For at least the past few years, we have covered the Toronto After Dark Film Festival annually. Jeff Konopka attends the festival every year, and he usually brings some really good coverage back with him. I am always jealous when he’s there, because I’m listening to the footage that he has recorded, hanging out in a crowded bar talking with filmmakers, as well as other journalists attending the event. It sounds like a lot of fund, and I’d love to make the trip one year. Some of my favorite recent films were shown at Toronto After Dark. Cheap Thrills, Motivational Growth, The Machine, We Are What We Are, Resolution, The Battery, one of my all-time favorite films, Some Guy Who Kills People, and much, much more. Recently, the first 10 films for the 2014 festival were announced, and among them were some highly anticipated films. I will list them all below, but off the top of my head, The Babadook, Predestination, Dead Snow 2, Suburban Gothic, and plenty more. Today, the final films have been announced, so we have the full lineup for Toronto After Dark 2014. This year looks extremely solid, with an entire list of stuff that genre fans have been salivating over for months. Check out the full list below, from the Toronto After Dark website. They have also put together a YouTube playlist of trailers and promos, which you can find below as well. As usual, Jeff will be covering the festival again this year. I will be reviewing several of the films as well, since I was able to secure screeners for certain films that will be shown.
THE FIRST TEN FILMS!
HELLMOUTH (Canada) World Premiere
From the twisted mind of writer Tony Burgess (PONTYPOOL) comes a stunning, spectacular ode to classic horror and fantasy. HELLMOUTH tells the tale of gravekeeper Charlie Baker, (WATCHMEN’s Stephen McHattie) assigned to tend to a mysterious cemetery. Charlie’s routine journey to his new place of employment turns out to be a dark and fantastic voyage through a Gothic landscape, filled with demonic forces, and a life-altering encounter with a beautiful woman he must try to rescue from the bowels of hell.Trailer Poster
THE BABADOOK (AUSTRALIA) Toronto Premiere
In the scary new horror hit from Australia, single mother Amelia must battle with her son Samuel’s fear of a monster lurking in their house. After a creepy pop-up book called Mister Babadook is found on the doorstep, Samuel begins to sense a sinister presence, and strange things begin to happen around the house. Amelia is at first dismissive, but then begins to question whether THE BABADOOK is a figment of Samuel’s troubled imagination or whether there might be something genuinely evil lurking in their midst.Trailer Poster
PREDESTINATION (AUSTRALIA) Toronto Premiere
Based on a story by acclaimed sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein (STARSHIP TROOPERS), the Spierig Brothers (DAYBREAKERS, UNDEAD) direct Ethan Hawke (GATTACA, TRAINING DAY) in this riveting sci-fi thriller in the mold of LOOPER and MINORITY REPORT about a Temporal Agent, tasked with traveling through time to stop crimes before they’re committed. On his final assignment, the agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time, the elusive Fizzle Bomber, determined to unleash mass destruction upon New York City, and who somehow always seems to be one step ahead of the Temporal Agency. Trailer Poster
DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (NORWAY) Toronto Premiere
The gruesome army of awakened Nazi Zombies from fan favourite DEAD SNOW once again return to terrorize the Norwegian countryside! In this crowd-pleasing zombie action comedy follow-up, Martin, the sole survivor of the first movie, must join forces with an American zombie hunter (cult favourite FREAKS AND GEEKS’ Martin Starr) and a reanimated squad of dead Russians if he is to try to defeat the undead Nazi horde and their evil commander! Trailer NSFW Poster
WOLVES (USA/CANADA) North American Premiere
In this coming of age werewolf action movie from David Hayter (writer of X-MEN, X-MEN 2), Lucas Till (XMEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) plays Cayden Richards, a high school senior who awakens one day to find his parents brutally murdered and his body transforming into a wild, savage wolf. In search of the truth behind his animalistic tendencies, Cayden heads to the small town of Lupine Ridge, only to find himself caught between an ongoing war between two opposing werewolf clans, led by Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONES) and Stephen McHattie (WATCHMEN). As the past begins to reveal itself, so does Cayden’s power to put an end to the savage violence around him and within him. Trailer Poster
OPEN WINDOWS (SPAIN/USA) Toronto Premiere
In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW comes this gripping cyber-thriller from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES) that exposes a terrifying dark side to internet voyeurism. When an unwitting celebrity fan-site operator (LORD OF THE RINGS’ Elijah Wood) is persuaded by a mysterious caller to hack into the personal webcam of a movie actress he idolizes (Sasha Grey), he finds himself not only uncovering a dark and sinister plot, but also trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Trailer Poster
ZOMBEAVERS (USA) Toronto Premiere
