Monday, 31 October 2011

Book to FIlm Club October Book: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Photobucket

October 2011 Book Selection: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black is a supernatural thriller following a young lawyer who goes to small town which has a menacing spectre and what better time than October to read a spooky story! I really enjoyed this one for several reasons, and I will admit it was refreshing to breeze through a less-than-200-pager after some of the tombs we've tackled. It was also an interesting change of pace to try a supernatural tale as well as a historically set book that was written fairly recently (1983).

Things to ponder on the book:
  • Did you enjoy reading it?
  • Was it a challenge to get through?
  • Was it what you were expecting?
  • What did you know about the book before reading it?
  • Did you enjoy the settings & time period? Can you tell it was written recently?
  • Did you find it scary?
  • What did you connect to with the book?
  • How did you feel about the length of the book?
  • What did you take away from reading the book?
  • Who would you recommend the book to?
About the upcoming film adaptations:
  • How do you feel about the casting of the film?
  • What do you hope to be the focus of the film?
  • What do you think is essential to keep from the book in the film?
  • What do you think they will add anything new to the film?
  • What do you think the challenges of the adaptation may be?
  • Do you have any hesitations on the adaptation?
  • If you've seen other film/TV/play adaptations, how do you think this one will be different?
  • What are you most looking forward to about the film adaptation?
If this was a re-read:
  • How did reading it this time compare with your previous time reading it?
  • Did you notice anything different this time round?
  • Did your interest and focus stay on the same characters and moments, or shift?
If you choose to shelf this out one:
  • Was there a barrier (genre, focus, time period, density)?
  • Would you consider trying it later?
  • Have you already read it?
  • Will you join us again in November for our last book of the year: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene? I hope you do!
Book reviews from Book to Film Clubbers:
Be the first!

Film Adaptation:
The Woman in Black stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter series), Ciarán Hinds (The Eclipse) and Janet McTeer, directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake). The film has been building a lot of energy in the past few months with the trailer released and stills as well. The scary and atmospheric feel definitely fits what I am hoping to see and I can't wait to see Daniel Radcliffe's take on the role of Arthur Kipps. I'm also thrilled to see we are going to see the film as including it in the Book to Film Club was a gamble with no release date at the time but now we know it will hit theatres on February 3, 2012.

You can join the Movie Moxie Book to Film Club at any time. Sign up for updates here.

Book to Film Club October Film: The Three Musketeers

Photobucket

Our October 2011 film selection for the Book to Film Club was The Three Musketeers, and we read the book by Alexandre Dumas back in August 2011. Well, I'm not sure how many of us braved it and I know I decided to go a speedy route myself. The good news is, the film looks to be quite a loose adaptation and goes with the whole fun-adventurous spirit.

I've been attending the Toronto After Dark Film Festival since it's release on October 21, 2011 so I haven't yet had a chance to see it, but it's the next film on my to see list. I adore the cast and can't wait to see what they come up with. The film will stars Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief), Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson (King Arthur, Kill the Irishman), Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe, Immortals), Milla Jovovich (Fifth Element, Resident Evil), Juno Temple (Kaboom), Mads Mikkelsen (After the Wedding / Efter brylluppet, Valhalla Rising), Christoph Watlz (Water for Elephants) and Orlando Bloom, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Death Race (2008), AVP: Alien vs Predator).
See the trailer here.

Here are some things to ponder when thinking, writing and/or journaling about the film:
  • Did you enjoy the film?
  • Did you see it in 3D? What was that like?
  • Was the film what you expected from reading the book?
  • How did you feel about the tone of the film?
  • Did you feel that the captured the time period and issues well?
  • How did you feel about the casting? Were the characters what you expected?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the book? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the book?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the film? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the film?
  • Was there anything you understood more after seeing the film?
  • Was there anything you felt was missing from the film?
  • Did the film capture the spirit of the book?
  • Who would you recommend the book to?
  • Who would you recommend the film too?
  • Are you happy you read the book before seeing the film?
  • Would you recommend people read the book before seeing the film?
  • What was the impact of reading the book before seeing the film?
The Three Musketeers Film Reviews by Book to Film Clubbers:

It's never to late to join the Book to Film Club! Next up we will be reading Brighton Rock by Grahame Greene and in the new year we'll be watching The Woman in Black. Sign up for updates here.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

2011 Scream Award Winners

Catching up on a few things this weekend including the winners for the 2011 The Scream Awards which were presented on Tuesday October 18, 2011. Thrilled to see that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picked up many awards in it's senior year and although I didn't love Black Swan I am excited to see a female protagonist film get a lot of love. I'm a little sad that Transformers: Dark of the Moon won for Best 3-D Movie over films like TRON: Legacy, but I'm sure the bias of recency has something to do with it. One of the strongest categories this year was easily Best Independent Movie - and from the nominees of Another Earth, Hatchet II, I Saw the Devil, Monsters and Rubber the winner was Monsters.

