A kind-hearted nurse Romina (Lora Burke), a revenge-infused Chris (Nick Smyth), and a suspicious hostage Alan (Colin Paradine) are forced to defend themselves against random and violent intruders on Halloween night.
Directors Gabriel Carrer and Reese Evenshen have created a non-stop thrill ride with For The Sake Of Vicious. Screenwriter Evenshen has written three well-developed character’s with clear goals while constructing sufficient mystery within these characters and story. Burke, Smyth and Paradine give gratifying performances which anchor the Film’s many riveting twists. This Intruder Film is parts horror, thriller and action and is filled with gruesome, realistic special effects which are wholly impressive for this smash indie-flick.
For The Sake Of Vicious screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Tue. Sept. 1 at 7:15 PM.
It’s clear that Vancouver-born actor Finn Wolfhard is a talented guy. At the young age of 17, he’s a successful musician and actor, solidifying his career through performances as Mike in Stranger Things and Richie in IT. But now he’s making his transition from in front of the camera to behind it. His Short Film Night Shifts, which he wrote and directed, premiered at Fantasia Festival 2020 and has been garnering buzz. It’s about two old friends connecting unexpectedly during a convenience store hold-up. With a running time of four minutes, Wolfhard is able to garner nostalgia for lost friendships through whip-smart direction and hilarious dialogue. Today he sat down on a Zoom chat with fellow Canadian filmmaker Jay Baruchel to talk about his leap from actor to writer-director. Wolfhard’s cast of the film, Malcolm Sparrow-Crawford, Artoun Nazareth and Billy Bryk, also came in half-way through to talk about their experience. Below are some highlights.
Wolfhard on 2020 and career so far:
“It’s easily the weirdest year of my young life so far. I’ve gotten very lucky to have the career I’ve had so far.”
Wolfhard on advice from Shawn Levy (I Am Not Okay With This, Stranger Things):
“Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean that it’s the idea.”
Wolfhard on his directorial debut, Night Shifts:
“Last year I was shooting the new Ghostbusters. And I was talking to Jason Reitman about making movies and he said, ‘Well, write a Short, it’s the best thing you can do’.”. He asked himself, “What was the most uncomfortable situation you could have with a friend from high school? And I was like oh, I know, a robbery!”. “I wanted it to be fast, I wanted it to be in and out. We shot it in 12 hours. We had fun.”
Baruchel on Night Shifts:
“It’s really, really smooth and confident and restrained. It doesn’t feel like a first Movie, man.”.
Wolfhard on Crowdfunding for Night Shifts:
“I feel like I’m very happy and very, very, very surprised that I can get on Social Media and people will give it to me. And then I feel terribly guilty. I don’t know it’s incredible. I started giving incentives, like a signed prop or something.”.
Wolfhard on his Cast:
“I’d met Artoun and Billy on the set of Ghostbusters, they are both in that. I’ve known Malcolm since I was a baby.”
Bryk on Ghostbusters and Night Shifts:
“Artoun and I, it was pretty much the first movie we did. It was this insane experience and we really got to know everybody. And then we all got together again for this.”
Favourite mments from set:
“So many prop chip bags. So many fake chips it was awesome. That was amazing.”.
“It was a fun, fun time…it was a bunch of dudes being guys.”.
“There was one line in the Movie that got cut that Finn and I thought was funny…and one guy in the back laughed.”.
“I want to do this for the rest of my life. I think it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Wolfhard on a possible Feature Film:
“Billy and I are writing a Script (for a Feature Film)…it’s a Comedy-Slasher Movie.”
Finn on Director Inspirations:
“Wes Anderson is big for me…Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are huge for me. Also, Spike Jones, PTA (Paul Thomas Anderson).”.
“Putting characters into situations that are serious but add Comedy…If I can blend that with magical realism, then that would be awesome.”.
The entire Cast, along with Wolfhard also talked about having an actual attempted robbery happen at the convenience store they were filming at overnight. When the attempted robber entered the store, they didn’t know what to do, so Nazareth raised his fake gun up. By some miracle this made the actual robber leave the store. They were laughing about the scenario.
See the Chat:
Night Shifts will be available on-demand for Fantasia FestAug 20 – Sept 2, 2020.
A strange force is thriving just off the coast of Block Island and it’s creating terrifying experiences among residents and wildlife.
Brother duo Kevin and Matthew McManus have written and directed a brilliant piece of Supernatural Horror. They impressively expand on this genre to involve our real-life fears surrounding technology and our environmental crisis. As if that wasn’t enough to terrify an audience, the brothers go further to skillfully layer a theme of inherited illness. Both through genetics and the inexplicable force which infects one family member and moves to another, threatening to break the family unit.
The entire Cast, led by the magnificent performances of Michaela McManus and Chris Sheffield, is outstanding. They root the supernatural in reality with their wholly believable performances while leaving space for the mystery to grow. Early, audiences are thrust into the mysterious world and bathe in the mystery throughout. Refreshingly that mystery is never entirely solved, rather labelling the force as a ‘thing’. Therefore, allowing the audience to project their opinion and categorize the force as an alien, mystical sea creature, or others. The Block Island Sound tops all that off with the excellent sound design and mixing that builds tension and creates unease. This is one film not to be missed.
The Block Island Sound screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Fri. Aug. 28 at 7 PM.