From the producers of CABIN FEVER, THE HANGOVER, and AMERICAN PIE comes ZOMBEAVERS, a crowd-pleasing zombie comedy co-starring Cortney Palm (SUSHI GIRL) that delivers exactly what you’d want from its title and more! A group of college kids’ weekend of sex and debauchery at a riverside cabin turns gruesome when they find themselves menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers. Riding the line between scary, sexy, and funny, the kids are soon fighting for their lives in a desperate attempt to fend off the blood-thirsty undead beaver horde! Trailer Poster
SUBURBAN GOTHIC (USA) Toronto Premiere
Richard Bates Jr. follows up his acclaimed horror film EXCISION with a supernatural comedy about an unemployed graduate (CRIMINAL MINDS’ Matthew Gray Gubler) who returns to his small-town family home, only to encounter a vengeful ghost and a mystery that must be solved before everyone’s lives are lost. A spooktacular treat of a movie, SUBURBAN GOTHIC features an endearingly quirky script with numerous fan favourites in scene-stealing supporting roles, including Kat Dennings (THOR), Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS), Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR) and John Waters (PINK FLAMINGOS). Trailer Poster
TIME LAPSE (USA) Toronto Premiere
In this award-winning new sci-fi thriller, three friends, including Danielle Panabaker (THE FLASH) discover a mysterious machine in an abandoned apartment that seems to print photos taken 24 hours into their future. The trio conspire to use the device for personal gain, but it’s not long before the images start to reveal a disturbing and dangerous chain of events they must somehow try to avert before it’s too late. Co-stars John Rhys-Davies (INDIANA JONES TRILOGY). Trailer Poster
ABCS OF DEATH 2 (USA/New Zealand/Canada/Israel/Japan) Canadian Premiere
Get ready to gasp, laugh, shriek and cheer at this latest anthology of 26 short tales, each punctuated by a different shocking, wickedly entertaining death. Completely one-upping its predecessor, ABCS OF DEATH 2 is packed with outstanding thrills, chills and kills, brought to you by some of the acclaimed film-making talents behind fan favourites CUBE (Vincenzo Natali), AMERICAN MARY (The Soska Twins), BIG BAD WOLVES (Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado), MANBORG (Steven Kostanski), ROOM 237 (Rodney Ascher), INSIDE (Alexandre Bustillo) and JUAN OF THE DEAD (Alejandro Brugues), just to name but a few! Trailer NSFW Poster
THE FINAL 9 FEATURE FILMS ANNOUNCED!
HOUSEBOUND (New Zealand) Toronto Premiere & Opening Gala Film
HOUSEBOUND is a wickedly fun scary new horror thriller from New Zealand, described as “bloody brilliant” by filmmaking icon Peter Jackson (LORD OF THE RINGS). The film follows a young woman forced to return home and endure a triple threat of being under house arrest, living with her eccentric old mother, and potential ghosts in the house. Full of suspense and frights, and laced with a good dose of dysfunctional family comedy that will allow anyone to relate to the main characters, HOUSEBOUND has become a smash hit on the festival circuit, winning numerous audience awards since its SXSW debut. TrailerPoster
WYRMWOOD (Australia) Canadian Premiere
DAWN OF THE DEAD meets MAD MAX in this full-on, post-apocalyptic road action adventure from Australia that will delight fans with its car chase thrills, zombie kills and unique spin on the undead mythos. After Barry, a talented mechanic, sees his community torn apart by a zombie apocalypse and his sister abducted by some sinister government scientists, it’s clear his only means of survival and finding his sister is to hit the road. But first he’ll have to improvise some deadly weapons out of garage tools, significantly modify a road vehicle for combat, recruit several allies to his cause – and also wipe out hordes of ferocious zombies beginning to encircle his home! Trailer Poster
WHY HORROR? (Canada) Canadian Premiere
WHY HORROR? is a fascinating new feature documentary that follows horror journalist Tal Zimerman (RUE MORGUE) as he travels the world to examine the different cultures, media, science, and psychology of horror, with one simple purpose: to understand why we love to be scared. Featuring exclusive interviews with horror filmmaking luminaries such as John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Eli Roth, Don Coscarelli and more, as well as discussions with leading psychological experts, WHY HORROR? is an illuminating experience for both fans and and foes of the movie genre alike. This screening is co-presented by Rue Morgue Cinemacabre, and will feature a fascinating post-screening Q&A with Tal Zimerman, and the Documentary’s Directors. Trailer Poster
LET US PREY (Ireland/UK) Toronto Premiere
In this tense, supernatural spin on John Carpenter’s cult classic ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, a menacing stranger (GAME OF THONES’ Liam Cunningham) turns up in the middle of the night at a police station in a remote Scottish town. After being placed in a holding cell, it’s not long before the stranger initiates a terrifying chain reaction of madness and violence amongst the inmates and police officers. One of the few unaffected is a newly hired female officer (THE WOMAN’S Pollyanna McIntosh), and with her back to the wall, not knowing who she can trust, she finds herself fighting for her life. Trailer Poster
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (USA) Special Presentation
