Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘A Christmas Horror Story’ and ‘Love & Peace’

A Christmas Horror Story (DIR. Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan) By: Addison Wylie It’s easy to picture the pitch meetings around the anthology project A Christmas Horror Story.  The movie, after all, is strung together by ideas that probably sounded better on paper than how they look on the big screen.  However, no matter how awesome they first appear to be, A Christmas Horror Story doesn’t know how to assemble them together into a cohesive flick….

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Hexecutioners’ and ‘Nina Forever’

The Hexecutioners (DIR. Jesse Thomas Cook) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi If I can give one bit of advice to a first-time attendee of Toronto After Dark, it would be to avoid the festival’s world premieres.  In my time of attending this festival, I have had the opportunity to see three world premieres – I’m zero for three.  Now, I can say, after having viewed The Hexecutioners, I can chalk up another clunker. This film is an absolute mess…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Backtrack’ and ‘Patchwork’

Backtrack (DIR. Michael Petroni) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Michael Petroni’s Backtrack contains a villain that does not often end up in horror films: guilt.  Adrien Brody portrays a psychiatrist, still seeing patients as he is being torn apart inside by the death of his young daughter.  It is at this juncture of his life where he realizes that he needs to come to terms with a traumatic accident that he witnessed, and inadvertently caused, as a child….

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Tales of Halloween’ and ‘Synchronicity’

Tales of Halloween (DIR. Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Let me get two simple facts out of the way: I love horror anthology films and, even with this love, I can easily admit that there are very few truly good ones out there.  They do exist, but for the most part, horror anthology films…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Shut In’

By: Addison Wylie Shut In’s leading damsel Anna (played by Beth Riesgraf) and filmmaker Adam Schindler have something in common: both have the ability to surprise and disarm. Schindler’s thriller begins as one of Toronto After Dark’s tamer offerings, and then socks us upside the head with brutal consequences and intense confrontations.  Anna is reserved in mourning, and her agoraphobia keeps her hushed inside a rickety house.  When she’s threatened by thieves interested in her stashed wealth, Anna reveals…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Hollow One’

By: Shannon Page Known for directing video games such as Gotham City Impostors and Alien vs. Predator 2, Nathan Hendrickson makes his feature film debut with The Hollow One, a horror about an unstable young woman (Rachel played by Kate Alden) struggling with her memory of a tragic event.  Rachel and her sister Anna (Chelsea Farthing) return to the small farming town of their childhood and reunite with Racheal’s ex-boyfriend (played by Jesse James of Jumper and TMI…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Interior’

By: Trevor Jeffery James (Patrick McFadden) is a typical 20-something living in Toronto facing a quarter-life crisis: he’s got a job he hates along with a boss he hates, a girlfriend towards whom he is apathetic, and he is tired of the city’s drone.  The final straw is a devastating diagnosis, after which he packs up and leaves everything behind for the dense woods of British Columbia.  Camping out and surviving with only packed sundries…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Hallow’

By: Addison Wylie The Hallow is made up of great parts that build towards a fleeting good time.  The adult audience gets as much satisfaction out of it as a toddler does with a mall’s mechanical horse. Within the film’s undistinguished Irish town, the community unanimously agrees that the woods are not necessarily a great place to idle.  Their distain is brought out when a family of out-of-towners move to a secluded millhouse that happens…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Night of the Living Deb’

By: Addison Wylie Let’s not beat around the bush: the most comparable film you can mention when talking about Kyle Rankin’s Night of the Living Deb is Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead.  Both Shaun and Deb are underdogs dealing with a zombie outbreak on the fly while trying to figure out their own issues with romance. The strongest thing you can say about Rankin’s horror/comedy is that while Night of the Living Deb is…


When Your Flesh Screams

By: Addison Wylie “Have you ever exceeded the limits of pain?”  Now, I have. When Your Flesh Screams is in need of more lighting, more rewrites, more experienced actors, and more time in an edit bay.  Most of all, Guillermo Martínez’s low-rent ode to exploitation-horror is in need of someone to show it the door. This is a film made by people who have seen raw works like Last House on the Left and are only interested in the…