CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Horror, Independent, New Releases, Noir, Mystery & Suspense, Columns, Features, Indie Spotlight, Movie News, Columns, New Releases, CinematicalBoo! And I mean "boo" in the Halloween sense, not in the "opposite-of-hooray" sense. The multiplexes have plenty of films geared toward this sacred holiday season, but so do the art houses! The Indie Spotlight is here to tell you what's opening in limited release this weekend, and there are a couple of frightfests in the mix. Just because it's not on 3,000 screens doesn't mean it can't scare the skittles out of you.
Here's the lineup today: Able Danger, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, Eden Lake, The First Basket, The Matador, The Other End of the Line, and Splinter. And here's the lowdown on each of them, in my own highly subjective order of preference.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
What it is: An emotionally devastating documentary made by a man after his best friend was murdered.
What they're saying: We've been raving about this film ever since Erik Davis saw it at Slamdance back in January. It's one of the most powerful films I've ever seen, and I know about a dozen people who've seen it who would say the same thing. A few of them are at Rotten Tomatoes, where the film currently stands at 100%. See this movie.
Where it's playing: New York City (Cinema Village).
More info: The official site lists upcoming release dates in other cities
What it is: A grisly horror flick about four young people who are terrorized by a parasitic creature.
What they're saying: Ten out of twelve critics at Rotten Tomatoes give it a thumbs-up, saying it's an efficient, creative B-movie -- exactly what it's supposed to be.
Where it's playing: New York City (City Cinemas Village East), Austin (Dobie Theatre), Los Angeles (Mann Chinese), Dallas (Studio Movie Grill), Oklahoma City (Museum of Art).
More info: The official site has upcoming release dates, plus info on how you can watch the film through some cable systems' on-demand service.
What it is: A brutal British horror film about a young couple terrorized by bad guys while on vacation.
What they're saying: It's 81% positive over at Rotten Tomatoes. Sounds like it delivers the goods on the terror, the mayhem, and the violence.
Where it's playing: Los Angeles (Regency Fairfax), New York (Cinemart Cinemas in Forest Hills), Chicago (Muvico Rosemont), Houston (Santikos Silverado in Tomball), Atlanta (Plaza Theatre), Seattle (Landmark Varsity), San Francisco (Lumiere).
More info: The official site is British, with no info on the U.S. release.
The Other End of the Line
What it is: Romantic comedy about an Indian call-center employee who goes to San Francisco to meet a man she fell in love with over the phone. Starring Jesse Metcalfe and Bollywood star Shriya.
What they're saying: It hasn't been reviewed much yet, but the one notice at Rotten Tomatoes says it's a pleasantly old-fashioned rom-com. I suspect you know what you're in for when you choose a film with that plot description.
Where it's playing: A few dozen theaters in most of your biggest cities, including NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, etc.
More info: The official site has the trailer and not much else.
What it is: A black-and-white, film-noir-style thriller about 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
What they're saying: Mixed notices so far at Rotten Tomatoes, though the film certainly sounds ambitious. The director, Paul Krik, will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening on Election Night.
Where it's playing: Los Angeles (Laemmle Grande 4).
More info: Here's the official site.
What it is: Not to be confused with the 2005 Pierce Brosnan comedy of the same name, this Matador is a documentary about David Fandila's quest to become the world's greatest bullfighter.
What they're saying: At Rotten Tomatoes, it's four in favor and two against (and one of those against seems more concerned about the film's attitude toward bulls than the film's actual quality). The film apparently reserves judgment about the cruelty of bullfighting and might make you see the "sport" in a different light.
Where it's playing: New York City (Angelika Film Center).
More info: The official site has info on upcoming release dates.
The First Basket
What it is: A documentary about the impact of professional basketball on Jewish culture. Wait, what?
What they're saying: It's two-to-one against at Rotten Tomatoes; the film evidently has a very narrow target audience. But if you're part of that audience, hey!
Where it's playing: New York City (CC Village East).
More info: The official site has a little more info on other screenings.