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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…

Reviews

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…

Reviews

Goodnight Mommy

By: Mark Barber Goodnight Mommy exists at the intersection between Dead Ringers and Psycho, with a little bit of Misery thrown in for good measure. Twins Lukas and Elias (named for their actors, Lukas and Elias Schwarz) settle into their country home with their mother (Susanne Wuest), who is recovering from facial surgery after a brutal car accident.  In the midst of divorce proceedings, she does not take the trauma and stress well, and begins…

Reviews

Hellions

By: Addison Wylie Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments, Pontypool) is a very busy filmmaker.  In 2010 alone, the award-winning director released three films.  If I don’t like one of McDonald’s films, I can at least find something I can appreciate about his filmmaking, but his latest horror Hellions suggests to me that the next best thing for his career may be some downtime. The main problem with Hellions, a film about a…

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes at Fan Expo ’15

By: Trevor Jeffery At Toronto’s Fan Expo (an annual gathering for sci-fi super fans, comic book buffs, anime addicts, gaming geeks, horror… fans), badge-wearing nerds flock from all around, many garbed as pop culture icons, to enjoy a convention of collective interests.  It’s a place where people can gather in community, compliment each other’s costumes, bathe in their favourite entertainment cultures and, of course, enjoy the celebrity guests.

Reviews

Cooties

By: Addison Wylie Cooties hits theatres and VOD at a fantastic time. Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s skittish dark comedy/horror works as great escapism for a post-secondary crowd already dreading more responsibilities, and it’s an entertaining essential for future Halloweens. Scream Queens co-writer Ian Brennan and SAW co-creator Leigh Whannell have teamed up to make a subversive, gory lil’ number featuring self-centred teachers seeking safety after a virus unleashes itself onto children through batches of skunked…