Saturday, 22 August 2009

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 Day 8 - Friday August 21, 2009


Day 8 of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival marked the closing of the festival for 2009. Although it is always sad to mark the last day, at least it was done in style and more importanly with great films. As a special treat, we got to see not only the fantastic scheduled short of Denis Villeneuve's Next Floor but Danse Macabre was also replayed in its entirety after being cut short during Day 7 due to the tornado. On top of all that we had a packed house for the screening of the zombie baby film Grace with a fantastic Q&A with writer/director Paul Solet and a stellar after party. Now, that is how you wrap up a festival!

To hear and see about Day 8 check out my TADFF'09 Vlog for Day 8.

Danse Macabre
Dir: Pedro Pires
Canada, 6 minutes

Absolutely stunning short following a corpse with movement and emotion. Art direction and tone range from gritty to clinical to mystical and all fit in perfectly. Fantastic.

See introduction to the August 20, 2009 screening of Danse Macabre and The Forbidden Door by Toronto After Dark Film Festival programmer Todd Brown here.



Writer/Dir: Paul Solet
Cast: Jordan Ladd, Gabrielle Rose, Samantha Ferris, Malcolm Stewart, Stephen Park, Serge Houde

Grace exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds, as it is much more than just a zombie film but rather an exploration playing on the powerful persistence and resilience of motherhood. A well developed story with strong performances is the perfect starting point for a demise into the realm of the bizarre. This film has great pacing which develops organically with the gradual shifts in tone that build a metamorphosis over all aspects of the film from the acting to visual style to music. All this and a zombie baby to boot! What makes Grace a brilliant horror flick is that it doesn't go for shock-a-minute or trick scares but rather takes a truly horrific premise and places it in a perfectly believable setting. There is nothing more scary than believing, and believe it you will.

See selections from the introduction and Q&A for Grace with writer/director Paul Solen here.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez and Grace writer/director Paul Solet

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez and Grace writer/director Paul Solet

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The Film Reel said...

I found Grace to be a real treat. After watching the trailer you assume that you've seen all the best scenes but when you see the flick and realize where the shots from the trailer fit in the film, you start to realize that they were the least interesting shots.

I was like, oh that shot is when she clubs someone and then you realize it's just her squishing a fly, misleading at first but it still delivers on what you thought you would get.

There were some serious issues in the end where you have to suspend reality. How do you miss that mess in the bathroom??? Still liked it though and the final shot is a great payoff that actually answered my question of what happens to a blood drinking baby? HAHA!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Grace was definitely the surprize treat of the festival. I guess it worked in my favour that I only saw the first few seconds of the trailer, but what astonishes me is how good the film is as a whole - it's not simply zombie baby rawr! It's really about the crazy journey to get there. Fantastic!

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