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Reviews

Backcountry

By: Mark Barber Adam Macdonald’s Backcountry is a terrifying mix of Jaws and Blair Witch, but manages to avoid the usual kitschy pastiche of recent Canadian genre films.  Unlike the campiness of Wolfcop and Hobo with a Shotgun, Backcountry is an intense, serious horror film. Inspired loosely by tragic events, Backcountry follows a Toronto couple, Alex (Jeff Roop) and Jenn (Missy Peregrym), as they become lost in a camping trip in a northern Ontario park….

Reviews

Sinister 2

By: Trevor Jeffery Ciarán Foy’s Sinister 2 startles to the point of frustration, but frightens beyond its use of clichés. In the cellar of his runaway family’s newly squatted home, Dylan joins a pack of ghost kids to watch the snuff films they made, in order to stop his nightmares.  It seems counterintuitive, but the snappily dressed leader of the pack insists it helps.  Dylan Collins, his brother Zach and his mother Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon)…

Reviews

Dead Kansas

By: Addison Wylie Aaron K. Carter’s thinly budgeted zombie romp Dead Kansas wears the same pants as that punch drunk comedy Tetherball: The Movie I reviewed in April.  Not only because the filmmaker reached out to Wylie Writes to get an opinion on his modest horror, but Dead Kansas is also filled with that same vigour that can only be supplied by friends who make films because that’s what they love to do. These cinephile fellas pulled together resources…

Reviews

Final Girl

By: Addison Wylie Final Girl is exactly the movie an up-and-coming actor makes in order to break into the biz.  Later, when that actor has gone on to perform in bigger and better things, the breakout role is used as a nomination for film geeks to name obscure low-rent schlock that person had starred in.  For some reason, actress Abigail Breslin has decided to work backwards, and make the low-rent schlock after earning an Oscar…

Reviews

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story

By: Addison Wylie There’s nothing new in Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story that you haven’t already seen in other found footage horrors.  See if you can keep score at home: a small news crew ([REC]) are stringing together interviews and B-roll for a project (The Blair Witch Project), when suddenly a box of abandoned videocassette tapes containing disturbingly transfixing footage is discovered (name that Paranormal Activity sequel). A looming creature – evoking infamous Internet legends…

Reviews

The Gift

By: Trevor Jeffery The Gift isn’t an exception to the notion that suspense-thrillers lose substantial value on subsequent viewings, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be one hell of a ride the first time through. Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) seek a fresh start in California, not far from where Simon grew up.  An old high school acquaintance, Gordon (still going by his high school nickname, Gordo) (Joel Edgerton) approaches Simon and Robin…

Festival Coverage

Fantasia Fest 2015: ‘HEIR’

By: Addison Wylie Horror masterminds Richard Powell and Zach Green will always pull the best performances out of character actor Robert Nolan.  This has been the case with their vividly gruesome short films Worm and Familiar, and while their third collaboration HEIR may be their weakest entry, Nolan unstoppably beams as Gordon – a man suppressing a secret. Powell is back in the director’s chair with HEIR, as well as holding the pen that writes the…

Reviews

Fantasia Fest 2015: ‘Antisocial 2’

By: Addison Wylie My experience with Cody Calahan’s Antisocial 2 started with a surprise.  Antisocial offered some squeamishly great effects but was by no means “one for the books”.  While ultimately forgettable, it did leave on enough of a cliff-hanger to provoke thoughts of a sequel.  However, it was a small production and the chances of seeing another Antisocial were slim. For Calahan to push himself to continue the story of Sam – the Social…

Festival Coverage

Fantasia Fest 2015: ‘BITE’

By: Trevor Jeffery Horror works best in extremes: if you can’t make a film that is legitimately bone-chilling, then you better make it so over-the-top that the value comes from its absurdity rather than its potential to fear.  Unfortunately, non-camp horror is a hard beast to tame: you need a plot and a cast that can effectively scare people.  Bite is a campy horror film at heart that tried to go full-out scare mode, and…

Reviews

It Follows

By: Addison Wylie Ambiguity can be a beautiful thing – especially for the horror genre.  Filmmakers can inject an idea, and then trust the viewers to fill in the blanks.  It does, however, take a certain skill and direction to utilize ambiguity to its fullest degree.  A skill that David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is missing although the film is confident it has. It Follows goes heavy on creepy nuances, which benefits the experience.  Nothing…