Fantastic Fest Reviews

[Fantastic Fest] ‘Fishmonger’ + ‘Visitors (Complete Edition)’: An Absurd and Wacky Cinematic Evening

An Irish fishmonger is the last bachelor in the community. It was not enough for the religious authorities to want to hang him to save the soul of his sick mother. But we give him a chance. If he succeeds in making a pact with an ancient fish creature, he may save his mother as well as his own life.

In this 30-minute short film, which preceded Visitors’at Fantastic Fest, director Neil Ferron chose a black-and-white image to set his story in the past. The movie is filled with absurd humor and a ton of surprises. The actors are great, and the cinematography is brilliant. We laugh and have a lot of fun. We don’t feel any length. It’s a perfect short movie for a festival.


Visitors (Complete Edition)

The original Japanese Visitors short movie, released in 2021, was a solid homage to Evil Dead. It was gory and fun. Some CGI effects were used, but it was still creepy. Now, director Kenichi Ugana presents the feature-length version. It’s not some kind of adaptation or remake but more like a completed work.

A young music group, having not heard from one of their members, decides to visit him. They will discover at his home that some sort of curse is possessing people and pushing them to kill.

For the first 15 minutes of the one-hour feature, we have a copy-paste of the original short movie. Then the events that follow this short. So, we hope it will be in the same tone as the beginning, but unfortunately, it’s not the case. The second segment takes place three months later. We meet two men tied up in a bar. They talk, don’t really know where they are, or what’s going on. It looks like a completely different film until possessed people appear, as well as the survivor from the first story. There are certain touches of humor, which may recall the turn that Evil Dead 2 took.

Then we switch to the third segment that takes place one year later. And that’s where it gets bad. The movie becomes a Troma production, literally, because Lloyd Kaufman is involved in the production, adding his traditional cameo. Exit the pure horror set by the director at the beginning. We now have absurd, grotesque, and childish humor. And it’s a long time before we see the end credits. It may be surprising and funny for maybe a big minute, but it’s not what the movie led us to believe it to be. And it’s a shame because there was so much potential at the source. It’s literally three separate films put together. At least if they wanted to do a horror comedy, they should have produced a new film from scratch that stood from beginning to end.


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