Welcome back to Alt Weekly, a column in which we shine a spotlight on the independent films brave enough to open opposite Hollywood's behemoth blockbusters before rolling out in wider release.
This week offers otherworldly creatures (Werner Herzog included) as an indie counterpoint to "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters."
'HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA'
Star Power: No.
Festival/Awards Buzz: This glimpse into the incredibly isolated lives of Siberian villagers first made its festival debut almost two years ago, at the 2011 San Francisco Green Film Festival.
Release Details: Opens in NY this weekend and will expand over the coming weeks.
See This If ... You need to get away from it all without actually getting away from it all.
Filmmaker Cred: Director Don Coscarelli is responsible for the "Phantasm" series and, more recently, "Bubba Ho-Tep."
Star Power: Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown.
Festival/Awards Buzz: This adaptation of the cult novel has been on the festival circuit for nearly a year now, garnering more praise than not, and that includes our own review.
Release Details: Currently available on demand, "John" opens in LA this week, NY next week and more markets after that.
See This If ... You want to go far out without actually going far out.
Filmmaker Cred: This marks the feature debut of writer/co-director Justin Benson, and the second feature from co-director Aaron Moorhead.
Star Power: Nada.
Festival/Awards Buzz: The quietly crafty piece of meta-horror made its premiere at last April's Tribeca Film Festival.
Release Details: It's currently on demand, with a Los Angeles theatrical run beginning this Friday.
See This If ... You want to get lost in the woods without actually ... Okay, you get the idea.
Filmmaker Cred: The film marks director Eytan Fox's sequel to his critically lauded 2002 feature, "Yossi & Jagger."
Star Power: None.
Festival/Awards Buzz: This drama, also a 2012 Tribeca premiere, has earned similarly solid reviews.
Release Details: NY this Friday, LA next Friday.
See This If ... You want to see what Yossi's been up to lately.