CATEGORIES Animation, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Horror, Independent, New Releases, Mystery & Suspense, Columns, Cinematical Indie, Features, Indie Spotlight, Movie News, Columns, New Releases, Cinematical'Tis the season for cinematic horrors, but a fright-seeker's options aren't limited to Saw V or High School Musical 3. The Indie Spotlight has the lowdown on a batch of limited-release films opening today that may also terrify or amuse you. Four of the five have gotten almost nothing but great reviews, too.
Here's what's new today: Fear(s) of the Dark, I've Loved You So Long, Let the Right One In, Roadside Romeo, and Stranded: I Have Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains. Those are some great titles, if nothing else. Here's the scoop on each of them.
Let the Right One In
What it is: Twelve-year-old boy develops a crush on a girl who might be a vampire. It's Twilight, but with the genders reversed, and in Swedish.
What they're saying: Raves all around the board, including Cinematical's Scott Weinberg. At Rotten Tomatoes, the acclaim is almost universal. (Owen Gleiberman: Welcome to Contraryville, population 1.) Everybody I know who has seen it says it's something special -- scary, twisted, witty, and even sweet.
Where it's playing: New York City (Angelika Film Center), Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5, Laemmle Playhouse 7, Edwards University Town Center in Irvine).
More info: The official site has a list of upcoming playdates in other cities. Let's make this one a hit, people!
I've Loved You So Long
What it is: A French drama about a woman released from prison after 15 years who must try to reconnect with her sister and her sister's family. (Does the title make anyone else think of Full Metal Jacket? "Me love you long time!")
What they're saying: Cinematical gushed effusively when the film played at Telluride, calling it a "masterpiece." The Rotten Tomatoes score is overwhelmingly positive (90% at the moment), and the buzz is that Kristin Scott Thomas is a lock for an Oscar nomination and a solid bet for a win.
Where it's playing: New York City (Lincoln Plaza, Angelika Film Center), Los Angeles (Laemmle Town Center 5, Laemmle Playhouse 7, Laemmle Royal, Regency South Coast Village in Costa Mesa).
More info: Sony Classics' official site.
Fears(s) of the Dark
What it is: A collection of French animated shorts focusing on spooky things that scare us in the nighttime.
What they're saying: The consensus at Rotten Tomatoes is 70% positive so far. (Pete Hammond didn't like it? I thought Pete Hammond liked everything.) No one thinks every single one of the shorts is brilliant, but the overall effect is creepy, haunting, and fun. (Cinematical debuted a couple of clips the other day, which you can see here.)
Where it's playing: New York City (IFC Center) and through IFC's video-on-demand. Goes to L.A. next week.
More info: The official site.
Stranded: I Have Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains
What it is: Remember that haunting story from 1972 about the plane crash in the Andes where the survivors resorted to cannibalism to stay alive? This is a documentary about it, with the survivors telling the story themselves and actually revisiting the crash site. (Meals were provided.)
What they're saying: Cinematical's James Rocchi praised the film at Sundance. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus is strongly in favor. The film doesn't sensationalize the material, and the survivors' reflections on what happened are thought-provoking and even poetic at times.
Where it's playing: New York City (Film Forum).
More info: The official site has a good list of upcoming release dates in other cities.
What it is: An animated film from India about a stray dog gettin' into scrapes and stuff. Disney is involved, having finally realized the potential of the untapped Bollywood market.
What they're saying: I can't find any reviews online yet. It's opening today in India, too.
Where it's playing: A couple dozen theaters nationwide. Oh, and India.
More info: The official site isn't much, but it's there.