Angel Dust (1994) is an energetically bleak film about the terrific ease with which we surrender our minds.
It’s often said that you can pick your friends but not your family. Yet in an age of mass communication, it’s never been easier to track down an absentee dad or quietly unfriend a despicable relative on Facebook.
Sébastien Marnier’s second feature may be cursed with a generic English title, but the film immediately dispels any semblance of the ordinary with one of the most attention-grabbing opening scenes in recent memory.
The tale of an amateur entomologist (Eiji Okada) lured by seemingly amiable rural folk into a sand pit from which he is unable to escape, Woman in the Dunes would seem to generate its particular strain of terror from our primal fear of sequestration and austerity.
The English title of Christian Tafdrup’s third feature initially reads as a strategy to draw horror fans, a pleading form of genre assurance that the film’s anodyne original Danish title, Gæsterne, or The Guests, cannot offer.