This weekend, Lisbon is being invaded by zombies, monsters, ghosts and gore in a festival created to please the fans of horror movies and the curious ones. MOTELx is probably one of the most important film festivals in Portugal and, this year, the selection of movies is really amazing. From movies that will scare you a lot to those that will please you for sure, MOTELx has what it takes to become an irreverent film festival with lots of style. Masterclasses, short films, horror games and children movies are some of the interesting things added to a menu filled with lots of movies.
The movie selected to open this year’s edition is Life after Beth… A story about a guy who unexpectedly loses his girlfriend and that has a second chance to do all the things he regretted not doing with her before when she miraculously comes back to life. The movie’s world premiere was at the Sundance Film Festival. For those who are looking for supernatural experiences, Honeymoon will also be shown in the first day of the festival… The story of two young newlyweds who travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon and that will face something sinister and evil taking place in the woods. Directed by Leigh Janiak, Honeymoon is one of the most anticipated movies at the festival.
Another highlight of this year’s section is The Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent. The Babadook premiered at Sundance and it’s the story of a woman who after the death of her husband is struggling to discipline her “out-of-control” son. Her son’s dreams are plagued by a monster and when a disturbing storybook called “The Babadook” turns up at their house, they will discover a sinister presence lurking in the house.
There is also place for sequels at MOTELx with Wolf Creek 2, The Raid 2, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead and V/H/S Viral. The last two movies will be shown in Double Feature sessions, accompanied by the past year’s horror hit Oculus and by All Cheerleaders Die, respectively. There’s also place for Adam Wingard’s return after You’re Next (check the review here) with The Guest being shown two times during the weekend. My expectations for this one are high since I enjoyed his previous movie and the story is actually kind of interesting in a horror film festival. David, the perfect guest, is invited to stay at the Peterson’s family house. He’s helpful, charming and friendly but when a series of murders takes place in the peaceful town, he starts getting a lot of attention. The movie premiered at a midnight screening at Sundance and was selected to open Fright Fest.
There is also room for Spanish and French movies like Among the Living and Witching and Bitching and for the fans of Asian horror there are several movies that could please them like The Brain Man, Greatful Dead, Last Summer and the return of the Mo Brothers in Killers, a story about a serial killer who haunts women in Tokyo and who starts dueling with a vigilante.
For the closing ceremony of MOTELx, the organization picked Stage Fright, a Canadian horror film directed by Jerome Sable about a teenager who wants to become a Broadway diva and that ends up working in the kitchen of a snobby performing arts camp but when she decides to follow her dreams by applying to the summer camp musical, a masked killer starts frightening everyone.
Several short movies will also compete for the only award delivered at the festival, Best Portuguese Horror Short Film 2014, and several documentaries will also be shown in the DOC Horror section. Special screenings of Gremlins, The Dance of Reality and the premiere of the seventh season of True Blood are also schedule for this year’s edition. For the young ones, the organization will show three Disney movies (Fantasia, Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) in a section called Big Bad Wolf.
So between games, quizzes, documentaries, short films and horror features, the events taking place at MOTELx allow me to call this year’s edition one of the most ambitious and interesting ones with a great selection of movies and animation. For the interested ones, feel free to check the official website, www.motelx.org, to know everything about the festival.
MOTELx, the place where horror is welcome!