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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Horror On The Tube: Summer 2011

The summer was a fairly slow time for television this year, but I did want to sound off on a pair of shows that I watched over the past few months.

The fourth season of True Blood came to an end a few weeks ago, and man, what a disappointing slog this was. I actively disliked the first six episodes so much, that I entertained the thought of not even continuing. At its worst points, it was just downright silly. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never looked to True Blood for seriousness, but there are limits. In fact, I’m almost certain that if it weren’t for the addition of red-hot ladies Courtney Ford & Janina Gavankar (Shiva Kamini!) to the cast, I would have broken up with this show.

I think my main issue was that I didn’t care for almost all of the story arcs this season. Not to be too spoiler-y, but one character gets amnesia, which is such a played out plot device, and several others go through some tiresome changes. It seems that the number of straight-up humans in this show is dwindling rapidly. That is a big problem because once everyone is ‘something’, then where’s the dichotomy? The exact same thing happened with the mid-nineties vampire show Kindred: The Embraced. By the end of its first (and only) season, almost all the humans had been turned, and its audience lost interest.

True Blood got a little better once the showdown between the witches and vampires came to a head, and there were some zero-hour allusions to getting things back on the rails for next season, but I think this show may have run its course.

The other show I caught – thanks to The Totally Rad Show for the heads up! – was a British series called Luther. It is an awesome cop procedural show, starring Idris Elba as DCI John Luther. As with Dead Set, I am always amazed by what the BBC gets away with. And yet, films are still outright banned there. WTF?! But I digress.

The character of Luther is a fascinating one. Cop procedural shows with unorthodox detectives who bend the rules are nothing new, but I’ve never seen one played with such depth as Elba does here. He is calculating, yet impulsive, often abusing his authority. However, what really makes his show stand out is the dynamic between the Luther and his nemesis. In the premiere, Luther comes across a suspect he cannot nab and they begin this strange cat-and-mouse relationship. You can argue that this relationship is a bit far fetched, but the chemistry between them is undeniable. And this villain is car-azy, possessing an unpredictable balance between extreme intelligence & childish petulance that really puts you on edge.

Another thing I always admire about the Brits is they never sugarcoat anything and don’t feel the need for arbitrary happy endings. The evildoers on this show are some of the vile you’ll ever see and because of that, the good guys don’t always win. Luther is an exceptional show that demands to be seen, especially if you are into procedural dramas. It is now available on Netflix Instant in both the States and Canada, so get on it!

Peering ahead to this fall, it looks promising with the return of Dexter and The Walking Dead. There is also a new show on F/X called American Horror Story that has me intrigued.

Yep, it certainly doesn’t appear there will be any shortage of genre television this Halloween season.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last TAD Titles Announced!

Last night, the final ten titles playing the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in October were announced on the SPACE Channel. Here is what's coming to town.

I saw A Lonely Place To Die at this year's Fantasia and though I felt the first half was a lot stronger than its last, there is some really solid action in this movie.

The works of Astron 6 have always been well received at TAD, so I'm sure Manborg, their first feature - Father's Day, also playing at TAD this year, was co-produced with Troma Pictures - will be no different.

Vs is a World Premiere that has the pontential to explode at TAD. Not a lot is known about it, but it does feature four super heroes kidnapped by a maniacal villain played by James Remar. In!

This, along with Monster Brawl and Manborg, gives TAD a nice helping of Canadian content this year. The Corridor features a group of teens that take a trip into the forest. Won't they ever learn? For the trailer, click here.

If you've been starved for more WWII zombie horror, then Lithuania has you covered with War of the Dead.

Jack Ketchum and I do not mix well, but by many accounts, Lucky McKee's adaptation of The Woman is a solid and gripping film. I guess we'll see.

Best title could go to American indie Some Guy Who Kills People. After previous TAD titles like The Revenant and All About Evil, I think this may fill that spot quite nicely. Check out the movies trailer, by clicking here.

Vampires are represented this year by the flick Midnight Son, which looks to be a fresh and stripped down look at the genre. Check out the trailer by going here.

After narrowly missing House of the Devil in 2009, I'm really glad TAD was able to program Ti West's newest. The Innkeepers focuses on a haunted hotel that is going out of business.

Absentia generated sick buzz at Fantasia and I'm really looking forward to it. I know going in that it's a slow burn, so I'm going to savour this one. The trailer is here, but maybe the less you know, the better.

