In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shorts After Dark 2010

As with previous years, Toronto After Dark features several homegrown and international shorts over its eight day schedule. Here below are the ones that most caught my eye.

1. Dues Irae - This short from Argentina about an exorcism gone wrong impressed the hell out of me. The creature and makeup effects were far beyond what I expected they would be. I would be more than willing to see this concept done as a feature. Watch the teaser clip below and you'll see what I mean.

2. Off Season - This is a UK short, that I saw a few months ago at WSFF and it was just as chilling the second time around. The cinematography is pristine. Click here to see a clip.

3. Game Night - Geronimo Deadly are a local improv troop that excel at making quality shorts in a limited time period. I've competed against them in the Toronto Film Race before, and damn are they good at what they do. The short below was originally created in 100 hours for the 2009 Film Racing Grand Prix.

4. The Thomas Beale Cypher - This animated short out of the USA really got my attention. It has a unique style that really added to the story. The filmmaker Andrew Allen was in attendance and is intending to make more in the future. I can't wait. You can check out the film's awesome website, by clicking here.

5. Re-Wire - This is an awesome sci-fi short dripping with atmosphere that stars local boy Brandon McGibbon who you may remember playing Adrian Brody's brother in Splice earlier this year. See the trailer below for a closer look.

Some honourable mentions:

Chloe & Attie - This was another hold over from WSFF. This short has such a great look to it and its creepy co-stars don't hurt the feel of the piece either. Perhaps most impressive is that it was shot in 48 hours for the 2009 Bloodshots Film Festival. Click here for the trailer.

United Monster Talent Agency - This short directed by gore guru Greg Nicotero was super fun. Set in the heyday of the classic Universal monster movies, it poses the scenario that all of its creatures really existed and had to be hired - and wrangled once their work was done. Featuring tons of cameos from familiar faces such as Frank Darabont, Robert Rodriguez and Eli Roth, this one is a real crowd pleaser.

Pumzi - Though it may run out of steam towards the end, this South African/Kenyan sci-fi co-production really impressed me in that it created a lush and detailed civilization in a very short amount of time. Check out the trailer here.

Junko's Shamisen - This Canadian short blew me away with its look. Using a unique and beautiful animation style, Solomon Friedman spins a Japanese-flavoured fable about a child's quest for vengeance. See the trailer here.

Astron 6 was well represented this year at the fest with a trio of offerings. In addition to their take on the zombie apocalypse Inferno of the Dead, they also had two of their signature trailers, the Halloween-inspired slasher Fireman and an elongated version of Father's Day, which has been all over the Internet recently.

Lastly, Toronto After Dark commissioned some alumni to make bumpers for its fifth year. Local filmmaker Chris Nash stepped up to the plate and delivered. He still maintains he half-assedly put this together in an afternoon, but it still didn't stop this fifty-second bit from being one of the most popular things screened this year. For your enjoyment below, is 5 Years Young.

And, that's it. Another successful year. The festival awards should be announced any day, so I'll update you then. In the meantime, I'm getting ready for a busy weekend as the Fan Expo rolls into town.

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