Picking what to watch at a festival is tough. Sometimes half the battle isn’t just picking the films, it’s also the flow of it all. Which includes how to start and end it. The first and obvious choice was the one they chose to open the festival with, but the scheduling didn’t work out for me. Thankfully Arianne got to catch it. But then I read the premise for Bit, and I was hooked. Bit is a female-centric vampire flick that was geared to tackle gender norms. The poster is a beaut (as you can see below) and comes with a killer tagline. I was very excited and amped, and very quickly it turned into a bit of a disappointment.
The film bathes in coolness or attempts to ask in the residue from previous vampire flicks like Near Dark or The Lost Boys. The movie uses the typical vampire lore to their advantage by picking and choosing what they want to choose. Which sounds like a fault, but it is actually refreshing. While some films choose to go over all of it again or ignore a “teaching” scene, it brings intrigue to finding the differences with our new vampires.
Speaking on some of the positives, I’ve been going back and forth how good the acting and the script is. There are moments of greatness lightly garnished throughout the film, but then a monologue won’t land, or a line reading wouldn’t either. Or even one actor isn’t on par with their scene mate.
The film is also a few films in one. We aren’t sure if we are following Duke or Laurel when the film begins. During the Q&A, the director was in attendance and he said he felt Duke (who is a total badass) was his surrogate essentially. It was the most confessional character he’s written so far. And it makes sense as it’s her entirely her film as it’s Laurel’s.
The vampire squad is by default, the coolest part of the film. They are also debatably the best actors in the film as well. Duke at one point says the tag line of the film, and it made me realize that it reminded me of the infamous line from Heathers “Dear diary, my teen angst bullshit has a body count.”
I’m not entirely sure that Inside Out is the right film festival to be played for their world premiere. Yes, the lead is Nicole Maines, a trans woman who previously while in middle school won a court case against the bathroom bill to allow her to use the female bathroom. She’s a superhero in real life and also on Supergirl as Dreamer. And there are lesbian characters that thankfully never define them as a character but I believe it would be a better fit at a genre fest. Fantastic Fest or Fantasia come to mind. Don’t be surprised if they make an appearance there later this year. This film will win people over and have an audience, I sadly just wasn’t one of them.