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Friday, September 28, 2012

Sean Kelly

Toronto After Dark 2012 – Full Line-Up Announced

After that little bit of fun I had this morning, it is time for me to run down the entire line-up of this year’s Toronto After Dark film festival.  This year will feature Toronto After Dark’s biggest line-up, consisting of 20 films over nine days.  The first half of the line-up was announced in late August and the remaining films were announced this afternoon.  There are many films in this year’s line-up that I am quite excited for, so without further ado, here is the line-up of this year’s Toronto After Dark film festival.

REC 3: GENESIS (Spain) Canadian Premiere!
An official selection of the SXSW Film Festival, the latest instalment of the hit Spanish zombie movie series relocates the action to a lavish wedding where the guests - including the bride wielding a chainsaw - try to survive a terrifying outbreak of the undead!

GRABBERS (Ireland) 
In this Sundance audience crowd-pleaser in the mould of TREMORS, when a small Irish town is invaded by bloodsucking tentacled aliens, the locals discover that getting drunk may be their only way to survive as it gives them some resistance to the creatures!

A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (UK)
A dark and quirky comedy about a very nervous writer played by fan favourite Simon Pegg (SHUAN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, STAR TREK, SPACED) struggling with a slew of mental demons while working on a new novel about Victorian serial killers.

DEAD SUSHI (Japan)
A vacation resort faces an attack of killer sushi in this outrageous horror comedy from the same deliciously deranged Japanese filmmakers who brought you MACHINE GIRL and TOKYO GORE POLICE!

LLOYD THE CONQUEROR (Canada)
A crowd-pleasing fantasy comedy about three male college students who are roped into battle with Derek the Unholy, a dark wizard who is determined to hold onto his title as champion of the Larpers. Co-stars Mike Smith (aka “Bubbles” from TRAILER PARK BOYS), Harland Williams (DUMB & DUMBER) and Brian Posehn (SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM).

DOOMSDAY BOOK (Korea)
Winner of Fantasia Film Festival’s Best Film Award, this trio of apocalyptic tales features the rise of sentient robots, a zombie virus outbreak and an asteroid on a fatal collision course with earth. Co-directed by acclaimed Korean filmmaker Jee-woon Kim (I SAW THE DEVIL, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WEIRD,  A TALE OF TWO SISTERS)

SUSHI GIRL (USA)
A reunion dinner for a gang of vicious criminals reopens old wounds with deadly consequences. This stylish, ultraviolent crime film in the mould of Tarantino’s RESERVOIR DOGS features a genre cast to die for including Tony Todd (CANDYMAN),  Michael Biehn (TERMINATOR), Danny Trejo (MACHETE), Sonny Chiba (KILL BILL) and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill! 

WRONG (USA)
A hit at Sundance, fans of David Lynch and the Coen Brothers will delight in this latest cinematic oddity from the deranged mind of Quentin Dupieux (RUBBER): an absurd crime thriller about a man and the very strange things that happen to him as he tries to track down his kidnapped dog.

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING (USA) Canadian Premiere!
Action legends Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme reunite in the latest bone-crunching chapter of the popular Universal Soldier sci-fi action movie series. Joining them is Scott Adkins (EXPENDABLES 2). This time to survive, the Unisols must battle anarchy amongst their order, weeding out the weak, and testing their strongest warriors in brutal, life-or-death combat!

AMERICAN MARY (Canada) Canadian Premiere!
In this new festival circuit sensation from Jen and Sylva Soska aka The Twisted Twins, a disillusioned medical student (GINGER SNAPS star Katherine Isabelle in a standout performance) decides to ply her trade in the shady underworld of unregulated surgeries and body modification with horrifying consequences.

COCKNEYS vs ZOMBIES (UK)  Canadian Premiere!
When a bunch of East End bank robbers find themselves caught in the middle an outbreak of the undead on the streets of London, it’s every gangster for himself.  One part SHAUN OF THE DEAD, one part SNATCH, and loaded with outrageous zombie kills, the latest hit zombie comedy from Britain is a shotgun blast of fun from start to finish!

MY AMITYVILLE HORROR (USA)
In this genuinely chilling and disturbing new documentary, almost 40 years after the most infamous alleged haunting in American history, Daniel Lutz who was just a young boy at the time, finally breaks his silence and tells his side of the story of the supernatural events that took place in his family’s Amityville home.

