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Robot or not? You have to decide! Day 4 of Grimmfest
By James Whittington, Saturday 10th October 2020
Triggered

Another big day at Grimmfest 2020 with five more movies that are designed to intrigue and shock in equal measures.

First up is I Am Ren which takes the soul of Philip K. Dick and places it firmly into a living nightmare. A young woman goes into therapy after she starts to believe that she is an android. Is she having a breakdown, is she being gaslighted by an abusive husband, or is she really the synthetic wife and mother REN v.4.3? This film has the ability to keep you guessing throughout its duration. With bleak camerawork it mixes psychological horror with emotion perfectly.

One movie that's really making people talk is Rent-A-Pal from Jon Stevenson. 1990. Lonely bachelor David seeks escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his ageing mother. Resorting to a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy, the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But it comes at a cost... Moving from the themes of loss and loneliness to obsession and want, Rent-A-Pal is a disturbing and constantly creepy movie with superb performances from Brian Landis Folkins who plays David and a mould-breaking role for Wil Wheaton.

Bigfoot movies are few and far between and usually contain more forest than hairy creature. Monstrous from Bruce Wemple turns the genre on its hairy head and delivers something new to the sub-genre. A young woman goes searching for answers after her friend mysteriously vanishes in Whitehall, NY, an Adirondack town known for its Bigfoot sightings. She quickly learns that hiding in the woods is an evil more sinister than she could ever imagine. Written by and starring Anna Shields this sets a new standard to for creature features and places it firmly in the real world.

If hack n' slash is your thing then Triggered is the movie for you today. Friendships are put to the test when nine former classmates on a reunion camping trip awake to find they're locked into explosive vests with countdown timers on them. The only way to get more time? Kill each other... Blood-splattered and hyper-violent, this Battle Royal in a dark forest wastes no time in getting to the meat of the movie.

The day ends with a movie which begins as a comedy and becomes much, much darker, It Cuts Deep. While on Christmas vacation, a young couple contemplates their future together. Ashley is interested in getting married and having kids which terrifies Sam. When the more attractive and paternal Nolan enters the picture, Sam's life spirals out of control. Writer and director Nicholas Payne Santos has delivered a movie which is funny, considered and so well acted you get lost in the plot. For people who like humanity in their horror.


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