Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TIFF - Day 4 - Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Livid

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky)

Thinking back about Paradise Lost 3, I realize that it’s possible I like it more for its extra cinematic impact than its cinematic qualities and I’m okay with that. While the third entry in this epic documentary saga is certainly made more proficiently than the second, most of the outrage that it stirs up is recycled from the seminal first entry (and the events recounted here are as outrageous as ever). New exonerating proof emerges here, thanks to changes in Arkansas’ laws governing appeals based on new DNA evidence. I do wish, however, there was more time actually spent with the West Memphis 3 in this film. That might not have been possible, due to their incarceration, but they, like Berlinger and Sinofsky, now almost seem like minor players in a movement and drama that has taken on a life of its own over the past eighteen years. The film’s efforts to hypothesize that the stepfathers on one of the three murdered boys could have been responsible for the killings seems slightly unscrupulous, even if the film eventually backs off on its accusatory tone.

This was a final cut, but given the recent release of the West Memphis 3, twelve minutes of the film will be added.

Rating: 60/100

Livid (Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo)

A visiting nurse coaxes some friends into robbing a creepy house on Halloween night, to disastrous results in this slow-burning horror movie from the directors of the cult hit Inside. While watching, Livid seems too slow. It takes forty-five minutes before any scares crop up. Still, in retrospect the dread that the directors generated in the film’s first half are probably more effective than the outright shocks that follow. There’s nothing original to see here, as the hauntings in question involve vampiric ballerinas and a creepy old hag. The final moments attempt to class the joint up (the filmmakers claim to have been inspired by old Hammer films), but they end up making the time spent watching feel silly.

Rating: 41/100

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