Toronto After Dark unleashes its ghastly wares at the Toronto Underground Cinema from October 20-27. For more information on the festival, including the other titles on the schedule, click here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

DKTM 118

Okay, after all this TIFF craziness, it's time to get back to your regularly scheduled programming. Here's what I have for you this week.

T Is For...

The deadline for the Drafthouse ABC's of Death 26th Director competition is rapidly approaching, and boy, are there some doozies entered so far. My buddy Darryl Shaw's entry, T is for Testostorone Replacement Therapy just got posted this week and here it is below. If you like it, please feel free to vote.

And here are some other great entries.

I'm working on an entry myself, so fingers crossed we get it in before the October 1st deadline. To visit the ABC's of Death website, click here.


Here is a story I came across a few weeks ago. David Lynch just opened up a nightclub in Paris called Club Silencio. Inspired by the club of the same name in his 2001 masterpiece Mulholland Drive, Lynch was involved in every facet of the process.

"Silencio is something dear to me. I wanted to create an intimate space where all the arts could come together. There won't be a Warhol-like guru, but it will be open to celebrated artists of all disciplines to come here to programme or create what they want."

To read the artice on the club opening, click here.

The TAD Ten.

The final ten titles screening at this year's Toronto After Dark Film Festival will be announced Monday night on the Canadian sci-fi channel SPACE. Tune in to InnerSpace at 11pm to see what genre goodies will round out the fest. In late August, Toronto After Dark announced the first eight titles, including the gory anthology The Theatre Bizarre, Xavier Gens' newest The Divide and the Astron 6/Troma co-production Father's Day.

So, tune in; if you dare! For more info on TAD, click here and also check out the 2011 sizzle reel below.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

TIFF Vids: The Day

Here below, is video shot by Robert Mitchell of the Midnight Madness screening of The Day on September 15, 2011. Warning: May contain spoilers.

For more of Rob's videos, click here. For my review of The Day, click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

TIFF Vids: Lovely Molly

Here below, is the video shot by Robert Mitchell at the Midnight Madness screening of Lovely Molly on September 14, 2011. Warning: May contain spoliers.

For more of Rob's videos, click here. For my review of Lovely Molly, click here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TIFF Vids: The Incident

Here below, is the video shot by Robert Mitchell at the Midnight Madness screening of The Incident on September 12, 2011.

For more of Rob's videos, click here. For my review of The Incident, click here.

TIFF Vids: Livid

Here below, is video shot by Robert Mitchell of the Midnight Madness screening of Livid on September 11, 2011.

For more of Rob's videos, click here. For my review of Livid, click here.

TIFF Vids: You're Next

Man about town Robert Mitchell was again on hand at this year's Midnight Madness, shooting all that transpired. Here below, is his & Sheleigh Bober's footage from the Midnight screening of You're Next on September 10, 2011.

For more of Rob & Sheleigh's videos, click here. For my review of You're Next, click here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Dark Finish.

Closing out Midnight Madness this year, was a British import called Kill List. Director Ben Wheatley’s debut Down Terrace tore up the festival circuit a while ago, so I was looking forward to seeing his follow-up.

When Jay (Neil Maskell) & Gal (Michael Smiley) are paid to kill three seemingly random targets, they start to question the motives of the people who hired them.

Kill List is a solid film that does what it does very well. As with Down Terrace, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It mixed a few genres, which I found to be both a blessing and a curse, as I was most interested in the second act, when the film made allusions to perhaps going somewhere other than where it actually ended up. In a lesser director’s hands, the pace may have been a problem, but not here. Wheatley employs a skilled grasp on the metering out of information, and never over shares about the names on the list. This withholding of mythos was a detriment to the previous Midnight flick The Day, but not with this film because the characters were actually engaging. And it is the characters that are the real strength of Kill List. Jay & Gal have a real rapport with each other, thus making the scripted look improvisational. I was also really happy to see MyAnna Buring appear as Jay’s wife, Shel.

When you are dealing with a UK film involving a mysterious cult, comparisons to The Wicker Man are unavoidable, but I think Kill List breaks away from this by being firmly grounded in reality. There are no musical numbers or bear suits – depending on which Man were talking about – here, just good storytelling.

Though its narrative style may be conservative, its more violent scenes are anything but. Wheatley employs a cold ferocity with the gore, shying away from very little of it. His explanation during the Q&A was that any cuts during those sequences would have caused an audience disconnect. That would explain why I was reminded of A Serbian Film during some of these moments. Don’t worry, there is no baby rape or skull fucking in Kill List, but they are both very, very dark films that leave you a little shell-shocked.

