October, my favourite month of the year, brings the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF) to the city. With 9 Nights of New Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies, TADFF takes over the Scotiabank Theatre from October 13 – 21.
With its array of genre films for all tastes, TADFF’s screening sell-out fast. This year is no exception; thus, I start with the list of films already sold-out: Under the Shadow (First Screening), Train to Busan (First Screening), The Void (First Screening).
Nonetheless, there are many other awesome films in this year’s line up. Here are a few of my personal picks:
Friday, October 14, 7pm
War on Everyone (USA/UK)
Directed by John Michael McDonagh
Synopsis: This film is about a pair of antiheroes who violently abuse the law as much as they enforce it. Wise-cracking bad boy detectives Terry (True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob (Ant-Man’s Michael Peña) have become a law unto themselves in small town, New Mexico. In between extorting local criminals, ignoring orders from their Police Chief (Paul Reiser), they also drink excessively, take drugs and party too hard. But things are about to change for Terry and Bob: there’s a new Godfather in town, a mysterious Brit, who has diabolical plans for the town, and no two bad cops are going to stand in his way.
My thoughts: One, I like films with antiheroes. Two, Alexander Skarsgård. Three, check out the trailer and tell me these guys weren’t having fun making this film.
Friday, October 14, 11:59pm – Second Screening
Under The Shadow (Iran/UK/Jordan)
Directed by Babak Anvari
Synopsis: This supernatural tale has drawn comparisons with previous TAD favourite, The Babadook. After her husband leaves to fight in the war with Iraq, an Iranian mother and her young daughter are left to cope by themselves in an increasingly deserted apartment building. It’s soon clear that someone or something else has moved into the building with them, an evil spirit with a sinister agenda of its own that threatens their lives.
My thoughts: The film is described as relying “more on tension and dread than cheap jump scares”, which is something many of us are looking for in a dark, horror film. There has been a buzz about this film; definitely looking forward to it.
Saturday, October 15, 3:30pm
Shorts After Dark
Synopsis: A collection of 10 incredible International horror, sci-fi, action and cult short films will screen this year as part of this global short film showcase: Curve, Dawn of the Deaf, Limbo, Bark, The Call, Still, When Susurrus Stirs, Vitamins for Life, Greener Grass, and The Itching.
My thoughts: I have been impressed by some excellent short films in the past. Short films are not an easy feat; they have to engage and deliver in a short amount of time. Hoping for more impressive shorts in this series this year.
Tuesday, October 18, 9:30pm
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Synopsis: Prepare to be creeped out by the new serial killer chiller from acclaimed Japanese horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse) that’s been picking up awards on the festival circuit. In this tense tale, a number of unsolved murder cases makes an ex-cop and his anxious wife begin to direct their suspicions towards a creepy, mysterious neighbour, who sets their nerves on edge.
My thoughts: From what I’ve been hearing since Fantasia International Film Festival , Creepy is not to be missed. A psychological thriller that will keep us at the edge of our seats.
Wednesday, October 19, 9:45pm
Stake Land 2 aka The Stakelander (USA/Canada)
Directed by Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Synopsis: The follow-up to Stake Land returns with much of the cast and crew. This sequel picks up the action just a few years after the original. When his home town New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized group of vamps, young Martin tracks down the original vamp-slaying legend Mister (Nick Damici) for help. With the vamp forces growing more powerful, it’s clear a brutal showdown between humans and blood suckers is just on the horizon.
My thoughts: The film was just completed, so there’s not even an official trailer or poster yet. Definitely curious what type of bloody times this sequel will bring to us.
These should be a good place to start for TAD veterans like myself, and new attendees alike. Be sure to get your tickets fast, as some of these films are bound to sell out!
FYI: Individual Screening Tickets are now on sale priced at $13 General for Single Tickets, $11 in Multipack Series when you purchase Two or more films in the same online order. Bonus: Tickets are sold through Cineplex, so you can earn SCENE Reward points on your purchase. Another Special Bonus: Screenings on Monday Oct. 17 earn Double Points!
Get your schedule in order and gear up for what is to be another fun TAD film festival run.