Film Reviews: “Next Exit” and “Bubba Ho-Tep” (North Bend Film Festival)

Next exit

Writer/Director Mali Elfman’s Next exit is a sci-fi drama with supernatural elements that raises big questions, such as the always-discussed “Is there an afterlife and if we found out there was, how would we handle it? ?” but avoids attempting to answer such mysteries, instead focusing on the strained relationship between two strangers sharing a car together to voluntarily end their lives as part of a science experiment after confirming that there is indeed life. after death. Pink (Katie Parker of The Haunting of Hill House and Absence) is haunted by what she has done wrong in the past as well as a ghost, and she is bitter, angry, and ready to die. Teddy (Rahul Kohli from The Haunting of Bly Manor and iZombie) has issues with being abandoned by his father as a child and sees this opportunity as his chance to finally do something big. The couple have been at odds from the start, but as they unravel their stories, their reasons for wanting to end their life on Earth become clear and clear. Next exit plunges into a gripping emotion and a well-deserved emotional investment. Yes, there are ghosts in the film, but they’re supporting actors in the big picture rather than the focal point of Elfman’s beautifully written, directed and shot feature, which is bolstered by Parker’s top-notch performances. and Kohli, who have great chemistry. together.

Bubba Ho-Tep

Presented courtesy of The Silver Sphere Corporation and American Genre Film Archive, the 2002 cult classic from writer/director Don Coscarelli Bubba Ho-Tep holds up as well as ever, bringing laughs and pathos to viewers along with chills and thrills. Sure, some of the special effects show their seams – they did that even when this low-budget charmer was originally released as well – but Bruce Campbell’s performances as an aged Elvis Presley confined to a house of Retired and Ossie Davis as the Black man who claims to be former President John F. Kennedy are both formidable as they team up to battle an Egyptian mummy bent on stealing the souls of the residents of said nursing home. Director Don Coscarelli, who was already cult thanks to his Fantasy film series, wrote the sharp screenplay based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, and he delivers a witty horror adventure fueled by very likeable characters who may need walkers and wheelchairs to get around , but who will nonetheless go all out they can prevent the titular mummy from claiming more souls.

Next exit and Bubba Ho-Tep screened as part of the North Bend Film Festival, which took place in North Bend, Washington, from August 4-7, 2022.

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