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Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Art of Obsession’

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…

Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Fake Blood’

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.

Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Darken’

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.

Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Once Upon a Time at Christmas’

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.

Festival Coverage

Blood in the Snow 2017: ‘Kill Order’

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…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2017: ‘My Friend Dahmer’

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…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2017: ‘Sixty Minutes to Midnight’

Filmmakers seem eager to work with Robert Nolan – I don’t blame them.  Nolan is, undoubtably, one of the best character actors working in the industry.  He’s respected because of his ability to morph into a role, and because of how professional he is.  I’ve seen him play an embarrassing parent, an insane clown, a teacher on the brink of destruction, and I’ve even seen him pull disgusting “things” out of his body.  He can…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2017: Shahbaz on Short Films

Throughout my years of attending the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, I have come to learn a few truisms: 1) if a film is a world premiere, steer clear, 2) the international shorts program usually contains some of the best work at the festival, and 3) the Canadian shorts usually contain a handful of brilliant selections surrounded by others that are…less so.  Being unable to speak to the first (as of now), I am glad…