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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: ‘Lazer Team’

By: Shahbaz Khayambashi For the first time in their ten year history, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival broke with tradition and allowed an under-18 crowd to one of its screenings.  More specifically, anyone over the age of 14 was invited to come and view Lazer Team, the new film from Rooster Teeth Productions.  A company which is apparently very popular with kids, according to the sheer number of teenagers who turned out to see…

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: ‘Gridlocked’

By: Addison Wylie I don’t consider it a good sign when a film makes you consider similar movies of its kind that you’ve given bad reviews to.  Take Allan Ungar’s Gridlocked.  I not only didn’t like it, but it made me wonder if I was too harsh on other action copycats like Olympus Has Fallen.  However, I’m not going back on my word.  Olympus Has Fallen is as much of a Die Hard ripoff as…

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: Shorts After Dark

Awesome Runaway!! (DIR. Benjamin De Los Santos) By: Addison Wylie Benjamin De Los Santos’ Awesome Runaway!! is…well….awesome…for the most part.  Inspired by video game combat, Looney Tunes, and the ‘Safe Haven’ segment of V/H/S/2, the filmmaker has conceived a stylistic treat that will surely delight Toronto After Dark movie goers. From the opening shot up until a final confrontation with an evil kingpin monologuing about nonsense, Awesome Runaway!! plays towards clichés in a tongue-in-cheek manner.  The…

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: ‘TAG’

By: Mark Barber Those unfamiliar with the intensity and insanity of Sion Sono’s films might be understandably overwhelmed by the excessively violent Tag, one of six films that the Japanese filmmaker has made this year (Love & Peace is also playing at Toronto After Dark, and his fantastic and unconventional sci-fi drama The Whispering Star played at TIFF last month). Others, however, will find Tag to be yet another exhilarating action-packed outing from Sono. Narrative-wise,…

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…