Dir. Lukas Dhont
Plot: A young ballet dancer begins her hormonal treatment. It takes much longer than she expects and her hatred towards the male body begins to devour her from the inside.
Lukas Dhont’s drama is schematic on the surface, but the way it digs deep into the psychology of the gender issues (so common nowadays) is truly captivating. Uncompromising as a “queer” drama, “Girl” is also acted powerfully by the debuting Victor Polster. I also loved the cinematography, which was strongly reminiscent is of Xavier Dolan’s cinematic tenderness.
Dir. Gaspar Noe
Plot: A group of dancers throw a party after their rehearsal, but their alcohol is “spiced” with acid. Soon, they all get extremely high and things go south.
“Climax” is not a regular film – it’s a bonkers cinematic experience that gets you high just like the characters appearing in it. Gaspar Noe, whose film usually revolve around sex and drugs, brings them both up again, however this time – it’s actually done right.
The film is outstanding in terms of camerawork, as Noe bounces from one dancer to another and builds the plot based on the gossips, chit-chats and absurdly addicting dance sequences. “Climax” is tiring, breathtaking and provocative – it’s a dream come true of every auteur cinema fan out there.
#9 Isle of Dogs
Dir. Wes Anderson
Plot: This animated film tells the story of a dog, which looks for its owner in a world reflecting the totalitarian society.
A sweet animated movie. A lovely tale, which uses its innocent surface to touch on far more disturbing and difficult topics.
“Isle of Dogs” is one of the rare gems, where the visual layer is not cannibalising other aspects. The stop motion animation is translucent – it doesn’t cover the story with its symbolism. It’s rich in multi-cultural references, it’s thought-provoking and more than an eye candy.
Dir. Ari Asker
Plot: A woman is crushed by the death of her mother. As she begins her convalescence, she is soon hit by more tragedies and, moreover, haunting events that question her sanity.
I can’t recall a horror movie as disturbing and powerful in many years as “Hereditary”.
It’s a film, which preys on our psychological fragility. The script by the debuting writer & director Ali Asker plays with the viewer for two hours, leading us to one place in order to shut the door and turn to other direction. It’s a film, which sets a malefic mood from the first scene and keeps bogging until you’re subconsciously grab the edge of the seat.
What made it phenomenal is that, contrary to 99.9% of horrors, “Hereditary” is far more ambitious than cheap jump scares. Toni Collette establishes a psychotic, trippy character, who manages to get round the viewer and plant the seed of this hereditary paranoia. The whole movie is a harrowing experience and the best horror of the year too.
#7 La Casa Lobo
Dir. Joaquin Cocina & Cristobal Leon
Genre: Animation / Horror
Plot: An animated film about a girl, who escapes into the woods to create her own world in a house.
Rarely does it happen that an animated film capably scares the **** out of its viewers. The duo of the Chilean directors – Joaquin Cocina and Cristobal Leon – bring forward the horrors of their country’s deeply-rooted fears in a stunning form. The movie took more than 5 years of making – each set, each part was either painted or constructed from scratch. While “La Casa Lobo” has only a general concept of a plot, there is enough scary juice to keep you glued.
P.S. The movie includes scenes like pigs slowly turned into human beings. Oh, did I mention the creepy dolls everywhere?
#6 The Guilty
Dir. Gustav Möller
Plot: A police officer, delegated to answer emergency calls, gets involved in a pulse-pounding kidnapping that he tries to solve over the phone.
“The Guilty” is a powerhouse when it comes to a gripping thriller with an insanely minimalist resources used execution-wise. The entire film is a theatre play of Jakob Cedergren (playing the protagonist officer), whose captivating performance fuels an incredibly tense plot. It’s a fantastic, fresh take on the thriller genre and a definite reason to follow the director Gustav Möller and his next works.