The Toronto After Dark Festival kicks off next month, and the first wave of movies is finally here, for us all to drool over in anticipation.
Described by the organisers as “some of the most critically acclaimed and eagerly anticipated new horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films from this year’s international film festival circuit”, the ten movies below are all set to screen over the week-long festival at the Scotiabank Theatre, which is located in the heart of Toronto.
That quote isn’t hyperbole either, as the first wave represents some of the coolest and most must-see movies of the year.
First up is Babak Anvari’s Sundance hit Under The Shadow, which has been drawing comparisons to The Babadook (but is actually a hell of a lot better than that film). A tale of mother and daughter against the literal war raging outside, an unknown paranormal entity, and each other, it’s the definition of unmissable.
Ti West (The Innkeepers)’s hugely-anticipated In The Valley Of Violence, which went over well at SXSW but is still kind of shrouded in mystery, is also screening and looks to be one of the hottest tickets of the week. A Western starring Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, and Larry Fessenden, it’s sure to have some serious genre credentials mixed in among all the gun-slinging.
Another Sundance hit joins Toronto After Dark in the form of Antibirth, the Natasha Lyonne-starring horror-comedy that also stormed the boards at ParkCity earlier this year. It deals, as you can probably glean from the title, with the aftermath of an unexplainable pregnancy and tantalisingly co-stars the likes of Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly and Mark Webber.
Richard Bates Jr.’s (Excision) Trash Fire is arguably the most drool-worthy addition to the line-up this year, at least for genre purists. Starring Adrien Grenier in the lead role, it follows a less-than-normal family with some pretty crazy secrets that are sure to erupt in a fiery blaze of madness and mayhem.
Elsewhere, we’ve got; As The Gods Will from Japan, which is described as “The Hunger Games meets Battle Royale” and Creepy, which is probably pretty self-explanatory and thus needs no comparatives, British entries The Rezort, (“The Walking Dead meets Jurassic Park”) and sci-fi actioner Kill Command, Poland’s The Lure, a horror-musical featuring man-eating mermaids and festival closer, The Void, which is, naturally, a Canadian offering that blends siege movie and creature feature, and is courtesy of the makers of Father’s Day.
Toronto After Dark takes place from October 13-21, 2016. You can buy tickets and check out more info on all the first-wave films direct from the site.