For years, I have tried to attend the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. I’ve had tickets to numerous movies, but scheduling has always gotten in the way. This year, however, with the festival online, I’m finally able to take part and check out the films. Up first this year is the Opening Gala film Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It, a amazing horror-comedy out of Kazakhstan. The film, screened in Russian, immediately gets bonus points from me for being subtitled. I despise dubbed films… to me, they always just feel out of sync and nothing upsets me more than when the video and audio are out of sync in a film. So, kudos to Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It, for not going that route. The added benefit of a subtitled horror film is that they force you to stay focused on the film, you can’t look away or flinch, even if you want to.
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe it is brilliant for its simplicity. Our main character, Dastan (Daniar Alshinov), is in debt, has collections calling, has a baby on the way, and has one of the most annoying film wives that I’ve ever seen. He just wants a break. That break? To go fishing. He is inspired (for lack of a better word) by a news report that says people have gone missing in the woods and to avoid going fishing. Between going missing and another day with his wife, Dastan decides to go fishing accompanied by his two best friends, Arman (Azamat Marklenov) and Murat (Yerlan Primbetov). What happens next is insanity that you simply won’t believe… which makes the film’s name all the more awesome.
Dastan and his friends head out for a nice relaxing day of fishing on the lake only to cross paths with criminals and witness a murder. That relaxing day in the countryside has suddenly become a mad rush to save their lives. The movie, up to this point, has been rather comedic and it’s hard not to find yourself laughing uncontrollably at some of the scenes and jokes. The horror elements kick in when a mysterious man shows up and instead of bumbling criminals chasing bumbling buddies, we end up with a savage lunatic killing people.
Honestly, the film is just fun. I didn’t rate it this high because it is a complex film masterpiece or because of a slew of practical effects that made for top notch horror. It is simply a lot of fun to watch. Don’t get me wrong, the kill scenes are well done, but the comedy and story are just so well done and so entertaining that you can’t help but smile and enjoy yourself. There’s a subplot that loops back to a creepy man and woman that our trio encounter at a gas station early on. It is, for lack of a better word, different… but again, you can’t help but laugh as the scene plays out.
At the end of the day, every frame of this film is designed to entertain. 100% Horror and Humour.
If you find yourself with the opportunity to check out Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It, I highly recommend that you do. If you want to check it out this weekend and you’re based in Canada, you can check it out via Toronto After Dark.
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Movie title: Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Movie description: It all starts trivially - with a quarrel between a young married couple. The spouses are waiting for their first baby, each day the situation is heating up. The main hero Dastan can't withstand the continuing pressure from his wife. He decides to escape just for one day to his friends: unlucky businessman and local police officer. Together they plan to go fishing and would have succeeded but the series of unforseen, sudden and mysterious things intervened.
Date published: 2021-08-05
Director(s): Yernar Nurgaliyev
Actor(s): Daniar Alshinov, Asel Kaliyeva, Azamat Marklenov, Yerlan Primbetov, Dulyga Akmolda, Almat Sakatov, Rustem Zhaniyamanov, Yerkebulan Daiyrov, Bekaris Akhetov, Kadirgali Kobentay, Kilishbek Kassymbek, Gauhar Sagingalieva
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Giggles & Grins
White Knuckle Flick