I’ve seen one full-length movie and one collection of three shorts. Here are my thoughts so far:

Strigoi: Easily one of the most creative vampire films I’ve seen in years. Everyone is comparing it to Let The Right One In and for good reason: what that film achieves by mixing winter, loneliness and childhood together with vampirism, Strigoi does by mixing the end of Romanian Communism, small town life, the humor of practical matters in the face of fear and the annoyance of family ties with that same supernatural element. Beautifully shot and full of great performances, the only problem is that the sound is marginal in places. It’s filmed in English, but the accents are thick and the dialogue tramples itself sometimes. Subtitles would be most welcome.

AM1200 & Other Shorts:

Sinkhole: A great little short that does its thing and then calls it quits to good effect. The real estate agent is portrayed all too believably, perfect for bringing the real world into the movie with us, and the crazy old coot whose land he’s trying to buy has one of the better monologues I’ve seen in a horror movie. Lovely, big round of applause by the audience at the end.

Shrove Tuesday: “Very artistic” was the best I could do afterward. Interestingly filmed in places and interestingly animated in others, it never could quite figure out whether it wanted to be a cautionary tale, a dream sequence or a splatter flick. I could get behind a lot of individual parts of this movie but not the movie as a whole.

As always, the balcony had assholes in it and they seemed to find this movie hilarious at all the wrong times. For real, would it be too much to ask to have a house manager stop in upstairs once in a while? I can only move so many times in one movie. Ah, well, they shut up for the important bit, AM1200.

AM1200: An exquisite film with lush production, beautiful photography, sharply minimalist writing and incredible performances that focuses on creepy rather than jump-out-and-go-boo. This is a movie to which the term horror most definitely applies. Lovecraft could easily have written this and I mean that in the very best way. A guilty conscience leads the main character from one bad choice to another until everything spirals out of control and the entire time the audience sits there silently pleading with him to turn around, go back, look over his shoulder, lock the doors, anything but what he’s doing at the moment. When three or four hundred people simultaneously cry out in protest or shock and then stifle themselves, it’s like a low moan doing the wave across the theatre and it happened several times. Otherwise, almost utter silence throughout the cinema as everyone was captivated. Worth canceling other plans to go see this 40-minute film. It was the last thing I thought about last night and the first thing I thought about this morning.