Larry Fessenden’s independent horrors to be presented at Cinematik
3. August 2021
Being a screenwriter, editor, cinematographer, director, actor and musician in one person, Larry Fessenden (born 1963 in New York) is a Renaissance man of indie filmmaking. Since 1985, he has also been supporting young talents in his production company Glass Eye Pix, so he was at the beginning of the careers of filmmakers such as Kelly Reichardt, Ti West, Jim Mickle and Adam Wingard. Cinematik will introduce Larry Fessenden primarily as a director, through six of his feature films.
Fessenden has been fascinated by classic horror characters such as Frankenstein and Dracula since childhood. In his work, he draws precisely from these archetypes, which he skillfully places in contemporary civilian life.
No Telling (1991) is the story of a surgeon who comes to the countryside to do animal experiments as part of a secret program. He even hides his work from his own wife, who only gradually finds out what monster her husband has become over the process of trying to gain recognition.
Fessenden’s latest film Depraved (2019) also contains a Frankenstein theme. The hero is a brilliant surgeon who revived a dead comrade during his service in Afghanistan.
He continues with grisly experiments even after returning home until he builds a homunculus of Adam, to whom he breathes life. The main character of the film Habit (1995) is an alcoholic Sam (played by Fessenden himself), who, after break-up with his girlfriend and the death of his father, finds his sanctuary in the arms of a mysterious woman.
However, the wild relationship and deepening dependence shift Sam further and further from reality, into the dark world between dusk and dawn. In Beneath, 2013, six classmates go to a lake emblazoned with legends about a huge carnivorous fish which, of course, won’t belong in coming. However, the attacks of the animatronic predator are only a catalyst for the transformation of young heroes – they become real monsters under pressure.
In the film Wendigo (2001), a family of photographer George comes to the snowy countryside to take a break from their busy city life. However, the idyll dissolves when they knock down a deer along the way, angering the local hunter.
The Last Winter (2006), an ecological horror movie set in Alaska, where an oil company unexpectedly awakens a dormant dark force, also introduces the viewer to the white wasteland.
The seventh “bonus” in Larry Fessenden’s profile section is Glenn McQuaid’s horror-comedy I Sell The Death (2008). Here, Fessenden played a grave robber, who one night bursts upon a half-corpse with a wooden wheel in heart. Instead of fear, however, he will feel the excitement and a great business opportunity.