Fantasia 2016: Third Time's the Charm

This my third time attending the Fantasia Film Festival, one of the crème de la crèmes of genre cinema. It is also the 20th anniversary of the festival. I have seen the triumphs of films like Boyhood, Frank, Tangerine, and Cop Car have been my past favourites of Fantasia. I was so excited for this festival reveal that I got up at 4 AM, 5:30 AM, and 6 AM when my alarm finally went off, even though the press conference was only at 11 AM. The festival has over 130 diverse features from North America and around the globe. As for films that I hope get revealed, I am hoping for a premiere of DC latest dark (Anti) superhero gritty action film Suicide Squad from director David Ayer, and Kevin Smith's indie dark comedy Yoga Hosers. I feel that these two films fit the festival mandate and will be crowd pleasers.

Yoga Hosers

Sadly, no big superhero movies will be premiered this time, which means no Suicide Squad. The big titles at this year's Fantasia Festival are going to be real crowd pleasers with the horror fans. Director David F. Sandberg and producer James Wan are here to help you with those sleepless nights with their supernatural horror thriller, Lights Out. The thieves are not safe when they break into the home of a blind army veteran with a dark side (Stephen Lang) in Don't Breathe from director Fede Alvarez and producer Sam Raimi. If you're more into physiological thrillers, then Mike Flanagan is sure to deliver with the closing film Before I Wake staring Jacob Tremblay. Without a doubt I am amped for the festival's opening film King Dave, from one of the best Quebec film makers working in the business today Daniel Grou (Podz).

King Dave

That said, here are some more horror films you might want to check out. One that is sure to lure audiences is the beautiful visual nature of The Lure from director Agnieszka Smoczynska, which is described as a musical art house horror film. Shelley from director Ali Abbasi is best described as Antichrist meets Rosemary's Baby in a Bergman slash Von Trier operatic style. There is something deeply disturbing to be found in We Are the Flesh from director Emiliano Rocha Minter. Far from his Back to the Future days, Christopher Lloyd stars in the dark horror film I Am Not a Serial Killer, and will be hosting the premiere of the film August 2nd in the early evening. There is also a refreshing dark twist on the holidays that can be found in Red Christmas from director Craig Anderson.

Red Christmas

Crime action thriller films are another staple at the Fantasia Festival, and here are some that should not be missed. There is something dark and sinister brewing in Let Me Make You a Martyr from directors Corey Asraf and John Swab, which stars an unrecognizable Marilyn Manson as a deranged hitman. Manson will be at the late evening premiere of the film July 22nd. Mel Gibson is back in his home turf of action genre cinema in Jean-François Richet's action film, Blood Father. Based on the popular Danish crime novels, A Conspiracy of Faith from director Hans Petter Moland deals with a case of religious fanaticism and child abuse that boasts a conclusion that will leave you thinking long after. If you are looking for that gritty western film be sure to check out Outlaws and Angels from director JT Mollner.

Blood Father

When it comes to comedy, think of ridiculously over-the-top and dark, because that is what you will get from the genre at the Fantasia Film Festival. The most apologetically Canadian dark comedy film, Yoga Hosers from director Kevin Smith, will be premièring in all of its Canuck craziness. Following the success of his indie comedy hit What We Do in the Shadows, Taika Waititi brings his New Zealand comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople before moving on to direct the next instalment of the Thor series. If you are looking for a romantic comedy with heart then be sure to check out Heart Attack from director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. For the romantic comedy about how two people meet over the love for fan fiction be sure to check out Slash from director Clay Liford.


Documentary films are used as a way to enlighten and inform, but at the Fantasia Film Festival they will entertain the audiences. Trekkies rejoice as Adam Nimoy's documentary film For the Love of Spock will explore the legacy of the iconic character Mr. Spock who was portrayed by the late Leonard Nimoy. As for a documentary that I am hoping to get informed from, I am leaning towards the HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman that explores a dark internet phenomenon of Slenderman, and how it entered the real world. Did you ever want to know how the movies monsters are created? Then be sure to check out Creature Designers - The Frankenstein Complex, which will be proceeded by the presentation of a Cheval Noir award to director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth).

For the Love of Spock

From the dark and the darkly light-hearted the Fantasia Film Festival has something for the genre loving film audiences. I would like to conclude this article by congratulating the Fantasia Film Festival for its 20th anniversary, and as always from all of us of the At the Movies (with Iconic Sounds) family have a good week at the movie, bon cinema, et bon Festival Fantasia 2016!

Remi's Fantasia 2016 full selection list
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