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Toronto After Dark

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2016: ‘Blood Father’ and ‘Kill Command’

Blood Father (DIR. Jean-François Richet) Mel Gibson was once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.  Now, he is staging a comeback which includes a few directorial efforts.  Preceding those is his starring role in Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father, a film which could be cynically viewed as an attempt to get Gibson back on the public’s radar and nothing more, if only it was not so entertaining and memorable.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2016: ‘Train to Busan’ and ‘Trash Fire’

Train to Busan (DIR. Yeon Sang-ho) Sometimes, a film fails at everything – an abject failure.  Sometimes, a film fails at the majority of its goals while succeeding in some, earning a designation of mediocrity.  Then, there are the rare cases of films failing in a majority of ways with a few successes, wherein those successes manage to outshine the failure.  Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan fits into that final example, a film that comes…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2016: ‘War on Everyone’

Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan) and Michael Peña (Ant-Man) are two of New Mexico’s worst cops, yet they’re the kings of their castle in War on Everyone.  Their delusion intimidates pedestrians and perps, and their shallowness makes their supervisor Lt. Gerry Stanton (Paul Reiser) confused and ultimately indifferent.  However, their false royalty is disrupted when they’re overshadowed by a more diabolical threat, Lord James Mangan (Theo James of The Benefactor and the Divergent series).

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….

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘The Hexecutioners’ and ‘Nina Forever’

The Hexecutioners (DIR. Jesse Thomas Cook) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi If I can give one bit of advice to a first-time attendee of Toronto After Dark, it would be to avoid the festival’s world premieres.  In my time of attending this festival, I have had the opportunity to see three world premieres – I’m zero for three.  Now, I can say, after having viewed The Hexecutioners, I can chalk up another clunker. This film is an absolute mess…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2015: ‘Backtrack’ and ‘Patchwork’

Backtrack (DIR. Michael Petroni) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Michael Petroni’s Backtrack contains a villain that does not often end up in horror films: guilt.  Adrien Brody portrays a psychiatrist, still seeing patients as he is being torn apart inside by the death of his young daughter.  It is at this juncture of his life where he realizes that he needs to come to terms with a traumatic accident that he witnessed, and inadvertently caused, as a child….