, and is thrilled to present a dynamic digital line-up consisting of five features, five short blocks, and non-film events that include talks, a screenwriting workshop, special podcast episode, and more

Full details and information on how to watch watch all the amazing content is right HERE

Below some of the fantastic directors behind some of the best short horror films featured at The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021 talk to us about the horror movies they love:

Carlota Pereda (director of THERE WILL BE MONSTERS) on Carpenter’s THE THING

“I’m terrible with lists. I find myself unable to choose just one movie. So I’ll choose one only after I sneak in a couple others.

I love horror. It is one of my favorite genres, if not the favorite (see? There is a pattern here). I guess I could choose any of the newer ones, those that get me excited about new ideas in the genre or new filmmakers. HEREDITARY, of course, THE WITCH or REVENGE with its fantastic reshape of the “rape and revenge” sub-genre. Among the three, I’d choose the latter today. Just because it’s the most fun to watch. And, boy, do we need fun in our lives these days. I know I do.

Of the classics, I’d say TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Both masterpieces and both terrifying. I have not been more scared in my life that when I learned that Leatherface was inspired by true events. It also contains some of the best cinematography and film ideas any filmmaker can hope to achieve. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD gave me nightmares in my childhood for its ending. What it said about society and human behavior is more terrifying than its seminal zombies.

But what makes a movie a true favorite? I guess that would be the fact that you can watch it over and over. That it’s one of those movies you go to for comfort and solace. So then I’d have to choose amongst these three: Carpenter’s THE THING, Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS
(the scene at the gas station: it’s almost experimental, pure brilliance) or JAWS for its character development, staging, and political insight (the movie to go to to understand politics in this current pandemic). ALIEN could also be on this list, but I choose to consider it sci-fi just to make my life easier.

So, as we are a middle of a blizzard in Madrid and for its perfect combination of adventure film, survival fest, and insight of human behavior, I’ll choose THE THING. Cosmic horror meets our fear of the others. One of the best Creatures ever in film. I can’t wait for my daughter to be a little bit older to watch it with her. Come to think of it, that’s the true sign of a true favorite: the need to share it with those you love.

Is 6 years old too young to watch it?”

Isabelle Giroux & David Émond-Ferrat (director of YOU DON’T KNOW ME) on Cronenberg’s THE FLY

“Since we only get one, we had to discuss this… Our favorite horror movie would be THE FLY by David Cronenberg. The slow metamorphosis of a man into a fly has always created fear in us. Probably because it somehow represents a downward slide and the helplessness facing illnesses. It’s also back when special effects were made mostly with makeup like prosthetics, and mechanical visual effects. To our taste, it brought gore to be more frightening and nerve-wracking.”

Emily Wilson (director of DANNY’S GIRL) on Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME

“TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME is as deranged as it is sexy, which results in a sort of deviant viewing experience that I quite enjoy. I’m the first to admit that I’m not in any way a die-hard fan of the television series, Twin Peaks, but my brain erupted upon watching this prequel made in the form of a terrifying psychological horror feature.

The film pretty much has everything I crave as a viewer, and this includes: a lush score, heavily stylized cinematography, titillating melodrama, desperate romance, and the complexities of feminine frustration and opression. In this case, a visceral depiction of a truly tormented woman who wavers between personal autonomy and imprisonment. These elements create a fury of impending dread perfectly punctuated by an abundance of shots focusing on the protagonist’s terror-stricken eyes that will haunt you maybe forever.

The familial dinner scene at the Palmer’s is one of the most anxiety-inducing moments I’ve experienced while watching a movie; one that activates a fit of the willies. A close second would be any scene from Michael Haneke’s FUNNY GAMES. The tension in that dinner scene fluctuates between absurdism and agony, offering a clear window into the Palmer’s debilitating and ultimately fatal family dynamic.

And yet, through all the harrowing imagery and terror the film provides, it somehow maintains a raucous sense of humor and racy spirit that enchants the shit out of me. Maybe I’m a creep, or maybe David Lynch made the most perversely seductive psychological horror film of all time.”

Find out more about The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021 HERE and check out the festival trailer below:

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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