The Intruder, Wildfire and Bad Tales: LFF 2020 Capsule Reviews

London Film Festival Special 2020

4 mins read

With so many movies on offer at the London Film Festival, it is not easy to plough through all the full-length reviews available. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; these quick read reviews offer a summary of our thoughts alongside our star rating. This edition features The Intruder, Wildfire and Bad Tales.

The Intruder (2020)

The opening thirty minutes of The Intruder surrounds us with a level of paranoia and tension echoing Hitchcock at his best. However, this soon becomes convoluted and obscure, as the atmosphere is lost in an ocean of competing themes. That does not mean The Intruder is not fascinating, complex and beguiling in construct. In fact, despite its flaws, it remains compelling viewing throughout. Its narrative arc, bouncing from taut thriller to quasi-supernatural horror. But, unfortunately, the resulting film fades quickly in the memory. Its longevity, not even assured by the outstanding performances of both Erica Rivas and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart. Ultimately, for those willing to stick with its bewildering style and vision, The Intruder provides an enjoyable if confusing and frustrating journey.

Director: Natalia Meta

Cast: Erica Rivas, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Guillermo ArengoMirta BusnelliDaniel Hendler,

Genre: Thriller

Wildfire (2020)

Cathy Brady’s debut feature Wildfire is nothing short of ferocious in its power and complexity. Here, past trauma, mental health and a need for belonging mix with the turbulent social history of Northern Ireland as we are allowed entry into the lives of two sisters separated by unspoken pain. Their wild and passionate reunion pushing the boundaries of memory, place, sisterhood and belonging as the suppressed emotions of childhood ignite a blaze of emotions, mixing elements of the road trip with family drama and thriller. Brady’s camera focused on the individual with the outside world, a mere blur. Her eye for detail, outstanding as two souls merge on the road to either recovery or destruction. The resulting movie never attempts nor wishes to offer easy answers to the complex social themes, making it all the more powerful.

Director: Cathy Brady

Cast: Kate DickieNora-Jane NooneMartin McCann, Helen Behan

Genre: Drama

Bad Tales (2020)

Anyone wondering whether Italian cinema has lost its sharp bite in recent years will find Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo’s Bad Tales a pitch-black tonic. Here, Bad Tales sits in a dark void between fairytale and soap opera. The narrative and allied performances joyously dissecting the relationships we all take for granted. The cameras focus clear as we explore the connection between children and parents. The result of which is a film that skirts the boundary between Italian neo-realism and fantasy. Its core messages on dysfunctional family life and the child created burning with ferocity in a movie that may prove too bleak for some. However, if you are prepared to delve deep into the uncomfortable social constructs at play. Bad Tales is nothing short of a daring and dark journey into parental failure and childhood rebellion.

Directors:  Damiano D’InnocenzoFabio D’Innocenzo

Cast:  Elio GermanoTommaso Di ColaGiulietta Rebeggiani, Gabriel Montesi, Justin Korovkin

Genre: Drama

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