FANTASIA 2020: FILM PICKS

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There are SO MANY MOVIES I want to see at Fantasia Fest this year that it was hard for me to choose favorites, so apologies (?) in advance for this long-ass post of film picks.

THE RECKONING | Directed by Neil Marshall | Thu August 20
“England. 1665. The great plague has the country whiplashed into a frenzy of fear, distrust and death. Desperate and terrified, the population turns to superstition, the Catholic Church taking cruel advantage of the grim opportunities this presents. The witch hunts begin.” That’s all you need to tell me, really. Marshall has directed some of my absolute faves: DOG SOLDIERS and THE DESCENT so I am 100% here for his take on witches! 

SPECIAL ACTORS | Directed by Shinichiro Ueda | Thu August 20 
Everyone’s been waiting for Shinichiro Ueda’s follow up to fan favorite ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, and here it is! A comedy about an agency employing actors to stage everyday, mundane situations — who unwittingly end up in a cult. Dare we hope for someone yelling “POM”??

THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME | Directed by Mauro Iván Ojeda | Fri August 21 & Weds August 26 
A haunted mortuary seems like the last place I’d ever, ever, EVER want to be. (I mean, unless I’m watching it on screen from a safe distance, obvs)

12 HOUR SHIFT | Directed by Brea Grant | Sat August 22 & Thu August 27
I’ve been waiting for this one! Excited to see Brea direct Angela Bettis (MAY) as a nurse who goes through one HELL of a double shift.

THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW | Directed by Thomas Lee | Sat August 22
“Set during the harvest season of 1973, THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW is a freakishly nightmarish work of dramatic horror, steeped in folklore, brimming with atmosphere and vibrant with imagery that will haunt your subconscious.” Sounds GREAT to me!

SLAXX | Directed by Elza Kephart | Sun August 23 
OMG. Elza Kephart has clearly captured the ridiculousness of 1980s direct-to-video horror and brought it to us in 2020! KILLER JEANS ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I cannot wait for this one.

LUCKY | Directed by Natasha Kermani | Sun August 23
The never-ending nightmare of a woman continually being attacked by the same man over and over sounds like it’ll be tough to get through – but I’m a fan of Brea Grant (who also directed a movie in this year’s fest) and I want to see this story through the female gaze, so I’ll give it a try!

TIME OF MOULTING | Directed by Sabrina Mertens | Sun August 23 & Thurs August 27
Those sound like some pretty creeptastic family secrets. What a way to come of age!

YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE | Directed by David Darg & Price James | Mon August 24
Do I care about pro wrestling? No. Do I care about David Arquette? YES. And also this just sounds like a trip of a documentary that will be a very entertaining 91 minutes.

DETENTION | Directed by John Hsu | Mon August 24 
This looks GORGEOUS, and I’m down for some creepy haunted-devil-cult happenings at a remote school!

THE OAK ROOM | Directed by Cody Calahan | Mon August 24 & Mon August 31
This one is giving me some FARGO-esque feels — who wants to hear this kid’s story? I DO I DO

BLEED WITH ME | Directed by Amelia Moses | Wed August 26 & Tues September 1
What’s going on here? Is this woman being held captive by a stalker? Serial Killer? Vampire? I DON’T KNOW BUT I WANT TO FIND OUT.

THE DARK & THE WICKED | Directed by Bryan Bertino | Tues August 28 
Man oh man I wish I could find a trailer for this one but even so, the description sounds amazing and I count The Strangers as one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen, so … a rural farm + scary shit + maybe a cult + the poster looks like some kind of exorcism is gonna happen = YES.

ANYTHING FOR JACKSON | Directed by Justin Dyck | Tues September 1 & Wed September 2
A low-budget horror “tale of elderly Satanists in way over their heads in the name of love?” Okay, yes. SOLD.

FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS | Directed by Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen | Wed September 2
On Halloween night, a revenge plot goes awry, and shit gets real splattery! I love this trailer so much that I can’t wait to see the whole film.

THE COLUMNIST | Directed by Ivo Van Aart | Available On Demand 
“Never read the comments.” Especially if you’re a woman writer being bullied online who’s just on the edge of snapping.

FRIED BARRY | Directed by Ryan Kruger | Available On Demand 
This looks like an insane trip! (That’s really all I can say until I see it)

HAIL TO THE DEADITES | Directed by Steve Villeneuve | Available On Demand 
You know I love me some Bruce Campbell and THE EVIL DEAD  trilogy is largely responsible for that! So I’m stoked to see other fans talk about why they love the films.

A MERMAID IN PARIS | Directed by Mathias Malzieu | Thu August 27 & Sun August 30 
Is this gonna be a colorful French version of SPLASH? Or similar to my favorite mermaid movie of all time – THE LURE? Either way, I’m in!

SANZARU | Directed by Xia Magnus | Sat August 29 & Tues Sept 1
Oof. This one looks heavy and mysterious and unsettling as f*ck.

MONSTER SEAFOOD WARS | Directed by Minoru Kawasaki | Available On Demand
Gimme gimme gimme all the big, stupid cartoon-y Kaijus!

THE MORTUARY COLLECTION | Directed by Ryan Spindell | Available On Demand
I will watch Clancy Brown do ANYTHING. ANYTHING. Also I love that I can’t tell if his Tall-Man-esque character is good, or bad. And I’m here for the paranormal Nancy Drew vibes this trailer is giving me. 

MORGANA | Directed by Isabel Peppard & Josie Hess | Available On Demand
This isn’t a horror movie (obvs) but I am fascinated by this woman and can’t wait to see the film! WHAT AN ICON.

PERDIDA | Directed by Jorge Michel Grau | Available On Demand 
Listen, I love WE ARE WHAT WE ARE and I can’t wait to see what this director does with a Hitchcockian thriller (also that poster looks so 90’s neo-noir that my nostalgic film fan heart is bursting).

SLEEP | Directed by Michael Venus | Available On Demand
It’s impossible to tell exactly what is going on here, but surreal dreams are totally my “thing” so I’m excited to watch this one! 

For the shorts programs, both Born of Woman and Small Gauge Trauma are calling to me!


Join me in watching ALL THE FANTASIA FEST THINGS!
(Sorry U.S. peeps – the films are geo-locked to Canada)

1 comments on “FANTASIA 2020: FILM PICKS”

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