Everyone has their own white whale. That seemingly unattainable dream you will pine for, and chase, but may never get. For me, attending the Blood In The Snow film fest in Toronto has been that whale. It is one of the few horror fests that features films you aren’t going to see at all of the other fests throughout the year. I’ve done remote coverage, but we all know that it is not the same as being there, watching with the crowds and then hitting the pub later.
Well kids, this year is my year. American Thanksgiving be damned, I’m heading north and packing a sweater.
I’ll have lot of reviews up here for the films at the fest, and from what I can tell this year is going to be a doozy. Below is the lineup and here is a link for tickets (if you want to join me).
I am particularly excited for ONCE UPON A TIME AT CHRISTMAS (Christmas horror is the best mashup genre, in my opinion) and the shorts block on Saturday (I’ve previously seen EVEN THE DARKNESS HAS ARMS, and if the rest of those shorts are at this level of achievement, we are in for a treat!).
THURSDAY, NOV 23
9:30pm OPENING FILM
RED SPRING (Dir. Jeff Sinasac) WORLD PREMIERE
The world has ended, taking humanity with it. With vampires numbering in the millions, humans have become an endangered species. It’s against this backdrop that we meet Ray – a loving husband and father searching for his wife and daughter. Joined by a group of survivors dealing with their own grief and anger, his search takes them through Ontario until they meet another who offers a chance at life and respite from their vampiric predators. But how can safe harbour be found when danger stalks them at every turn?
Screening with the short film PAINT THE TOWN RED(Dirs. Ariel Hansen & Christopher Graham) TORONTO PREMIERE
FRIDAY, NOV 24
KILL ORDER (Dir. James Mark) CANADIAN PREMIERE
When David, a troubled high school student who appears to suffer from mental illness, finds himself in a situation where he is about to be taken captive for reasons unknown, a dark power takes over his body opening the doors to a world of superhuman abilities and a past kept secret.
Screening with the short film MARAUDER (Dir. Brendon Rathbone) TORONTO PREMIERE
BUCKOUT ROAD (Dir. Matthew Currie Holmes)
Buckout Road might be known as the most haunted road in New York State, but nobody really believed it… until now. A college class project on modern mythology turns deadly when a trio of students discovers a series of horrific urban legends surrounding Buckout Road may actually be true. The deeper they dig into the road’s dark, mysterious history, the more dangerous their quest becomes. From witches burning at the stake, to backwoods albino killers, to a modern, unstoppable stalker, writer/director and horror-film aficionado Matthew Currie Holmes leaves no genre unexploited in his loving throwback to late-80’s midnight movies.
Screening with the short film SCRAPS(Dir. Christopher Giroux ) TORONTO PREMIERE
SATURDAY, NOV 25
BLOOD CHILD (Dir. Jennifer Phillips) WORLD PREMIERE
Blood Child a supernatural horror thriller based on a true story. A young woman, Ashley DiAngelo suffers a devastating miscarriage. In a desperate attempt to get over the agony of losing her child, Ashley resorts to the South East Asian black magic practice of raising her own “ghost child”. She seeks the help of her Indonesian maid, Siti, and tasks her to find a “bomoh” (witch doctor) who is able to trap the soul of unborn children. However, what Ashley does not realize is that there are terms and conditions attached to raising a ghost child. When Ashley finds herself pregnant again, a series of terrifying events begin to unfold in the DiAngelo home. The family soon learns that the ghost child is not about to play second fiddle to the impending new addition to the family and unleashes an unspeakable evil upon the family.
Screening with the short films LE LOUP (The Wolf) (Dir. Carl Tremblay) TORONTO PREMIERE
and CRUX: BLACK SOL EMPIRE (Dir. Steve Choptiany) WORLD PREMIERE
FAKE BLOOD (Dir. Rob Grant) TORONTO PREMIERE
Two filmmakers receive a disturbing fan video inspired by one of their horror films; motivating them to investigate their responsibility portraying violent cinema and introducing them to the real world of violent criminals and their victims.
Screening with the short films ALICE, ALONE (Dir. Sean Cammack) WORLD PREMIERE
and JASON (Dir. Greg Kovacs) TORONTO PREMIERE
BITS SHORT FILM SHOWCASE
A special feature length program of premieres of the hottest new Canadian short genre films.
FUN (Dir. Greg Kovacs) TORONTO PREMIERE
Anna and Ellery discover different interpretations of the word “fun”.
EVEN THE DARKNESS HAS ARMS (Dir. Chris Bavota) TORONTO PREMIERE
In the middle of the night, a man is haunted by the manifestation of his fears.
LETTERS (Dir. Michael Goyert) CANADIAN PREMIERE
Phil and Gerty play their usual Sunday afternoon game of “Letters”. But today is different. Something dark boils below the surface of the game, setting off a series of unexpected events, forever changing their marriage.
