For horror fans in the city of Toronto, the middle of October marks a special time in our lives each year. With only a couple of weeks until Halloween, the thirst for new scary movies becomes almost unbearable, as our own personal collections and Netflix both grow smaller and smaller in our search for unseen content – those horrors yet untold. Thankfully, shining like a beacon of glorious terror for the past 9 years has been Toronto After Dark, the city’s annual celebration of international horror, sci-fi, action and cult films, and a great place to see some mind-blowing original content and meet some really interesting people. The madness starts up again tonight, and will continue with two films every night from October 16-24 at the Scotiabank Theatre!
This year’s selection looks as diverse as ever with 20 feature film screenings, each accompanied by a short film and some with a filmmaker’s Q&A as well. If you’re looking for demons, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, zombeavers, slasher killers, mind-fucks, actual fucks, or time-travel-vigilante-cops, you can find it all and much much more at Toronto After Dark. For a full festival schedule and links to tickets, check out the official website.
This festival has been growing massively in popularity each year and is sure to sell out quickly (which it has already done for a few films), so don’t delay in grabbing your tickets!
In case you’re curious, here are my top-5 picks of the festival this year:
The Babadook (Australia, Closing Gala): Just watch the trailer once and you’ll understand why this is my most anticipated film of the festival. Closing out Toronto After Dark this year will be this sinister little story which looks scary as hell, and shows potential to become a true genre classic – or at the very least, one of the best new horror films of the year. Screens with short film Intruders! Trailer
Housebound (New Zealand, Opening Gala): This haunted house comedy/thriller from New Zealand looks like it’s going to be a wild ride, and seems like it just might deliver some genuine scares along the way as well. It is said to feature several “crowd-pleasing twists and turns,” so this sounds like a good one to catch After Dark. Screens with short film Foxed! Trailer
The ABCs of Death 2 (USA/CAN/NZ/JAP/ISR): I’m anticipating that ABC 2 will be similar to the first in that it’s bound to deliver a solid 2-hours of shocking ridiculousness, stitched together from the shattered nightmares of 26 horror directors who are out to disturb and surprise you. I’ve always had a soft spot for anthologies around this time of the year, and my hopes are certainly high for this one. Screens with short film Lumberjacked! Trailer
Predestination (Australia): This sci-fi crime film will hopefully be able to emerge gloriously from the shadow of last year’s Looper which currently hangs over it, as it looks to be a tense and well-made time-travel thriller in its own right with the potential for some really great sequences. I’ve always been a fan of Ethan Hawke, and this film possesses some nice production value combined with decent word-of-mouth, so I’m hoping it pulls through as a memorable and original mind-twister. Screens with short film What Doesn’t Kill You! Trailer
The Town that Dreaded Sundown (USA): This one is just coming along at the right time and place for me as I recently watched the original 1977 film of the same name, and am now curious to see if this sequel/remake can craft something a little more effective out of this frighteningly true story. It doesn’t hurt that the film looks extremely tense and well-produced, even if it does appear to be treading down those same age-old slasher roads we’ve worn down over the years. Screens with short film Satan’s Dolls! Trailer
…and I’d have to say the biggest wildcard this year in my opinion is definitely Hellmouth (Canada), which I’m hoping can deliver on the many promises of the exciting supers in its Trailer!
Be sure to stay tuned to Addicted throughout the festival for news and reviews as things unfold!