Sounds like the broadcast of the awards was fun to watch. Maybe I'll catch it in 2012. Until there, here are the 2011 winners of the Scream Awards:

2011 Scream Award Winners

Ultimate Scream
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Science Fiction Movie
Super 8

Best Fantasy Movie
X-Men: First Class

Best Horror Movie
Let Me In

Best Thriller
Limitless

Best TV Show
Game of Thrones

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Best Scream-Play
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Chase Scene
Captain America: First Avenger

Best Fantasy Actress
Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Best Fantasy Actor
Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Science Fiction Actress
Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Afterlife

Best Science Fiction Actor
Matt Smith in Doctor Who

Best Horror Actress
Chloe Grace Moretz in Let Me In

Best Horror Actor
Alexander Skarsgard in True Blood

Best Villain
Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Superhero
Chris Evans as Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger

Best Supporting Actor
Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

Best Supporting Actress
Mila Kunis in Black Swan

Breakout Performance - Female
Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Breakout Performance - Male
Joe Manganiello in True Blood

Best Cameo
Huge Jackman in X-Men: First Class

Best Ensemble
True Blood

Most Memorable Mutilation
Piranha 3D

Fight Scene of the Year
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Holy Sh*t! Scene of the Year
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Independent Movie
Monsters

Best 3-D Movie
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Best F/X
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Comic Book or Graphic Novel
The Walking Dead

Best Comic Book Writer
Ed Brubaker for Captain America, Captain America: Reborn, The Marvels Project, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier

Best Comic Book Artist
John Romita, Jr. for Avengers, Kick-Ass 2

Best Comic Book Movie
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Film Reviews - Lithuania

War of the Dead *

*indicates co-production

Back to Countries List

Friday, 28 October 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011: Day 8

Photobucket

I can't believe it's already all over! After 8 days of mayhem with zombies, vampires, monsters, manborgs, friendships, superheroes, murderers, cannibals and lovers, I'm left feeling filled to the brim with a wonderful festival memories of fantastic new films and meeting friends old and new. Before I start to get all misty eyed and sniffly that we have to wait a whole other year for the festival to run again, let's celebrate the phenomenal closing night double bill of The Woman and The Innkeepers. I had huge reservations going into The Woman but thankfully it turned out to be a very smart and well done film. I also adored The Innkeepers, a fantastic supernatural tale with a haunted house vibe that was a joy to watch with a jam packed house. A brilliant way to close out the festival and the year at Toronto After Dark.

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 8 Vlog.

Photobucket

The Woman (2011)
Dir: Lucky McKee
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Carlee Baker, Shana Barry, Marcia Bennett, Angela Bettis
USA

The Woman was easily the film at the festival I had the strongest reservations about as the premise follows a man who locks up a feral woman to 'civilize' her with the help of his family. Many readers will know that I have a low tolerance for gender crap, so could already feel red flags beginning to raise before even seeing the film but The Woman proves the case that making up your mind about a film before actually seeing it is a mistake as although it's disturbing and hard to watch it certainly is not an anti-woman film at all. I will admit that ideas and notions it conveyed could be uncomfortable, disturbing and hard to watch, but I always believed the actions and reactions of all of the characters on the screen. Did I want to see, know, or feel what the characters were feeling? Hell, no. Was it the truth of that moment? Hell, yes. That is not an easy thing to get across and it's a formidable feat given the controversial context. I think what also won me over is that it also feels like a subtle but strong examination and statement about of the misuse of power and cycle of violence, but because it's done in a rather shocking you react more to the moment than the overall which I thought was very clever. It's odd that in part my reaction to the film is that I'm thankful to not be angry or offended, but that truly is my truth when it comes to the film. I loved Pollyanna McIntosh's performance as the Woman and although the film is sure to grate a lot of people, I think it is well worth giving it a chance.

See more about The Woman at the films Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket

Photobucket

The Innkeepers
Writer/Dir: Ti West
Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, George Riddle
USA

I think The Innkeepers was the film I knew the least about going in as there was no trailer to be found but people were very excited about it and it came up many times when asking what films people were looking forward to this year. It's set in a about to close hotel mind by a skeleton 2 staff who both hold interest an in paranormal investigation. On premise alone that is freaking awesome, and I loved that the film worked in the investigated notion allowing the characters to be more proactive as opposed to accidental recipients of spooky situations. The heart of the film truly is Sara Paxton who brings a wonderful excited-but-scared quality that never failed to deliver is a cat of nine lives kind of way, as she always wanted to push forward into the unknown and had beautiful, real reactions to the situation which ran the perfect gambit between frightening to comedic, and at times both. I loved the creepy hotel that the film was set in and that the odd angles often made it hard to tell exactly what you are looking at which is perfect for a supernatural film giving it an unnerving, off-balance feel which is exactly where you want to be. It was fantastic to see it with a sold out audience and it was a clear crowd-pleasing scare fest which is exactly what I had hoped. An absolutely perfect film to end the festival with a bang.

See more about The Innkeepers at the Official Facebook Page, IMDb Page

Photobucket
The Innkeepers director Ti West with Toronto After Dark Founder and Director Adam Lopez

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival ran for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 28, 2011

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 28, 2011! I really don't have too much to say this week as I'm still recovering from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival which closed last night to a packed out and boy, I am tired. Even so, let's look at this weeks astounding 11 releases.

In limited release this week we have Ayn Rand adaptation of Atlas Shrugged: Part I, art house fare with Almodovar's The Skin I Live In, western Straight to Hell Returns and Cell 211. We also have Martha Marcy May Marlene which played well at TIFF and the two documentaries Buck and Inni.

In wide release this week we have as Shakespeare a fraud ? film Anonymous, science fiction set film In Time, Puss in Boots which is based on a character in a French fairy tale from 1697 by Charles Perrault. Last up for wide releases is The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Brazil Film Fest
October 27 - 30, 2011 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

International Diaspora Film Festival
November 1 - 6, 2011 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Regent Park Film Festival
A free event with complimentary childcare
November 2 - 5, 2011 at Lord Dufferin Public School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday October 28, 2011 Releases

Anonymous
Dir: Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012)
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Rafe Spall, Vanessa Redgrave
UK/Germany
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Dir: Paul Johansson - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Edi Gathegi
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Buck
Dir: Cindy Meehl
Documentary - feature film directorial debut
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Cell 211
Dir: Daniel Monzón (The Kovak Box)
Cast: Luis Tosar, Alberto Ammann
Spain/France
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

