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Home Sweet Home

The Offscreen Festival comes pounding this year at the door of that familiar cocoon and safe haven we call home. With this selection of films, sub-categorized into Home Invasion and Haunted Houses, even the most solid foundations will tremble. When it comes to living in a dysfunctional family, being harassed by strange forces or tyrannized by paranormal phenomena... there’s truly no place like home. The program includes no less than thirty titles, spread across Nova Cinema and Cinematek: from classics over rare gems to bona fide grindhouse.

In literature as in cinema, home is a hearth whose flames only create more shadows: tear away the facade of any happy home and you’ll find a nostalgic and spooky residue of family history. The role of home as a last defence against the perilous outside world heightens our fear of intrusion, be it supernatural or real.

The haunted house is a classic symbol in 19th century gothic novels and their fascination with the paranormal. Dilapidated ruins, old manors and castles remain for a long time the favorite settings for many gothic-inspired horror films such as The Fall of the House of Usher, The Innocents or The Haunting. From the 1970’s onwards the romantic-era loci terribilis are traded for the modern apartments and suburban family homes of The Entity, The Tenant or Inferno.

The 1970’s also brought home invasion movies, a subversive affiliate of the rape & revenge sub-genre. The controversial Straw Dogs is a prime example, Lady in a Cage a surprising precursor and with Fight for your Life or Death Weekend we enter pure grindhouse territory. You’ve heard the pitch before: strangers submit inhabitants to all kinds of sadistic games. These tales of domestic robbery, home-jacking and violence skilfully play on a sense of neighbourhood insecurity and danger.

With Offscreen we also selected films that resolutely colour outside the lines. Demon Seed, The Dead Mountaineer Hotel or In a Glass Cage: all very unusual films that give an unexpected twist to the home sweet home theme. There’s a lot more going on behind closed curtains than people suspect.

So lock and bolt your doors, because this enticing selection will be topped off with the Cinematek’s B to Z programme in March.



Peter Medak, 1980, CA, 35mm, ov ang , 107'

After losing his wife and daughter in a car accident, renowned composer John Russell (George C. Scott) retires to an old mansion full of dark secrets. A chilling atmosphere pervades this skilfully directed suspense movie.

08.03 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€


House

(Hausu)

Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977, JP, video, ov st ang, 88'

A schoolgirl travels with six classmates to her sick aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits and ghoulish visions. Obayashi’s deranged fairy tale is an eye-popping and jaw-dropping dive in Japanese pop culture at its most delightful extreme.

+ Eenzaam huisje

Jen Debauche, 2009, BE, super8 > video, ov nl st fr, 4'

The story of a lonesome house haunted by the ghost of the old lady who once lived there.

09.03 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€


Tobe Hooper, 1974, US, 16mm > 35mm, ov , 75'

A group of teenagers stumble across a remote farmhouse inhabited by a depraved family, among them the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. This infamous and influential low-budget horror, brilliantly executed in gritty cinema vérité realism, still retains its power to shock and disturb.

09.03 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Sam Raimi, 1987, US, 35mm, ov , 84'

A cabin deep in the woods, an ancient Book of the Dead and a group of young people who don’t last long: with these elements Raimi remakes his original 1981 low-budget shocker into a delirious demented cinematic funhouse of flying eyeballs, bleeding walls, and possessed limbs.

09.03 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€


Robert Wise, 1963, GB-US, 35mm, ov st fr, 112'

Julie Harris and the eerie Hill House mansion play the lead roles in this ultimate haunted house classic. Directed by Robert Wise, the film combines extraordinary black and white photography with a moody and terrifying sound-design.

+ Outer Space

Peter Tscherkassky, 2000, AT, 35mm, no dial, , 10'

Impressive avant-garde short that recycles shots from "The Entity" to create a mood of dread.

10.03 > 20:00 + 18.03 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€


Tony Williams, 1982, AU, 35mm, ov , 89'

A young woman inherits her mother’s country manor which doubles as a home for the elderly. Soon strange things begin to happen. Featuring a spine-chilling soundtrack by Klaus Schulze, this eerie and atmospheric haunted house film from Down Under gradually shifts into a full-blooded giallo.

10.03 > 22:00


Death Weekend

(aka The House by the Lake)

William Fruet, 1976, CA, 35mm, ov ang , 87'

A cross between a backwoods brutality film like Deliverance and a home invasion movie like Straw Dogs, this relentlessly intense thriller is one of exploitation cinema’s true sleeper classics.

10.03 > 24:00
5€ / 3,5€


Luis Buñuel, 1962, MX, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 95'

After an exclusive dinner party the guests find themselves “psychologically” trapped in the house of their host. Good manners and reason soon turn into bickering, hysteria, suicide and even ritual sacrifice.

11.03 > 18:00
5€ / 3,5€


Walter Grauman, 1964, US, 35mm, ov , 94'

A rich widow (Olivia de Havilland) accidentally gets trapped in her in-home elevator while a local gang ransacks her house. A genuine discovery for this year’s festival, this slow-burning psychological thriller was way ahead of its time in heralding the home invasion movie cycle of the 1970s.

11.03 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€


Agusti Villaronga, 1987, ES, 35mm, ov st ang, 110'

Stylistically compelling, morally ambiguous and profoundly unsettling, this Spanish psychodrama about a former Nazi death camp doctor now confined to an iron lung, stands beside Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo – 100 Years of Sodom as one of cinema’s most unflinching depictions of human depravity.

11.03 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€


Grigori Kromanov, 1979, EE, 35mm, ov st fr & ang, 80'

A police inspector is summoned to a remote alpine hotel to investigate a murder – which has yet to occur. When an avalanche traps the guests inside, strange things start to happen. A visually stunning and utterly uncanny film with a brilliant eerie electronic score from Sven Grünberg.

15.03 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€


Elio Petri, 1968, IT, 35mm, ov st ang, 106'

The director of Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion turns the story of a painter’s (Franco Nero) retreat to a country house into a disquieting psycho-sexual thriller fuelled by surrealistic nightmare logic and stylized visuals, all set to a dissonant score by Ennio Morricone.

23.03 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€


Closing

The Shining

Stanley Kubrick, 1980, GB-US, 35mm, ov st fr & nl, 119'

Kubrick turns a classic haunted house tale (and minor Stephen King novel) into a seminal study of madness, family disintegration and the architecture of horror. Along the way he creates some of cinema’s most iconic images: Jack Nicholson’s delightful over-the-top performance (“Heeeere’s Johnny!”), the sound of Danny’s tricycle across the floors of the Overlook Hotel, and a steadicam pursuit through a snowy hedge maze. The Shining is one of those rare films that gets better and more frightening with each viewing.

25.03 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€


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