The Movie Waffler Dublin Horrorthon 2013 Review - The Battery / Haunter / Hansel & Gretel Get Baked | The Movie Waffler

Dublin Horrorthon 2013 Review - The Battery / Haunter / Hansel & Gretel Get Baked

The Battery
Directed by: Jeremy Gardner
Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle

This existential zombie road trip black comedy has garnered a lot of press for its incredibly low budget of reportedly $12,000. Writer/director Gardner really does get value for his buck as the film is visually the equal of any movie with a hundred times the financial clout.
The film is something of a Waiting For Godot with the undead, a two-hander between Gardner and Cronheim as former baseball players travelling the endless roads of a post zombie outbreak US.
Its languid comedy reminded me of John Carpenter's Dark Star and it's the sort of humor that will divide audiences. I found it wearing thin around the film's midway point.
As an advertisement for what can be achieved with today's consumer grade digital hardware, The Battery is almost unsurpassed but the movie struggles to find its path and convince us to follow it down it.

Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Samantha Weinstein, Stephen McHattie, David Hewlett, Michelle Nolden, Peter Outerbridge, Peter DaCunha

Cult Canadian director Natali's latest is essentially Groundhog Day given a supernatural twist as Breslin wakes each day to find herself trapped in the exact same routine alongside her blissfully unaware family.
It's a nice comment on how it can feel to be a teenager, trapped in a monotonous world that's out of your hands and Breslin is impressive in the role but Natali's plot runs out of steam around the half hour mark when we're presented with a twist we all saw coming.
This could have made a really great 45 minute episode of a Masters of Horror type anthology series but there just isn't enough material to sustain its 97 minute running time.
Natali is a film-maker who, like M Night Shyamalan and Brad Anderson, needs a script collaborator to shore up his intriguing premises into satisfying stories.

Hansel & Gretel Get Baked
Directed by: Duane Journey
Starring: Molly Quinn, Michael Welch, Lara Flynn Boyle, Cary Elwes, Yancy Butler

If there's one sub-genre I find insufferable, it's the stoner comedy. I'm not some anti-drugs stuffed shirt but I fail to see the humor in watching a bunch of slackers sit around taking bong hits for 90 minutes.
H&GGB takes the Grimm tale and injects a plot involving teens trying to get their hands on the best weed in town, grown by Lara Flynn Boyle's evil witch.
Throughout the movie, Boyle ages backwards by sucking the youth from various teen victims but the level of plastic surgery the actress has undergone makes it confusing as to where the prosthetics stop and her own botoxed face begins.
There's a specific audience who will eat this up like a bag of Cheetos after a night of smoking but fans of genuine horror and non-stoner humor will be left dozing off as though having just gulped down a plate of hash cakes.

Eric Hillis