THE city of love, romance and couples walking hand-in-hand. Aah, Paris. But what lies beneath the amorous exterior? Well, the curious can wonder no more. Offering its own interpretation As Above, So Below serves up another found footage horror flick. After the innovative successes of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield have more recently dissolved into the derivative likes of the Paranormal Activity sequels, will this latest offering drive another nail into the coffin of the genre's future?

As Above/Down Below (K16)
Release Date: 12 September
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Perdita Weeks,
Ben Feldman

Shopping Tour (K16)
Release Date: 12 September
Director: Mikhail Brashinsky
Starring: Tatyana Kolganova,
Timofey Yeletsky

Viitu ja Pesonen:
Pikkukepposia ja
suurta ystävyyttä (S)
Release Date: 12 September
Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi
Feat. the voices of:
Jukka Voutilainen,
Johanna Viksten

Palsa (K16)
Release Date: 12 September
Director: Pekka Lehto
Starring: Kalervo Palsa,
Tex Willer

Here six young spelunkers head underground to explore the catacombs that reside under the city, after one of them happens upon a key that will lead them all to the Philosopher's Stone.

Surrounded by the remains of around six million people, events are captured by mini-cams mounted on the heads of the sextet, as the screen promises to fill with all manner of scare tactics.

Nonetheless, reviews from across the pond have been ho-hum. As the box office slows to a crawl after a long and tepid summer season, one wonders what gems lie around the corner to reverse the trend of average fare appearing on screens.

Thankfully, the appearance of the Helsinki International Film Festival on the horizon promises a cavalcade of silver screen delights to enjoy, sorely lacking from multiplexes in recent times.

JAMES O'Sullivan




Elsewhere on screens

Just in case tensions weren't great enough between the two countries at present, along comes Shopping Tour to further outline the different perspectives shared between Finland and Russia. Similar to As Above, So Below, again the found-footage plot device is on hand to help mould proceedings. Captured on the mobile phone of a young protaganist, here Russian shoppers nip across the border to indulge in some good ol' Western retail therapy. Before long they are shocked to discover that their neighbours have developed an appetite for their flesh.

Viitu ja Pesonen: Pikkukepposia ja suurta ystävyyttä offers an animated tale from Germany. Here an orphaned feline slinks its way into the life of an eccentric man living in the sticks. Together they bake cakes, dance happily around the farm and try to save the man's chickens from the clutches of a local fox.

Finally, local flick Palsa attempts to convey the perspective of Kalervo Palsa (Janne Reinikainen), a Finnish artist who was completely neglected by his peers during his lifetime.