Warning - disturbing/mature content and language in photos, clips and trailers
(Dir. Alexandre Franchi) TORONTO PREMIERE (97 mins)
Desperate to become less shallow, Stan, a handsome 19-year-old, deforms his face with bandages and attends a support group for people with facial differences after he learns his cancer-ridden mother will undergo invasive facial surgery. But when he’s exposed as an impostor, Stan strikes a deal with Vanessa, the obese, domineering workshop leader to let him stay and build up his immunity to ugliness, and in exchange he’ll train her disfigured patients on how to use their facial differences as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.
MY TAKE: An emotional roller-coaster that is, in fact, not a horror or even a genre film, but fits in so well at genre festivals because of how it's subject matter - differently faced people - might compare to the tales of Mary Shelley, for example. A study of how what we perceive and fear as something ugly affects not only those we look upon and judge, but ourselves (more profoundly than we may expect).
Having real, differently faced people playing the roles makes the characters authentic, as well as forcing the audience to see them as they are. They may make you cringe at first, but you see the people they are within soon enough. This makes the film, in my opinion.
(Dir. Lyndon Horsfall) (12:30 mins)
"Liaison" is a short dramatic film about a woman who feels helpless in the circumstances of her life, so she embarks on a journey to make things right with the man who is troubling her.
MY TAKE: Intense Mama Bear stuff!
She Never Died
(Dir. Audrey Cummings) TORONTO PREMIERE (90 mins)
Lacey (Olunike Adeliyi), a socially detached loner is cursed with immortality and a never-ending tedium of existence. In her attempts to keep her compulsions in check, she seeks out the darkest souls humanity has to offer. Lacey must now face her own inner demons while simultaneously finding her next meal.
MY TAKE: Now we get to the very action portion of the festival!
Olunike Adeliyi as lacy is incredibly visceral in her primal, animalistic role as a human?...a creature?...a monster? I'll let you see for yourself. I can tell you that she likes to eat bits of people - the people she kills (though she tries to stick to eating bad people). Fingers are best because they're easy to carry around and she needs the bone marrow.
This is a companion piece to He Never Died, so there may be a moment or two that you don't totally get if you haven't already immersed yourself in this universe, but it's only a couple quick seconds here and there, so you need not worry if you haven't.
Olunike actually said during the Q&A that she chooses an animal to begin with with each role, and builds her character from their...I can only imagine the raw, kick-ass creature she chose to model Lacy on.
Another horror mash-up with elements of action, supernatural and comedy (yay!) with fun, strong and memorable characters from the whole ensemble. I loved Kiana Madeira, Lacy's unwanted "human pet" she didn't know she needed...and the dog who becomes an actual pet.
(Dir. Kyle Dunbar) (6:06 mins)
It's the offseason and Meg works the extra hours at the resort. Unbeknownst to her, a menace lurks and they too are getting paid hourly.
MY TAKE: Leaves you wanting more...seriously...I think this needs to become a longer film (and I mean that in the most positive way)!
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Horror at Terror Creek (or Amazon)