THE ONE I ADORE (Dir. Jason Seelmann) WORLD PREMIERE
A story of love lost and the lengths some can go to get it back.
ITCH (Dir. Sean Patrick Kelly) WORLD PREMIERE
A man with an uncontrollable Itch on his hand goes through increasingly extreme measures to get rid of it.
DON’T CLICK (Dir. G-hey Kim) TORONTO PREMIERE
A young man watches a snuff film sent to his email. When the film stops half way through, he has the option to continue. To find out what happens next, all he has to do is click.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN (Dir. Tyler A. Williams) CANADIAN PREMIERE
Sensing a strange presence, Lauren awakes to a seemingly empty home. Upon investigation, she soon realizes that there is something much darker at play.
TIMEBOX (Dir. Daelan Wood) TORONTO PREMIERE
A couple of backwoods hicks discover a time machine in the woods. Rather than use it to do something smart, like bet on sports or game the stock market, they use it to hunt each other. Repeatedly.
THE HAG (Dir. Julian Zakrzewski) TORONTO PREMIERE
It seems like an ordinary night when Emily turns out the lights in her apartment, little does she know that her night would become a living nightmare.
BESTIA (Dir. Gigi Saul Guerrero) CANADIAN PREMIERE
BESTIA follows the lone survivor (played by Mathias Retamal) of a disaster as he awakens on a deserted beach. It becomes clear that there are more dangers lurking in the woods than a hungry beast.
I MAKE CORPSES (Dir. Kyle Martellacci) TORONTO PREMIERE
A serial killer continues his macabre hobby during a zombie outbreak.
CONSUME (Dirs. Michael Peterson) TORONTO PREMIERE
Inspired by true events, residential school survivor Jacob Wematim (Julian Black Antelope), struggles to hang onto his family, land and identity as his personal demons threaten to manifest in the form of the Wendigo spirit (Wilma Pelly) and take it all away.
THE CHILD REMAINS (Dir. Michael Melski) TORONTO PREMIERE
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded
country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’, THE CHILD REMAINS is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore. From the producer of the acclaimed horror thriller The Corridor, starring Cannes Best Actress winner Suzanne Clement (Mommy), Allan Hawco (Frontier), Shelley Thompson (Labyrinth) and genre hero Geza Kovacs (Scanners, The Dead Zone), THE CHILD REMAINS is about the evil that lurks behind the postcard.
Screening with the short film DESTRUCTION MAKES THE WORLD BURN BRIGHTER (Dir. Kalen Artinian) WORLD PREMIERE
SUNDAY NOV 26
ONCE UPON A TIME AT CHRISTMAS (Dir. Paul Tanter ) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
In the twelve days leading up to Christmas, the residents of the snowy and isolated town of Woodridge are being murdered in a variety of gruesome ways by a psychotic Santa and Mrs. Claus. While the small-town cops scramble to protect the townsfolk, the killings seem to center around one young woman who may be the final victim on Santa’s list. As the slaughter continues and the bodies pile up, it seems that nothing and no one may be able to stop the murderers before they complete their own deadly take on the twelve days of Christmas.
Screening with the short film HUMAN CATTLE (Dir. Carlos Henriques) TORONTO PREMIERE
ART OF OBSESSION (Dir. Ryan M. Andrews) CANADIAN PREMIERE
After losing his family in a car accident and seeing his latest work bomb, famous novelist, Kennedy Sait, becomes a recluse and turns to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain he feels. Struggling to make it through day-to-day, Kennedy’s life is turned around after meeting his neighbour’s new wife, Patricia. Infatuated with her, she becomes his “muse” and she not only inspires him to create again, but she also inspires him to live again. But his infatuation with her becomes a dangerous obsession. To ensure he doesn’t lose Patricia, he kidnaps her and keeps her prisoner in his attic. Police comb the neighbourhood, hoping to find a trace of the missing woman, never knowing that she is right under their noses the whole time. Patricia tries keeping a level head and is always looking for a way to escape, though she fears she may never break free of her capture as Kennedy’s grasp on reality continues on a frightening downward spiral.
Screening with the short film TALKING HEADS (Dir. Alyx Melone) WORLD PREMIERE
7:00pm CLOSING NIGHT FILM
DARKEN (Dir. Audrey Cummings) CANADIAN PREMIERE
DARKEN is set in a bizarre, mysterious, and violent unknown world with danger and death around every corner. After a young woman is accosted by a dying warrior in the middle of the street, a bizarre incantation propels her into the realm of Darken – a violent prison-like world of labyrinthine rooms, interconnected with no apparent rhyme or reason and no way of escape. As she fights for survival within this brutal place, she finds allies who are rebelling against the rule of a self-appointed religious despot who demands allegiance to an all-powerful god called “Mother Darken.” Eve and her allies must fight with everything they have if they are to have any hope of surviving the horrors Darken has in store for them.
Screening with the short film BANSHEE (Dir. Adam O’Brien) TORONTO PREMIERE