Horror’s had a presence at the Tribeca Film Festival ever since I started covering it back in 2009, but 2013 marks the first year the festival’s Midnight Section feels particularly well-programmed and cohesive to the point that it’s attracting attention normally reserved for sections like Spotlight and Viewpoints. Not every film in the program is a winner, but the group does offer a little something for every breed of genre fan, from horror-comedy to sci-fi to sheer terror and more.
Best Brutal Combat: Raze
If you’ve got a taste for boxing, MMA or particularly vicious big-screen hand-to-hand combat,Raze delivers and then some. However, the “then some” will likely chase some away. The movie is about women who are kidnapped and forced to fight each other to the death until just one remains, so, yes, violence is necessary, but there’s just so many heads you can see bashed in until even the hungriest gore hounds start to squirm. Then again, that also makesRaze the ideal showcase for actress/stunt woman Zoe Bell. Clearly she’s got the combat skills that make her the ultimate action hero, but here she really gets the chance to prove herself as a commanding leading lady.
Whereas the ruthlessness of Raze could very easily be too off-putting to stomach, Bell’s Sabrina functions as an appealing and entertaining vehicle of sorts, making you want to stick with it. She also gets a surprisingly profound assist from Tracie Thoms and Bailey Anne Borders who contribute an unexpectedly emotional and heart-wrenching scene that’s far more successful than it should be considering the context.
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