Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2010 Day 4 - Monday August 16, 2010


The big title of the day was the sold out, red carpet, Toronto Premiere screening of The Last Exorcism with producer Eli Roth and actors Ashley Bell & Patrick Fabian in attendance. The crowd (below) for at the box office was huge and the even the passholder line was insanely long an hour before the screening began. It made for great energy in the room and a very enthusiastic screening and an awesome Q&A. What a great way to see a scary movie!

Rather listen than read? Check out my Day 4 Vlog!


Dir: Adam Brooks
Canada, 2 min

I really enjoyed this spirited, frantic and firey short film from the Astron-6 guys. Great pacing, intense atmosphere and funny to boot!


The Last Exorcism
Dir: Daniel Stamm (A Necessary Death)
Cast: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum, Iris Bahr, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley

The Last Exorcism follows Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a man of the cloth who is setting out to debunk exorcism. Right from the get go that is a great premise giving use a knowledgeable character heading out into his own field to reveal 'the truth', and the amazing thing is even though we know he's a non-believer you still are completely charmed by him and personally, I was rooting for him the entire way. Filling the other half of the exorcism formula is Nell (Ashley Bell), an earnest and sweet-as-pie girl whose family has been started to see all the signs of the possessed. The film makes great use of documentary style film making to reel you in to the characters and their worlds, subtly bringing a very real closeness to the viewer of the situation and the realities in which the characters live. One of the things I loved about the film was that it never dismissed or brushed off the beliefs of the characters, even if the audience might think that someone is off the rails, we still believe that they are off the rails - and that only makes it more scare. This created reality is one of the reasons that the film works so well because you never question anyones actions or motivations, and for that you have to give huge props not only to the story but also to the actors. Patrick Fabian is so charismatic as Cotton Marcus, giving a larger than life performance when he's 'on', but we also see and believe that he's a genuinely caring human being as well. Ashely Bell is a force to be reckoned with as the ever so sweet and earnest Nell, that you can't help but like her, feel for her and fear for her character. And the icing on the cake here is that everything you see in the film was actually done by Ashely Bell, no effects here it's all pure talent. It's astonishing. The Last Exorcism is everything I want to see in a horror movie. It's suspenseful, it's scary, it's got a great story and characters you actually care about. In short, it's absolutely brilliant.

More on The Last Exorcism:
The Last Exorcism producer Eli Roth and actors Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian

The Last Exorcism producer Eli Roth and actors Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian

The Last Exorcism producer Eli Roth and actors Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian

Dir: Pierre Ayotte
Canada, 4 min

Aptly paired with Alien vs Ninja as Massacrator is it's own versus of very different popular icons: the Terminator and Elvis! Now that is one unusual face off.

Alien vs Ninja
Writer/Dir: Seiji Chiba
Cast: Mika Hijii, Ben Hiura, Shuuji Kashiwabara, Masanori Mimoto, Yûki Ogoe, Donpei Tsuchihira

Alien vs Ninja was one film at the festival that I kept on flipping back and forth on being excited about it. First - Aliens + Ninjas = awesome. But, didn't feel quite as excited watching the trailer. Then I heard it was really good. Then I was all confused! Sometimes it's better to stop thinking and just watch, especially when ninjas are involved because they will out think & sneak up on you anyway! What Alien vs Ninja really has going for it is .... aliens fighting ninjas. The fight sequences in the film are a whole heck of a lot of fun, and there is a pretty generous sum of fights in the film. It was interesting to feel the influence of monster and alien films throughout, but the film also adding it's own spin and flavour along the way including lots of gooey goodness. One of the few at the fest that has actually turned my stomach or made me want to look away from the screen - and I have to give it kudos for that.


The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2010 runs from August 13 - 20, 2010 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Big box office line up for The Last Exorcism screening

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