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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: ‘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 2017: ‘Dead Shack’ and ‘Rabbit’

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.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2017: ‘Defective’

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.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: Shahbaz on Short Films

By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Once again, the sun sets on another successful edition of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.  On the tenth anniversary of this local darling, I felt it necessary to shine a light on what I have consistently felt to be an important and underappreciated part of this festival: the shorts. The first time that I went to the festival, about six years ago, my first screening was the Shorts After Dark program and I…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Deathgasm’ and ‘The Diabolical’

Deathgasm (DIR. Jason Lei Howden) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Think to yourself for one moment: what do you imagine when you think of a film entitled Deathgasm?  Jason Lei Howden’s film is basically that. The plot is simple enough: four teenage New Zealand metalheads decide to form a band, after sneaking into a Varg Vikernes stand-in’s house and coming into possession of music and lyrics to a demonic song which turns the inhabitants of their small town…

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….