Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival 2021
Dodo Dayao, Carljoe Javier
Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Glaiza De Castro, Anthony Falcon, Dino Pastrano, Bing Pimentel
Bianca Balbuena, Bradley Liew
Albert Banzon, Gym Lumbera
Corinne De San Jose
Malek Lopez, Erwin Romulo, Juan Miguel Sobrepeña
Lawrence S. Ang
Epicmedia Productions, Inc.
Near-future Manila. The city is now a “perfect” world; the powerful forces keeping it so, thoroughly hidden from view yet pressing down subconsciously, oppressively on the citizens. Random blackouts are said to happen in various parts of the city past midnight – random-access curfews for those unfortunate enough to be out when they happen, to be snatched away in utter, complete, moonless darkness. The only refuge? Government-sanctioned “safe houses” scattered around the city, believed by many to be a hoax, or perhaps a metaphor for something worse. As four friends end a night out in one of them, they come to realize just how much further the darkness can stretch…
Taking its title from a DJ Shadow cut, and unfolding with an air of announced Philip K. Dickian strangeness, Dodo Dayao’s (VIOLATOR) long-awaited sophomore effort MIDNIGHT IN A PERFECT WORLD is, like the previous film, a uniquely nightmarish trip. Befitting the world’s ongoing, dystopic situation and cementing Dayao’s unique voice in independent Filipino cinema, MIDNIGHT unfolds like a veiled metaphor for the contemporary Filipino experience and its historical trauma, doubling as a purely experiential – and proudly experimental – horror film. Channeling the anxieties of Martial Law-era curfews and the scare tactics of the Duterte regime with a frightening, visceral efficiency, this is a hallucinatory horror film – think prescription meds mixed with street drugs – in which everything is deeply felt, beyond conventional rationale. A powerful evocation of a floating, twilight world in which creatures might be lurking to get you. – Ariel Esteban Cayer
Submerge yourselves in the dark depths of Bustillo & Maury’s new found-footage horror film.
A videotape transmits a curse that kills in seven days, in this instant classic that influenced world horror cinema for over a decade.
Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
A landmark in Spanish horror cinema. The scariest found-footage film in history and the most intense zombie nightmare you’ll ever experience.