In Time
Dir: Andrew Niccol (Gattaca)
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki and Vincent Kartheiser
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Inni
Dir: Vincent Morisset
Cast: Georg Hólm, Jon Thor Birgisson, Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Pall Dyrason
Iceland/UK/Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Writer/Dir: Sean Durkin
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Puss in Boots
Dir: Chris Miller (Shrek the Third)
Voices: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Rum Diary
Writer/Dir: Bruce Robinson (Jennifer Eight, How to Get Ahead in Advertising)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Skin I Live In / La piel que habito
Dir: Pedro Almodovar
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes()
Spain
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Straight to Hell Returns
Dir: Alex Cox (Repo Chick, Searchers 2.0)
Cast: Kathy Burke, Elvis Costello, Graham Fletcher-Cook, Courtney Love, Sy Richardson
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of October 28, 2011**

TADFF 2011: Day 8 Vlog



Vlogging all about the last day of Toronto After Dark Film Festival for 2011 with Day 8 screenings of The Woman & closing Gala of The Innkeepers.

I mention The Changeling (1980), Before the Dawn, the Movie Moxie Facebook Fanpage, the archive of vids & vlogs for this years festival, the Movie Moxie Podcast (spoiler free), the Dark Bridges Film Festival.

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Day 7 - Wednesday October 26, 2011

Photobucket

We are nearing close to the end of the festival and I'm starting to get sad as there are just a few films left to enjoy. I'm also really feeling the tiredness kicking in, even with only chilling at the pub on one of the nights so far - which was tons of fun and I always want to go but I need that much needed sleep and writing time. I did make it to the pub on Day 6 so at least I got out for one night! Perhaps, that is what made me so tired for Day 7. Amazing how there might be a connection there... anyhow, Day 7 was a big indie spirit day with the Canadian cabin the woods (and in winter to boot!) science fiction-esqure thriller The Corridor followed by the World Premiere of VS where superheroes are put to the ultimate test. Both films left me thinking a lot about choices and friendships, as well as the powerful choice of to letting the audience get to decide how they want to fill in some of the blanks. Pretty engaging stuff going on!

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 7 Vlog!

Animal Control
Dir: Kire Paputts
Canada, 17 minutes

Animal Control follows a man working at an animal shelter, who oddly doesn't have any connection to animals. Well, at least not a connection to *living* animals. I loved the emotional journey in the film which has a beautiful story to it that touches on loneliness, connection and loss in a gently paced way that builds up and creeps in slowly but surely to your heart. It might be a little gruesome for some viewers, but I was very thankful to see the 'No Animals We Harmed' notation in the credits. It was also a joy to see Julian Richings, whom many fans of genre and/or Canadian films will recognize from various films & shows from Hard Core Logo to The Last Casino to 'Supernatural'.

Photobucket

The Corridor
Dir: Evan Kelly
Cast: Stephen Chambers, Matthew Amyotte, Nigel Bennett, David Patrick Flemming, James Gilbert, Glen Matthews, Mary-Colin Chisholm
Canada

Set in the dead of winter in a cabin in the woods, The Corridor lends itself well to the themes of isolation, mental stability and the oddities that can occur if things are left to their own devices. Given those themes you add to the mix a slightly resistant reunion of high school buddies who are now well into their adult lives and most are in various stages of non-fulfillment and when together again make for assortment of reactions for nostalgia to old habits to creating & maintaining the bonds of friendship. Hearing that, it's probably a surprize to know it's a subtle science fiction thriller that blurs so very interesting lines on power, friendship as well as different reactionary takes on what people would do if they encountered something unexplainable and pretty freaking scary. I was really impressed by the effects in The Corridor, often in lower-budget science fiction films the can look not so great and throw you out of the film but here we visuals that genuinely reflect the oddness of the phenomena and also a great pairing with the sound to create a very believable spectacle. I also really enjoyed the powerful performance of Stephen Chambers whose character goes through one well of an emotional ordeal. The Corridor really made me think about interesting concepts and ideas that kept my mind very engaged during, as well as after seeing it.

See more at The Corridor's Official Film Site, Trailer & IMDb Page

Photobucket
The Corridor lead actor Stephen Chambers, writer Josh MacDonald and director Evan Kelly

Photobucket
The Corridor producer Craig Cameron, lead actor Stephen Chambers, writer Josh MacDonald and director Evan Kelly

How to Rid Your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused By You
Dir: Nadia Litz
Canada, 16 minutes

I love to see when a short can cross different boundaries, and How to Rid Your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused By You does just that because it's a dark comedic look at relationships, specifically the problem with problem solving and trying to solve everything yourself. I takes an interesting look at fixing things, and pushes it to the max which plays so very well with the great performances of the actors who play the couple in the film. It holds a very light tone in contrast to the dark concept but the actors really pull it off, and it played really well to the crowd. Fun times.

Photobucket

VS **World Premiere**
Writer/Dir: Jason Trost
Cast: Jason Trost, Lucas Till, James Remar, Sophie Merkley, Sean Whalen, Lee Valmassy
USA

