The Sitges Film Festival is Still One of the Best Fests for Genre Flicks
by Alex Billington
October 21, 2022
If , : this can be a nice pageant. Watching films on the Sitges Film Festival in Spain is likely one of the most fun cinema experiences anybody can have. The Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, as it’s identified formally, is likely one of the world’s premiere style festivals – which means they present horror, thrillers, sci-fi, motion, and every thing else associated to those cinema genres. This 12 months Sitges celebrated it fifty fifth version, convey over 100 movies from all around the world to this cozy seashore city. I’ve been attending Sitges since 2017, however after 2019 I needed to take a break – as a result of pandemic it was unimaginable to make it right down to Spain. After a two 12 months hiatus, I used to be again!! I really like Sitges for therefore many causes – it is a very laid again, pleasing pageant; the meals on the town is wonderful; the views are beautiful and it is heat even in October; the crowds are like no different; and I’ve the possibility to catch a bunch of rad style movies that I am unable to often see at every other pageant. I’m glad I got here again once more this 12 months, catching up with 14 new movies at Sitges 2022.
Sitges takes place in a seashore city close to Barcelona, within the Catalonia area of Spain. It’s one of many solely fests on this planet that all the time performs movies with three subtitles – in English for worldwide audiences, and in each Spanish and Catalonian for the native audiences. They introduced a grand complete of 193 options to the pageant this 12 months. Tons of faves from different movie festivals have been exhibiting: Zalava (my assessment), Bodies Bodies Bodies, After Yang, Piggy (trailer right here), Enys Men, Bones and All, Hunt, Inu-Oh, Leonor Will Never Die (trailer right here), Neptune Frost, The Five Devils, Resurrection (my assessment), Saloum, Slash/Back (trailer right here), Something within the Dirt (trailer right here), The Stranger (trailer right here), Watcher, Vesper (my assessment), and Sundance award-winner Nanny (trailer right here). One of the enjoyable issues about Sitges is you by no means know what you may see – it could be actually unhealthy or boring, or it could be a tremendous, underrated gem. You simply have to begin watching and discover out, and sure, I all the time anticipate to see one thing terrible. That’s simply the way it goes. But I additionally all the time hope to find one thing terrific, and this 12 months I used to be fortunate to seek out a number of new favorites.
One of the opposite iconic points of Sitges is the viewers. There is a pageant opening brand that performs earlier than each movie, an old-fashioned B&W 2D animation of King Kong standing within the sea close to city, whereas airplanes come flying at him. Just as he swipes them, the viewers breaks out into joyous, rapturous applause. Every single time. Doesn’t matter how good or unhealthy the movie appears to be like, how early or late within the day it’s, that burst of pleasure and cheering accompanies each movie. Then all through the screening, if there is a brutal kill, or if one thing loopy or scary or violent occurs, the viewers may also loudly applaud or cheer. They’re a really vocal crowd. It’s the best whenever you’re in a movie like Deadstream, which is likely one of the finest indie horror creations this 12 months, and it is stuffed with beautifully creative scares and hilarious moments. The vitality stage is thru the roof, and the viewers is buzzing, leaving everybody in there levitating with horror pleasure as soon as the credit begin to roll. These are essentially the most unforgettable moments of movie festivals; the viewers is a big a part of what makes cinema a magical communal expertise. Aside from a number of viewings on the very first day, nearly each screening is totally full in basic native venues (just like the Casino Prado Cinema seen above).
This 12 months in Sitges, I watched 14 of the newest style movies from 2022 – you’ll be able to test my Letterboxd diary for extra particulars. My first day was a bust: King on Screen (a doc about Stephen King diversifications) wasn’t that nice, and the Norwegian supernatural horror thriller The Nightmare (aka Marerittet) did not impress me a lot both. The second day was a bit higher: the Canadian Mad Max-in-snow movie Polaris was good, however not nice. The Spanish premiere of Carlos Vermut’s movie Manticore was a night spotlight, a sluggish burn creepo thriller that left me significantly unsettled. Before I get into the actual gems of the fest, a number of others that allow me down: Nocebo, the newest from Vivarium director Lorcan Finnegan, by no means actually quantities to a lot with an excellent apparent story. The Antares Paradox, a Spanish one-room thriller a few nerdy lady who discovers a SETI sign however cannot persuade anybody it is actual, is overly melodramatic with a messy script. The Lair, the newest from The Descent director Neil Marshall, is a waste of time – a creature function that’s as boring as they arrive. The Roundup, an intense Korean motion movie, is enjoyable however sloppy and simply forgettable.
Aside from Deadstream, which is already out to watch on Shudder, the perfect movies from Sitges this 12 months are: Finnish motion thriller Sisu (which received a bunch of awards on the pageant anyway) and Kids vs Aliens, Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener’s newest all-out grindhouse gore fest horror movie. The better part about it’s that it is solely 75 minutes and it is actually precisely what the title describes: a bunch of rowdy children preventing off some nasty, gooey aliens that attempt to destroy their Halloween night time. Don’t miss this each time it reveals up in your neighborhood, and convey all your buddies, too. Sisu blew me away – I wrote a full-length assessment as a result of I wanted to rave about how superior it’s. Another one which’s price watching is Ti West’s glorious daylight horror Pearl, his follow-up prequel to X with Mia Goth, each of which have been shot back-to-back. This one even premiered on the Venice Film Festival, however I did not see it there, solely catching up with each X and Pearl throughout Sitges. Ti West is likely one of the finest horror administrators round and proves this twice in 2022 with these.
There have been additionally two French style movies that left an impression on me: Tropic (aka Tropique in French / alternatively titled Things Behind the Stars) from filmmaker Edouard Salier, a sci-fi thriller paying homage to Gattaca. And the poetic mountain drama The Mountain (aka La Montagne) from filmmaker Thomas Salvador, who additionally stars within the movie. I additionally wrote extra about this one in a assessment as a result of I am keen on mountains and I am keen on films about mountains, so this one actually received me. Tropic is each and a foul movie. The first half-hour left me in awe, pondering that is going to be phenomenal. But it by no means actually goes anyplace, spending the remaining 78 minutes spinning its wheels because it explorers a narrative of two brothers coaching to be pilots for area missions. One of them is endlessly modified by a wierd alien rock that crashes right down to Earth, leaving him severely deformed with half a mind. They by no means depart Earth, very like Gattaca, however as a substitute of creating the story it simply will get caught with neither going anyplace. Despite these story issues, it is a very fashionable, charming, fascinating movie made by a gifted filmmaker. He simply wants a greater script subsequent time.
I’m already wanting ahead to returning to Sitges once more subsequent 12 months, with the identical aim: to observe and uncover excellent style movies. I’ll return simply to observe movies with these audiences. They undoubtedly love films, and so they clearly love watching films collectively. I’m glad I might make it right down to the movie pageant in 2022. Above all, I hope that my suggestions (and warnings) about these movies from 2022 will curiosity others in watching them. That’s what cinema is all about – spreading that love for good movies and inspiring different film followers to observe one thing they won’t have heard of earlier than. Keep a watch out for any of the films from the Sitges 2022 choice. If you ever have the time and talent to make it to Spain for this pageant, I completely advocate it. It’s a implausible pageant in contrast to every other, positioned proper on the Mediterranean coast.