R You Xperienced? Part Two of a Two Part Article on the Letter R — A to Z Short Horror Film Review Series

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Two directors have really impressed me with their visions of horror. When coming up with this series, I felt that when I got to this letter, I had to give them their own article.

 

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There are many good things that come from Canada. This filmmaker may be one of the best.

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Marc Roussel

Based in Toronto, Mr. Roussel has a diverse resume of films to his credit. Although his strongest suit seems to be horror, his versatility has shown in both crime drama and romance. He has the ability to pull a variety of emotional strings is so effective that he cannot be matched by most. He is also downright terrifying.

His films “Remote” and “The Elusive Man” have won awards at various festivals and he had been nominated for the Director’s Guild of Canada award. He has also found success as an editor on many televisions shows.

Rotten Clown (undated)

http://www.shortsnonstop.com/videos/watch/rotten-clown/

No dialog. No actors. Just a clown and the sound of children’s laughter. What could be more appealing? Haunting and creepy.

Sweet Tooth (2006)

There are reasons to check your candy at Halloween. The story of Sweet Tooth is told from one friend to another.

Alchemy (2007)

Sometimes, a couple needs a little help to make a connection. Thankfully, technology is there to help.

Remote (2010)

What is that you are watching on TV? Say, that person on the screen looks a lot like me!

The Last Halloween (2014)

As we see from “Sweet Tooth”, Mr. Roussel likes Halloween. What would the apocalyptic Halloween look like and who would be the players in that drama? Here is one answer.

The Elusive Man (2010)

 

Not a horror film. It is a crime drama with some resemblance to “Reservoir Dogs” in that ears are very important to the plot. Mr. Roussel shows gives us something outside his usual genre, and handles it beautifully.

The Sweetest Hippopotamus (2012)

Also, not a horror film. This is a story told by an aging grandmother to her granddaughter about her days as a cigarette girl in the Sweet Hippo, the shadiest place in Big Pines. In spite of her troubles, she is lucky enough to meet the man who will save her, one Suitcase Sam. In glorious black and white.

 

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Moving on, the second subject is a prolific filmmaker from Kansas, who can make you laugh all the way to the graveyard.

 

Patrick Rea

Patrick Rea

 

I think that one of the reasons I love this man’s work is tied to my love of O. Henry. Henry was a prolific short story writer who was best known for his twist endings. Rea does a lot of that. Often, one is totally unprepared for the final scenes in his film. He is also adept at pulling the heartstrings, putting a lump in your throat, as well as making you roar with laughter. This is what makes his films a constant source of enjoyment. His shorts have won awards at a number of festivals, as has his feature film, “Nailbiter.”

Zero the Counter (2006)

Man meets woman. Both have similar pursuits. Will they be able to get along?

Shed Out of Luck (2007)

A hunter awakens to find himself tied up and left in a shed by an unknown assailant. His hunting friend is also missing. Will he survive the night?

Misfortune Smiles (2008)

https://vimeo.com/groups/kansascity/videos/13323679

A tale of fake fortune-telling and a crystal ball that starts working a little too well. One of Mr. Rea’s tongue-in-cheek tales that will leaving you laughing.

Now That You’re Dead (2009)

A tale of infidelity, revenge and vampirism. A short that was featured on a previous article, but so what.

Time’s Up Eve (2010)

Soul snatching aliens meet Film Noir. One of the last survivors runs for her soul and tells the tale, as in a 1940’s Philip Marlowe movie. In glorious black and white.

Do Not Disturb (2010)

You’re a serial killer on the run and cops are closing in. Is this a good time to take a job interview?

Get Off My Porch (2010)

Okay, I used this one in a previous article too. But it is my favorite. And it strikes close to home as I have bought cookies from the Girl Scout daughters of friends. I even helped my Cub Scout sons sell popcorn. I can relate to this film.

Pillow Fright (2015)

Something new and different. Just how does a pillow feel about being torn open during a pillow fight? Some young ladies find out.

This ends the only two-part letter in the series. Thanks for the info and the film access from Vimeo and YouTube and the help from IMDB and Wikipedia.

Mostly, though, I’d like to thank Marc Roussel and Patrick Rea for their bodies of work. There are many filmmakers out there. Few are as talented and consistent as these two men. I will continue to look forward to the next offering as well as revisit older works.

Thank you.

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for almost fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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