We've seen a huge up rise in superhero films in the past few years from the re-envisioning of classic superheroes, to grittier take of regular folk being superheroes to actual documentary on real life superheroes and just when I though we could run out of energy on the genre, here comes VS smashing up expectations left, right and centre kicking us back into place with an old skool take of with over the top villains and high stakes scenarios. With the set up of superheroes vs. evil villain in a race against time with hapless, rigged-to-explosive victims it's easy to try and cram the film into a Saw shaped box painted with Joker colours, but VS is so much more. The film really looks at both the power of choice and the role that we play in our lives, and also looks at even if we have a choice about that role. Do we work with it, or against it? What happens if more than 1 person wants the same role? And, is it even possible to be anyone but who you really are and even if you stay true, can that still create inner conflict? I really appreciated the fresh take on a classic superhero story full with moral dilemmas, rivals & friendships plus battles of brains & brawn. I also really enjoyed the performances of the cast especially lead actor/director/writer Jason Trost as the quietly-heroic & reluctant leader as well as from Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) who continues to shine in everything he is in and I anticipate seeing many more great performances from him in the future. VS is the only film this year in the festival where I really had to sit and think on it as opposed to having an initial gut reaction of YAY! or BOO!, I wasn't confused about what happened in the film but I was continuing to sort out my reaction to the film because although the genre is familiar, it’s doing something different. Huge kudos to the filmmaker for taking a bold and brave move in a genre that has exploded but often offered us the same dark and dismal look at the world. Who knew this indie gem out would re-light the fire of tried and true heroes. I didn’t, but I’m happy it did. I highly recommend kicking back old school checking out VS.

See more at the VS's Facebook Page and IMDb Page

Photobucket
VS World Premiere with director/writer/lead actor Jason Trost and Toronto After Dark Film Festival Founder and Director Adam Lopez

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

TADFF 2011: Day 7 Vlog



Oh man, you can tell the festival is wrapping up as I get a few deets wrong here (like what day it is...), but I do do my best as I chat features The Corridor and the world premiere of VS. plus shorts Animal Control & How to Rid Your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused By You.

I also mention The Green Hornet and X-Men: First Class

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Day 6 - Tuesday October 25, 2011

Photobucket

It's amazing that Day 6 started of as a grey, wet and dismal looking day and then turned into the most exciting and awesome day of Toronto After Dark so far. I won't lie it is a lot in part to the fact that after seeing The Divide I had a chance to interview two of the stars: Michael Biehn (Bereavement, The Terminator, Aliens) & Michael Eklund ('Intelligence', Hunt to Kill, Tactical Force) and I am huge fans of both of them. I had also been really looking forward to the lo-fi awesome energy of Manborg from Astron-6 and it delivered on every front and played to an amazingly enthusiastic crowd. All and all, the day was so wonderful that I barely even noticed being rained on during my way home.

Rather watch than listen? Check out my Day 6 Vlog! See also videos from festival Intros and Q&A's over at the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage.

Blind Spot
Dir: Matthew Nayman
Canada, 6 minutes

Dark and comedic look on the odd juxtaposition of priorities, convenience, customer services and a greater whole of the world. Explores and exposes the chaos of the individual experience and the ability to completely black out the bigger picture. Really great thematic pairing to have this screened with The Divide.

Photobucket

The Divide
Dir: Xavier Gens (Frontier(s), Hitman)
Cast: Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Eklund, Lauren German, Rosanna Arquette, Ashton Holmes, Courtney B. Vance, Iván González
Canada/USA/Germany

The Divide is a post apocalyptic thriller that delves deeply and darkly in the demise of the human spirit as it follows a group of people thrown together in the bowels of an apartment building sealed in against the unknown catastrophe that looms outside. I often have a hard time with post-apocalyptic films being a sunny side of the street kind of person, and in general will avoid them as they upset me but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see likely the highest profiled film at this years festival which has many guests in attendance including Michael Biehn (Bereavement, The Terminator, Aliens) & Michael Eklund ('Intelligence', Hunt to Kill, Tactical Force), Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and director Xavier Gens (Frontier(s), Hitman) and it played to a completely sold out house. The energy in the room was electric and it's such a unique experience to see a film that is so focused on the power people can have over each other when you are literally surrounded by so many people. Who would step up and take charge? Would anyone challenge them, and if so - how much and how hard? When, or does, the human spirit crumble and is it inevitable that people will succumb to live in and live on the horror of the situation. I actually found the film quite a challenge to watch but what makes it work so very well are the performances by an astounding group of actors that went pretty method here shooting in chronological order and even going through similar limitations to their characters. I was particularly impressed by the connection and chemistry between the characters played by Michael Eklund & Milo Ventimiglia who had an electric bond on the screen, plus Lauren German who plays a very subtle character who carefully and subtly tries to stay out of the power struggles that are inevitable. I also was very impressed with Michael Biehn who walks a fine, gray line with the power of the inadvertent caretaker to the group. It certainly wasn't an easy watch, but it was a hell of a powerful film and will stay with me for a very long time.

See also
Photobucket
The Divide Q&A with actors Michael Eklund, Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Michael Biehn and director Xavier Gens

Photobucket
The Divide Q&A with actors Michael Eklund, Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Michael Biehn and director Xavier Gens

Photobucket
The Divide Q&A with actors Michael Eklund, Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Michael Biehn and director Xavier Gens

Ethereal Chrysalis
Dir: Syl Disjonk
Canada, 10 minutes

Visually powerful short film that the filmmaker introduced as being inspired by his dreams, which must be vivid, transformative and torturous as the films flows and shifts through many transitions of entities, bodies, creatures and essences. Gorgeous visual styling paired with menacing creatures and confines will have this one etched in my brain & heart for quite a while. Absolutely stunning.

Photobucket

Manborg
Dir: Steven Kostanski
Cast: Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Andrea Karr
Canada

Manborg was easily one of my most anticipated films of this year’s festival with its crazy-fun spirit and blatant love of VHS-era action and/or sci-fi films. It takes that nostalgia and pipes it back on to the big screen for full-on, non-stop fun bringing (literally) to life from the beyond a crazy half-man, half-Borg who is thrown into a war between... well... humans and borgs. What's a Manborg to do? Oh, the conflict! It's absolutely fantastic, full of crazy effect, easy to identify stock characters with awesome one-liners, 2-dimensional dilemmas and of course the fight of good versus evil. I love how the film played strongly on ideas and themes from familiar tales from Robocop to The Terminator (which make it awesome pairing to have with The Divide), but still creates and maintains its own story, which gets a little crazier the further we go along in the film. I also loved the oddly entertaining, conflicting and bizarre love stories along with bad voice-overs and accents which all work because they are completely intentional. Although it's lo-fi, schlock goodness full of comedy and lunacy, it's also a completely well thought out brilliant film with awesome visuals. Manborg proves that a low budget feel can still be high flying fun. I loved every minute it.

