Thriller

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Furies’ and ‘Mutant Blast’

The Furies (DIR. Tony D’Aquino) So, there are these seven women and seven monsters.  The women are tasked with staying alive, while the monsters attempt to kill them.  This plot could either be attached to a self-aware bit of amazing cinematic trash, or it could take itself too seriously and fail.  Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies falls firmly into the latter category.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Blood Machines’ and ‘Homewrecker’

Blood Machines (DIR. Seth Ickerman) The cinema is a visual and narrative medium, but the narrative is often king.  Way too many films will give up on the visuals to tell a story, leading to slightly stagnant results.  As such, it is sometimes oddly refreshing to get a film which will sacrifice narrative cohesion in order to produce a spectacle of light and sound.  Seth Ickerman is such a filmmaker and Blood Machines, a collaboration between…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale’ and ‘Witches in the Woods’

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (DIR. Lee Min-jae) The zombie genre has always managed to survive because zombies, as a monster, are wholly dependent on the zeitgeist of the time.  Since they are brainless creatures, their existence can generally be justified by the anxieties of the time (military industrial complex, consumerism, conformity, racism, etc.).  While that is an advantage to sub-genre, most zombie films follow the same template.  The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is no…

Reviews

Harpoon

The intersection of comedy and thriller do not often mix well, especially in survivalist narratives.  But Harpoon, even with its familiar survivalist tropes on display, evenly balances the two in an intense, frequently unpleasant, but endlessly watchable nightmare-at-sea.

Reviews

Last Call

Last Call pitches itself to audiences with an intriguing gimmick.  Shot in real time, the film’s story is told from two perspectives – using a split-screen technique to divide the pair of one-take shots.  However, Last Call is more than a crafty production with a trick up its sleeve.

Reviews

The Curse of Buckout Road

Myths and urban legends are most effective in horror movies when filmmakers stick with simplicity.  It’s what makes most legendary villains in the genre resonate with audiences.  The Curse of Buckout Road is a film that does the exact opposite, further proving why less is always more.

Reviews

Ready or Not

By: Jolie Featherstone Ready or Not is a devilishly fun, macabre thriller that toys with the tumultuous nature of family and the blatantly unethical drive of the wealthy to maintain their status – with a dollop of blood thrown in for good measure.

Reviews

Mine 9

Eddie Mensore’s environmental thriller Mine 9 is a succinct depiction of trapped coal miners in Appalachia.  Coming at a time when the preservation of the coal mining industry is improbably and invariably debated, thanks to a political climate incapable of addressing an alternative to fossil fuels, Mine 9 satisfyingly addresses worker’s safety, while interrogating large corporations who allow fatal accidents like this to happen.

Reviews

Survival Box

What do you do when you live in an age of renewed Trumpian nuclear anxiety and wish to express the doomed future of the youth therein?  If you’re William Scoular, you make Survival Box, a film so navel-gazing in its execution that, by the end of its runtime, it can only be described as an answer to a question no one asked.