Director Ben Wheatley

Of Wheatley’s two efforts, my genre leanings would dictate that Kill List is more up my alley, but in truth, they are about equal. Down Terrace is a more straightforward affair, that doesn’t overstep its premise like you could argue Kill List did. Regardless, Wheatley has proven himself an effective storyteller with a film grasp of character, so you should definitely keep your eye on him.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Day.

Doug Aarniokoski’s The Day was probably the closest Midnight Madness came to a ‘red carpet’ premiere this year. While 2010’s Midnight run featured big guns like John Carpenter & James Wan and big stars like Woody Harrelson & Ellen Page, this year’s installment has been one of discovery.

In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of five survivors seek safety in an old house, but are soon attacked by a band of nomadic cannibals.

The Day was okay, but nothing spectacular. To me, it lacked that extra dimension that would have made it pop. You never really got a sense of why the world ended, and how these characters came to be a group. Writer Luke Passmore explained later in the Q&A that that was his intention. The how and why were irrelevant, and the movie was about people dealing with their situation. I can certainly appreciate that, but the problem for me was that I didn’t find them particularly interesting. And that is not a knock on the cast – which includes Shawn Ashmore & Dominic Monaghan – as they’re all competent in their roles. They each have their moments in the sun, but don’t have a lot to work with for the most part.

Last year’s Midnight People’s Choice Award winner Stake Land is a perfect example of a post-apocalyptic movie done right. You line The Day’s characters up against Stake Land’s and there is no comparison. Now, granted the latter is at an advantage due to vampires being more interesting than cannibals, but there was just way more meat on Stake Land’s bones.

The Day’s visual style was par for the course, as well. It had that over-saturated earthy tone that populates so many films of this ilk. Perhaps most troubling was the abundance of digital blood in this movie. Are you seriously going to tell me it was really cheaper to do a throat slash with a computer, rather than on set? There's a line-up of effects guys (and gals) that would’ve done it for a song. When filmmakers slap on large gore moments in post, it makes me think they don’t care, or worse, that they think that we won’t.

The highlight of The Day though, was Ashley Bell. Seeing her transform from the wholesome and helpless girl in The Last Exorcism into The Day’s shotgun toting, machete-wielding badass Mary, was a real treat. And to be fair, I did enjoy the last half-hour or so, but I love me a siege movie, so it wasn’t a hard sell.

Actors Monaghan, Ashmore, Cory Hardrict, Bell & Director Doug Aarniokoski.

So, the Day wasn’t bad, just nothing to write home about. I did however; get a kick out of how offended the older lady a few rows behind me was, when the lights came up. Although, I’m not sure if she was “disgusted” by the movie's subject matter, or the bloodlust of the crowd around her. Seriously though, did she not know what happens at The Ryerson after dark?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This Old House.

On Thursday afternoon, I checked out Eduardo Sánchez's new film Lovely Molly. I was glad to see he finally had something at Midnight Madness, as he – being one-half of the team that brought us The Blair Witch Project in 1999 – is an important figure of what we consider today, as modern horror.

When Molly (Gretchen Lodge) moves into her old childhood house with her new husband, Tim (Johnny Lewis), she starts to suspect they aren't alone.

I'm actually glad I didn't see the midnight screening of this, as it is rather sedate. It is largely a woman in an old house, left alone with her demons, both figurately and possibly literally. The real strength of this film though, is Lodge as the title character. I was amazed to find out this was her first role, as she totally owns it. Apparently, Sánchez made this remarkable discovery at an open audition.

Like Intruders, I found the impetus of the story fascinating. Sánchez, being a big fan of Bill Friedkin's The Exorcist, always wanted to make a possession film. However, his take was from the perspective of a low-income household. What do you do when you don't have the financial resources to seek out professional help? Well, Molly goes about trying to film herself and the unexplained events in the house, to prove that she isn't crazy. It is an interesting idea, and also a fairly creative way of justifying the video camera conceit, and only partly filmed in this fashion, so it never becomes tiresome.

In addition to going back to his roots with the first-person-camera technique, Sánchez again used Maryland as his shooting location. The forests and creaky house brought back some chilling memories of 1999 for me. What is with Maryland and crazy-ass demons – real or imagined – anyway? And by “real or imagined” I mean that Lovely Molly is one of those movies that is open to interpretation. There are several extra storylines, including drug use and childhood trauma, that yield more than one possible explanation for the events that transpire.