See more at the Manborg Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
Manborg screening with Astron-6 folk, Manborg director Stephen Kostanski and Toronto After Dark programmer Peter Kuplowsky

Photobucket
Manborg screening with Astron-6 folk, Manborg director Stephen Kostanski and Toronto After Dark programmer Peter Kuplowsky

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011 Day 5: Monday October 24, 2011

Photobucket

Day 5 held for a creepy night for film fans with the supernatural themed sister tale of Absentia (you can image that as I co-host a paranormal TV podcast with my own sister that this one holds a special place in my heart) and then we led straight into the chilling action/thriller A Lonely Place to Die which had me shivering in my seat from the mountaineering alone. I forgot I was afraid of heights, let along all the mayhem that followed. Both films were a little different than I expected with Absentia being creepy but not blood-curdlingly scary and A Lonely Place To Die truly being an action-thriller, when I thought it would be more survivalist. But, expectations ain't everything and I really enjoyed both films which made Day 5 turn into one heck of a solid night.

Rather watch than read? ? Check out my Day 5 Vlog! See also videos from festival Intros and Q&A's over at the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage.

Nowhere Elsewhere
Dir: Annick Blanc
Canada, 15 minutes

I really enjoyed this short which has a strange and slightly off atmosphere, leaving the audience continually curious about what was real and what has not real, and if we - or anyone- was seeing what was happening. There was a really beautiful fluidity to the short that ebbed and flowed in a very stream of conscious way, unspinning a tale that was unnerving from beginning to end.

Photobucket

Absentia (2011)
Writer/Dir: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Dave Levine, Justin Gordon
USA

Supernatural films are always on the top of my to see lists and Absentia is certainly the heaviest supernatural film of the festival so far, and it goes for drama as much as scares as it follows the story Tricia, whose husband disappeared 7 years ago and she is in the process of declaring him dead in absentia. To help her though the troubling time, her kid sister Callie shows up to help with the practical and emotional transition. I'm a big fan of supernatural films and I have 2 sisters and a brother myself so this one really hit home for me, the emotional journey reads strongly and it has an interesting over arching theme of questions how well people know each other even if they are apart - either by choice or by supernatural means. I thought it was scary both conceptually and experientially, but as it's more a drama there maybe aren't as many scares as I felt the audience was expecting. I certainly shrunk in my seat several times when the film was creeping me out and I also was extremely unnerved by the concepts it presented. The production values and acting are also very strong and cohesive for a smaller production, I really enjoyed all the performances from the main and supporting cast and was quite unnerved by the there/not-there creepy supernatural moments. It certainly adds to the ranks of the films from this year’s festival that I already can't wait to see again. Absentia has a great, original story with a nice blending of tension and drama. A fun film to get creeped out to.

See more at Absentia's Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

The Incident
Dir: Jules Saulnier
Canada, 7 minutes

Wow, this short really brought me back to my theatre days as it plays like a series of vignettes that are obtuse and bizarre yet somehow feel like yes...yes, they do or at least could mean something. I loved the bizarre play between directness and indirectness that always made it feel like what they were telling you mean everything, yet also ... possibly... nothing.

Photobucket

A Lonely Place To Die
Dir: Julian Gilbey
Cast: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Eamonn Walker, Sean Harris, Karel Roden
UK

A Lonely Place To Die was one of my most anticipated films of the festival, I watched mere seconds of the trailer ages ago and I knew I wanted to see this mountain thriller. I was surprize that it kept being referred to as an action film though, that totally wasn't the sense I got before seeing it but it certainly plays a strong part in the adrenaline-pumping, tension-filled thrill-ride that had me holding my breath and scared to look away for the majority of the film. It's amazing the sustained tension that is created throughout the film, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I didn't even have time to process that as you are pretty much strapped into a roller coaster ride where any turn could take you on a completely different course into the depths of the human psyche be it for good, or for bad. I loved the seeing the mountaineering and wide open spaces of great outdoors and I easily connected with the characters, feeling their fears, their strengths and their weaknesses which all play a part in both the fragility and strength of the human spirit and the drive to keep pushing forward even through the most challenging and frightening situations. I was also thrilled to see that creaked open the screen super wide as seeing it large and on the big screen is exactly the best way to experience A Lonely Place To Die. It's definitely in the running as one of the best of the fest.

See more at A Lonely Place To Die's Official Facebook Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
A Lonely Place To Die's writer Will Gilbey with programmer Peter Kuplowsky

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Photobucket

TADFF11: Day 6 Vlog



Chatting all about Day 6 including The Divide, Astron 6 's Manborg, shorts Blind Spot & Ethereal Chrysalis and getting to meet & interview both Michael Biehn (Bereavement, The Terminator, Aliens) & Michael Eklund ('Intelligence', Hunt to Kill, Tactical Force). Yep, still riding on the awesome of that. Easily the best day so far!!

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

TADFF11: Day 5 Vlog



Chatting all about Day 5 with the features of Absentia & A Lonely Place to Die plus shorts Nowhere Elsehere and The Incident. I also mention my paranormal TV podcast Hexed: Sisterhood of the Supernatural which I co-host with my sister Suzie.

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

DVD Releases for October 25, 2011

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday October 25, 2011!

