The Pantava or the Pantavica (or the Pandafrecci, or the Pandaphili, or the Pandasim, according to this study) is a creature from Italian folklore, mainly from the Marche and Abruzzo but with more or less similar counterparts all over the peninsula. Pantava It’s also the title of Emmanuel Scaringi’s new movie set to be released in cinemas on March 30 (watch an exclusive clip), which in itself is excellent news. Italy has a very rich mythological and folklore tradition, daughter of millennial traditions and their not always peaceful interaction with the Catholic religion; From far north to far south, or if you prefer from Trieste downhill, all over the country you can find stories, legends, fairy tales and other forms of folk narrative that speak of ghosts, monsters, violence and in general all the paraphernalia (too) of cinematic horror (take on for example Snake Festival in Abruzzo and tell us if it is not a potential prime plot to sell to Blumhouse). Italian cinema has always ignored this extravagant tradition In the first classbusy chasing down the coolest of other cultures.
Pantava It is therefore good news in principle, reinforced by the fact that it is not the last of these years. We still wouldn’t go so far as to say that folk horror (and folk horror in general) has finally exploded, but it’s at least been rearing its head for several years now and struggling to get noticed. And after all, let us tell you, what’s wrong with that midsummer that we don’t have? There is a need for more horror in this country (why, if you like, we will tell you separately), and there is a particular need for horror that looks at us and the things that have terrified us as a people for centuries – trolls, vampires and zombies are not “our thing”, on the other hand we have a set Infinite witches (ex witches!) and black men and others monstrous creatures.
And so, I hope so Pantava is just another chapter in a sprawling book, here are seven movies to watch to immerse yourself in horror because only we know how — plus one last side tip.
Classic horror story
Despite the title, Roberto de Feo and Paolo Strippoli’s film is actually a not-so-conventional horror story, in fact very modern if not postmodern, even meta-cinematic. However, this was not discovered until after a while, because the initial installation of Classic horror storylike one of Pantavarests firmly on the legend of Italian folklore, the legend of Osso, Mastroso and Carcañoso – which, oddly enough, originated in Spain, and which is also linked to the birth of the ‘Ndrangheta in Italy.
Maybe someday we will remember Link As of Pioneer: Released a year ago ACSH extensionis a classic ghost story (this time for real!) structured like an American horror but based on a series of popular Italian myths and beliefs (and in this very similar to Pantava). Screenplay by Domenico De Vodis (also a director), Davide Orsini and Daniele Kosci loosely adapted from one of Basic articles On the issue of “magic and the south”. We talked about it here (about the movie, not the article).
The first king
Is it considered “Italian folklore”? After all, we (also) came from there, from the founding of Rome and from the legend of Romulus and Remus. It’s not horror, but it’s violent and epic enough to warrant some bloodshed. Matteo Rovere then resumed the discussion on television with the series Romuluswhich shows again how many stories we can tell without necessarily going fishing in other people’s myths.
A tale of tales
Matteo Garrone’s film is not pure horror, in fact it is like any good apt film that explores different genres, but when it decides to remind us that our lore is overflowing with scary stuff, it does so with rare effectiveness.
The secret of the ancient forest
A forgotten masterpiece by Ermanno Olmi with Paolo Villaggio in one of the roles of his life, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Dino Buzzati, who first of all understood how much material there is in our lore and how it can be folded and adapted to even the most modern stories. More fantasy than horror, it still manages to recapture the sense of isolation and even bewilderment one feels when immersed in nature, far from our noise and anxieties. Also taken from Buzzati and on similar themes and atmospheres we also report Barnabas Mountains by Mario Brenta.
The house with shuttered windows
It is always ugly to think in purely geographical terms, but there is no doubt that the traditions of Central and Southern Italy have captured the collective imagination more than those of the North (which is a pity: for example, the total immersion in the Trentino Legends to find material for an entire cinematic universe). The house with shuttered windows It remains a unique film, too, for this reason: for the first time, the backdrop for a horror film (or a thriller, if you prefer) is not the South but the notorious and boring Bassa Padana (the film was shot in Comaccio, a land of beaches, swamps, and mosquitoes). (nda the scribe has roots in the basa of both branches of the family and is therefore entitled to speak of it as such)
You don’t torture a duck
There are no monsters or supernatural creatures, there is not even real folklore, but in Fulci’s film there is an image of an Italy that in 1972 finds no space in cinema outside the most extreme realism, a place far from big cities, seemingly timeless and different enough to look like a country another, with its own rules and dynamics (it is no coincidence that one of the main characters is the daughter of a wealthy Milanese businessman who has sent her to the countryside to distance her from the temptations of the city). Think of it this way: It’s not pop horror yet, but in a few decades it will be.
It’s not a movie however video game’, but that’s exactly what we needed for this talk (and it’s scripted enough to effortlessly pack the material for the movie). Set in a maze-like fictional Sardinian village, inspired by local folklore (from Mammothons and Isohadores down), it combines these nods of folk horror (forgive us too many English words) with a lo-fi aesthetic with stop-motion-inspired animation. Motion, and a soundtrack made with traditional music revisited in puck style. what do you want more?
Pantafa comes out to the cinema on March 30: in the cast are Kasia Smutniak, Greta Santi and Mario Sgueglia.
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