Satu – The Year of the Rabbit (2024)

So much credit goes to Joshua Trigg, an ace filmmaker who has delivered one of the most affecting and engaging dramas of the year. “Satu – Year of the Rabbit” is a powerhouse drama packed to the brim with beauty, sadness, and grief, and pairs two people together, both of whom are in search of something. In the tradition of films like “Harry and Tonto,” Joshua Trigg’s film is about two wandering spirits that find a purpose in the middle of the amazing countryside of Laos. This is where “Satu” also acts as something of a travelogue akin to 1991’s “The Inland Sea,” acting as a means of conveying the richness, and vast scope of their home.

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Up on the Housetop (2024) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

Funsize Epics Vol. 2 Shorts Block 

Director/Writers Dakota Millett, and Michael Fischer’s horror comedy is a short begging to be made in to a feature film. It’s probably not a coincidence that “Up on the Housetop” feels a lot like a proof of concept short rather than actual short film. I honestly don’t begrudge them for that, because both creators have their fingers on the pulse of what they’re trying to accomplish and what they do accomplish in this short format.

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Consumer (2023) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

So Long and Thanks for All the Dangerous Visions Shorts Block

I wish we could have gotten a longer format version of “Consumer,” as Matthew Fisher’s horror tale is ripe for feature film potential. “Consumer” watches like a segment from “Creepshow” even packing in a wonderful synthesized score by Bethany Farnsworth, respectively. I loved the low tech, mid-eighties revenge tale that director Fisher creates, as it’s old fashioned enough, but never feels dated, or dull.

It works well within its short run time and offers some scary ambiguity in the end.

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Body (2023) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

Watch These Films (WTF) Shorts Block

Director and Writer Ronald Short’s horror comedy is a great little Halloween treat just a few months before the festivities begin, and I loved the spirit behind it. Short’s horror comedy leans more heavily in to comedy as a small Frankenstein monster Halloween decoration causes chaos in the house of a normal married couple one night.

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Bedroom People (2022) [Film Maudit 2.0]

The new standard for horror entertainment has become the lo-fi, filmed on VCR fodder that had lent something of a realism to even the more outlandish premises. The aesthetic has been used in a lot of facets of horror in the last eight years, including horror movies. The classic ARG aesthetic just works and it works well for the short from skilled animator and concept artist Vivien Forsans entitled “Bedroom People.”

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no more room in hell (2023) [Film Maudit 2.0]

“no more room in hell” is a masterclass in how to make a horror documentary without skimming copyright and licensing fees. Rebecca Shapass directs a de-construction of the Romero movie series by taking a deeper more abstract look at how environmental and ecological elements contributes to the rush of the dead, and the downfall of society. Shapass includes snippets of dialogue from the various scripts and spends a lot of the documentary’s time peeking in to various industries including excavation, as well as the rule of capitalism.

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Txotxongiloa (2022) [Film Maudit 2.0]

Director and Writer Sonia Estévez’s short stop motion film is a beautiful depiction of the life span of the normal woman and how she perceives their existence as a whole. The idea of the normal woman being depicted as some one living on strings is a fascinating bit of symbolism. Over the course of ten minutes, the animation depicts her as someone being held up by strings who seeks independence almost immediately.

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