The “found footage” horror sub-genre has had its fair share of stinkers, but movies don’t get much lazier than 1st Summoning, an entry that seems to be as anti-audience as it is anti-climactic. Here’s a movie that sheepishly grits its teeth, waiting for viewers to pity it.
A J.J. Abrams production is like the latest hipster eatery: they take a lot of effort to put together and people apparently like them, but once you have experienced one, it becomes apparent just how incredibly overrated they are. This is why I’m always so wary of these productions, and why his latest produced feature has been such a surprise – Overlord, directed by Julius Avery, is actually enjoyable!
Extracurricular (DIR. Ray Xue) As the Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41 once sang, “motivation, such an aggravation.” That seemed to be Ray Xue’s complaint as well when he was directing Extracurricular, which is the only way to explain why anything in this film happened. Long time readers may recognize the number one rule of TAD: if a film is having its world premiere here, it will be terrible. This is not a knock against any of…
One thing that differentiates Toronto After Dark from a lot of other horror festivals is their affinity and respect for short films. In an age of streaming and general new media, short films are the future of genre cinema and it is always important to give them a venue, since most of them will never see the inside of a cinema.
I Am a Hero (DIR. Shinsuke Sato) I Am a Hero is long. That is not often how a review will start, but that may be the most remarkable thing about this new zombie film from Japan – running at over two hours, it is needlessly long. Otherwise, it doesn’t reinvent or make any new addition to the zombie mythos, it doesn’t have anything interesting to say, and it doesn’t really pick up until the third…
Anna and the Apocalypse (DIR. John McPhail) Another day, another multi-hyphenated genre film.
Prey (DIR. Dick Mass) Sometimes viewers are given the rare pleasure of experiencing a film that, by all intents and purposes, should be awful. Whether because of its genre’s history or just a general sense of ridiculousness, these films need to be dead on arrival, but sometimes a film is way better than it has any right to be. Dick Mass’ Prey, a film about a giant man-eating lion causing carnage in the streets of Amsterdam,…
Overlord (DIR. Julius Avery) American soldiers are dropped into German-occupied France and need to prepare for the D-Day invasion, but they find that the Germans are involved in some messed-up stuff.
Jude S. Walko makes his directorial feature debut with the haunted castle horror flick The Incantation, which falls short in providing the scares.
The Hollow Child is a feature film debut for screenwriter Ben Rollo and director Jeremy Lutter, and it’s an efficient entry-level vehicle for both of them even if this horror feels like a retread.