I feel Lovely Molly falls in the middle of Sánchez's filmography. It is better put together and more intimate work than 2008's Seventh Moon, yet doesn't quite reach the raw energy and ingenuity of his follow-up to Blair Witch, 2006's Altered. As far as this year's Midnight fare goes, I would take this over The Incident, due to my oft-talked about preference of female protagonists.

Director Eduardo Sánchez & star Gretchen Lodge

This is a solid character piece that owes its success to its lead , as much as it does its director. If you live in a creaky old house, you may double check the doors and leave the lights on after this one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Face Of Fear.

Every year at TIFF, I try to catch a least one Spanish film. Previous years have included the likes of Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage and [REC]2, so you can see why I would gravitate toward this country's product. This made, after seeing his earlier efforts 28 Weeks Later and Intact, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's newest film Intruders an easy pick.

A father (Clive Owen) desperately tries to protect his daughter Mia (Ella Purnell) from an intruder that keeps entering her room at night.

I have to say that, while I didn't feel as connected to it as I have some of my more treasured Spanish offerings, I kind of dug Intruders. Even though it was fairly straightforward, with a last minute reveal that was nothing to write home about, I found myself coming back to it over the last few days. I think it was the concept that grabbed me, rather than the filmmaking. Fresnadillo's exploration of the origin of fear and what lengths parents will go to protect their children was really interesting to me. It was initially a little weird to see Clive Owen injected into one of these films, but he did a good job conveying the helplessness a parent feels when they can't ease their child's suffering.

Surprisingly, the liberal CG didn't bother me as much it should have, though it may have been due to it being shrouded in shadow most of the time. I was hoping that Intruders would have the unsettling creepiness that other Spanish offerings like The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone possessed in spades, but it fell short of that mark most of the time. I think there may have been something lost by showing the monster right away. It served the story, but we all know that the more you show, the less scary it becomes.

The biggest problem I had with Intruders was that the action sequences weren't shot particularly well. They were mostly of the close-up, quick cut variety that I can't stand. I wish Fresnadillo would go back to using Xavi Giménez to shoot his films. They worked together on Intact in 2001, which featured a brilliant sequence where people were running blindfolded through a densely wooded forest. Fresnadillo's current cinematographer, Enrique Chediak is the same guy he worked with on 28 Weeks Later, which had its moments – we all remember the early sequence with Robert Carlyle being chased through a field – but there was a lot of shaky-cam bullshit in that, as well. I think Intruders could have really benefitted from the cooler hand of Giménez, whose other credits include gorgeous films like The Abandoned, & The Machinist & Transsiberian .

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo & star Clive Owen.

Though it doesn't approach the high standard set by its peers, Intruders is still a solid effort, anchored by a very fascinating concept.

TIFF photo courtesy of Reuters.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

You Think Your Job Sucks?

On Monday night, Midnight Madness offered up a second French horror flick called The Incident from director Alexandre Courtes.

A group of kitchen workers at a mental institution desperately try to escape when the power goes out, releasing its dangerous population out into the halls.

It could've been that I was expecting something different, but The Incident didn't really do anything for me. Considering this was directed by a renowned music video director – who has worked with bands such as U2, Air & The White Stripes – I thought it would be a little more frenetic. Don't get me wrong, The Incident is well made and a realistic interpretation of how this situation could play out, but that may have also been the reason that it never hooked me. The past two midnights have reminded me of the delicate balance of storytelling. Livid needed to be simpler, yet The Incident could have used, at least for me, more story elements; or at least a bigger payoff after all that build up. It seemed like once the conflict really got going, it was over.

Getting back to the realism though, I did appreciate that none of the characters did anything stupid, and always reacted to their situation appropriately. There was no “movie logic” in this film and by setting it in 1989, Courtes automatically avoided having to explain away cell phones and Internet access.

I may have not been affected by the Incident, but I know that some attendees were. During a particularly gory scene at the film's climax, I was distracted by a flashlight to my right. Later, I found out the disruption was due to a couple of people passing out. This was kind of suprising, as this film just went right through me. Am I really that desensitized? Maybe I was just burnt out. After all, it was my third film of the day and had spent the afternoon taking advantage of an open bar.

Director Alexandre Courtes.

