This week marks the start of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival… these are my TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED 2019 After Dark Films.
This, of course, refers to movies that are screening during the festival, taking place at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto from October 17-25th. I like to take a look at the films on the schedule and make this list based on the trailers/description alone. This list is fun to do because after the festival is over, I get to look back and see how right or wrong my instincts were.
Each year, the fest puts on a clinic in genre films from around the world from Sci-fi to Horror… and beyond. If you have not had a chance to check it out, you are missing out on one of the best festivals out there now celebrating its 14th year. The festival programming team picks some of the best and most interesting films going.
Over the years of covering the fest, I’ve seen a great selection of films including sci-fi The Machine, post-apocalyptic actioner Bounty Killer, zombie hit (Festival Best Action Film) Wyrmwood and last year’s festival hit, You Might Be the Killer. I haven’t even hit on the body modification or gore-fest films they’ve played in the past. It literally has something for everyone’s tastes and to me, that’s the hallmark of a great festival. You might not always be into what’s there, which is fine, but there is bound to be something there for you if you love genre films.
EXTRA ORDINARY – THURSDAY OCTOBER 17th, 7.00 PM
This film reminds of a lot of the excellent 2014 festival film Housebound. Like that film, Extra Ordinary is a tale of spooky hilarity in a house with spirts. This looks to be a great opening for the fest. We get a supernatural comedy to help get us ready for the carnage of the other films at the festival will provide. Sometimes you just need to have a laugh at a genre festival and this film looks to hit the spot. This screening is now SOLD OUT! 2ND SCREENING ADDED, SAT, OCT 19, 11.30 PM, IN LIMITED SUPPLY!
BLOOD MACHINES – FRIDAY OCTOBER 18th, 7.00 PM
I have been interested in this film for a while, ever since I saw the trailer several months ago. It feels like if Thor: Ragnarok was a rated-R sci-fi horror film instead of an MCU film. The soundtrack by Carpenter Brut is what put it over the top for me. So good. The trailer also has a bit of the classic ’80s Flash Gordon vibe which is also a solid check in the “make me watch” category. It looks like the type of film that was personally made for me. I can’t wait to see it. As a bonus treat, the festival will screen a few extra sci-fi shorts before the feature, including Turbo Killer, the inspiration for the film!
JAMES VS HIS FUTURE SELF – FRIDAY OCTOBER 18th, 9.30 PM
I love time travel movies. So yeah, this is a movie I want to see. Plus Daniel Stern? It just keeps getting better by the minute. Stern plays James from the future who comes back to help current James from not making the same mistakes. The only real question for me about this is will they go with the inevitability solution or a new timeline or another unknown and creative way to resolve the story’s issues? The best time-travel movies always find a way to break new ground. I look forward to seeing if that happens here.
THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALE – SATURDAY OCTOBER 19th, 6.15 PM
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have a zombie night film on it. So here we go. The Park family decides they will adopt an undead stray and use him to help with work around their small rural town. All the while, they’re completely unaware of the carnage happening in the rest of the world as the zombie apocalypse is in full swing. This film really feels like it could be in the Train to Busan universe, with a bit more humour of course.
THE MORTUARY COLLECTION – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 23rd, 9.30 PM
Anthology films are always a tricky thing to pull off. When they are directed by the same director, they have a superior chance of being great. Let’s not forget that’s the FANTASTIC Clancy Brown in that trailer. He is always gold every time he is on screen. It does look to have some fun with the tales it going weave for us with monsters, killers, ghosts and more. It has that classic ’80s feel that horror fans love, myself included.
I also want to give honorable mention to a movie that almost made this list – Come to Daddy. A film from Ant Timpson who directed Deathgasm AND Housebound! That’s right, we have come full circle with this film! If it’s on the same level as his two previous films, we are in for a fun ride. You can catch it closing night Friday, October 25. This screening is SOLD OUT! TRY FOR TICKETS WITH THE ‘RUSH LINE’ IN THEATRE LOBBY 1 HOUR BEFORE SHOW STARTS
** IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE! Don’t forget to check out the shorts that play before each screening. Also check out the amazing International Shorts After Dark program on Saturday, October 19th and the Canadain Shorts After Dark program on Sunday, October 20th. Both programs screen in the afternoon and always fun, showcasing some truly brilliant short films.
In the end, I had another difficult time picking my pre-fest picks. Hats off to the programmers at Toronto After Dark Film Festival who worked so hard combing through all the entries for this year’s fest. The lineup looks strong and a great way to kick off the fall.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!