Six films to target at the Calgary Underground Film Festival

Up for a little Underground?

The Calgary Underground Film Festival kicks off Monday, April 22 with an opening screening of the zombie comedy-horror flick Little Monsters starring Lupita Nyong’o before a full week of the weird and the wonderful from the worlds of features, documentaries and shorts.

While you’ll likely never be disappointed with whatever film you choose, it’s always good to go into the fest armed with a few suggestions.

Writers John Tebbutt and Mike Bell offer three recommendations each for films you might want to target during the week. (Note: all screenings are at the Globe Cinema.)

In Fabric, April 23 at 9:30 p.m. and April 26 at 1 p.m.

A cursed dress haunting whoever owns it? Why not. Director Peter Strickland’s comic creeper follows the garment as it’s passed from person to person usually ending with horrific results. If you’re a mom or a dad who likes their spooks while the kiddies sleep, you’re in luck as the April 26 matinee is a CUFFtots screening, the fest’s new initiative that caters to parents with young ones. (MB)

High Life, April 24 at 9:15 p.m.

Acclaimed French director Claire Denis artfully takes us to space in this film about a doomed mission where the crew has vanished and a man (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the only ones left. Survival and unravelling the mystery of what happened as they head towards a black hole have made High Life a much talked about cerebral thriller. (MB) 

Hail Satan?, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. and April 28 at 11 a.m.

CUFF seems to have some amazing documentaries lined up this year, including ones about sex therapist Dr. Ruth, and awful filmmaker Uwe Boll. I’m particularly drawn to this bizarre-sounding doc about Satanism, because I don’t know what those people’s deal is, and this sounds like a fun way to find out. (JT)

Midnight Family, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. and April 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Another incredible entry in the CUFF doc stable should be this one about a family in Mexico City that runs a for-profit ambulance. The film follows them as they try to make ends meet while not compromising the lives of those they help, and do so while dealing with competing ambulances and corrupt cops. It should be fascinating. (MB)

Red Letter Day, April 26, 7 p.m.

Who is sending all these letters instructing people to kill one another? Everybody in the neighbourhood seems to have received one, and nobody knows why. Still, there’s nothing to worry about … I mean, these people are my friends; they’d never hurt us … would they? (JT)

Harpoon, April 28, 6:30 p.m.

Love triangles can become unbearably tense, once the three people in question find themselves adrift on a boat, far from civilization. The classic suspense thriller Knife In the Water proved this, and now Alive director Rob Grant has his own tension-on-a-boat tale to tell. (JT)