  • Captain America: The First Avenger is definitely the biggie of the week, I missed it in the theatre (crazy summer!), but in general am a fan of Chris Evans (Sunshine, The Losers) and of course will want to be familiar with this one by the time The Avengers comes out in 2012.
  • Mothman Jewel Staite (Firefly) stars in this horror film with a journalist going back to her hometown for the Mothman Festival. I'm so curious!
  • Attack the Block Fantastic over-the-top scifi/horror film that took me a bit to warm up to but the inner city kids won me over in the vs-the-outer-space story.
  • Winnie the Pooh I'm really curious to see this classically hand-drawn animated film about everyone's favourite 'lil bear all stuffed with fluff!
  • Pearl Jam Twenty One of the films I really wanted is fit in my TIFF schedule this year but it just didn't happen, I'm a huge fan of this band and can't wait to see this documentary - it's one of the few things where I nod along to something and say "Yes, I am part of *this* generation". Surprized to see it on DVD so quickly to be honest.
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (DVD Review) this one has that cult-happy-awesome feel to it, and how could a Finnish dark Christmas comedy be anything else? Must see on my list!
  • Gamera Trilogy: Guardian of the Universe, Attack of the Legion & Revenge of Iris on BluRay because, really Japanese monster movies featuring a flying turtle should only be see on .. BluRay :)
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979, re-package) Can't wait for the December release of the new version? Why not time warp to 1979 and see the wonderful Alec Guinness version of the film!
  • Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson Canadian documentary centred on Paul Watson.
  • Gerry French Canadian film focused on Québécois rocker Gerry Boulet and ris rise to being a rock star in the 70's and front man for Offenbach.
  • Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy available as films and as a gift set - I think checking out these current day dinosaur films is an awesome alternative choice for Halloween scares!
Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):


Gamera Trilogy: Guardian of the Universe, Attack of the Legion & Revenge of Iris, Eco Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson and Gerry not currently available on Amazon.com

Monday, 24 October 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011 Day 4: Sunday October 23, 2011

Photobucket

Day 4 at Toronto After Dark Film Festival was the second of the back to back 4 screening days and wow, it felt like a long one but it's all worth it as it started and ending with big bangs and audience pleasing films from the dark comedy Some Guy Who Kills People and the dark romance/drama vampire flick Midnight Son which I have been waiting ages to watch. Not only am I glad that the film has shown now because I got to see it and it was awesome, but the additional perk is that I don't have to sit through any more sparkly vampire jokes for all the non-Twi-Fans, or Twi-Haters at the fest. I swear, I feel a little lonely being the only Twi-Fan at the fest - I understand people having different tastes but gee whiz there are enough parades to enjoy without raining on others. I must write about that one day. But for now, it's time to look at the awesome selection of films from comedy to sci fi to vampire and a horror anthology to round it all off.

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 4 Vlog! See also videos from festival Intros and Q&A's over at the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage.

Photobucket
Toronto After Dark Film Festival programmer Christian Burgess introduces Some Guy Who Kills People

Some Guy Who Kills People
Dir: Jack Perez
Cast: Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick, Karen Black, Leo Fitzpatrick
USA

I absolutely loved Some Guy Who Kills People, which the title alone cracks me up but the film itself was a delightful surprize and easily won over the crowd with the very direct comedy that finds that beautiful happy spot where you don't think they could really go as far as they do, but they do, and it works very well. The film follows an ice cream parlour worker who an underdog in a lot of ways, was picked on by everyone from fellow high schoolers to his very own mother (through a in a fantastic performance by Karen Black), and now in his mid-30's has almost appears to have almost no ambition or drive. When his fellow non-friend classmates begin to appear brutally murdered, it's clear that there is some unfinished business going one. It's amazing that with all that anger and vengeance, that the film is a fantastic comedy that tackles love and relationships on multiple levels. The story itself is fantastic but it's the ensemble cast that escalates this film to be absolutely phenomenal. Every single performance is noteworthy from Kevin Corrigan as our going nowhere protagonist to Karen Black as his brutally honest and always battering him mother, to the Sheriff played by Barry Bostwick who had me in stitches, even the youngest member of the cast could also compete on the same level of excellence. I really wasn't expecting much walking in, but Some Guy Who Kills People will be one of the films that will certainly be a stand out of this year’s festival. I can't wait for more people to see it, it's beautifully dark, brilliantly written and superbly acting. I loved it & I highly recommend it!

See the Some Guy Who Kills People Official Facebook Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

The Weight of Emptiness
Dir: Alain Fournier
Canada, 13 minutes

The Weight of Emptiness is a haunting short film that dances around concepts of acceptance and love while providing a truly spooky atmosphere that leaves the audience unnerved but also caring for the characters. I love this kind of storytelling, very visual and emotional with deep performances that resonate very strongly into the hearts of the audience. Beautiful.

Photobucket
Love director William Eubank with Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez

Love
Writer/Dir: William Eubank - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Gunner Wright
USA

Love was definitely the film the across-the-board response when I asked people what they were most looking forward to, myself included as I'm always excited to see the science fiction selections each year at the festival. Love has an interesting take threading through timelines from history as well as the current or possible future bridging them through the concept of connectedness and non-connectedness from war to space travel. I was intrigued by the concept and blown away by the visuals but I found it a challenge to connect with our protagonist, which feels oddly intentional as it increases his isolation and loneliness to tragic proportions. I actually felt like I was contributing to that loneliness, which is part of the point and makes it very experiential film but it also made me feel sad. I was extremely impressed by the film visually with the space station setter and was blown away by the civil war recreations which so far are the most beautiful moments I've seen at the festival this year so far. I really wanted to love Love, and certainly felt like it got across the power and importance of love but was very much from perspective of the absence of it. The tragic emotions read strongly and leave haunting impressions for the viewer to question and ponder about the things to come.

