Fantasia 2022: My Grandfather’s Demons

Directed by: Nuno Beato
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Alexander Reams


The movies have always loved dysfunctional families and strange family dynamics, its borderline fetishistic. From “Ordinary People” to “The Ice Storm” to the ultimate one, “Star Wars,” the movies love weird families. So does Nuno Beato, in his feature directorial debut, his co-conspirators in the writing room are Possidónio Cachapa and Cristina Pinheiro and those three managed to take this tried and true trope of Hollywood old and elevate it, slightly. Rosa (Vitória Guerra) was raised by her grandfather in the rural countryside and eventually left and ceased contact with him, years later she carries guilt over this, which weighs even more after his passing, and her career is slowly causing her to have a breakdown. After her grandfather’s passing, she is left his entire estate, including his house in the countryside. She eventually travels to the house and is welcomed cooly by the locals, the house itself has clearly seen better days, Beato crafted the early scenes immaculately, making everything feel well grounded before bringing supernatural elements came in. 

Once these elements come in Beato begins to falter and loses some of the mystery that was clouding everything in the first, which did its part perfectly, but once the curtain begins to pull back, the film starts to crack, with the first being the introduction of the demonic/bovine creatures that look innocent but they also might bite your face off. I loved the creature design, but their presence is a strange one and draws from everything else happening in the frame. However, Beato managed to land the plan gracefully and wrapped up the story in an emotional finale that I was not expecting based on what I’d witnessed, but it made thematic sense. And I can always appreciate some good thematic sense.

“My Grandfather’s Demons” Trailer

“My Grandfather’s Demons” was screened as part of the 2022 edition of the Fantasia Film International Festival.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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