Latest

Shahbaz Khayambashi

Reviews

Overlord

A J.J. Abrams production is like the latest hipster eatery: they take a lot of effort to put together and people apparently like them, but once you have experienced one, it becomes apparent just how incredibly overrated they are.  This is why I’m always so wary of these productions, and why his latest produced feature has been such a surprise – Overlord, directed by Julius Avery, is actually enjoyable!

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘Extracurricular’, ‘Lifechanger’, ‘Nightmare Cinema’, and ‘You Might Be the Killer’

Extracurricular (DIR. Ray Xue) As the Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41 once sang, “motivation, such an aggravation.”  That seemed to be Ray Xue’s complaint as well when he was directing Extracurricular, which is the only way to explain why anything in this film happened.  Long time readers may recognize the number one rule of TAD: if a film is having its world premiere here, it will be terrible.  This is not a knock against any of…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘I Am a Hero’ and ‘Satan’s Slaves’

I Am a Hero (DIR. Shinsuke Sato) I Am a Hero is long.   That is not often how a review will start, but that may be the most remarkable thing about this new zombie film from Japan – running at over two hours, it is needlessly long.  Otherwise, it doesn’t reinvent or make any new addition to the zombie mythos, it doesn’t have anything interesting to say, and it doesn’t really pick up until the third…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘Prey’ and ‘Robbery’

Prey (DIR. Dick Mass) Sometimes viewers are given the rare pleasure of experiencing a film that, by all intents and purposes, should be awful.  Whether because of its genre’s history or just a general sense of ridiculousness, these films need to be dead on arrival, but sometimes a film is way better than it has any right to be.  Dick Mass’ Prey, a film about a giant man-eating lion causing carnage in the streets of Amsterdam,…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘Prospect’ and ‘The Ranger’

Prospect (DIR. Chris Caldwell, Zeek Earl) First, we lived through “mumblecore”.  Then, we were subjected to “mumblegore”.  Now, it seems like the next logical step is to “mumblego” where no man has gone before.  Case in point: Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl’s exercise in furious navel-gazing, Prospect, a film so enamored by its own cleverness that it manages to make its modest runtime seem endless.  A film whose total lack of direction in favour of world-building…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘I’ll Take Your Dead’ and ‘Mega Time Squad’

I’ll Take Your Dead (DIR. Chad Archibald) The multi-hyphen horror film is just a concept that is here to stay.  Despite everything being a hyphenated genre lately, very few films actually know how to do it well.  The issue is that these films are often so lost in their own muddled genres, that they forget to specialize in one.  Very rarely can someone pull off an actually balanced hyphenated genre film, leading to practical magic when…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘The Inhabitant’ and ‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’

The Inhabitant (DIR. Guillermo Amoedo) Latin American cinema is in the middle of a great resurgence, creating some of the best works since the cinemas of poverty of the 1960s.  On another hand, there has been an influx of supernatural home invasion films: thieves having to deal with demons who won’t let them leave, a torrent which deemed any new arrivals in the genre mundane.  Using this dichotomy, one is left to wonder what the…