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) stylishly and cleverly reinvents the 1976 horror cult classic of the same name, with this dark and delicious cinematic treat for horror fans, both old and new. Based on a terrifying true story, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN picks up sixty-five years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana. But now the “moonlight murders” have begun again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl (ODD THOMAS’s Addison Timlin), with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching the murderer. The fantastic supporting cast includes fan favourites Gary Cole (OFFICE SPACE), Denis O’Hare (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) and Veronica Cartwright (ALIEN). Trailer Poster
LATE PHASES (USA) Toronto Premiere
When grizzled war veteran Ambrose (STAKE LAND’s Nick Damici), moves into the Crescent Bay retirement community, he’s discovers that some local residents have been dying not from old age, but from a series of mysterious, vicious dog attacks. After his own house is attacked in the night by the animals, Ambrose sets his military mind to tracking them down. But it soon becomes clear that these attacks are a regular monthly occurrence, synchronized to the full moon, and the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay has been hiding something far more sinister that wild dogs in its midst. Ambrose will have to face off against some creatures that are part-man, part-wolf – and completely deadly.Trailer Poster
REFUGE (USA) Canadian Premiere
Set amidst the ruins of a collapsed America in the wake of a great catastrophic plague, REFUGE is a tense post-apocalyptic survival thriller in the vein of THE ROAD and THE WALKING DEAD. Taking refuge in an old boarded-up home, a family does its best to maintain a sense of normalcy amidst a lawless world of roaming gangs. But it’s not long before food and supplies begin to dwindle, forcing the family of survivors into a deadly showdown with a group of vicious marauders surrounding their home.Trailer Poster
THE DROWNSMAN (Canada) Toronto Premiere
With THE DROWNSMAN Chad Archibald (ANTISOCIAL) delivers a refreshingly new take on classic urban legend horror such as the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series. After a young woman narrowly survives a terrifying drowning experience in a lake, she finds herself stalked by an evil entity, The Drownsman, determined to drag her and her circle of close friends to a watery hell! Trailer Poster
KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER (USA) Toronto Premiere
Based on a true story… a lonely, eccentric Japanese woman (PACIFIC RIM’s Rinko Kikuchi) becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in the Coen Brothers’ cult classic crime thriller FARGO, is in fact, real and still out there, waiting to be recovered. After watching the movie over and over again, she prepares a crudely drawn treasure map and with limited preparation, escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune. Stunningly shot, beautifully acted, and dream-like in its execution, KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER has entranced audiences wherever it has screened, winning numerous festival awards since its debut at Sundance where it won a Special Jury Award. Poster
28 SHORT FILMS ANNOUNCED!
Fans can also look forward to two fantastic showcases of cutting edge genre short films at this year’s festival!
CANADA AFTER DARK: 19 outstanding Canadian short films will screen at this year’s festival. And as per tradition at Toronto After Dark, one in front of each of the Feature Films: DAY 40, DEAD HEARTS, FOXED, HONOR CODE, INTRUDERS, KISMET, LAST BREATH, LAZY BOYS, LITTLE MATTHEW, LUMBERJACKED, MIGRATION, THE MONITOR, MONSTER ISLAND, PERIOD PIECE, PUPA, ROSE IN BLOOM, SATAN’S DOLLS, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, YOUNG BLOOD
SHORTS AFTER DARK: 9 incredible International Short films will screen this year as part of the popular international short film showcase: DYNAMIC VENUS , EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING, HAPPY B-DAY, INVADERS, , HE TOOK OFF HIS SKIN FOR ME, LIQUID, REDACTION, STRANGE THING, SWORDFIGHTS
FROM FRI, OCT 3: SCHEDULE, DETAILED FILM INFO, SINGLE TICKETS AVAILABLE!
The complete Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2014 schedule for all 20 Screenings, over nine thrilling nights, this Oct 16-24 at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto will be announced from Friday, Oct 3. Fans can expect as with previous years, the vast majority of screenings to take place at the convenient prime times of 7pm and 9.30pm nightly. At the same time, fans will also be able to buy single tickets ranging from $11 (Multi-film purchase) to $13 (Regular Single Film Tickets) to all screenings at the Festival Website, Cineplex Website, Cineplex App and in person at the venue. To get notified of when the schedule and box office has gone live, sign up for our E-Newsletter.
ALL-ACCESS PASSES ALREADY ON ADVANCE SALE AND OVER 90% SOLD OUT!
Fans interested in seeing a bunch of films at Toronto After Dark 2014 are encouraged to snap up one of the festival’s popular ALL-ACCESS Passes before they’re all gone. They give priority entry via the Passholders line to all 20 screenings over the festival’s nine nights, Oct 16-24, as well as save over $110 in regular ticket purchases! The passes, retailing at $149, equivalent to just $7.50 a screening this year, sell out early every year, and are already over 90% sold out. Find out more about Toronto After Dark’s All-Access Pass, and snap up yours now at the link.
KEY LINKS & MORE INFO
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SEE YOU AFTER DARK THIS OCTOBER 16-24!