RADIANT CIRCUS is currently sat near the “little dungeon creatures” of the festival volunteer team in the basement at Vue Piccadilly – a perfect spot to calibrate our festival experience for the next 10 days. First commitment: Screamdance – a world of indie horror.
By RADIANT CIRCUS
Hacking your way through the forest of a festival programme can be a daunting task. We’ve decided to indulge our native instincts at RADIANT CIRCUS, which means following the Horror and Queer strands to which we’ll be bolting on other experiences as the festival unfolds.
This year, the horror films have been huddled together in a new festival strand called appropriately enough, Screamdance. That’s 7 global horror features ranging as such fare does from spine chilling thrillers to what one of the festival team has just described as an “out and out theatrical gore-fest.” Which serves us well…
For those with a nervous disposition (and any horror fan always gets asked by their less genre-friendly friends “….how scary is it?”), the horror films at Raindance this year are being carefully monitored by marketing company Sociograph, who will be running a neuroscientific experiment throughout the festival.
More than 20 attendees at each of three screenings (namely FERAL, DARK ALMOST NIGHT, MACARBE – see film listings below) will be asked to wear a special wristband, and they’ll be tested through their non-conscious reactions to the film as they watch it. The aim is to measure just how scary/impactful the audience finds the Screamdance films. The results of the experiment will be revealed at a special event on 24 SEP about the advantages of applying marketing science in the industry.
It’s not quite the full William Castle – who would surely approve of attaching electrical devices to his audience members, surely for more diabolical means – but we’re stupidly keen to play our part. Let’s hope we get strapped in.
Here’s the Screamdance lineup. See you in darkness…
MACABRE (dir: Marcos Prado, Brazil) World Premiere
MACABRE is based on the true story of two brothers, known as the Werewolves of Freiburg, accused of multiple brutal murders in the 1990s. As the population, the press, and the local police condemn the brothers, a police sergeant realises that one of them may be innocent.
LE DEUXIEME (dir: Jelle Stroo, Belgium) International Premiere
Jean leads a spiritual commune which promises its followers a second life. When the double of one of the followers arrives at the house, they learn that Jean meant this promise literally. However, not everybody is convinced, and even Jean eventually begins to question his own beliefs.
DARK, ALMOST NIGHT (dir: Borys Lankosz, Poland) UK Premiere
A tenacious reporter returns to her hometown after a series of mysterious child kidnappings there. She begins to uncover a trail of dramatic events which started decades earlier, but in her quest for truth she must also confront shocking secrets about her own family and childhood.
THE WAITER (dir: Steve Krikris, Greece) UK Premiere
Renos is a professional waiter, ambiguous, lonely, a meticulous observer of people. When he unwittingly becomes entangled in the mysterious disappearance of his neighbour, he is led on a ride that will alter his well-kept routine and change his life. A film equal parts character study and paradoxical murder story.
INFECTION (dir: Flavio Pedota, Venezuela/Mexico) European Premiere
After an outbreak of a mutated rabies virus, an epidemic brings chaos and fear to the city streets, forcing a father to battle through hostile territory in a fight to rescue his only son.
FERAL (dir: Andrés Kaiser, Mexico) UK Premiere
The mountains of Oaxaca harbour the remains of a ravaged and burnt shelter. Once home to a psychoanalyst priest, he used it to look after savage children, trying to reintegrate them into society. Through videotape diaries and interviews, the truth of what happened there is shockingly revealed.
SANDPAPER (dir: Jarett Bellucci, USA) International Premiere
Newly divorced Kate hires an amiable but eccentric carpenter named Howard to build her a new deck. Initially the perfect craftsman, Howard’s behaviour grows ever more peculiar, revealing a complex and devious personality that threatens to turn Kate’s whole life upside down, locking the pair in a battle of wills.
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
The 27th Raindance Film Festival screens at Vue West End & Vue Piccadilly (18 to 29 SEP 2019).
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