James Ransone

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2016: ‘As the Gods Will’ and ‘In a Valley of Violence’

As the Gods Will (DIR. Takashi Miike) Takashi Miike has two modes of filmmaking: a deadly serious style that’s evident in films like Audition, and a goofy, over-the-top style visible in films like Ichi the Killer.  In As the Gods Will, it takes the viewer mere minutes to figure out which category Miike’s latest falls into (for me, it was the moment when a student gets decapitated and bleeds red marbles).


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)…



By: Addison Wylie Jay and Mark Duplass hopped on board Sean Baker’s Tangerine to lend their support as executive producers.  The mumblecore founders are always keeping their eyes peeled for innovation in independent cinema, and Tangerine – a film shot entirely on the iPhone 5S – was their calling. Tangerine reminded me of Christos Sourligas’ Happy Slapping, a film that followed hopeless teens via handheld footage shot on earlier generation smartphones.  Happy Slapping may have more interesting things to…