Anyway, in short, this was, as my friend DirtyRobot put it, a “serviceable” movie, but the clinical presentation of it, left me cold.

Courtes photo courtesy of

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Am Juan!

When the Juan of the Dead trailer popped up online a few months ago, I was obviously intrigued. Billed as the first Cuban zombie movie, it played TIFF on Monday as part of the Contemporary World Cinema programme. Naturally, I made sure I was there.

When zombies start appearing in his neighbourhood, ne'er do well Juan (Alexis Días de Villegas) gathers his friends together to clean up the streets.

I had a lot of fun with Juan of the Dead. When viewing a zombie comedy, my expectations are generally lowered, as there's not much new ground to cover, but Juan of the Dead subverts mediocrity in a few different ways. First, as could be inferred by its title, just calling this movie a parody of a parody does it a disservice. Using the anniversary of the Cuban revolution as a backdrop, director Alejandro Brugués uses this opportunity to drop in some subtext. His characters are used to civil unrest and simply go about their routines during the ensuing chaos. There were several Cubans in attendance at my screening and they went batshit for this movie. Their reaction went beyond the typical 'let's support our countryman'. I think they genuinely responded to it.

I really liked how the movie morphed into a zombie version of Ghostbusters, and I'm actually kind of shocked this was the first time I'd seen this done. When I thought about it, I realized it would take someone like Brugués to come at it like this. You take other contemporary zombie flicks, like say, the two this movie is referencing, and you'll see what I mean. In Dawn of the Dead, the characters' first reaction is to flee and seek shelter and in Shaun of the Dead, all he wants to do is get his friends and family to safety. In Juan of the Dead, the characters take great exception to these zombies coming into their turf and stirring shit up. Just being in a theatre with a bunch of Cubans was enough to show me how proud they are of their country. It has its problems, but it is theirs, and nothing, not even flesh eating zombies, can drive them out. And if they could make a little coin while protecting it; why not?

Then, there is the great cast. The two leads, Juan and his pal Lázaro (Jorge Molina) have a relationship every bit as natural as Simon Pegg & Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead. They play off each other brilliantly and keep things grounded. All zombie comedies have their share of heightened reality and camp, but in contrast to something like last year's Evil: In the Time of Heroes, Juan and his team – which also includes his daughter Camila (Andrea Duro) and playboy Vladi California (Andros Perugorría) - always know how to rein things in when they need to.

The kills, the bread & butter of any zombie flick, are also top notch, including one epic set piece that this seasoned zombie fan had never seen before. There was a good amount of decent zombie make-up, with some scenes utilizing as many as three hundred extras at a time. Some of the larger-scale effects shots were fairly comical – I assume that was intentional – but overall Juan of the Dead seemed a lot bigger than what it likely cost.

Director Alejandro Brugués.

If zombie comedies are your bag, I urge you check out Juan of the Dead, as it offers up all the hallmarks and does a bang up job on all of them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Fractured Fairy Tale.

Sunday night saw the return of Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury to The Ryerson stage. After these two maniacs tore the roof off the place four years earlier with their debut Inside, horror fans have anxiously been awaiting their follow-up. This eve, that came in the form of a weird little thing called Livid.

When Lucie (Chloé Coulloud), a nurse-in-training, tries to rob the estate of one of her patients with some of her friends, they discover the house may hold a dark secret.

If I were to describe Livid in one word, it would be fractured. There are a lot of solid elements to the film, but it doesn't come together as a whole in my opinion. I had been told it was a very different film from Inside, and that is certainly true. This film has very little of the visceral energy that its fore bearer generated almost immediately. In fact, if it wasn't for the cameo from Béatrice Dalle and the multiple appearances of scissors, I may not have been able to recognize this project was birthed from this duo at all.

Livid takes a very long time to get where it is going, but the darkly Gothic visuals were enough to keep me interested to a point. However, because the first half was so restrained, when the gore started flying later on, it almost seemed out of place. To me, it felt like they were doing what was expected of them and not what served the story they had started. If it had been excessive throughout, it would have felt more natural. Despite its slow pace, there is a lot going on in this movie. Perhaps too much. I can't help but feel this would have resonated more if it was simpler. Take Nacho Cerdà's 2006 film The Abandoned for example, which was all atmosphere and sound design. There wasn't a lot to the story, yet it was still effective.

