Movie Review: Fantasm


fantasm poster
@TigersMS78 takes a look at horror convention doco Fantasm...

Kyle Kuchta’s love of horror conventions started when he was 15 and his parents took him to one, now with his documentary about the horror convention circuit it is less a documentary and more a sweet, love letter to the horror community and frankly that is more than fine with me.

The documentary begins with Kyle driving and talking to the camera and starts by saying - Everyone has their story…and it’s a great kickoff point and it underpins the entire documentary. Filming at various conventions Kyle gets a bunch of stars, fans and even vendors to tell their stories. As a documentary though, this isn’t a particularly good one as it is about horror conventions (or at least that is what it is meant to be about) and it doesn’t really capture that, however what it does do is capture the horror community and their spirit, which to me is way, way, way more interesting.

fantasm sceneWhether it was Kuchta’s intention or not, Fantasm comes across as less a look at the conventions and more like a collection of various thoughts on what it means to be part of this community. Kutcha’s love for horror comes across just as much as any of the people interviewed. It lets them tell their story, how they see it all and their passion is on display and that is a great thing to see, anytime people talk about something they love, it makes it infinitely more interesting.

There is no real linear structure to the documentary as Kuchta didn’t follow just one or two people but just a group of people and as such, you don’t get the personality of any the subjects beyond their love of horror, which is a shame but that really could have lifted the documentary up a different level. This is not to say that I found Fantasm to be unwatchable, in fact quite the opposite, it is a very interesting topic, it is just that it was aimed at conventions but found its target elsewhere. In an age where according to the internet and social media everything sucks, or is the worst thing ever, it is nice to know that yes we do belong to the horror community, yes there is a place for us and its not full of nay saying jerks.

Kuchta certainly hasn’t reinvented the wheel here or even made something outstanding but what he has done is created a brief look into the horror community, one that makes you happy that you belong.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith

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Images: filmfetish.com

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