LA LLORONA
2020, Shudder, 97 min, Guatemala, Dir: Jayro Bustamante

Accused of the genocide of Mayan people, retired general Enrique (Julio Diaz) is trapped in his home by massive protests. Abandoned by his staff, the indignant old man and his family must face the devastating truth of his actions and the growing sense that a wrathful supernatural force is targeting them for his crimes. Acclaimed filmmaker Jayro Bustamante presents an urgent and frightening reimagining of the iconic Latin American fable. In Spanish and Maya with English subtitles.


RELIC
2020, IFC Midnight, 89 min, Australia/USA, Dir: Natalie Erika James

When elderly mother Edna (Robyn Nevin) inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) rush to their family’s decaying country home, finding clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay’s concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she’s been clashes with Sam’s unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. As Edna’s behavior turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her. With RELIC, first-time writer-director Natalie Erika James crafts an unforgettable new spin on the haunted-house movie.


SLEEP
SCHLAF
2020, 102 min, Germany, Dir: Michael Venus

Sandra Hüller (TONI ERDMANN) stars in this tense psychological thriller by director Michael Venus set in the idyllic (and possibly haunted) village of Stainbach. Marlene (Hüller) is plagued by horrific dreams, which seem to have a strange connection to the nightmarish events happening in town. After the stress of Marlene's revelations lead to her nervous breakdown and a comatose sleep, her 19-year-old daughter Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) sets out to uncover the dark mysteries surrounding the town’s past that threaten her mother, herself and everyone around her. Making his directorial debut with this artful horror-thriller, Venus received a nomination for Best First Feature at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.


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