There were a lot of references sprinkled throughout Livid. The nods to American Werewolf, Halloween III and Dellamorte, Dellamorre were met with some chuckles, but the main overall influence for the film would have to be Suspiria. In fact, I would say all of the surreal works of Dario Argento were the blueprint for this film. Unfortunately, Bustillo & Maury are not as adept at keeping the more fantastic aspects of their subject matter from going off the rails, as the Italian maestro was in his prime. Some of the most interesting elements, one involving a mirror and another taxidermy, could've been much more than just throwaway moments, and the last twenty minutes of Livid borders on the nonsensical.

Directors Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury.

Even going in with lowered expectations, knowing this would not (and could not) be another Inside, I was still left a little wanting. I respect Bustillo & Maury for wanting to do something on their own though, and not just taking the first Hollywood property that got thrown their way after their debut. In the end, the visuals and set pieces are what I'll take away from Livid, but not much else.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

I've been having a blast here at Midnight these past few nights. After kicking things off with the bone-crunching awesomeness of Gareth Evans' The Raid and the Bobcat Goldthwait's entertaining hate-letter to modern culture God Bless America, it was finally time to for some down-and-dirty horror.

On Saturday night, The Ryerson was buzzing for Adam Wingard's latest You're Next. The industry word of mouth and a cool marketing campaign, which included street grafitti and promotional masks, caused this to be a hot ticket indeed. There were several genre directors in attendance, from the aforementioned Evans to Guillermo Del Toro, Darren Bousman and midnight alumni Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury - whose new film Livid played the following night.

A strained family reunion in the country is crashed by three masked assailants.

I enjoyed You're Next immensely. The home invasion flick has been done many times before, but this felt very fresh to me. I've praised Simon Barrett's writing before and he's tip top here, with crisp dialogue that had just the right amount of laughs. It was a nice break from the dour affairs these things usually are. Like Midnight programmer Colin Geddes stated during the Q&A;

“Every year, I get submissions that are just a person tied to a chair being tortured and humiliated.”

Barrett also upped the ante here, by using a large number of characters, as this could've easily been a fairly insular piece along the lines of similar-looking The Strangers. He sets up them like bowling pins and the animal-masked antagonists quickly go about knocking them down in increasingly gruesome ways. I've previously stated that I'm not a big fan of Wingard's directing style, but I had absolutely no problems with it here. Wingard came right out and said afterwards that he deliberately set out to make “a normal film” which would explain things.

Director Wingard (left), Writer/Producer Barrett & actors Rob Moran, Margaret Laney, Barbara Crampton (yes, that Barbara Crampton!) Wendy Glenn & Sharni Vinson.

What I found most astonishing about You're Next was how quickly it was thrown together. It was born out of a desire to do a “midnight movie” after Wingard & Barrett – here screening A Horrible Way To Die last year at TIFF - walked out of the Insidious premiere. To have something of such high quality ready within a year, is pretty impressive. It speaks not only of how well these guys work together, but how many good relationships they've been able to establish, as You're Next also features appearances by indie darlings Ti West, Larry Fessenden and Joe Swanberg. When you've got those guys in your corner, I can imagine you would tend to breathe a little easier.

You're Next is also complimented by a great score, high-lighted with some Carpenter-inspired synth. But I think my favourite part about You're Next was its lead actress, Sharni Vinson as Erin. She made a fantastic Final Girl. Like, one for the ages. The crowd really got behind her, when they saw her taking charge of the situation, instead of just screaming and cowering in a corner.

Wingard & company set out to make the perfect midnight movie, and they have essentially done just that. It had tension, great old-school gore and was, most importantly, a shit-ton of fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

DKTM 117

Hello everyone. I just wanted to slip in a quick DKTM before the TIFF reviews start pouring in. I'm having a blast so far, and can't wait to tell you all about my exploits.


Here's a really cool event I came across a few weeks back called 2.8 Hours Later, a city-wide chase game based in Bristol, England.

This sounds like tons of fun, and really hope it branches out into other cities in the future. With the growing popularity of the Toronto Zombie Walk each year, it's not outside the realm of possibility that someone could organize a chase event here. Severed fingers crossed! To visit the 2.8 Hours Later website, click here.

A Double Shot of Axelle.

The multi-talented horror maven Axelle Carolyn just premiered her new one-minute short Hooked this week on FearNet. I couldn't find a working embed link, so click on the image below, to check it out.

While I was searching for that, I discovered that Jamie Hooper's 2010 short Vision, featuring Carolyn, was also now online. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it below.

Keep up the great work, Axelle!