The short films featured at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival are always worth a watch. The selections hardly miss, and audiences are usually given a wide collection of different types of horror told from diverse perspectives. The shorts I did catch at this year’s film festival were consistent with the past, but also included some all-timer scares and laughs.
Toronto After Dark
Nobody “phones it in” for Mathieu Turi’s subterranean thriller The Deep Dark, although their efforts are for naught; simply because this movie isn’t a good fit for their work.
Canadian filmmaker Jeremy LaLonde is becoming the go-to guy to find humour in despicable people. After taking a brief break to make an experimental drama (Ashgrove), LaLonde finds himself easing back into his comedic element with Daniel’s Gotta Die, a dark comedy about an inheritance-hungry, ne’er-do-well family being reigned in by a goodnatured sibling.
Toronto After Dark has been a great platform for short films to be showcased. Former Wylie Writes critic Shahbaz Khayambashi believed that the short selections were the festival’s strong suit and are sometimes better than the feature-length films – and I kinda agree with him.
If you’re looking for genuine scares, look no further. Evil Eye (Mal de Ojo in Spanish) is the real deal. Get ready for great special effects, maximum impact jump scares, and chills.
Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday, Hellboy) knows how to make a horror film. The writer/director is responsible for the early 2000’s cult classic The Descent, a film that has been praised for its mature characterization of a group of women (a relatively novel concept, as far as early ’00s horror was concerned). In addition to its dramatic and psychological elements, The Descent was also freaking terrifying. Even the toughest, most hardened horror fans are quick to admit…
Horror-comedy Here For Blood features Shawn Roberts (of the Resident Evil franchise) as Tom O’Bannon, an all-around good guy who has a solid reputation in the world of wrestling and only shows a smidge of an attitude when his girlfriend Phoebe (Joelle Farrow) asks him to babysit a 10-year-old for a few hours while she prepares for college exams. The kid, Grace (Maya Misaljevic), is stubborn at first, but warms up to Tom over some…
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Nick Gillespie’s Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a hilarious dark comedy that combines 2019’s Joker with 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite – featuring an inept dancing social outcast who plots vigilante justice. The titular Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) is a troubled man-baby who, despite living with his mother, has aspirations of achieving fame. On his way to an important career-making audition, Paul is delayed by a series of rude and apathetic citizens,…
Directed by Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, Alien on Stage is an unexpectedly heartwarming documentary about an amateur theatre group comprised of Dorset bus drivers who set out to produce a stage adaptation of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/horror Alien. Though their initial adaptation is serious, they are given the opportunity to take their show to London’s West End as a comedy.
Combining martial arts with survival horror and thrills, Nightshooters may have a few rough patches – but it’s a hell of a good time.