See more at Love's Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

The Theatre Bizarre
Directors: Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Tom Savini and Richard Stanley
Cast: Udo Kier, Tom Savini, Kaniehtiio Horn, Virginia Newcomb
USA/France/Canada

I'm going to keep this one brief as I've come to realize I'm not a huge fan of anthology films and with 7 separate stories in this anthology the one that really made an impression was The Accident, which was a very true-to-life feel of a mother/daughter discussion on death and what happens when people die and very sensitively goes through different questions that kids are likely to ask like why, how and who does it happen to. I really loved the gentle but honest tone to this short which had an often chilling atmosphere and a fantastic open landscape that mirrored the vastness of the world and how our understanding of it and moments in it can be so small in comparison to the whole. Speaking of comparison, it was very tonally different that the other shorts in the anthology which often went to dark, visceral gory gooey visuals, demented themes and with a dash of nudity. Personally it's not my thing, but it definitely plays it's own tune specifically to certain horror themes and fans.

See more about The Theatre Bizarre at the films Official Facebook Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
Theatre Bizarre directors Karim Hussain and Douglas Buck with Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez

Midnight Son
Writer/Dir: Scott Leberecht
Cast: Zak Kilberg, Tracey Walter, Arlen Escarpeta, Larry Cedar
USA

I've been literally dreaming to see Midnight Son since I first heard about it and saw the trailer months ago, but didn't actually think I would get to see it on the big - let alone in the awesomeness of a festival setting with filmmakers & actor in attendance. Wow, that was really special. I'm a huge vampire film fan and I loved how Midnight Son is a dark vampire drama that uses the confusion of change paired with the idea of wanting to both hide and share your darker side. How it shows the possible transition from being withdrawn and isolated to reaching out and chancing inclusion, and all the awkwardness, fear, hope and regret along the way. A beautifully complex human drama with intellectually presents questions or morality but the essence of the viewing experience is in actuality a deeply emotional one as you feel for and connect to the characters. I was extremely impressed with the performances, especially with Zak Kilberg who is our protagonist Jacob who displays a powerful range while suffering through this confusion transition of darkness that feels so at odds with his gentle nature. Midnight Son is a beautiful and complex film that I absolutely adored and that I highly and widely recommend, as I’m sure it can be enjoyed by vampire film fan and is a welcome and unique edition to the genre.

See more about Midnight Son at their Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
Midnight Son producer Matt Compton, actor Zak Kilberg, director Scott Leberecht and Toronto After Dark programmer Stephen Landry

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Photobucket

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011 Day 3: Saturday October 22, 2011

Photobucket

Day 3 at Toronto After Dark Film Festival is often a battle of the wills being a long day of 4 screenings and then it's also battle of the braaaaaaaaaaaaaains as it's the Zombie Appreciation Day with an evening of back-to-back zombie films which this year included the zombie buddy comedy DeadHeads and the World Premiere WWII action/zombie film War of the Dead. It was really exciting as both zombie features had cast & crew at the screenings, plus the International Shorts Programme which I always look forward to every year and the big crowd-pleaser afternoon screening of Japanese animated racing film Redline which had the audience cheering at the loud, fast, racing goodness. I'm in for another long one at the festival today and then we are back to 2-a-night screening. Wish me luck!

Rather watch than read? Check out my Day 3 Vlog! See also videos from festival Intros and Q&A's over at the Movie Moxie Facebook FanPage.

Photobucket
Peter Kuplowsky introduces the International Shorts Programme

Shorts After Dark - International Shorts Programme

I look forward to the shorts every year, be they the Canadian ones in front of the features or the block of International Shorts on as an afternoon delight. This year’s international slate held 9 short films from around the world, let's look at a selection of the shorts from the International Shorts Programme:

Dirty Silverware
This was a clever and inventive short giving by taking the everyday and making it extraordinary. I loved the creativity in the story, the use of humour and the ability to make something so normal feel so creepy. It does get a little long and a little strange, but I'd be worried if I saw something that wasn't strange!

Nursery Crimes
Deliciously and delightfully dark take of familiar tales by mixing and mashing them up to a bloody brilliant and perfectly brief short. I loved it.

ROSA
I saw ROSA a bit back for the Worldwide Short Film Festival and although it clearly feels like a demo reel for a video game, it's also absolutely gorgeous and has a story to boot. I was quite taken in more by it this time and enjoyed the beautiful colours, impeccable visuals, immersive environments and nicely sculpted body movements.

The Dungeon Master
Wow, The Dungeon Master sure hits a lot of unusually spots together from relaxed nostalgia to RPGing to bullying to the fantastical. I was actually surprized by some of the harshness interlaced with underdog characters and the complexity of seeing someone become what you think they hate. All that and it had a lot of laughs too that I'm sure any gamer could appreciate, although it went at times darker than I expected. I actually would have loved to see more on different aspects it only touched on, I think there is a lot of material there and would been great as a series of shorts.

Martha's Birthday
I absolutely love when the program ends on a brief, but completely twisted short that makes you laugh and that's exactly what Martha's Birthday does. Taking easily accessible ideas from birthday parties and grumpy siblings it runs with some crazy ideas that had me in stitches. Hilarious & brilliant.

Photobucket

Paso Doble
Canada, 2 minutes

Ah, ballroom dancing! It's not often enough that it crosses over to genre film goodness, and it was exciting to see this rich and intense animated short explore the energy of paso doble. I really enjoyed this one.

Lost For Words
Canada, 10 minutes

Adventurous and inquisitive energy on this short that explored concepts of words as actions as 2 kids make their way though the big outdoors away from the familiar. I really enjoyed the straight-up practical kid responses that challenged almost everything he was presented with and the curious dream like world it was set it.

