October 2015


Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

By: Addison Wylie I remember describing Paranormal Activity 3 as an innovative horror film.  I remember excitingly telling friends, family, and co-workers about its cunning use of a camera propped on an oscillating fan engine.  The thought of this fearsome manoeuvre making everyone in my packed theatre squirm with anticipation was a memory for the books. With this “final” chapter in the Paranormal Activity series, I sat in a theatre full of unimpressed fans, and…



By: Trevor Jeffery Truth is a factually interesting docudrama, with the unfortunate side effect of also being a huge downer – how can you chippily walk away from a film if its thesis is essentially “modern journalism is dead”? It’s 2004, just months before the American Presidential election, and Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) has got a story.  And as a producer for CBS’s documentary/news series 60 Minutes, she’s got a platform.  She’s uncovered that there…



By: Addison Wylie Fat is light on a traditional plot.  However, what Mark Phinney’s directorial debut lacks in regularity is reimbursed by a meaningful portrayal of human behaviour.  I’m even hesitant to call Fat a character study since the focus is so widespread across its cast. Overcoming a death in his family and a difficult break-up, Ken turns to food for relief.  But, what started as a coping mechanism has taken over Ken’s life in the form of…



By: Trevor Jeffery Burnt is a dash of unabashed wet dream of a 40-something’s longing for the bohemian days of his twenties, with a hint of a decently entertaining film about a world-class chef and the intra-kitchen dynamics of a quality start-up restaurant in London.  Sauté in quality performances for 100 minutes. In John Wells’ Burnt, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a former hot-shot chef who fell into the hard life, got clean, and wants…


Going In and Coming Out: Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell

By: Anthony King GOING IN: It’s time to head to Germany for the biggest, loudest, and probably craziest heavy metal festival on the planet;  a three day festival where you’re free to release that inner metal freak, and scream or growl all day and night to your heart’s content.  Every year, the small village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein Germany hosts the Wacken Open Air festival featuring heavy metal bands from Lamb of God to Alice Cooper….

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….


The Last Witch Hunter

By: Shannon Page Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious 6, Guardians of the Galaxy) carries most of the weight in The Last Witch Hunter, director Breck Eisner’s fantasy-thriller about a medieval warrior (Diesel) cursed with immortality and locked in an eight-hundred year battle against evil magical forces bent on the destruction of humanity. Diesel’s wooden performance does nothing to distract from the fact that the script is tired and obvious, but even the most worn-out premises…


Wylie Writes’ One-On-One with Elaine Constantine

Elaine Constantine’s Northern Soul has been praised as an authentic reenactment of the music scene in 1970’s England – Lancashire to be exact.  The film also stands as a strong example of a filmmaker accomplishing their goals because they have been able to put so much of their heart and life experience into their project. Wylie Writes’ Trevor Jeffery liked the film when he caught it at this year’s TIFF – Northern Soul had its North American premiere at the…