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Erwin van den Eshof

Dood Eind * Erwin van den Eshof (2006)

A couple of of years ago we had a little flood of Dutch horror films. From the gory, zombie and amateuristic (but amusing) “Horizonica” to the much more professional “Dood Eind”. The title, by the way, is a slightly corny word play. It is just the literal translation of “dead end”, but this combination of words is no used in normal Dutch. In any case, a group of friends go to Scotland for some sort of reunion holidays. Two aggressive dogs scare them into a haunted house, not a very original basis for a horror film. The first half of the film is quite good with perhaps not magnificent special effects but nice enough to create a pretty pressing atmosphere, even reminding of Jap-horror here and there. The horror is minimalistic and mostly leans to the atmosphere. In the second half some sort of story unfolds giving more background of the horrors of the house and this is where both the acting and the atmosphere become a lot less convincing. The first half surely makes this film a suggested watch when you like the horror genre though. Last year I saw Van den Eshof’s next film (a short) at a local horror-shorts festival (“Harry Doright’s Prelude To Hell”). Since, the director has created three other films, two shorts and a full-length, so he is quite productive.

Duistere openbaringen

By accident I heard about a film festival in my own town: “Duistere Openbaringen“. It apparently was the fourth time this festival was held, but the first time (?) in the new film-makers home Broet that has only opened its doors in October 2008. “Duistere Openbaringen” focuses on horror and fantasy and on the day that we went, there were three blocks of an hour and a half with short films of Dutch and Flemish filmmakers. Horror seems to be almost synonymous with zombie, since there were too many amateuristic zombie film with the typical blood-spitting closeups and flying intestines. But inspite of such amateuristic films like “Vleesdag” (not a zombie film btw.), “The Zombie Commandments” or “Zombeer”, there were also much better produced (almost slick) films such as “Harry Doright’s Prelude To Hell” (well done, but the story could have been better) or “Brother’s Keeper”. Somewhere in between there were films that were either interesting in story (“Morgana”), camera work (“Bockereyers”) or setting (“Het Verraderlijke Hart”). Towards the end there was also humour with “Schat, Ik Ga Fietsen” (very gory) and the highlight of the evening “Popo de Clown”. A special mention should be made for the shortest film of the evening “I’m Gonna Eat Your Innards” which gave an amusing minute.
The organisation also gave away prices (“oscars” so to say), but we did not wait to see and they are not yet on the website. In any case, film-makers in the Eindhoven region might want to have a look at Broet, since there you can get advice, rent things, etc. and they have a small cinema to watch independant film and a café where visitors and film-makers can meet.