Photobucket

Redline
Dir: Takeshi Koike
Voices: Takuya Kimura, Yû Aoi
Japan

Redline was one of the few films at the festival that people seemed to have already seen, yet they were also stoked to see it on the big screen with big sound. It's a Japanese animated film centred on car races in the future which gives it an oddly nostalgic for current-ness vibe to it, as although they've progressed beyond there is still joy for the oldskool ride and racing of race cars. I think one of the strongest things I took from the film was realizing how rarely I watch anything animated, which made it suprizingly refreshing and engaging as I was less familiar with the patterns of the genre and/or style and could only just keep the characters straight but had no idea where the story would go. Given that it's a far-future set film it felt like it could, and did, go anywhere and everywhere across the galaxy and beyond so much so I most of the time had no clue where it was or if the characters where human (dogs? robots? aliens? all of the above?) or not, or if that even mattered. The awesome thing is, it was completely fun to watch even with only being able to barely cobble together what was going on. I could have done without the cartoon nudity (although I'm likely in the minority with this crowd!) but I adored the sheer audacity of the racing sequences that were completely intensive & immersive. I'm already looking forward to seeing it again, Redline was a fantastic spectacle that has to be seen and experienced. Highly recommend.

See Redline's Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket

Play Dead
Dirs: Andres & Diego Meza-Valdes
USA, 15 minutes

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with a pet-themed zombie short, and what we get is a hilarious tale that shows that storytelling can be showcased just as well with words as it can be with barks. It's a phenomenal feat as we follow a flurry of four legged friends as they do their best amidst a zombie apocalypse. Charming, delightful as well as very furry and bloody. Very inventive and well executed.

DeadHeads
Writer/Dir: Brett Pierce & Drew T. Pierce
Cast: Michael McKiddy, Ross Kidder, Markus Taylor, Natalie Victoria
USA

I think it's wild to see undead buddy comedy movies emerge as a micro genre, but I guess when you are going through the transition of life to death to...death, it's better to do it with a friend, even if they are someone you don't even know you can still connect with your inner undead-ness. DeadHeads' takes the great new spin on the buddy comedy which an undead turn and threading in both a love story with the craziness of a road movie which makes it a fun ride from start to finish. There are lots of nods to film and pop culture references spattered throughout that are great to point out and laugh along with and many hilarious side story characters to follow along the way. I really enjoyed the earnestness that is showcased with the new-friends finding their friendship feet along with the overall zombie tale and relationships drama to boot. A fun-filled genre mash up that will leave you laughing & cheering, DeadHeads is a refreshing hopeful tale while still being a delightfully undead watch.

See DeadHeads' Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
2011.10.22 TADFF11 Day 3 Deadheads screening actors Markus Taylor & Natalie Victoria, director Brett Pierce and Adam Lopez

You Are So Undead
Dir: Alex Epstein
Canada, 6 minutes

You Are So Undead is a charming supernatural short with a unique and transparent take on coming of age all set in a girl’s washroom. I really enjoyed it but the joy is very much in the reveal so I'll leave that for folks to enjoy as they see it. Fans of Being Human (North American) will be delighted to see Meghan Rath here in yet another supernatural tale.

War of the Dead (2011) **World Premiere**
Dir: Marko Mäkilaakso
Cast: Andrew Tiernan, Mikko Leppilampi, Samuli Vauramo, Jouko Ahola, Mark Wingett, Andreas Wilson, Antti Reini, Magdalena Górska
Lithuania/USA/Italy

War of the Dead was one of my most anticipated films of the festival this as it's a Lithuanian co-production and any Baltic connection to film warms my Latvian heart. My excitement over that totally pushed aside the acknowledgement of its WWII setting which is a period that's not my fave, in fact any war films are hard for me to watch, but given that it's also a zombie film, an action film and starts with a premise of events that actually took place it’s got a plethora of source material and themes that makes it have something to appeal to virtually any movie goes. It is one heck of a recipe in awesome, and the screening at Toronto After Dark was the films World Premiere which added to the excitement of the night. I loved the weight of War of the Dead, how it felt drenched in dirt from the analogous tertiary colour story of browns to the explosions of dirt that lay heavy on the soldiers. The contrast of the open space exteriors to the imposing and constrictive confines of the bunker, showcasing the challenges all situations added to the tension and continual, oppressive tone that matches the war setting so very well. I also really loved the action in the film which is all-out, knock-down, freaking fantastic with great energy and style making it a huge highlight of the film. Overall I really enjoyed War of the Dead and given the horror stories of production hell the film went though that was shared during the Q&A of the film it’s impressive how seamlessly the film plays out. The production values in the film are great, the look and feel of it is fantastic, you'd truly have no idea the that it took years and many challenges to pull it all together. A unique genre blend with drive and a lot of machismo, War of the Dead definitely was a fantastic watch and welcome addition to world of zombie film.

See War of the Dead's Trailer, IMDb Page

Photobucket
War of the Dead World Premiere Introduction with director Marko Mäkilaakso, Toronto After Dark programmer Christian Burgess and Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez

Photobucket
War of the Dead Q&A DOP Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen, actor Jouko Ahola, director Marko Mäkilaakso and Toronto After Dark Programmer Christian Burgess

Photobucket
War of the Dead Q&A DOP Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen, actor Jouko Ahola, director Marko Mäkilaakso and Toronto After Dark Programmer Christian Burgess

The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs for 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Movies at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from October 20-27, 2011.

Photobucket
It was a day of full line ups all around, and a lot of zombies in the house to boot. Actually, don't boot zombies... they have enough to deal with being undead!
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012