CRAVE (USA)

With echoes of TAXI DRIVER and FIGHT CLUB, this award-winning directorial debut film from BLADE RUNNER Special Edition producer Charles de Lauzirika sees a mentally unstable crime scene photographer spiraling into darkness, madness and violent vigilantism on the gritty streets of Detroit. Also features a fantastic supporting turn from Ron Perlman (HELLBOY) as a grizzled cop whose seen more than one murder too many.

INBRED (UK)

With nods to the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and DELIVERANCE, this over-the-top gory British horror film finds a group of inner-city kids and their counsellors on a field trip fall prey to a rural village’s inbreds and their uniquely violent form of hospitality. Warning: not for the weak of stomach!

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2 (Canada/USA) Canadian Premiere!

Chilling found footage of a TV crew being haunted to their apparent deaths by supernatural forces inside an abandoned mental institute made the original GRAVE ENCOUNTERS a youtube sensation. In this even scarier follow-up, a young documentary filmmaker obsessed with finding out what really took place at the institute persuades a group of his friends to help him break into the building at night and record whatever they find.

CITADEL (Ireland/UK)

Following an unprovoked attack by a mysterious group of hooded thugs, a young father finds himself paralyzed by fear and unable to leave his home. To compound his nightmare, the local priest warns him that the hoodies will be back one day to claim the child.  A terrifying film, dripping in palpable fear, CITADEL was a deserved winner of the Midnighters Audience Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

GAME OF WEREWOLVES (Spain)

When a struggling young writer returns to his remote village home after years away in the city, he’s shocked to discover it’s become cursed by werewolves and also that he might just be the only one who can stop them.  Fantastic old school effects, great werewolf fight scenes and kills, and an endearing misfit hero makes multiple Audience Award winner GAME OF WEREWOLVES an absolute delight for fans at every festival it plays!

IN THEIR SKIN formerly known as REPLICAS (Canada)

In this intense, dark home invasion thriller that drew glowing reviews from the Tribeca Film Festival, a young husband and wife (HELLBOY’S Selma Blair in a standout performance) and their son find themselves in a fight for their lives with another similar aged family who have taken them captive at their vacation home.

RESOLUTION (USA)

Any attempt to describe this film would in too much detail would be to spoil it: Creepy photographs, bizarre found films, mysterious caves, possibly supernatural forces at work, and too many twists and turns to mention. If you like watching unique films unlike any you’ve seen before, then look no further than RESOLUTION, a one-of-a-kind horror movie that took the Tribeca Film Festival this year by storm. Just come see it and be equally blown away!

AFTER (USA) Canadian Premiere!

In this fascinating dark fantasy with shades of SILENT HILL and THE MIST, two bus crash survivors awake to find themselves the only people left in a deserted small town. Even worse, they only have a limited number of days left to solve the mystery of their predicament, as a dark black cloud is advancing from all sides, and within its mist are some hostile creatures!


I would have to say that this year’s line-up is a good mix of mainstream headliners and the smaller independent genre films Toronto After Dark is known for.  The Canadian premiere of REC 3: Genesis is arguably one of the biggest acquisitions for Toronto After Dark, especially since Rec 2 was a Midnight Madness selection back in 2009.  Even though it’s the fourth film in the series, I have been hearing a lot of good things about Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and here’s hoping that it will feature some great action.

Another film that that I am looking forward to is A Fantastic Fear of Everything, which I am sure will probably end up being one of the fan favourites of the festival.  It’s sort of weird that there are two films in this year’s line-up with sushi in the title.  Dead Sushi looks to be a very campy (yet gory) film and Sushi Girl is definitely the most star-studded film of the festival and will likely be one of the highlights.  Also, while I’m not a huge fan of the Irish stereotype of being heavy drinkers, I do think that Grabbers looks like it will be a very fun film.

I am personally very much excited at the announcement of My Amityville Horror, which is a documentary that examines the true events that inspired the classic 1979 film.  Whether or not you believe the event in Amityville actually happened, it’s sure to be an interesting film.  Another ghostly film that seems intriguing is Grave Encounters 2, which looks to be a very meta take on the now overused found footage genre. 

Overall, I have to say that Toronto After Dark has a pretty strong line-up this year.  Passes are now on sale (though they’re going fast) and single tickets are scheduled to go on sale next Tuesday, accompanied by the release of the full film schedule.

The 2012 Toronto After Dark Film Festival takes place October 18-26 at the Bloor Cinema.  Be there (or else)!

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).