A Monster Calls

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West Coast Premiere

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.

At the center of this visually spectacular drama from director J.A. Bayona (THE IMPOSSIBLE) is 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall).

With a terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones), a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and bullying classmates, it seems the world has turned against the boy.

But Conor finds an unlikely ally when an ancient Monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) appears at his bedroom window to guide him on a journey of courage, faith and truth.

*Please note this film will be screening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica*

Free Screening at the Aero Theatre

Director: J.A. Bayona
Country: United States/Spain
Runtime: 108 minutes
Year: 2016

“A sensitive and beautifully made lesson in the limits and power of storytelling.” The Hollywood Reporter



West Coast Premiere

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

If you think it’s too soon to start including Denis Villeneuve in the lofty pantheon of our greatest living filmmakers, ARRIVAL will give you swift reason to change your mind.

Working predominantly in the shadows of the Canadian art-house for just over a decade, Villeneuve alerted wider audiences to his precisely ferocious skill with INCENDIES, earning a Best Foreign Language Film nom in the process.

Following the wave of critical acclaim, Villeneuve retreated, sharpening his tools for the back-to-back straight jab, right hook combo of ENEMY and PRISONERS, pinning Jake Gyllenhall and audiences on the ropes in quick succession.

Two years later he delivered another headshot with SICARIO, a visceral excursion into the hyper-violent underworld of Mexico’s brutal drug cartel.

Based on Villeneuve’s more recent arc it would be easy to think that he would hold with the tough tones he’s been cultivating over the past decade, but in every sense ARRIVAL marks an important departure; yet, it is one that feels supremely aligned with his oeuvre to date.

Unlike his previous work, ARRIVAL is a big film with a big story — the terrifying global panic that accompanies the mysterious arrival of extraterrestrials on earth — however, in keeping with his pattern, it is told through the most personal, intimate lens and centered on a single, emotionally exposed character.

By now, you’ve already seen the trailer with spacecrafts hovering ominously overhead and you’re desperate to know what’s next. Well, Villeneuve didn’t make this most human of films for me to surmise in 300 words; he made it for you to experience and to wash over you.

You’re in the hands of a master filmmaker and ARRIVAL marks another important moment in his trajectory. Like the film itself, don’t fight it, embrace it.

Christian Parkes

Closing Night Film

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Country: United States
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 2016


“A film of rare vision and beauty, Arrival is easily the most intelligent blockbuster released this year-and maybe any year.” Nerdist

“Anchored by an internalized performance from Amy Adams rich in emotional depth, this is a grownup sci-fi drama that sustains fear and tension while striking affecting chords on love and loss.” The Hollywood Reporter

The Monster

 FREE Screening / No Advance Tickets: Tickets available from Egyptian Theatre box office day of show starting at 6pm; 2 tix per person max.

West Coast Premiere

On a dark and dreary evening, a divorced mother is taking her headstrong daughter to see her father however a broken down car on a deserted road will see them facing a greater threat than each other: something evil and hungry…

Bryan Bertino’s brilliant foray into monster movies is the kind of tense madness that genre fans can only dream of. Blessed with stellar camerawork, excellent acting and a scary as hell monster, this is the film to make you look under your car before you ride!

Kathy is a divorced mother with an alcohol problem. She loves her daughter but has lost her connection with her due to one too many drunk nights and missed school events. When she is forced to drive Lizzy to her father, the two find themselves in a car, simmering with anger. It’s not long before a wrong turn finds them traversing the deserted country roads and as luck would have it, their car breaks down. As they wait for help to arrive, the two are blissfully unaware of the evil lurking deep within the wood: The Monster is hungry and it will eat!

Set almost exclusively in one location, Bertino’s tight, tense exercise in monster horror scores real emotional points with its two excellent leads: Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine excel as the mother and daughter who love each other but can no longer tolerate the other and it’s through the clever use of flashbacks showing the deterioration  of their relationship that Bertino creates the emotional impact needed for when the threat of the monster arrives.

It’d be foolish to not mention the titular monster: a beautiful, mainly practical creation that is sure to make those sfx-nuts in the audience drool at its’ frightening beauty. A ferocious beast whose motivations turn out to be more complex than you might think, it is as important a character as the mother & daughter duo and acts as a gnarling frightening heart of the film.

Monster movies never go out of fashion and Bertino’s effort is a stark reminder as to why: clever, frightening creations always lurk on the edges of celluloid, ready jump at us from the big screen and tear our faces off – the very reason why Beyond Fest is proud to present this original terror.

Evrim Ersoy

Plays in the Shudder Theatre @Egyptian

Director: Bryan Bertino
Country: United States
Runtime: 92 minutes
Year: 2016

The Girl With All the Gifts


West Coast Premiere

In a dystopian future, young Melanie must go on a trip with the soldier who needs to kill her, the doctor who wants to use her and the teacher who wants to help.

Young Melanie lives in a compound, somewhere secret – she has done so as long as she can remember. Her life is controlled by routine: every morning the soldiers collect her to deliver her to the classroom for lessons. Every evening, after lights out, the doctor visits the cells and sometimes talk to Melanie. But she doesn’t understand why the soldiers keep calling her ‘an abomination’. And why does another kid disappears every time the doctor asks her to choose a number from 1-10?  And just what exactly is the purpose of the compound?

