A crazy tale about grief followed by Jonah Hill’s heart-warming coming-of-age story “Mid90s” and the substandard horror movie from the creators of “Goodnight Mommy”. Welcome to the 4th day of New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland.
Dir. Johannes Nyholm
Hate Grade: 4/10
Three years after a grim tragedy, a couple finds it hard to reconnect. In an attempt to escape their sorrow, they go camping. Out in the forests the two get entangled in a weird loophole, where they are stalked by three bizarre figures with deadly intentions.
This twisted tale’s title comes from a childish song that works as an omen of death. Whenever the executioners arrive – an old man in a white suit, a grumpy lady and a hefty-looking fella – you feel the dread and the inevitability of the couple’s bane. The loophole symbolizes grief, and the inability to cope with it. The tragic loss that takes place in the first scenes brings the two to a metaphorical journey, where they both need to learn how to live and go on.
On the technical side, Koko-Di Koko-Da explores horror without the intent to shock or disgust, but rather than that – inject genre tropes to create an unnerving feeling of confinement and non-escapism. While Nyholm’s film does fall short on its character development, the very concept is enough to carry the 86 minutes of runtime.
Dir. Jonah Hill
Hate Grade: 3/10
Jonah Hill’s debut is a touching coming-of-age movie, which firmly stands on the 90s nostalgia. It follows a teenage boy named Stevie (phenomenal Sunny Suljic), who just can’t find his place among the peers. One day he approaches a group of skateboarding kids in the street, and that becomes his way of growing up and expressing himself.
Hill’s obviously a big 90s nerd. “Mid90s” is a soundtrack show-off, with gems that range from underground rap to grunge rock, but it’s also a nailed-it depiction of the skateboarding culture. The light-hearted mood credits its tremendous young cast, with Sunny Suljic bliss of a performance. “Mid90s” doesn’t reveal a lot about Jonah Hill’s potential as a director, but there is more than just one reason to experience Stevie’s story.
Dir. Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz
Hate Grade: 7/10
A woman with disturbing past is forced to stay with her boyfriend’s children in a remote cabin. When the power goes out and the snowstorm hits them hard, very strange things begin happening.
The directing duo, which delivered a finely crafted and genuinely spooky “Goodnight Mommy”, travelled to a parallel universe with similar problems present. But in their second feature “The Lodge”, the people they visit aren’t half as compelling, and therefore their story’s far less intriguing. “The Lodge” clusters around too obvious plot twists, and with bland Riley Keough in the centre, there is little bedazzle or frighten.