Writer and Actor Grant has created a brilliant Film about the fears women have and the lasting effects of PTSD. Grant shows her tremendous talent as a writer by inventing an entirely different feminist character. Grant extends on her written character by successfully portraying the solitary mentality of her refreshingly imperfect heroine. She flawlessly merges into May, encapsulating her fear, determination, doubt (often due to repeatedly being gaslighted) and more. Director Natasha Kermani and Cinematographer Julia Swain cleverly use the camera to bolden the deep themes within the script. Most notably during the climactic scene involving multiple women, their recurring violent stalkers, and a parking garage. Overall, Lucky is an outstanding horror film about being a woman, surviving, and PTSD.
Lucky screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Sun. Aug. 23 at 9:45 PM and Fri. Aug. 28 at 11 PM.
Recently widowed Jessica (Jules Willcox) begins a journey back to her hometown when a cold-blooded killer begins hunting her down.
Alone works thanks to Director John Hyams building ample amounts of tension in each scene through staging and sound, along with Wilcox’s captivating performance as a woman fighting to survive. However, for those looking for a twist or something new being brought to a popular genre they won’t find it here. As the story progresses it becomes predictable and at moments the 97-minute runtime drags a little. Yet, it’s Wilcox’s hungry performance at the ever-persistent Jessica that holds the audience throughout.
Alone screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Thu. Aug. 27 at 7 PM.
While feeling like a third-wheel on a weekend getaway with friend Emily (Lauren Beatty) and Emily’s boyfriend (Aris Tyros), Rowan (Lee Marshall) begins having horrifying visions during the night of Emily. However, Rowan can’t tell if these visions are fact or fiction.
First-time Feature Writer-Director Amelia Moses has created a gripping isolation Horror film. The remote settings, the indoor fire-lit cabin and outdoor snowy landscape are beautifully shot. Both enhancing the isolation theme and encapsulating the otherness Rowan feels. Early on, Moses blurs lines of doubt and certainty upon Rowan’s hazy nightmarish visions. Skillfully evoking audiences to question themselves as Rowan does. The film is embedded by Marshall’s self-contained, subtle performance that’s somehow both quiet and loud.
Bleed With Me screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Wed. Aug. 26 at 7:10 PM and Tue. Sept. 1 at 3 PM.
Staff at a clothing store are preparing overnight for Monday Madness and the launch of their newest jeans. They soon learn those pants are alive, and their out for blood.
This Film gives a new meaning to the phrase, “Those are some killer jeans.” Director-Writer Elza Kephart and Co-Writer Patricia Gomez Zlatar have made a hilarious, gory comedy-horror with important social commentary. Early, we are thrust into the competitive retail clothing world filled with cutthroat characters, and a couple of endearing ones. These believable varied characters are what keep us wanting more hysterical, bloody murders while rooting for a survivor. However, Kephart and Zlatar have more on their minds then entertainment. They expose the villainous corporate agendas of clothing companies, such as child labour, and the culpable blind-eye of consumers and employees. What results is the manifestation of a hero in the form of jeans attempting to take down the establishment. The visual effects are stellar and the entire Cast is captivating, consisting of Romane Denis, Sehar Bhojani, Brett Donahue and more.
Slaxx screens live twice online at Fantasia Fest on Sun. Aug. 23 at 7 PM.
Based on the Video Game of the same name, Detention is set in 1962 during Taiwan’s White Terror period. It follows Fang (Gingle Wang) and Wei (Tseng Chin-hua) who have been trapped alone at midnight in their high school.
First-time Feature Writer-Director John Hsu has made a striking Fantasy-Horror genre film. As with the Video Game, the real-world horror those experienced during the White Terror period perfectly moulds within fantastical elements of the narrative. Weaved into this fantasy realm is a powerful lesson of the importance of pain and the significance of those who suffer to live to tell the story. Hsu manages to keep this lesson prominent no matter how magical the stunning Visual Effects become. His effects also never take away from the impressive grounded performances from Chin-Hua and Wang. For any fan of Pan’s Labyrinth, Detention is for you.
Detention screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Mon. Aug. 24 at 7 PM.
On a snowy night in a small Canadian town Steve (RJ Mitte) walks into a blue-collar bar owned by Paul (Peter Outerbridge). It’s clear the two know each other but why has Steve returned and what does he want?
The Oak Room is a slow-burn Thriller that has characters using the art of storytelling to unwind its central mystery. From beginning to end, Steve and Paul tell two different stories. However, Steve’s will slowly reveal his motive for returning home. Writer Peter Genoway has written captivating stories within his narrative. Yet, this unique and brave decision causes long drawn out scenes heavy on dialogue rather than action. That being said, Mitte and Outerbridge do bring much entertainment to their often-sedentary roles. There’s also a congenial supporting performance from Ari Millen as a character within Steve’s story.
The Oak Room will screen live online at Fantasia Fest on Mon. Aug. 24 at 9:45 PM and Mon. Aug. 31 at 11:30 PM.
This Documentary follows David Arquette’s come back to wrestling after winning the World Championship title 18 years prior.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette is an outrageously-funny Documentary that perfectly compliments its zany subject. Directors David Darg and Price James have loaded many eccentric moments, such as wizard-caped horseback riding, spray tanning, magic and more, while never taking the focus off the heartfelt redemption story. Darg and James control the narrative to shift the audience’s opinion from beginning to end. As we travel with Arquette through his highs and lows, it becomes impossible not to root for him; turning audiences from sceptics to supporters. It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike wrestling and/or Arquette, because it’s a movie about an underdog aspiring for acceptance in the arena he loves. That’s what makes this a Documentary one not to be missed.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Mon. Aug. 24 at 7:30 PM.