Fantasia International Film Festival is back for its 25th edition and as always we’ve checked out the feature films and have come up with our list of the films that you absolutely, can not, must not miss.
Synopsis: When a home invasion turns into a bloody shoot-out, a pair of ragtag fugitives take refuge in the house of a single mother as they wait on their fiery (and very pregnant) getaway driver to hatch an escape plan in time for a major payday.
Babies are expensive. When easy jobs go sideways, it always spells trouble. However, when you have a heavily pregnant and ballsy woman in your crew, not everything is lost. A mother’s work is never done.
Synopsis: A lonely teen discovers her family’s ties to witchcraft.
Witchcraft is always a mysterious topic and having this combined with a coming-of-age story only piques our interest more.
Synopsis: Children are left at grandma’s house without their smartphones. Real life seems boring until they find instructions for Kratt – a magical creature who will do whatever its master says. All they need now is to buy a soul from the devil.
Didn’t we all wish for a creature that would do our bidding, especially for chores when you were a kid. What happens if you really push that envelope…
Synopsis: After a year of combating a pandemic with relatively benign symptoms, a frustrated nation finally lets its guard down. This is when the virus spontaneously mutates, giving rise to a mind-altering plague. The streets erupt into violence and depravity, as those infected are driven to enact the most cruel and ghastly things they can think of. Murder, torture, rape and mutilation are only the beginning. A young couple is pushed to the limits of sanity as they try to reunite amid the chaos. The age of civility and order is no more. There is only “The Sadness”.
Pandemic horror, oof. This one is going to be unpleasant, not only with our current pandemic still hammering the planet, inept governments throwing their hands in the air and people protesting something they can’t control but when Fantasia puts a trigger warning on a film you know things are going to get very grim indeed.
Synopsis: Leah, 10, lives in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy. In the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty, a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon she will realise that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.
Melancholy and ghost stories go hand in hand and tying grief to the story make Martyrs Lane something more than your regular haunted house film.
Straight To VHS
Synopsis: A film shot and released on VHS in 1989. A mysterious cult work of Uruguayan cinema surrounded by strange theories about its creator, Manuel Lamas, about whom nothing is known. The documentary sets out to unveil the enigma that exists about Lamas and his work, chasing the traces of a ghost through his lost VHS cassettes. Along the way, the director becomes involved in a spiral that dissolves the boundaries between reality and fiction.
Is this a documentary or something else? An 80s cult film, the behind the scenes of it and the blurring of reality and fiction. A mystery trip we’d like to take.
The Night House
Synopsis: A widow begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets.
Death of partner is never an easy road but what if you find out some disturbing secrets of your deadly departed? The Night House promises to deliver ghostly creep and nightmare imagery.
We’re All Going To The World’s Fair
Synopsis: Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.
Coming of age through the prism of the online world, games, viral challenges, youtube, memes and creepypastas. Loneliness and alienation in the online age.
Don’t Say It’s Name
Synopsis: The small, snow-covered Indigenous community is about to see an upturn. Mining company WEC has just made an agreement for drilling on this tribal land, and it’s looking like everyone will benefit – except the land itself. Local activist Kharis Redwater is one of those protesting the deal when her voice is silenced in a hit-and-run that remains unsolved. So as WEC begins their assault on the land, the land itself retaliates against WEC and all those who support it.
Nature strikes back with a First Nations perspective. Sign us up.
The Last Thing Mary Saw
Synopsis: Winter, 1843. A young woman is under investigation following the mysterious death of her family’s matriarch. Her recollection of the events sheds new light on the ageless forces behind the tragedy.
Repressive religious rules, forbidden love, the supernatural and acts of horror on behalf of the Lord. All the ingredients for a must see!