September 09, 2013

TIFF Day Four: Horny Radcliffe, Rural Heist, Magical Allegory & Chinese Map Dread

Horns [US, Alexandre Aja, 4] DJ wrongly accused of murder (Daniel Radcliffe) grows a set of horns granting him the power to provoke unseemly confessions. Energetically tackles the fantasy elements of the Joe Hill source novel, even if, like any film adapted from a murder mystery, it struggles to maintain momentum within a flashback-heavy structure.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place [US, Simon & Zeke Hawkins, 3.5] Handsome lunk in small-town Texas drags his college-bound girl and best friend into a gangland robbery. Debut directors make efficient use of shoestring resources and show their good taste in crime flick influences.

Bastardo [Tunisia, Nejib Belkadhi, 4] Meek resident of walled, gang-run neighborhood upends its balance of power by allowing the installation of a cell phone tower on his roof. Pointed allegory with touches of magical realism.

Trap Street [China, Vivian Qu, 3.5] Trainee digital surveyor who moonlights as an installer of surveillance cameras pursues a pretty girl who works on a street that doesn't show up on maps. Treats a Hitchcockian premise with naturalistic realism, observing the corrosiveness of life under omnipresent state observation.