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The Dreadful Ten: 10 Anticipated Films at Fantasia 2016!

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The 20th Fantasia Film Festival began this weekend, and I’m on my way there right now. In an attempt to filter my overwhelming excitement into something productive, here’s a list of the top ten movies I cannot wait to see in Montreal over the next couple weeks. I’ve decided to leave off some of the awesome screenings at Fantasia that you’ve already heard about — like LIGHTS OUT and BEFORE I WAKE, the films you’re going to be seeing soon in mainstream multiplexes. Instead of those, I pored over the Fantasia program for the hard-to-see films I’m really excited for and some upcoming movies that might not be on your radar yet…

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10. AS THE GODS WILL

I’m obsessed with death games and cool teens and that is exactly what AS THE GODS WILL is about! Japanese high schoolers find themselves trapped by weird colorful monsters in their classrooms and are told they have to participate in whimsical games of skill — for which the consequence of losing is a quick gory death. Takashi Miike has a great track record for violent, stylized, surreal stories and matching him to his adaptation of a popular manga is nothing short of brilliant.   

 

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9. THE MASTER CLEANSE

After noticing THE BIG BANG THEORY star Johnny Galecki was starring in an offbeat genre flick, my interest was piqued. I immediately looked up director Bobby Miller’s prior short film, TUB, and it is really, really out there — and awesome, especially if you like creepy baby monsters. From what I can gather, this looks like a bizarro dark comedy in which feelings manifest as monsters when its main character goes on a retreat to cleanse himself of toxins and negativity. It also promises weird creatures done with practical FX and puppets!

 

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8. BED OF THE DEAD

A cursed sentient murder bed! This movie sounds sexy and gory, with a mattress straight from hell, torturing its victims with visions of their greatest fears before tearing them to bits. BED OF THE DEAD appears to be a welcome addition to the tiny subgenre of haunted furniture. It’s adventurous trailer alone travels to distant lands, so don’t expect to be confined to the bedroom for the whole movie.

 

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7. WE GO ON

From the title, you might assume this is just another classy zombie movie, but WE GO ON is far from it, more concerned with an existential exploration of the afterlife than with resurrection. What I’m saying is: it’s ghosts! Or at the very least, ghost-hunting! Miles, played by the very handsome Clark Freeman, wants proof there’s some sort of life after death. He posts an ad stating he is willing to pay thousands of dollars to find proof and it starts him on a creepy personal journey there’s no coming back from. Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton previously directed the eerie YELLOWBRICKROAD, and I’m thrilled they’re back with this supernatural offering.

 

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6. RED CHRISTMAS

From the stills in the Fantasia program alone, this looks like it’s going to be a radiant bloody holiday slasher, and the trailer, promising a production with a ton of low budget horror loving gumption, left me grinning. A warm weather Christmas brings a big family together under matriarch Dee Wallace, who is always a delight. A stranger shows up, and the slashing starts. It’s always easy to sell me on Christmas horror.

 

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5. PARASITES

Three college students get lost in Skid Row and are abducted by a gang of derelicts, which quickly devolves into an urban nightmare they are fighting to escape. This looks like a violent grindhouse-style gem with a nod to Walter Hill and ’80s action flicks. Chad Ferrin has a few excellent low budget horror flicks behind him, including the subversive SOMEONE’S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR.  Although it’s a step away from the weird brutal horror of his prior work, PARASITES promises to be as bloody and suspenseful as ever.

 

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4. BAD BLOOD

Take one look at the monster of BAD BLOOD, and  you know what you’re in for: a gory little low budget romp, with frog monsters! This first feature from Atlanta based filmmaker Tim Reis is about a scientist who develops a serum that turns him into an amphibious werewolf-type creature during the full moon. Bright colors, wild angles, and splatter, with a were-frog full body rubber monster suit!

 

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3. PARASYTE Pt. 1 & 2

This is where I am forced to out myself as having a fixation on live action adaptation of horror manga. In the world of PARASYTE, an unseen invasion threatens earth as aliens are taking over human bodies as their hosts. I read PARASYTE when I was younger, and was shocked and mesmerized by the insane art of the parasitic alien transforming their hosts into malleable killing machines, in a way, reminiscent of THE THING. This live action adaptations came out in Japan over the past two years, and now Fantasia is presenting them both and oh boy, am I excited to finally see this comic come to life.

 

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2. CREEPY

I am scared of Kiyoshi Kurosawa movies. All of them, they all scare me. They exist on some strange supernatural plane where even shadows become threatening and the atmosphere is so thick it presses against your chest and pins you to your chair. CREEPY is touted as a return to the era of Kurasawa that created CURE and PULSE, the two scariest of this master’s films.  Additionally, I appreciate any title that blatantly expresses what you should expect from a movie. So, I’ll be walking into this one ready for things to get pretty creepy.

 

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1. WHITE COFFIN

Fantasia is hosting the world premiere of this Argentinian horror film that looks like a cross between a suspenseful road thriller and an abduction horror. Virginia is traveling with her daughter Rebecca, until during a stop at a gas station Rebecca vanishes. Encountering a pair of other women also searching for missing persons of their own, they find themselves involved with an ancient religious group practicing supernatural rituals. And to add even more appeal to that already awesome synopsis, White Coffin was written by the Garcia Bogliano brothers, the minds behind PENUMBRA and COLD SWEAT.

 

About the author
Madeleine Koestner
Madeleine Koestner is a writer, filmmaker and performer. She plays a ukulele and sings songs about ghosts in small venues in New York City. She likes beer, synthesizers and movies about death games. Sometimes Madeleine does special FX makeup and gore for low-budget horror movies. You can follow her on twitter @DVDBoxSet, but do so at your own risk, as she's really weird and inappropriate.
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