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Toronto: Top Five Flicks to Catch at Blood in the Snow 2013

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The second year of fledgling Canadian horror film festival BLOOD IN THE SNOW is upon us, running from Friday November 29th – December 1st in Toronto at the legendary Carlton Cinemas, nestled beside the now dormant Maple Leaf Gardens. The event is co-sponsored by FANGORIA, Anchor Bay Canada and endorsed by the Toronto International Film Festival. Within, there are plenty of diverse indie Northern fright features (and a cavalcade of dynamic shorts) to choose from in the lineup, but we’ve whittled the long list down to five of our favorites.

In no particular order, they are as follows:

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THANATOMORPHOSE — After a successful international festival run, Éric Falardeau’s award-winning microbudget vomitorium has its Toronto premiere and man, is it a humdinger of a horrorshow. In it, a young lady quite literally breaks down in her squalid apartment, her body turning to so much infectious jelly before our eyes. Recalling Polanski, Cronenberg and especially Buttgereit, THANATAMORPHOSE is an eerie, stylish and deeply disturbing film. Don’t watch on a full stomach, however…

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EVANGELINE —DOLL PARTS director Karen Lam retools that cool short into a feature here and the results are fascinating, flawed and incredibly stylish. When the titular shrinking violet is violated and left for dead in the forest, something infects her, alters her, and turns her into an angel of undead death. Imagine I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE adhered to THE CROW but filtered through the sensibilities of a real artist. Lam doesn’t just ladle on the blood and shock, she takes time to let her camera meander over incidentals, creating a dense atmosphere that is truly immersive.

CRIMINAL — Only an hour long, this barely-a-feature cost its helmer, Elliot Dawson-Clark, peanuts to produce but packs more punch than most over-thought Hollywood thrillers could ever hope to muster. It’s a typical revenge thriller sure, but one edited to perfection and boasting a pulsing score (by the director) that out Moroder’s Moroder.

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THE GHOSTKEEPERS – We’re big fans of Kingston based actor/director Anthony D.P. Mann. His flawed films cost nothing to make, but man is this guy swimming against the indie horror grain. Like his impossibly well-made and serious minded TERROR OF DRACULA feature, THE GHOSTKEEPERS betrays its low-budget with great production value, this time setting the sophisticated gothic drama against a contemporary setting. An old dark house chiller made by people who care and cleverly written? Someone give this Man(n) some real dough so he can blow the roof offa this dump already!

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DISCOPATH — Renaud Gauthier’s ultra-stylish serial killer thriller has been making waves, and rightfully so. In it, a young Montreal man has a duel awakening: disco music and murder. The results are campy, bloody and slick with extra appeal for KISS fans, of which this writer is one.

Many of the shows are sold out already but you’d be wise to check out Blood in the Snow to see if you can squeeze yerself into the theater. Sit on the floor, hang from the ceiling, whatever you must to see these gems the way they should be seen: with an audience.

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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