For Your Consideration: The 2015 Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Foreign Language Film!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
If you’re a fearless fan of FANGORIA, you’re likely flexing your right to vote for this year’s Chainsaw Awards. And while some choices are pretty obvious, other ones can be especially complicated. However, in the age of instant streaming, with titles now available in ways they’ve never been before, fans are seeing more of the nominees than ever, especially for those in the Foreign Language Film category. Yet for those who haven’t, here’s a spotlight on those titles so that fans can familiarize themselves with some of the most eerie international films of 2014…
Before we go into our choices, FANGORIA would like to address the international titles that sadly didn’t make the cut this year. Two Drafthouse titles were dangerously close to making the cut, as both NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN and BORGMAN had made various versions of our individual lists; however, both titles were nudged out barely as the pool of potential nominees narrowed down to five. Meanwhile, both MOEBIUS and DEAD SNOW 2 were heavily considered, yet MOEBIUS’ virtual silence and DEAD SNOW 2’s English language sequences left them as the black sheep of the category. And BLOOD GLACIER, for all its merits, was too bogged down by it’s reliance on CGI and the much wider availability of an English dub to earn serious consideration.
So without further ado, here are your FANGORIA Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Foreign Language Film…
BIG BAD WOLVES, dir. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado
While there was a brief discussion on whether or not BIG BAD WOLVES was technically horror, especially when compared to disqualified Limited Release nominee CHEAP THRILLS, FANGORIA believed that BIG BAD WOLVES penchant for human horror and heavily reliance on suspense for building intensity earned a spot on this list. It’s Hitchcock by the way of HOSTEL, and made for one of the most brutal films of 2014. And even though the film’s political allegories were a little on the nose at times, the dark comedy, the resonating creepiness and unique vision for the film made BIG BAD WOLVES one of this year’s must-see foreign titles.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour
One of the most peculiar yet buzzworthy titles of 2014, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT had many different supporters in its corner, from VICE to SpectreVision to Sundance. But even all the hype in the world would leave horror fans unprepared for Ana Lily Amirpour’s sleek, clever and gorgeously weird tale of vampirism and longing set against the narrative structure of a Western. A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT may be the most stylish foreign horror title of last year, but it’s also the most unapologetic and bold. It’s a fright film that absolutely deserves your attention, and if not, your respect.
THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME, dir. Alejandro Hidalgo
To be honest, this writer wasn’t even aware of this film’s existence until it’s name appeared on another staffer’s list. So in all fairness, I saw the film as quick as possible, and luckily, it floored me as one of the most dread-inducing horror titles of 2014. To say much on the story would be risking spoiling some of the film’s twists and moments, each of which are so meticulously constructed that it’d be a shame to know much beforehand. But for unexpecting audiences, THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME is definitely the next in the line of exceptional genre cinema to come out of Spanish-language countries as of late, and fans will be wise to take note of Alejandro Hidalgo as a director to watch.
THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS, dir. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani
The much-anticipated follow-up to Cattet and Forzani’s AMER, this neo-giallo flick dove even further into stylized homage than the duo’s previous work, which divided horror audiences significantly. However, if Cattet and Forzani’s work is your cup of tea (as it was for many of the FANGO staff), THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS is a refreshing and hypnotic experience altogether, playing to the stranger side of our scare fare sensibilities. And while the story may be a bit more difficult for casual horror fans to wrap their head around, seasoned horror audiences are more likely to be so engulfed in the visuals of the film that the real horror will come from the provocative quiet moments and stark viscera as opposed to the arc of its narrative.
WITCHING & BITCHING, dir. Alex de la Iglesia
Likely the most accessible of this year’s nominees, WITCHING & BITCHING is another hilarious and non-PC entry from Alex de la Igelsia, who offers incredible production value and some of the best writing in last year’s genre entries period. But nevertheless, wonderful effects work, eccentric performances and a reckless abandonment of good taste make WITCHING & BITCHING a genuine genre gem, even if its biting satire can get dangerously close to misogyny. From start to finish, however, WITCHING & BITCHING is easily the most lighthearted and entertaining film from our Foreign Language nominees, which will give it an edge over those who prefer their fright fare a bit less heavyhanded.
If you would like to vote for any of these films for Best Foreign Language Film, check out the full ballot here and send your completed ballot to firstname.lastname@example.org.