The answers to all these questions and more are revealed as the world falls apart and it becomes apparent that young Melanie must go on a journey on which rests the fate of the entire humanity: with her will be the soldier who needs to kill her, the doctor who wants to use her and the teacher who just wants to help…

Based on the best-selling young adult book of the same name, ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ is a unique take on a dystopian future and horror tropes which subverts the genre with its clever narrative and brutal approach: bolstered by stand out performances from Glenn Close , Paddy Considine, Gemma Atherton but most importantly newcomer Sennia Nanua and aided by a desolate, beautiful, crumbling world, this is a big budget horror title with the darkest of sensibilities: a film that dares to ask some very disturbing questions about humanity and presents the most unexpected of answers…

Evrim Ersoy

Director: Colm McCarthy
Country: United Kingdom / United States
Runtime: 111 minutes
Year: 2016

The Void

 FREE Screening / No Advance Tickets: Tickets available from Egyptian Theatre box office day of show starting at 6pm; 2 tix per person max.

West Coast Premiere 

During a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter runs into a blood soaked figure in the woods. However rushing the young man to the hospital only unleashes an otherworldly horror which threatens everything he stands for.

Welcome to the world of …. The Void! A Carpenter-esque nightmare that has everything in it from practical effects to Cronenberg body-morph monsters, it is the brilliant distillation of every genre film we’ve ever loved.

Daniel Carter is a police officer who likes the humdrum nature of his life. However; a chance encounter with a bloodied figure in the woods sees him rushing to the hospital to save the injured man’s life – what he doesn’t know is that he’s not alone. As strange figures from a cult slowly surround the hospital and lay siege to the unfortunate inhabitants , there’s an ever bigger threat growing inside: the dead patients are turning into something inhuman and Carter finds himself leading a desperate band of survivors deeper and deeper into the subterranean depths of the hospital to find a way to escape the nightmare.

It’s a joy to witness Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski collaborating again after their work on ‘Father’s Day’ and it’s great to see that not only have they not lost any their exploitation edge but also have found even more gruesome depths to mine.

Boasting stellar practical effects and fantastic creature design, ‘The Void’ is the bastard child of the old masters of horror cinema – it’s both an homage to the brilliant horrors we enjoyed visiting but also an entirely new beast in its own right. The setting is familiar but it’s what the duo with to subvert all we’re expecting that takes ‘The Void’ to the next level – low-grade unease quickly leaves way to full-blown madness and people are torn asunder, turn into grotesque and beautiful monsters and the cult slowly lay waste to any that dare defy them – this is 80’s Carpenter gone full blast and you world will not be the same again once you’ve witnessed it.

Boasting a killer score, some terrific camerawork and the best depiction of Hell since Fulci ever laid eyes on the Beyond, ‘The Void’ will take you, shake you and make sure you’re never ever the same again.

Evrim Ersoy

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Country: United States
Runtime: 90 minutes
Year: 2016



West Coast Premiere

What happens when one of the most influential hip-hop artists descends on one of the most influential martial arts movies? There’s only one way to find out.

After 18 months of careful planning, it’s finally here. Award winning musician and film director RZA (founder of the Wu-Tang Clan) is unleashing his hip-hop genius on the mother of all martial arts masterpieces, Lau Kar-leung’s THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN in a live rescore for the ages.

Long before he was universally acknowledged as a guiding force in hip-hop by birthing Staten Island’s finest clan, RZA was an obsessive encyclopedia of martial arts cinema, in particular the work of the famed Shaw Brothers studio out of Hong Kong. RZA first saw THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN on television when he was 12 years old and again 2 years later on the big screen of a seedy 42nd Street theater with his cousin, Unique (who went on to become Ol’ Dirty Bastard). Dazzled by Kar-leung’s rich kung-fu tapestry, RZA (then Robert Diggs) was most profoundly affected by something that ran much deeper: the struggle between oppressed Chinese villagers and the repressive Manchu authority. “Beyond the kung-fu, it was the reality of the situation that hit me. Growing up as a black kid in America, I didn’t know that that kind of story had existed anywhere else,” said RZA.

In viewing THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN in this allegorical light, RZA was inspired to create a wildly complex mythology, transforming his immediate urban surroundings of Staten Island into a Shaolin and his cousins and childhood friends into the Wu-Tang Clan. The resulting effort is one that stands as one of the most important hip hop albums of all time; Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

RZA: LIVE FROM THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN features RZA re scoring the film from opening sequence to closing credit. Every frame of the original film has been revisited and will be re scored by RZA utilizing a Wu-Tang catalog over two decades deep. This new score features a vast array of over 40 instrumental tracks, beats and vocals individually crafted and placed to amplify the narrative and electrifying action of Kar-leung’s enduring classic. A true, redefining assault on the senses, this is an experienced not to be missed.

Christian Parkes

Special Thanks to Celestial Pictures, The Spellbound Group, Alamo Drafthouse, Tamika Layton, El Rey Network, and RZA

Guests: RZA Performing Live Rescore

Director: Lau Kar-leung
Country: Hong Kong / United States
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 1978/2016

* Informed by how he saw the film growing up, RZA is performing his rescore with the dubbed version of THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, all original dialog remains intact.

“Arguably the greatest martial arts film of all time.” (Best Dressed) Todd Gilchrist – IGN