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.
Game of Death is a gory conundrum that is both impressive and bothersome.
Beyond Skyline (DIR. Liam O’Donnell) Liam O’Donnell’s Beyond Skyline is the sequel to 2010’s critically panned sci-fi action flick, Skyline. Movie fans have been eagerly anticipating Beyond Skyline after an impressive trailer dropped earlier this year. With performances by Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War) and Iko Uwais (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), many were hopeful that the new film would be a vast improvement on the original.
This critic sometimes finds it impossible to believe the sort of films that premiere at film festivals. As I have warned you before, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival is particularly guilty of this cinematic crime when it comes to their world premieres. I would love to be proven wrong, but the streak continues.
Whatever happened to that weird kid from high school? In My Friend Dahmer, the weird kid grew up to be one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. This film adaptation of Derf Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name looks at the life of Jeffrey Dahmer in his last few years of high school, where he acts like a fool to get attention and drinks heavily to keep the voices at bay. This…