The 2012 version of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TAD) is almost upon us. Over the years TAD has brought audiences a wonderfully varied selection of horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films from Canada and around the world. Also of interest to cinephiles is the nightly pub night at Pauper’s Pub on Bloor in which ticketholders can mix it up with filmmakers, actors, and members of the press – an opportunity that few festivals provide. I’ll be at Toronto After Dark and so will many other members of the Entertainment Maven team, but I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about five movies that I have seen on the festival circuit which are MUST SEES this year at TAD.
Channeling everything that was great about 80s horror, Grabbers is a deliciously funny horror movie based in a small town in Ireland in which the locals must ward off an invasion of tentacled critters. And since it’s Ireland, booze is involved and it becomes a key factor in staving off this monstrous attack.
4. Dead Sushi
It seems like a lot of people have been writing off J-splatter (gratuitously bloody Japanese horror) movies lately, and maybe for good reason, but Noboru Iguchi has crafted an incredibly fun and oddly intelligent horror movie involving killer pieces of sushi. This will surely be the most interactive audience experience to be had at TAD and will even educate the audience about sushi etiquette and preparation. What a contrast!
3. Game of Werewolves
An absolute hit at Fantasia in Montreal, Game of Werewolves, much like Grabbers, is a love letter to 80s horror cinema. Moreno, the director, is dedicated to suspense, practical effects, and most of all, beautifully crafted comedic moments. Game of Werewolves is a great time at the cinema and a very fun way to end this year’s festival.
A missing dog, a clock that ticks over from 7:59 to 7:60, a zany cast of characters in a story where everything just feels…well…wrong. This movie was one of the best things I saw earlier this year and instantly became one of my favourite movies of the last few years. The type of weirdness on display in Wrong is similar to that found in the works of Douglas Adams, specifically Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I cannot recommend Wrong strongly enough, you have never seen anything like this, and nearly every moment is hilarious.
Crave is a very special movie. It takes often overused narrative devices like voice narration and fantasies and either completely reinvents them or executes them to perfection. This is the first feature film from director Charles de Lauzirika, but you would never know it. Crave is inventive, intriguing, thrilling, funny, and could very well be the best movie at Toronto After Dark this year. Do…not…miss it!
See you at the festival!