Sunday, October 3, 2010

Black Carpet Gala succeeds at mixing great film with great party

I rarely have much good to say about horror remakes. Most modern horror suffers from being derivative as it is; to out-and-out remake an existing film is a recipe for uninteresting cinema. I watch a lot of genre films so it is rare for films to present something I have not seen before. All I ask is that they try. Adding in that wikipedia incorrectly lists Jeffrey Reddick as the writer, I had low expectations for the remake I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (for clarity, I will refer to the original as DAY OF THE WOMAN). I am glad these low expectations did not keep me away. This was a fantastic film. Director Stephen R Monroe and writer Stuart Morse learned from the strengths of the original while successfully modernizing the story and adding new storylines and twists to keep it fresh. Framing this film as a remake might be a sign of the filmmakers' confidence in their ability to make an original and truly chilling film. Much the same way a superior athlete would spot an opponent a few points, Monroe and Morse let you know the basic storyline. Anyone who has seen DAY OF THE WOMAN knows what some of the most shocking scenes will be. This advance knowledge makes the deviation from the original film even more powerful. The audience is psychologically prepared for certain shocking things to happen. When something else happens in its place, the impact is heightened.

The party was also terrific. The liquor brand of the night was Hennessy cognac. The signature drink was Hennessy and ginger ale with a black super nib garnish. From what I remember of the night, these were delicious. The party also benefitted from not having a musical act performing. This year's parties were great for music lovers as there was a range of performers at the parties large and small, official and unofficial. All of these performers were great and added to the overall atmosphere of the festival. However, people tended to leave shortly after the performers finished. The Black Carpet Gala was a chance to mingle and catch up with the people I see at the festival each year. I heard about several films I missed seeing as well as several interesting film and arts events going on in Calgary over the next several months.