(Original post can be found at Bloody-Disgusting.com. This editorial contains spoilers for Tigers Are Not Afraid, It Chapter Two, The Nightingale, and The House That Jack Built.)
Issa Lopez’s poignant and revelatory Tigers Are Not Afraid has made such an impact on the horror genre because it differs from so many others films that are given to us: its narrative is told through perspectives that we never see enough of in mainstream cinema; its fantastical elements often add to the film’s sense of peril, as opposed to solely bringing the characters comfort; and, most interestingly, it contains a fearlessness to incorporate grim (but necessary) portrayals of child violence into its storytelling.
Aleksandra Cwen in Hagazussa (Courtesy of Doppelganger Releasing)
Coming off 2018– a highly sociopolitical year that contained multiple depictions of witches, femininity, and black magic within horror through the likes of Suspiria, Pyewacket, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina– Lukas Feigelfeld’s debut feature film Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, which has been circulating the festivals since fall 2017, will finally be available to audiences this month. And although a slightly different take on witches than we’ve been seeing as of late, Hagazussa is arguably the most subtly gut-wrenching.
While I was stuck in bed and dying from the stomach flu last week, I caught up with three films that I’ve been highly anticipating for this early half of 2019– and one that I threw in for good measure that has drummed up some quieter buzz amongst the horror critics circles. (In between my fits of nausea, shaking, and pressing pause countless times to doze off into sick-induced sleep oblivion, I jotted down just a handful of notes for each, which is why they’re only getting mini reviews as opposed to a full page for each of the four.) All are solid recommendations at the very least– with a couple being more surprising standouts over the others…