MOTELX: The films not to be missed at the scariest film festival in Lisbon


MOTELX: The films not to be missed at the scariest film festival in Lisbon

The event returns this week, September 7th, and runs until the 13th. There are new films, classics and special sessions.

Horror cinema again conquers the Cinema São Jorge in Lisbon for another edition of the MOTELX festival. After the warm-up initiatives, the event will officially start this Tuesday, September 7th, and run until the 13th. There will be more than 70 films in total, including shorts and feature films, Portuguese and international productions.

“This year we did what we always did: we watched films, we selected them and then the festival is more or less thematically structured. The big themes are the films they make because they are the ones that reflect reality and what is happening in that moment. And that’s how the parallel sections of this year came about, namely the Murder Fury, ”explains NiT, one of the directors and programmers of MOTELX, João Monteiro.

“Obviously, the environmental and eco-issue is currently making eco-terror the ultimate horror genre. But the topic of female representation in horror films has also shaped this year, it shapes gender and the industry, ”she adds.

In last year’s edition, they had to watch movies online in order to program them for the big screen. This time it was different, although they felt that the industry and the market were changing with the great rise of streaming platforms. Despite a difficult year, João Monteiro argues, horror cinema is still very popular with audiences.

“There is an appetite to watch horror films when going through difficult political, social, or environmental times. We take refuge in horror films that show even worse realities. “

João Monteiro admits that defining the boundaries of horror is not easy, but the goal is to strike a balance in the choice of films – that’s what they tried to do in this 15th edition.

“Fear is a completely subjective thing. For example, “Fukushima” scared me and my colleagues a lot, but maybe it won’t mess up so much for another type of person. Ultimately, if we want to demarcate it, it has to, say, frighten or disturb. Apart from that, we try to vary as much as possible. Obviously, the bulk of the program is made up of films that are really horror. Then there are some that are hybrids and sometimes we take risks with things that, while not being horror right away, can create that kind of sensation, usually more violent and darker thrillers. The question of borders is a complicated one. Because horror cinema is better when it breaks these rules a little, its own rules. It’s a balance that we create, and we also want films that can inspire the viewer to think and debate. “

Tickets usually cost € 4.50 but there are some discounts, especially for young and old.Check all conditions, know the schedule of the sessions and take a look at the full schedule on the MOTELX website. NiT highlighted some of the most important meetings of the year.

“The Legend of the Green Knight,” David Lowery

This year the opening session of the MOTELX takes place with the premiere of “The Legend of the Green Knight” by David Lowery, in which names like Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander can be heard.

“What made us choose this film not only has to do with the production company A24, which is one of the best, if not the best, American independent and auteur cinema producers, but also with the film. It’s a bit on the way to what the same director did in ‘A Ghost Story’, deconstructing a stereotype, a genre cliché. Here he does the same, but with the medieval epic. I think it’s one of the best films this year, ”says João Monteiro.

Eco-terror of environmental and eco-themed horror films will be featured at the festival with productions such as “In The Earth” by Ben Wheatley; or “Gaia” by Jaco Bower.

“The Amusement Park”, George A. Romero

Renowned filmmaker George A. Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”) died in 2017, but before that he was able to oversee the transition to 4K of a film he made in the 70s that never ended up opening properly. It was commissioned by the Lutheran Society of Pennsylvania, which wanted a film about the employment of the elderly, but Romero filled it with a lot of social criticism about society’s dealings with the elderly. The new version made its commercial debut in the US last year and is now arriving in Portugal.

“Spirited Away”, Hayao Miyazaki

20 years ago, one of the most award-winning animated films, “A Viagem de Chihiro”, premiered and quickly achieved cult status. The film will be shown on the occasion of this anniversary round in the MOTELX, integrated into the Lobo Mau section.

“Fukushima 50”, Setsurô Wakamatsu

This Japanese film portrays the tragic nuclear disaster of 2011. Fukushima Daiichi plant workers risk their lives and stay at the nuclear power plant to avoid total destruction after the region was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami.

“As the title suggests, she likes the series ‘Chernobyl’, it tells us the story and we have a bit of the feeling that we are these children whose parents don’t want to tell the truth in order not to upset us. It’s absolutely terrifying and when we leave the cinema we think: we have nuclear power plants everywhere. What happened in Fukushima was even worse than in Chernobyl. And this is an example of a movie that will be scary, but not exactly horror. “

“The night house – dark secret”, David Bruckner

This year’s supernatural thriller MOTELX revolves around a woman named Beth (Rebecca Hall). Shocked by the unexpected death of her husband, Beth remains alone in the house on the lake that he built for her. She tries her best not to let herself down – but then dreams begin. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house lure them with ghostly fascination, but the bright daylight suppresses any ghost. Ignoring her friends’ advice, Beth begins rummaging through his things, yearning for answers that will only deepen the mystery.

“Mording Fury: Serial Killer Women”

It is one of the special sections of this year’s MOTELX program. These are films in which, unlike usual, women are part of the serial killer, the monster who cuts and destroys without remorse. Some of the films in this section are “Monsters” by Patty Jenkins; “The Countess”, by Julie Delpy; “Audition” by Takashi Miike; “Mother Chicken,” by John Waters; Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer; or “Baise-moi” by Virginie Despentes and Coralie. João Monteiro also advises the “Muslim slasher” “Black Medusa”; and the Canadian “Violation” which “puts the woman in the place of the hangman and the man in the role of the victim”.

Portuguese short film session

A single session brings together three short films by three renowned Portuguese filmmakers. You can then see “Um Fio de Baba Escarlate” by Carlos Conceição; “The Land of No Return” by Patrick Mendes; and “O Lobo Solitário”, by Filipe Melo.

João Monteiro emphasizes the quality of “Um Fio de Baba Scarlet”. “It’s very interesting because it combines old Portuguese cinema aesthetics and new sensibilities. It’s the story of a serial killer in Lisbon who is caught on social media. It’s very interesting because there is practically no dialogue, it’s all very visual. “