The full schedule has been released and single tickets are now on sale for the ninth annual edition of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. I have already marked off some recommended picks in my earlier rundowns of the festival line-up, but I thought that I would go back and list off five films that I don’t think you can afford to miss at the year’s festival. There are a lot of high quality selections at Toronto After Dark this year and more than a few of them are likely to sell out. As such, if you only end up only seeing a few films at Toronto After Dark, here are some suggestions, listed in the order they screen, of what to watch at this year’s festival.
HOUSEBOUND (NEW ZEALAND) – TORONTO PREMIERE - OPENING GALA – Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7:00 pm
The festival kicks off with a bang with with this haunted house horror-comedy from New Zealand. As proved by What We Do in the Shadows at TIFF Midnight Madness this year, horror-comedies and New Zealand can be a winning combination. With a number of film festival audience awards already under its belt, make sure to see the film that Sir Peter Jackson calls “Bloody Brilliant!”
ABCS OF DEATH 2 (USA/CAN/NZ/JAP/ISR) – CANADIAN PREMIERE – Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:30 pm
This is probably one of the highest profile films playing at Toronto After Dark this year. While the festival’s guest list hasn’t been announced yet, it can pretty much be guaranteed that at least some of the 26 filmmakers involved with the film will show up for a Q&A at the screening, especially since there is so much Canadian talent involved with the film. ABCs of Death 2 is definitely one of the films that cannot be missed at Toronto After Dark this year.
ZOMBEAVERS (USA) – TORONTO PREMIERE – Saturday, October 18, 7:00 pm
Sometimes there comes a film, which can be sold on title alone. Zombeavers is one of those films. With a completely ridiculous horror-comedy premise, this film will likely end up a pretty fun watch on the festival’s annual Zombie Appreciation Night.
PREDESTINATION (AUSTRALIA) – TORONTO PREMIERE – Tuesday, October 21, 7:00 pm
The festival’s sci-fi night definitely seems to have a bit of a time travel theme this year. Predestination is the latest film from Australian directors The Spierig Brothers, who are best known for the films Undead and Daybreakers, both of which played at Midnight Madness at TIFF. Having quite enjoyed Daybreakers, The Spierig Brothers’ name on Predestination is enough to get me excited to see the film. While I don’t know too much about the film’s time travel plot, it’s perhaps for the best that I see this film as blindly as possible and just let it unravel on the big screen.
THE BABADOOK (AUSTRALIA) – TORONTO PREMIERE – CLOSING GALA – Friday, October 24, 9:30 pm
It is probably no surprise that The Babadook was chosen as Toronto After Dark’s closing film, since it is probably the most acclaimed film to be playing the festival this year. The film has already won multiple film festival awards, including four at Fantastic Fest last month. All the reports are saying that The Babadook is an absolutely terrifying film and it will be the perfect way to close out this year’s edition of Toronto After Dark.
And those are my top five picks for this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival. This festival is less than two weeks away and it is sure to be one of the greatest yet.