2020 has certainly been a well-below-average year, as of yet. Without needing to name all the reasons, Covid-19 has really messed with the cinema industry. Countless festivals around the world have been cancelled and disappointed fans have mourned them. Luckily for us, the legendary Fantasia International Film Festival, celebrating their 24th edition, was at first postponed, then revamped as an online edition. Fantasia fans have rejoiced after much dreadful tension and the expectation of having it cancelled altogether. Despite not experiencing the incomparable atmosphere of viewing a movie with the one-of-a-kind Fantasia audience, all Canadians (except the media) is nonetheless excited to discover a plethora of new films in the comfort of their own homes. I am appointed as your official Infamous Horror reporter and here are the horror movies to watch out for in this year’s Fantasia edition.
Fantasia is often the home of movies being viewed by large audiences for the very first time and this year is no different. A home invasion that gets worse by the hour is at stake in FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS. Discover what two elderly Satanists will do to recover their deceased grandson in ANYTHING FOR JACKSON. BLEED WITH ME reveals to us the terrifying visions of a woman who feels unwelcomed at a cabin with friends. COME TRUE will show us the materialization of a teenager’s nightmares; literally. Black magic in a suspicious town set in the 70s will be conjured within THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW. Things get very strange in a town, both for its residents and animals, in THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND. Straight from India comes KRIYA; a tale of a man hoping to get lucky when visiting a girl’s home after meeting her in a night club, only to realize that he’s been pulled into a cursed family’s funeral ritual that needs him to achieve completion. Argentina brings forth its dead in THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME, where an undertaker’s family is tormented by ghosts; some more threatening than others. Marc Blucas (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER series) and the legendary Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG, CREEPSHOW, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) co-star as neighbors collaborating in a struggle against a rising horror from underneath their properties in UNEARTH. Finally, as a horror-related documentary, HAIL TO THE DEADITES gives us a look into the world of the ultimate “Evil Dead” fans with a tour of horror conventions and more, injected with a healthy dose of interviews with cast and crew of the original films as well as anyone and everyone who is passionate with the classic trilogy.
Even if they’re not having their world premieres, some films are still being viewed for the first time out of their country of origin. After the aforementioned FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS, yet another nurse seems to have a hectic night, this time in her hospital, surrounded by various odd characters (including David Arquette and former WWE wrestler, Mick Foley) in 12 HOUR SHIFT. If you’re still in need of some more nurse-protagonist horror, then keep an eye out for SANZARU, where a nurse’s help is required to take care of a woman suffering from dementia inside a house that seems to hide more secrets than you can believe. Something evil also lurks in the house of a dying, elderly man while his adult children take care of him in his final hours. Discover what that evil is in THE DARK AND THE WICKED. A woman’s home is broken into by a masked intruder in LUCKY, and no one seems to care much but her. Not the police, not her husband; not anyone. To make things worse, and strangely enough, the concealed individual keeps invading her home again, and again… forcing her to find a way to stay alive on her own. If you’ve always wanted to find the perfect pair of jeans, then look no further than Super Shapers – a new technology of clothes that adapts to any body size. The only problem is that one of those pairs of jeans is attacking and killing those who wear them. Look out for this chaos and hilarity in SLAXX.
North American, Canadian and Quebec Premieres
Fantasia being a Quebec-born festival attracts a lot of foreign moviemakers to its province, its country, or even to the North American continent, for that matter, to show their film here for the very first time. This tradition doesn’t change as this year’s online edition is geo-restricted to residents of Canada. THE COLUMNIST will have us witness one woman’s mental breakdown as she physically executes her revenge on social media trolls, as it makes its North American premiere. An alien takes over a heroin addict’s body in a rough neighborhood in the Canadian premiere of FRIED BARRY. Straight out of Taiwan, also making its Canadian premiere, DETENTION will have you creeped out by the spirits and deformed creatures lurking its halls. From Hong Kong comes the North American premiere of LEGALLY DECLARED DEAD: the tale of an insurance broker who is convinced that an apparent suicide is actually the works of a father who has murdered his own son to claim the insurance money, only to find out that darker plans surround this death and are now putting him and his loved ones in danger. Making its Quebec premiere is THE MORTUARY COLLECTION where a mortuary worker recounts the tales of former “clients” to his new employee, serving us a new horror anthology on a silver platter. It wouldn’t be Fantasia without at least one zombie movie. “Facelifts, boob jobs and zombies”, as their official poster puts, is all you need to know for the Quebec premiere of YUMMY.
As a bonus to all of this, Neil Marshall (director of THE DESCENT, DOG SOLDIERS and DOOMSDAY) brings an advanced screening of his latest film: THE RECKONING as this year’s opening film of the festival before it is released around the world. Set in England, 1665, in the midst of the great plague ravaging physically and emotionally through the country, a woman must face the horrendous interrogations of the “Witchfinder” after having been accused of witchcraft by her dishonest landlord.
There may be more surprises to discover at this year’s exceptional online edition of Fantasia, but there are only two ways to find out: buy tickets and tune in yourself (if you’re Canadian) or make sure you read my Infamous Horror reviews!
Have a great festival!
Article written by Simon Rother