By: Trevor Chartrand As a film that explores the creative process, Ryan M. Andrews’ Art of Obsession fails to bring much originality to the table. This slow-paced, predictable little story takes itself too seriously, grasping aimlessly at faux-philosophical musings all along the way. The film is an unfortunate mix of unconvincing plot, passionless performances, and a non-existent visual style. It’s the kind of film I can still enjoy, however with a more ironic appreciation than…
Collaborating filmmakers Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a tape from an alleged fan mimicking a disturbing scene from their crime comedy Mon Ami. Rob and Grant, immediately feeling guilty about inspiring a movie goer in the wrong way, reflect on cinematic violence and compare it to real-life acts of assault. It’s a personal insightful adventure that leads them down an unpredictable rabbit hole.
In 2014, at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival, I had rather exciting things to say about director Audrey Cummings. The film she screened was her feature film debut, Berkshire County, and while it treaded common ground, she at least showed enough awareness to spin clichés into something new.
By: Trevor Chartrand While the concept of a homicidal Santa Claus has certainly been explored in slasher films like Santa’s Slay and Silent Night, Deadly Night, director Paul Tanter has found a surprisingly fresh approach to the ‘Killer Claus’ trope in Once Upon a Time at Christmas. This fun and festive Canadian B-movie will give viewers a reason to keep the Christmas lights on overnight.
By: Trevor Chartrand Kill Order is essentially a Crank film without the charisma or charm. It tries hard to be pulse-pounding and slick, but this punch-a-minute action flick is all fist and no fury. Given the film’s structure, it’s not surprising to learn writer/director James Mark has a lot of stunt department work on his resume, including action-driven films like Jumper and Pacific Rim. Kill Order favours style over substance, desperately stringing a series of…
The European Union Toronto Film Festival is currently screening at The Royal Cinema (until Tuesday, November 23), and the selected features offer audiences different stories told by filmmakers from various EU countries. The festival serves an important purpose as a cultural essential in one of Canada’s most diverse cities.
Cold Hell (DIR. Stefan Ruzowitzky) Cold Hell is a dark and gritty crime thriller written by Martin Ambrosch and directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. The film has been deservedly compared to other serial-killer thrillers like David Fincher’s Se7en; though it doesn’t revolutionize the genre, Cold Hell’s adrenaline-fuelled brutality prove that following the usual formula isn’t always a bad thing.
Two teenage girls come-of-age in a small town. They use “teen speak”, spend all their time on social media, and find themselves consumed by their various hobbies. What makes Tragedy Girls different from a plethora of similar films is that one of these girls’ hobbies is murder.
Dead Shack (DIR. Peter Ricq) Audiences that like their zombies with a healthy side of laughs shouldn’t miss Dead Shack, director Peter Ricq’s dark comedy about three teenagers whose week-long vacation at a cabin in the woods takes a nightmarish turn when they learn that their neighbour in the cabin next-door is feeding unsuspecting young locals to her undead family.
Filmmaker Reese Eveneshen seems to be his own worst enemy with his latest project Defective. On one hand, on a limited budget, he’s developed Toronto into a nameless city living in a convincing dystopia. The visuals are on par with the works of Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium). However, Eveneshen’s overwritten screenplay becomes so convoluted, it reaches a point of no return.